Art of Typography: 13 Text-Based Designs Spell It All Out

The language of letters themselves is revealed when we look at their shapes as artistic forms and experiment with the materials we use to create them, whether using them as the basis of furniture design, climbing walls or intricately cut works of paper art. These typography-based experiments encourage us to look at the written word in a whole new way.

Typographic Climbing Wall by Gordon Young

4,000 recycled plastic climbing holds join up with 1,000 sea-themed novelty climbing holds to form a typographic wall spelling the name Barry Island in the UK. Gordon Young transformed a sea wall into an interactive landmark for a previously neglected corner of the shore.

Typographic Paper Cuts by Annie Vought

Sometimes consisting of sentences and sometimes just a jumble of letters, these typographic works are painstakingly hand-cut from paper by artist Annie Vought. A piece called ‘Gosh I’ve Been Here Before’ measures 53” wide and consists of sentences strung together in circles like the rings of a tree.

Playing with 3D-Printed Letter For by Thomas Wirtz

Designer Thomas Wirtz created his own typeface, 3D-printed a series of acronyms like ‘BTW,’ ‘FYI’ and POV’ and used them as forms for experimentation with physical media like ink, dye, fire and colored gases.

Letter-Shaped Desks by Benoit Challand

Individual works stations are designed in the shapes of letters to spell out messages in an open-plan office environment, where you tend to either find zero privacy or a maze of cubicles. Designer Benoit Challand aims to celebrate the beauty of large-scale typography while bringing some fun into these spaces, demonstrating the concept with tiny models.

Legible Graffiti by Mathieu Tremblin

Ugly spray-painted tags are a dime a dozen, and almost always illegible. Artist Mathieu Tremblin basically took any artistry out of the tags by converting them into basic typeface, showing us how nonsensical it all is when simply spelled out.

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