Experimental Type Installation


Transformation is a constant theme in my work, and when a few years ago a designer friend closed their agency and moved, I inherited sheets of transfer type, mostly by Letraset. Even if you didn’t use that brand, we still referred to all transfer type as that.

Perhaps it’s because I went to college at what I consider the “the perfect moment for design” as I was fortunate enough to understand what design was like before computers, he knew that I would understand the value, emotionally and literally, of all those old sheets of dry transfer type. I remember spending all my money, and time, carefully trying to rub out a letter for an assignment, only to have it not so cleanly transfer onto the sheet. Or running out of a letter and not wanting to buy another pack, so finding creative solutions to make a letter from what was left. Stat cameras and Letraset was how I started, but two years in and the first mac showed up. Everything became so much easier, and a little more perfect. Design was transforming. In how we worked, and the mediums we work in.

But there’s something to those old sheets that I couldn’t let go of. I found the missing letters, the parts were you could see the pens and pencils make those rubbings, to be almost poetic. It shows that someone was behind the work itself, a mark of the maker, which often feels missing in today’s work.

I thought about how design has transformed. Letraset, with its very identifiable wordmark in Helvetica, is on every sheet of the product itself. I wanted to breath new life into the name, while still honoring the history. To show how we can evolve pieces from the past in creating something that is new.

This piece was created to do just that. Designed to be experienced by two different points of view, this three-dimensional large scale installation changes as you walk from one side to the other.

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VIEWED FROM THE LEFT

The name Letraset is set using original transfer type. These sheets chosen specifically to show the marks of those that have used it before as well as working well together with various styles and weights for a cohesive look. Each letter created uses the same type as the wordmark.

Transfer type used:
Press-sure Lettering by Pressure Graphics, inc.,
Transfertech
Letraset type

Type families include:
Bookman
Souvenir
Helvetica

VIEWED FROM THE RIGHT

The name Letraset uses the full wordmark along with layered type in Helvetica Medium, to create a more dynamic side.

The intention was to show how we can evolve from the past, in creating something new.

The final size is 8 feel (96 inches) by 4 feet (48 inches) made by 10 panels with each panel 9.6 x 4.8 inches and held by pins to the wall.