FMP: Visual Research

As Carol mentioned to me in the tutorial I thought I would try a find any typeface that have been inspired by movement or drawn on physical movements to create characters. I came across the work of NM type who are a virtual type studio based in Spain and Sweden. They created a variable typeface called ‘Movement’ which was based off the movements of a commercial dancer. This is something that they dreamed of working on apparently. In a talk they gave it was clear that they found dance a form of art like most design projects it was the form of inspiration. This has got me thinking that the inspiration for my project is the art of rhythmic gymnastics. This point of view also got me thinking back to an interesting point that Carol made which was the typography is based on a craft, in someways as rhythmic gymnastics is such a unique sport is could almost be considered a unique craft.

The typeface movement was created by tracking the movements of Andile Vellum who created letter forms through dance. This then provided NM Type with a basis to form the characters around. This is something that I could considering doing in order to start of the process. They also looked at theory around dance by Rudolf Laban who gave them inspiration for the actually form of the typeface. Laban talks about the space and inner movements of the dancer talking about direct and indirect movement which NM Type were able to divide and create two various form of the type for the typeface.

I found it beneficial to hear them talk about the use of a variable typeface and how it could be something really interesting to consider movement forward. As within Rhythmic Gymnastics you have to adapt to the floor space, to the music, to the apparatus so a variable typeface could imply these in a small detail.

When researching I also came across the work of Haocheng Zhang who created an experimental typeset which aims to embody the movement of the body through type. His work differs from the work of NM Type due to more experimental and abstract nature of the final outcome. He was inspired by the theatre and had people pose in costume in order to create the abstract shapes in order to form the type. Zhang’s type explore type being constructed from shadows and focusing on centre of gravity, this is something that I’m considering looking at within my own work. The work of Zhang has shown me that there is possibility to be completely abstract when designing type however, it because a decorative typeface rather than one that is able to be used.

I also thought about seeing there were any typefaces out there which has been inspired by the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. I came across the typeface Volina design by Francesca Bologinini at Dalton Maag. According to the case study this typeface was inspired by her dream of wanting to be a Olympic gymnast and memories of using a ribbon as a child. The typeface is a script which was inspired by the movements of the ribbon. I thought that this linked to my own practice because I have also thought about considering the movements of the apparatus influencing elements of a typeface. Volina is described as ‘ A typeface that upon close inspection reveals itself as delicate, elegant, quirky, unexpected, beautiful and loud depending on the context.’ For me all these works describe the rhythmic gymnastics which is the clear inspiration for the typeface.


References

https://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/typeface-inspired-movement-dance

http://www.nmtype.com/movement/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC-g75EUSkw

https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/haocheng-zhang-body-experimental-type-graphic-design-080920

https://www.daltonmaag.com/library/volina

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