Typography love: The Evolution of Type

Graphic design reviews

Andreas Scheiger is an austrian graphic designer/illustrator/artist that has some really impressive work under his arm. If you check his website and portfolio you'll see the extensive amount of talented work he's done, mixing old school influences with some very cool ideas, such is the case of his project The Evolution of Type. Unlike other works of history or type or others alike, this one focuses on the 'organic aspect' of letters inspired by the words of Frederic W. Goudy's "The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering". The author states that of all the achievements of the human mind, the birth of the alphabet is the most momentous. Letters, like men, have now an ancestry. Scheiger describes his inspiration as following:

When my eyes crossed this excerpt of famous type designer Frederic W. Goudy´s "The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering" (1918) suddenly letters full of life showed in my mind´s eye. Letters are organisms and typefaces are the species, all classified similar to biological taxonomy! I drafted this cognition in a chart for print and in order to prove my finding to the interested audience I took one step further. I surgically opened the letters S, Z, S, A, W and how contented I was to discover muscles, veins, tendons and bone just like the ones shared by so many living creatures.

In the first stage of this project he made some illustrations that would be followed by 3D models of his vision of organic letters. And here's come the real kicker, the letters become living beings that are made from organic tissue as other species and what better way to show them than to dissect them! It's a weird mix between taxonomy and typography, two things that I wouldn't have thought that could come together, but in this case it works in a twisted way. Can you imagine a coroner's office with a whole alphabet to dissect? That's what this project kind of looks like. And as he goes deeper into it, other variations of organic type are showing up such as letters trapped in resin in the style of prehistoric fossiles. It's definitely a brilliant work and I hope there's more to come.

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