Designlounge Projects

Topography of Type

This project explores if a specific typographical landscape—a “topography of type”—exists that is unique to an area and how it could be visualized in digital and analog formats. Can it be a virtual or visual corridor through which one travels to be in a specific place the same way that a kid might look at maps to travel to far away places in her imagination?
We wanted to look at this project not just through the eyes of designers but through the eyes of explorers or mapmakers. The intention has been to collect and select, compare and juxtapose obvious, fragmented or indecipherable messages made of letters in a specific area, or “landscape.” The collections are categorized with some connection to typical typeface classifications but also experiment with the norms in artistic terms.

This project consists of this website, while printed materials cross the bridge from the digital to the analog environment (see the broadsheet below. Books will follow).


The Project Ingredients
Concept, Photography, Writing, WordPress Setup and Theme Adjustments

The Broadsheet
Kern Your Observations
This printed broadsheet newspaper is a companion piece to the website. While the images herein are loosely organized based on the typographic classification system, the arrangement also describes the at times erratic experience of how we see type in a given area. We look up and down to read what is in front of us and seconds later we scan walls and storefronts for a myriad of messages, alerts, advertisements, and artistic expressions created with type.

The images and the accompanying stories are surrounded by fictitious typographic villages, streets and landscapes. Cities and streets tell type stories of ups and downs, old and new, and reveal preserved and overlooked readabilites. Go and kern (adjust) your observations.