When we joined LA Design Festival’s Design Night held in Chinatown, we were excited at the opportunity to share our work, but more importantly we wanted to find a way to connect with people one-on-one and give them a unique experience.
To accomplish this we decided to create an interactive booth, rather than set up the same old merch table where visitors have a simple transaction. We designed and created specialty scratch tickets that determined which prize each participant received, based on the winning color they scratched. Big or small, we made sure that every scratch ticket won a prize.
For the prizes we created handmade goods and experimented with our production and printing methods. We used marble printing, with fun graphics loosely stamped on textiles and clay products coiled in various bright colors. No two items were alike, and every prize was distinctive and one of a kind.
In both the adhoc creation of the prizes and the scratch tickets, we wanted the spirit of chance in every operation and point of contact. We were happy to create a playful sense of the unknown and a game of chance for our amazing participants in order to showcase our unique perspective for creating a design experience.
Story Through Interactive Composition
As much as we are interested in different printing methods, we are also keen on the materiality and potential from a simple sheet of paper. The design opportunities are especially magnified when multiple sheets are assembled in book format, which is how Paper Playbook was born. Exploring different compositions, textures, and loose narratives, we contrasted different types of paper and bound them together into a tactile adventure. Poetic and interactive, the sequence of the book is especially important. As you turn each page, a new composition is revealed, changing the meaning of the page previously viewed and divulging a bit about what’s to come.
Paper Playbook was inspired by a trip to France and Spain, where we visited local bookstores and held many amazing children’s books. We were surprised, as they not only functioned as educational tools for children but also served as design objects. The subject matter of the stories was often told in abstraction and had a subtle humor. The art direction didn’t resort to only childlike elements, but had a sense of maturity and complexity in the design and execution. In addition, these well-crafted independently published books were available at a local store, rather than a high-end boutique, and thus available to everyone.
When we began to create Paper Playbook, we had been implementing a great level of craftsmanship and intricate artistic approaches, and it seemed the book might be too precious for a child to handle. However, as we progressed and further developed our techniques and the narrative, it became apparent that we had created something that both adults and kids can relate to and enjoy together.
Reimagining Screen Based Typography for an Urgent & Unexpected Future
As people no longer type full sentences while chatting, and emojis replace actual text, the evolution of communication requires that the letters we use keep up to par. Acronyms such as OMG, BRB or WTF have become a part of our everyday speech. Yet, the typefaces haven’t evolved with the digital lingo and slang that is constantly being added to, and will continue to be utilized into the foreseeable future.
This was our starting point for this project as we took the acronym WTF and wanted to create a way for it to not only be read faster, but also be more dynamic and current. By simply splitting the letters in half, we increased the reading speed without compromising the quality of the phrase. This is akin to how a printer started to use movable type ligatures to increase typing speed and legibility.
And because animated emojis and gifs have become so dominant in all types of digital interfaces, we wanted to create animated letters that can accompany these icons and have equal impact. This created an opportunity to swap in different typefaces, an homage to innovative typefaces Dead History and Keedy Sans.
The practical application for this next generation of dynamic typography can be used in the type of fast-paced communication we participate in such as Twitter. By allotting more space for vibrant designs, we are able to pack robust meaning into each letter, creating intimate spaces to say more in the same number of keystrokes.