Easy is rarely worthwhile. Our title wall for Typeforce 5 was anything but, and it was absolutely worth every second it took to design, build and install.
We're not afraid to get introspective around here, especially when it comes to our process, which is equal parts ritual and intuition. We build in room to learn and experiment on the fly. Like sharks trailing the scent of blood in the water, we follow our instincts, changing course as required, but we're also highly disciplined and skeptical of easy answers.
Following this thread on mechanics and maritime predators, we stumbled upon an old camouflaging technique used by naval fleets during World War I. Created and named dazzle painting or "razzle dazzle" by British artist Norman Wilkinson, the method draws from nature—think zebra stripes—and uses high contrast patterning to distort perspective, masking a ship's form and direction of travel.
So began our own dazzling experiment, with type as our vessel. We first sketched isometric letterforms, then designed patterns using multipoint perspective grids. The effect confuses the eye and distorts each letter.
Build & Installation
Next we brought our blueprints into the third dimension. We used 2x4s to build wooden frames for our letterforms, covering each in three layers of oversized vellum, to which we meticulously applied strips on strips of black masking tape in our custom dazzle pattern. We cut foam insulation boards to back each letter, but first painted and rigged them with rows of LED strip lights.
Finally, we suspended the finished forms in the window at Co-Prosperity Sphere, announcing that year's Typeforce exhibition had officially begun.