Topography of Type​

The topography of type is an attempt to document the visual landscape of type

Introduction

This project, called the “Topography of Type” is an attempt to document the visual landscape of type. Small task. Right. Where do we look? What will we see and what will we overlook? Where do we go? Do we just wander around aimlessly or do we explore an area with determination? The result was a newspaper-sized broadsheet and a website presenting images of type.

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For the topography of type we created a broadsheet-sized newspaper entitled “Kern your Observations.” While “kerning” means to adjust the spaces between letter pairs, this ability of fine-tuning and attention to detail can be used to truly examine one’s surroundings.

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 printed 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?1

  1. Imagination and personal experiences play a big role in a project such as this. The streets in the broadsheet are completely imaginary and are as much controlled by intuition as they are based on aesthetic choices to form an environment centered around type.
The responsive website
Website interior pages

Mapmakers

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 and conceptual terms.

The blog
A gallery of images
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