Toying With Typography: Peter Biľak’s Q Project
Typeface? Game? Imaginative and perhaps ingenious experiment?
Peter Biľak’s Q Project is many things at once. And while it may be hard to define, it’s relentlessly fun.
“In the world driven by utility and performance, is there room for an open-ended typographic play system that allows [you] to discover something that was not entirely planned, something that the system hoped to allow, but could not guarantee?” Biľak asks in his essay that complements the system, “The Importance of Play.” “At Typotheque we always try to balance our library of very functional typefaces with very inventive typefaces that are fun to use, like Julien, Audree and History. They require some time and some hands-on experimentation, and they may lead you to unexpected outcomes, but of course, that is what play is all about.”
The Q system features six uppercase base fonts and 35 attachments that can be modded as layers, as well as a variable font with a motion axis and three levels of forms. Collectively, they produce an amazing range of typographic expressions and possibilities.
“The serifs can be combined to generate unexpected shapes. The letters can be broken into strokes to create entirely new forms. Just as with toys such as LEGO or Merkur, you can build what the designer envisioned, or you can ditch the instructions in favor of free play and create something else entirely.”
We believe the best way to understand the project is indeed to momentarily set the instruction book aside and see it in action (including the physical drafting stencils that bring the project off the screen and into the real world).