Things into Letters

Continuing the type and lettering theme, there’s been a lot going on in the area of expressive lettering and alphabets lately. For one, MoMA in New York is showing Tangled Alphabets: Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel, “works that address language as a major visual subject matter: the visual
body of language, the embodiment of voices as words and gestures, and
language as a metaphor of the worldly aspect of human existence through
the eloquence of naming and writing.” Leon Ferrari’s “Letter to a General” (above) is a 1963 commentary on the iron-fisted military dictatorship of the late-1970s and the dirty war against its opponents.

Just the other day I came across Typophoto (below) from the intermediate typography students at Winthrop University. Instructor Jason Tselentis says “our Junior design class built typography out of everything from birds to curdled milk to hair.” Below is “Words of a Feather” by Chris Richter made from, you guessed it, and at bottom is “Type Pantry” by Samir Zahran with letters made out of, well you guessed it again.

Making letters from found and purposely made objects is one of those delightful typographic pleasures. What letters have you created out of other things?

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.