Everyday we use typography in design to communicate an idea. Whether it is a beautifully laid-out presentation or an intricately crafted logotype, using type effectively is an essential skill for graphic designers. When it comes to using professionally made fonts or bespoke hand-drawn lettering, my focus has always been balanced more towards working with typefaces. I have always had a love of the hand-drawn (my dissertation was on the resurgence of hand-rendered typography) and I often find myself ogling at designs that have been created with an emphasis on the analogue. Seb Lester and Ian Barnard’s Instagram videos can certainly take the majority of the credit there!
I’ll leave the typography vs lettering debate for another time, but until then, enjoy some of my favourite designs that use creative and unusual typography.
The Friday Five #3 –
Creative & unusual typography
Food Typography by Marmalade Bleue
Danielle Evans is the letterer-artist-visual-punner behind Marmalade Bleue and the now infamous Food Typography project. What started as an experimental project combining lettering, photography and ‘dad jokes’, has now grown to international acclaim as a perfect blend of craftsmanship and tongue-in-cheek designs for social campaigns, advertising and motion. Her work is not limited to food – with some stunning commissions using flowers, paper and even everyday objects (check out the custom meat brand!). I can’t remember which work I saw first, but I follow Food Typography avidly for some tasty inspiration.
Delicious Typography Experimentation by Franc Navarro & Alberto Martinez
What happens when a product designer takes a honey dipper and combines it with typography? Delicious Typography is what. This sticky collaboration between Franc Navarro and Alberto Martinez is a stunning experiment mixing the tangible with technology and photography with type. Inspired by the “simplicity of structuring layers of wood” and briefed with creating a typeface that needed as little post-production as possible, Navarro and Martinez made the most mouth-watering work I’ve seen so far. The skeleton typeface was first made digitally with Rhinoceros 3D, plans were then developed in 123D Make, the shapes lasercut from thick wooden sheets, and assembled. The fun came during the set up phase, and the pics of the photoshoot look as much fun as you’d imagine!
Aim to Misbehave by Maricor/Maricar
I discovered twin designers, Maricor and Maricar (real names!) at Pick Me Up one year and have been in love with since. Mixing two of my favourite things – embroidery and typography – they create bold graphic work, all stitched by hand. Although illustrators and animators by trade, they are best known for these playful and highly detailed tactile pieces which have earned them some impressive commissions from Vogue, Saatchi and Saatchi, Esquire Magazine and The Telegraph.
Blossom Type by Alice Mourou
Flowers are often used for typographic experiments, but Blossom Type is another project that has enhanced a hand-rendered design with the use of technology. Whilst at Zero Agency she developed a full alphabet made by meticulously arranging flowers and floristry wire. The result is a collection of very delicate letters which look clean yet highly detailed. Part II of the project saw these letters transformed into an interactive playground, where you can write your own message (in Blossom Type, of course) and share with your friends. You can also see some of the making process there too.
Space Typography by Jerome Corgier
The first piece of work I saw by Jerome Corgier was via a commission for The Telegraph, and it was the mix of paper-craft and 3D forms that caught my attention. It’s great to see a graphic designer being able to experiment in a variety of tactile ways rather than focusing solely on digital or print works. Corgier’s portfolio is full of sculptural typographic work that plays with colour, depth and form. Space Typography is a personal project which explores these letterforms by layering multi-coloured papers, resulting in fantastic pop-art and contour-like designs.