Type Tuesday: Martin Grasser’s Abstract Type Generator Turns Typists Into Artists

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Synesthesia is a neurological state where stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway like taste can lead to automatic occurrences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway such as vision. The Abstract Type Generator, created by Martin Grasser, creates a custom typeface as if it had synesthesia by taking our standard alphabet and letters and reforming them into shapes and colors. The generator is customizable by allowing the user to choose different colors and shapes and then reform it horizontally, vertically, or even in circles.

The creations can be endless with this Abstract Type Generator. Imagine taking your favorite poem or even something as simple as your last name and turning it into visual art. Get creative and inventive because if you can type, you can produce artwork. It's as straightforward and approachable as that.

The Abstract Type Generator project picks up where the Dot Font left off. If type can be colored circles, we thought it could really be anything. The Generator allows users to create custom typefaces by manipulating a range of parameters—everything from color (hue, saturation, and lightness) to shape (circular versus rectilinear, number of sides, angle of title) to resolution. In addition, the Type Generator allows users to create compositions with their typefaces using a selection of paragraph styles to set the type.

Grasser's abstract type generator, found at his website AndRepeat.com, puts letters into colors, or a combination of colors and shapes. "If you can type, you can make art," said Grasser, whose design career has always emphasized art over commerce–his Twitter bird is a medley of overlapping circles.

The generator allows users to customize their font's alphabet using different colors and shapes and then to sequence it horizontally, vertically or even in circles. It is one part coded language and one part universal through the emotional appeal of color.

Couples have used Grasser's font generator to create art of their vows. Others have turned loved one's obituaries and children's names into art. Companies can turn their mission statements into a piece of art that is a digital background for employees' computers. Coming soon is a font generator that applies tones to letters and symbols, a musical font.

Project Credits

Martin Grasser