Two weeks ago I blogged about a new book by the prolific Steven Heller called "Shadow Type." A few days later I received an email about another new Steven Heller book that's just as visually interesting as the first. In "Lettering Large," Heller and his co-author Mirko Ilić look at the diverse ways that artists and architects are using "monumental typography" in buildings, sculptures, and outdoor displays. "[I]t might seem curious to think of type as an art," they write in the book's introduction, noting that letters have traditionally been used more for practical than aesthetic purposes. But as you can see in the book and the images below, type is evocative apart from any particular message it might carry. In some buildings, like Ogijima’s Soul in Japan (third image, below) three-dimensional type is used to create an irregular, appealing lattice form. In others, two-dimensional printed lettering creates a sense of frenetic intellectual activity, as if to say what's going on in this building is so turbo-charged, ideas are actually condensing onto the walls.
Centro de Ciência Viva, Lisbon, Portugal, 2008-10
Circus, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 2010
Ogijima’s Soul (Ogijima Community Hall),Ogijima, Seto Inland Sea, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, 2010
Zavrtnica Business Centre, Zagreb, Croatia, 2011
Images courtesy of Mirko Ilić and Steven Heller.
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