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Book Review: The 3D Type Book

Recently I got another swell, visually resplendent book from the folks at Laurence King Publishing. The 3D Type Book is pretty much what the title says: an exploration of creative typography off the printed page and executed in our own, living world. For this project, London-based designers Agathe Jacquillat and Tomi Vollauschek assembled more than 300 alphabets rendered in neon lights, cut paper, clothing, sticks, stones, garbage, grated cheese and the human body (the alphabet made of skin squashed with clothespins is guaranteed to make you squirm). Most of the examples are pictured in simple, A to Z fashion — whatever is lost in legibility is gained in the sheer ingenuity on display.

Although many pieces in The 3D Type Book are the handiwork of designers working in the commercial arena, several examples push the boundaries into fine art suitable for a museum display. One of my favorite examples is the CMYK Alphabet from London-based Evelin Kasikov. Kasilov’s ethereal letterforms, rotated on top of themselves and beautifully rendered in embroidery, nicely bridge the gab between computer technology and the D.I.Y. aesthetic espoused by Etsy and other crafty communities. Cool as it is, it’s just one sample of many that inspire an “oh, wow” reaction. On the whole, the book is very Euro-centric (a minor complaint) but also a great record of creativity being found in the oddest, most unusual places.

Addendum: Vollauschek has alerted me to 3d-type.com, the book’s official site, where the complete contents can be previewed.

The 3D Type Book is published by Laurence King. Buy at Amazon.com here.

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