Insights from research

Throughout my theoretical and visual research around the subject of 3-dimensional typography, I recognised a few things.

Firstly, there seemed to be a few prominent “methods” of 3d type production:

  • A found ‘object’ could lead to the creation of a 2d typeface (see below, Andrew Byrom’s ‘Plaster’ series):

  • A found ‘object’ could lead to the creation of a 3d typeface (see below Akarte’s sugar cube type work and Fl@33s elastic band typeface):

  • And similarly (also applicable for the above piece), an object used as part of a grid system, can then too lead onto the development of a 3d font face (see below, Raphael Langard’s work with hay bales):

Simply put, I figured that the two main components of basic 3-dimensional type work are:

  1. The identification of some kind of object or material with letter forming potential.

  2. Discovery of another object that already obtains (or has the potential for) a grid system to create consistent type designs.


I’m more interested in though, producing a face with an existing grid as these are harder to find.

And what I realised, makes any of these things work are the limitations the each brings. That’s where and when the creativity is able to be extruded.

I also thought about my readings prior to those above (taken from ‘The 3D Type Book’), in the ‘Transforming Type’ book by Barabra Brownie. Most notably her mentioning of the three main types of Fluid Typography (which is a form of local kinecitism). The three are:

  1. Metamorphosis

  2. Construction

  3. Revelation

Now, for 3D type to follow the aforementioned methods and to then explore the transformations highlighted above takes a little more thought. This is what I’m most interested in achieving. This change in identity of the type can be achieved through motion or interaction (see below by work used by Brownie to showcase an example of Metamorphosis):