Typo Safari was my BA3 diploma project during my studies in Royal Academy of fine Arts Antwerp. Briefly my project is a plan of a fictional exhibition which would show my experimental typographical animal drawings and typo sculptures in a guided tour taking place in the Zoo of Antwerp.
For the first step I went to the zoo to make some sketches and have a look around.
And then the choosen gorilla transferred to the lithography stone.
The print shows the process of making the letter-animal. The first step is an energetic draft that illustrates the animal with its unique movement. The second step takes place within my brain. This time a misty picture forms about how I transform the lines into letters or into a relationship of letters, and about what letters are needed to create the animal. The 3rd part of the print shows the completed letter-animal.
I did some experiment with paper stripes. I tried to move around so that they form a rather exotic and exciting 3D construction and that they form an actual letter from a certain point fo view. To demonstrate the process I created the cube with the letter „A” within it.
After the paper stripes experiments, I could easily create the virtual copy of the letters. The big advantage of the program is that the material of the letter can be anything from a rigid paper to a flexible rubber. As it can be seen it is basically the same as the real world mock-up but it visuWWWializes the letters more precisely than the original model.

My goal was to create a 3D calligraphic font that appears before our eyes as an actual font only from a certain point of view, whereas from other views it is just a dinamicly rotating tape. The base of my idea comes from how the calligraphic stripes in plain extend in space. I did nothing but translated the stripes of the plain into stripes in space. When the writing tool is pressed harder it creates a thicker line, this means it is closer to us in space, when it turns it twists and when we create the line with a smaller pressure it is thinner so it appears to us as farther away in space. In the design process form and function were equally important. This is why each of the letters can be understood as an abstract stand alone sculpture, and the text picture as an abstract composition. Although it is an experimental type, it works the same way from above as any other 2 dimensional letter.
As a pre-study I used the gorilla that I had perviously made from Zapfino font characters. It helped me to prescind away from the usual lines of the drawing. The spacial location of each elements of the composition depends on what part of the gorilla is closer or farther away in space.
The 3D planning from the creation of the letters to the sculpture is based on the idea that the creature should work equally well as its virtual representation. In order to accomplish this, I had to work with a camera setting throughout the whole planning and  implementation that is the closest in result as to what the human eye would see. This focal length value is not an exact number because it varies from one person to another (usually between 20 to 50 mm). For this reason I choose to use the 35 mm average focal length value.
The Typo Safari would be an exhibition taking place in the Antwerpen Zoo. Pictures and sculptures would be scattered around the entire zoo. Visitors would be taken, besides the real safari to the visual world of the Typo Zoo as a unifying event that connects two different dimensions in one place in one event.
In the first version of the Typo Zoo logo the letter “Z” of the Zapfino fonts was used. This font is used in the 2D animals. I used the same logic for creating the new logo. Because I was using a new to the create the gorilla, I had to renew the Typo Zoo logo as well. The idea of the logo was a clean and grotesque combination of two fonts’s letter “Z”, the futura and the morph-o-type. This allowed me to stay with the original idea but with a more current form. Because spatial letters also appear in the logo, it naturally led to the creation of a 3D-render as well. 

Because the elements of the Typo Zoo pieces would be displayed, it was logical to use the prefix Typo in the name of the exhibition’s title. The Zoo is an artificial safari space, this is why I gave the title ‘Tyo Safari’ to the exhibition.

These so-called letter-sculptures form an actual animal only from one specific view, whereas form any other views they seem as a vertiginous multitude of abstract lines that may be understood as spatial representations of gestures and intricate binds of the jungle. These spatial letters would be hung in a white wireframe cube in their appropriate positions. In front of this wireframe would be a special pair of glasses through which the animal would be seen. The relating information of the sculpture could be seen by using a QR code.
Most of the exhibits would be pictures, in a size of
70 x 100 cm, displayed on stands at the actual animal’s enclosure. There would be a QR code in the middle at the bottom of each print, through which visitors could reach the whole set of the font and also the ones used to create the actual animal.

The original idea about displaying the sculptures was to mould the characters / fonts into a translucent material, but considering the size it would be too expensive - it is more realistic in a smaller size. Then came the idea that a miniature model of the sculptures could also be sold as souvenirs, which could also be avialable at the souvenir shop of the Zoo. There would be exact copies of the original sculpture, and the title of the exhibiton would appear at the bottom when viewing from above.
Typo Safari

Typo Safari

BA3 diploma project