I employed two different printing techniques for the making of this invitation card: the pale blue background and the writing were printed in offset, on top of which I printed blue and yellow linocuts. Though initially mass-produced, each card is a unique, hand-pulled print.
Given that I wanted the linocut art to be a combination of two separate elements, I drafted an assortment of shapes that would eventually come together in a balanced, twofold composition.
Eventually I picked four shapes to be printed in blue, and six shapes to be printed in yellow. It might go unnoticed in the final design, however, the blue elements were originally conceived of as backdrops setting the scene for their more expressive yellow counterparts. Accordingly, each blue element had to ‘function’ with each yellow element – and vice versa – without the result ever turning into too much of an eyesore.
The animation below features all 24 possible combinations, some repeatedly.
I designed this flyer together with my dear friend Yejin Kwon. Yejin, a dancer and choreographer from South Korea, took the photograph on one of her daily walks to and fro the Brussels studio in which she was working at the time. Though this particular design did in fact not make the final cut, I’m still rather fond of the atmosphere it conveys.
Orangutan is a set of six typographic stamps modelled in the form of a dice: each of the dice’s six sides’ shapes can – through repetitive use or in combination with the other five shapes – be used to form all 26 letters of the Roman alphabet; or anything else really.
The two somewhat random questions at the outset of the dice’s design ran as follows: assuming that only six different shapes were available to model all of the alphabet’s letters, which form would those shapes ideally have? And: how many of those shapes would at least be needed – repetitions included – to model the average letter?
After multiple tests boiled down to six definite shapes, a two-by-two grid of four units proved to be the smallest possible framework. The loop above features one possible configuration of each letter, yet most letters can also be assembled in numerous different ways.
The project right below, Kafe Karlsson 4/4, is an example of a typographical design making use of Orangutan’s formal vocabulary.
Kafe Karlsson 3/3
This invitation’s typographical design uses the set of shapes developed for Orangutan (see above). Given the letters’ unrefined, crude appearance, I chose to refrain from combining them with any additional imagery. Instead, the lettering is treated as a visual rather than textual element and positioned accordingly.
Hydro Magnetic ’99
I can remember neither the concept nor the idea behind this letter-drawing-project. Looking at it now, I think it might have had something to do with circles. But then: which typographic project doesn’t have ‘something to do with circles’? Another thing I can’t recall is where that peculiar name came from; and why I stuck to it (even though it sounds more like what I should have called my racing car if I ever got one).
What I do know is that I drew these letters a couple of years ago and do still like them. Which is, after all, pretty unusual. Which is also the reason why I put them on a business card – have a look:
At first, the word: filibuster | ˈfiləˌbəstər | noun – an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures
I have never attended any kind of legislative assembly, yet one day I found myself wondering about the curious, helpless sensation one surely must experience when being subjected to the devious political manoeuvre that is the ‘Filibuster’. Out of that filibuster-preoccupation of mine grew the idea to design a set of perpetually rotating letters: ideally, the effect of reading a text whose letters keep spinning on their own accord would be just as annoying as any expertly executed filibuster.
People in a Field
Unfortunately, I never got to see my dear friend Simon Tanguy’s piece People in a Field on stage or in rehearsal. Instead of explaining the choreography’s concept or detailing his artistic approach before asking me to design the flyer, all I ever got from Simon, a dancer and choreographer from France, was the production’s four-word title.
Given this apparently volitional ignorance of mine, I decided to work with a series of photographs depicting different kinds of scenes and characters. To advance the images’ randomness even further, I chose to only use photographs I had come upon by chance: all photographs excerpted for this flyer were thus tracked down at the Place du Jeu de Balle, that most famous of Brussels’ flea markets; below you can see all fourteen of them in their full flea market glory.
With regards to content, this zine fails the test of time. That said, I’m still quite fond of the nostalgic diving platform’s silhouette, and how I put it to use on the zine’s cover – note for example how the platform rises evenly from the front cover’s lower left corner, and the way in which the top ladder is divided into two perfect halves.
On top of that, Turmspringen is a first in two respects: the first project I printed with a risograph, and the project through which I figured out the proper handling of vectors in Adobe’s Illustrator program. God willing you can’t tell by the looks of it, yet I’m convinced that the painstaking shaping of that diving platform’s silhouette took just as long as your average handyman would’ve needed to build the real thing.
Try as I might, there is no scenario I can think of in which letters made of wire straps would come in handy. If reality proves me wrong and you find yourself in that most inconceivable of situations, feel free to replicate the specimen displayed above.
On a practical level the outcome may oftentimes be on the useless side of things, yet there is a great deal of fun to be had with an object used for another than its original purpose; not to mention the creative challenge any such conscious misappropriation presents.
Yet another example of a tome whose contents can’t quite live up to what the front cover promises. You’d have to skip through the entire thing to figure out what the cover actually shows; fortunately, the laser engraved design is strong enough to also stand for itself.
Kids of the Future
This is an early typographic flyer I made for an evening showcasing three performances choreographed by Marzena Krzeminska, William Collins, and Simon Tanguy, then students at Amsterdam’s School for New Dance Development.
Informed by the nostalgia for a distant past’s futurism, the flyer’s design is very much indebted to the audacity of constructivist aesthetics. In using a bold design, I aimed to evoke the reckless daring oftentimes routinely ascribed to – and expected from – a young performing artist’s body of work.
This is the flyer I made to advertise my first self-organised exhibition. Given the large number of copies I thought I’d need, it would probably have been more time efficient to go for something less mixed media. The tag line on the other hand – drawings | pictures | photocopies – still strikes me as the perfect résumé!