Incredible Calligraphy, Drawn to Look Like It’s 3D

As a graphic designer, I have an EXTREME admiration to those who also appreciate typography and the skill behind it. The art of hand-drawn type – and even drawing on paper – is not something you witness in person as readily as you once did before our digital age. When’s the last time you noticed someone on the train or sitting in the park with their sketchbook? Scratch that. When’s the last time you looked up from your own phone to pay attention to what’s happening around you – to notice someone like Tolga Girgin who’s been going to town on a type rendering not two seats over from you in your favorite coffee shop.
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::: Typography You Can Interact With :::

Meet the artist, Alida Rosie Sayer

Not only is this designer experimenting across the gamut with creating a very tactile approach to typography, but she has carefully cut out each of the numerous layers to also enhance the overall experience of interacting with her artwork. This is so you can touch it, watch it move, distort, undulate, manipulate – right before your eyes. It really is quite genius how well this whole series turned out.

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Showcasing Each Letterform in 3D ::: Architypo ::: The Final Alphabet

Johnson Banks is the firm that took on this request from a suggestion made from their client, Ravensbourne. The request was to see if they’d take their 3D prototyping skills to the next level and create a 3D expression of the current alphabet. Each letterform is showcased in a different expression of itself – repeated, stacked, rotated, scaled, skewed, while still maintaining parts of its recognizable shape. Not only that, but each font or typeface they used – whether they chose to use the lowercase or uppercase letterform – each detail in these 3D constructions was carefully considered and reflected in the description as well. This is Arkitypo: The Final Alphabet.

Take for instance the letter “H” for a moment…

The Letter H | Helvetica

Originally designed in 1957 as Neue Haas Grotesk, its 1960 version was renamed Helvetica. Given that its name was based on ‘Helvetia’ (Latin for Switzerland) it was no surprise that it became the vanguard of the Swiss style, and the typeface of choice for corporations across the world for the last fifty years.

Now, having read that – look again at their approach. They incorporated the letterform that’s made up of all of these recognized names who use “Helvetica” as their chosen typeface for branding the company. (Nestle, Blaupunkt, Basf, Target, Kawasaki and more…)

Let’s look at the letter “C” now…

The Letter C | Courier

Courier was originally commissioned for 1950s IBM typewriters, but soon became the standard font throughout the then-emerging industry. As a nod to the torturous days of jammed machinery, this ‘C’ is built from a small forest of typewriter keys.

This being a little more literal in its translation is still quite clever in its expression. The execution of these typewriter keys, overlapping, stacked, rotated… they create interesting angles and shadows upon one another. They mimic the true shape of the letter, while tying back to the history of the font. Impressive interpretation!

Here’s what they created for the letter “I”

The Letter I | Industria

Originally designed for The Face in 1984 by Neville Brody, Industria was released publically as a font in 1989. It has a mechanical structure of straight strokes, rounded corners and square inner spaces that refer back to Art Deco and design pioneers such as Ladislav Sutnar.

This could be a sculpture I’d feature in my living room! To take a letter, observe its rigid form  and then create a piece that not only adds movement… this piece also ties back to its Art Deco movement with this ultra thin case used in this industrial interpretation.

The result can be seen in this video – which shows 360 degree renders of each letter sculpture.

Now THAT’s an impressive reel… check out this guy’s MOVES!

Let me present to you… ANTON NENASHEV. Made in Russia. Lives in Moscow. Owner. Designer. Art Director at Nenashev, his post-production studio. I’ve seen a sh!t ton of reels in my life, but none that have had this much variety to offer. Your eye is constantly teased from start to finish with one visual execution to the next, AND with each one, I just want to see MORE! That is the ultimate sign of (1) a great montage and (2) an incredible exhibition of talent. Watch his reel below and then jump on over to his site to satisfy your hungry eyes!!! OH! In the top right corner, make sure you click the fullscreen mode for the ultimate in viewing pleasure!

A Glimpse into the Mind of Edouard Salier

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The Replicants “User” | Directed by Edouard Salier

I love the concept of the flip book featured here. Although you’re seeing the same composition pretty much through this whole video, the style of the visuals changing up so frequently keep it fresh. Whether it’s photography, motion sequences or hand drawn visual elements and typography, the variations keep you fixated throughout the piece. It almost mesmerizes the user into watching it oh-so-intently, so you try not miss anything flipping by you. I will mention there are a few surprises as well along the way, which also help to keep it fun and interesting.

The Replicants "User" | Directed by Edouard Salier

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Nike “Woman” | Directed by Edouard Salier

Although this commercial shows an expressive style of animation, and it’s pretty dark in its nature, the concept of this piece still captures the spirit of all of Nike’s athletes, showing: strength, determination, endurance and not to mention the ability to persevere through anything – even what Mother Nature throws your way. All because you’re wearing Nike of course. They don’t even have to show the clothes or accessories anymore b/c their name carries the poise and reputation in this world-renowned brand. For this reason, a director like Salier doesn’t need to show their products either – but, it is implied by watching this play out. Brilliantly executed!

Nike "Woman" | Directed by Edouard Salier

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Jehro “I Want Love” | Directed by Edouard Salier

I’m including this because I love how the waterly texture, extra-vivid colors and how he managed to integrate them with the illustrative typography. Even the layering used when the painterly textures overlap and the colors bleed over another, while the text and type convey the lyrics throughout… all of that combined with the illustrations just really bring this video to life.

Jehro "I Want Love" | Directed by Edouard Salier

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Tété “L’envie & Le Dedain” | Directed by Edouard Salier

I have no clue what this guy is singing about, but with the type visuals and the ability to stop and start, I might be able to teach myself some French by the time I look up the words for translation. The song and the singer are definitely not my personal favorites, but I’d venture to say Salier’s video for Tété’s song has definitely elevated his cool factor for sure. (Not sure about you, but he kind of reminds me of a French version of Hootie & the Blowfish.) Ok, back to the video though… what I LOVE is the how interesting the visuals are in this piece, with the constant camera moving into Z space, rotating, incorporating the singer surrounded by the layering of lyrics that seem to pop up in perfect time with the music. I LOVE the European/Neville Brody style of using poster fonts on 90 degree plains to create a rhythmic, visual flow throughout. AND, I’m a big fan of black and white, so at any point, I could do a screen capture and admire the composition at that instance. Take a peek.

Tété "L'envie & Le Dedain" | by Edouard Salier

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Hand-drawn, hand-cut type in this beautiful letterpress poster

Created by Darren Newman, this poster was created to promote the “Typeface” film for its premiere in Manchester. The film itself showcases a print shop located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin – a small rural town where most all of the factories have shut down and businesses are struggling. This film also pays homage to this incredible print making craft which peaks the interest of so many design enthusiasts. Personally, I love the style of these letterforms – they remind me of something you would have seen Herb Lubalin pull off back in the day. The curves and variances in the line widths are just so beautifully constructed!