Soon our mailboxes will once again be flooded with Christmas and New Year’s cards. What strikes me every year is that – apart from the odd exception – most of these cards lack creativity and originality. As most of the FontShop clients work in the graphic, multimedia and advertising industry, we decided to hold a competition amongst the FontShop and GraphicObsession customers and see what you’re made of.
To kick off this year’s edition of the Unzipped Christmas Card Challenge, I’d like to show you a Christmas card by Luke Prowse of Research Studios. It was designed for FontShop International and will be sent to the local FontShops, the FontFont designers, and its suppliers and foundries.
Luke had recently been thinking about type, letter shapes in relation to the idea of platonic form: the shape one holds in their mind when they think of, for instance the quintessential horse before drawing it. With this in mind, he took 85 randomly selected FontFonts, and centred each letter from each font, one on top of each other, as an outline. The styles of type varied in style (digital, sans, serif, italic, grungy, black, thin, rounded etc.). To his surprise, a new spectral form appeared from the overlapping, or similar letter-builds: a kind of consensus or mean agreement of the 85 different designers.
These outlines were treated in Adobe Photoshop in an attempt at gaining a more solid black and white form that could then be used. It must be noted that certain subjective choices such as the stroke width of outlines and following that the level of treatment were made. The selection of 85 is purely arbitrary. This ‘new’ or more correctly, newly revealed type was then used as display type in fluorescent pink carrying a message of the idea it encapsulates. The same process was used to create the asterisk, or snowflake gold foil blocked on the front of the card. Opening the card reveals the same form, prior to treatment as 85 different asterisks overlaid one on another. The card folds out to reveal a poster.
On the reverse of the poster, 266 gold Licko-esquewhirligigs were programmatically created using variations of these same 85 fonts, with the letters ‘f’ and ‘s’. Each one a unique snowflake. The back, one hopes, might then be recycled as typographic wrapping-paper. Or just thrown away.
Now it’s up to you. E-mail us up to 3 digital images, preferably quality photographs, of your card, alongside some background information. The images must be saved as high quality JPEGs, exactly 440 pixels wide and 100 to maximum 500 pixels high. All entries must have reached our mailbox by January 31st, 2008. Please note that the competition is restricted to current FontShop BeNeLux customers. Last year the winner received Made with FontFont, but as we’ve run out of copies we’ll have to find something else this year. But trust me, it’ll be worth it.
05.12.2007 - 22.16.20
Posted by Unzipper
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