What gets me excited about experimental typography is the fact that almost anyone can relate to it. Although languages are not, words themselves are universal. We can all interpret them and appreciate when they are presented to us in a creative manner. I have been meaning to write a post about typography for quite some time now, and yesterday I finally got some inspiration. I signed into my Twitter account, and a series of tweets about Google typography sent me into a research frenzy. I have compiled some of my favorite discoveries below. Believe me. They are pretty spectacular.
1 Marian Bantjes
Marian Bantjes is a Canadian illustrator and writer. An expert in brand identity and visual communication, she is internationally known for her eye-popping typography. Bantjes’s style is intricate and precise, with bold patterns and highly ornamental line work. Her work is truly out of this world, and there is no shortage of companies who have taken notice. Some of Bantjes’s past clients include Saks Fifth Avenue, Young & Rubicam, Houghton Mifflin, and The New York Times. To view more of her pieces, check out this great book on typography: The Alphabet: A Critical Assessment.
2 Sergio Moctezuma
Talk about a fun project! Look at this James Brown poster by Sergio Moctezuma. I haven’t been able to find much on Moctezuma’s background, other than the fact that he is a fellow Texan! I have to say, he makes me feel proud. It is difficult for me to distinguish whether Moctezuma did the type on James Brown’s face by hand or with a complex, computer-generated path warping technique. In any case, this piece is really impressive.
3 Raphael Vicenzi
Raphael Vicenzi, also known as My Dead Pony, is a self-taught illustrator based in Brussels, Belgium. Incredibly dynamic, his work features a combination of digital media and watercolor. It is decidedly grim, with a twist of humor and sensuality. Vicenzi’s style is truly one-of-a-kind. He is a master at masking morbid subject matter under an air-like and ethereal backdrop of beauty. I can’t say that I fully appreciate Vicenzi’s dark humor. Nonetheless, I admire his consistency and the degree of connection he feels to his artwork.
I always wanted to be an artist, so after a while I discovered that I could make pretty images with a computer and it never stopped. It wasn’t always easy but I managed to find my own way of creating the images I had in mind, and I keep trying to find new ways to keep it exciting while at the same time talking about themes that are close to my heart.
If you are wondering just how transferable Vicenzi’s pieces are, they have been published in notable magazines such as Computer Arts and Idea Design. He has also released a series of stylish espadrilles through the brand String Republic. They are quite a statement, but I would wear them!
4 Amandine Alessandra
Amandine Alessandra is a London based graphic designer and photographer. Of the typographers that I feature in this post, she is definitely the most unusual in her style. In my opinion, Alessandra’s work is less about messaging than it is about inventive presentation. I am in love with this new font she has entitled “books as type.” I can’t imagine how long it took her to create it.
5 Craig Ward
Craig Ward believes that words are pictures. And when he gets his hands on a computer, boy is that true! Believe it or not, I first discovered Ward in the Economist. As soon as I saw his world on a plate for lunch, I was hooked. And trust me, that was just the beginning! Of all of the typographers I have discovered thus far, Ward is by far the most versatile and witty. His blog is practically a playground for typography enthusiasts. Check it out to learn more about his background and fun projects.