Craig Ward's profile
Fe2O3 Glyphs
Behance.net
Inspiration Is
This project is now live and available through Kickstarter until September 30th.
Click here to support the project.

 
Over the summer of 2015 I once again collaborated with pioneering biochemist and experimental photographer Linden Gledhill, this time in the creation of a unique, ornamental type system and an accompanying set of one-of-a-kind letterpress prints.
An original Fe2O3 glyph - photographed through a microscope between two glass slides.
Wait, what? Why?
 
Because science. And curiosity. Fe2O3 Glyphs transcends the traditional role of a typeface - to provide a consistent and coherent platform for communication - and completely inverts it. The typically fastidious design of the glyphs is given over to an evolving, unrepeatable organic process and the 'grid' at its heart is replaced by conflicting magnetic field lines.
Unmounted, 12x12" letterpress print depicting 16 glyphs.
OK, you got me. How?
 
To form the glyphs, a tiny amount of ferrofluid was placed between two glass plates and subjected to a combination of spinning vertical and horizontal magnetic fields. The result is an array of complex hieroglyphics and shapes - each one as unrepeatable as a snowflake - that simultaneously call to mind ancient indigenous markings or symbols from science fiction.
Music track - Les Praries Stellaires - courtesy of Syndrôm: http://les-sombres-parfums.blogspot.com
Meet the cast. 138 unique characters. Gotta catch 'em all.
These complex symbols were traced as vectors and cast as a moveable type printing system, combinations of which will be used to create a series of unique, one of a kind, letterpress prints, where no arrangement of glyphs is ever repeated. To bring the project full circle, these prints will be created using a mix of actual ferrofluid and pure Pantone Black.
This? Oh, its a microscopic image of the ferrofluid and Pantone ink mixture adhered to the fibers in the paper.
The Typeface
 
All backers of the project will receive a 138 glyph, monospaced .otf font (for Mac or PC) which has been created to allow users access to a virtually infinite combination of patterns, symbols and compositions.
 
Outside of it being fun to collect esoteric typefaces, we saw the broader appeal here as being for use in pattern making and fabric design, alongside symbols for logos or creating custom textured Photoshop brushes.
The Prints

A range of tiered rewards offers you a chance to own this unique font along with a one-of-a-kind letterpressed type specimen print, where each will be number 1 of 1, in a variety of formats - 8x8", 12x12" and 16x16"
 
A moveable type printing system has been fabricated using 2 inch photopolymer plates mounted on cherry wood blocks. This allows us to create grids in various sizes and swap out glyphs for each new print, ensuring that no arrangement or combination of glyphs is ever repeated. That’s assuming we don’t receive more than 1.73 x 10^34 backers for the project. Which is in the same ballpark as the number of stars in the observable universe / cells in the human body. So I think we’re OK.
These specimens will be printed on a Vandercook SP-20 Proof Press (c.1961 - two years before the creation of ferrofluid by NASA) on Crane's Lettra fluorescent white 110lb cover stock providing maximum contrast, depth and detail using a mixture of actual ferrofluid and pure Pantone Black. Each print will signed by both the artists and printed at the Vote For Letterpress studio. Click here to purchase the typeface and prints.
The Hard Sell

The Fe2O3 project perfectly marries contemporary scientific process with a centuries old printing process. The huge variety of shapes and curves generated, juxtaposed with the rigidity of the grid in which they are displayed, creates a real visual tension making for a truly unique set of prints.

We're both extremely proud of the work and of the prints themselves. Fe2O3 offers you the opportunity to own type, own original art and support experimentation in design and typography.

Craig Ward & Linden Gledhill
 
This project is now live and available through Kickstarter until September 30th.
Click here to support the project.

 
 
Fe2O3 Glyphs
5.7k
63k
166
Published:

Fe2O3 Glyphs

A unique, ornamental type system and a series of accompanying, one-of-a-kind letterpress prints.

5.7k
63k
166
Published: