This project seeks to design a typeface inspired by the process of embroidery while under the influence of Anni Albers’s essay Material as Metaphor. In it, Albers talks about material as a means of communication—as she made her woven works she gradually transitioned from perceiving them three dimensionally to perceiving them as flat, two-dimensional prints and drawings on paper.

This project has a somewhat similar arc, where the initial material converts back and forth between analog and digital mediums in its development. The project is both about the material process but also about creating a functioning typeface. Exploring the question of what is the difference between the final product and the process of designing, it was a seamless back and forth between designing a typeface digitally while also utilizing embroidery as a medium to better discern a letterform.

Embroidering the typeface creates a result on each side fabric frame: the front of the letterform, which is easily readable, and the back which shows the process and construction of the form. Each side has its own style and merits of readability. In this way the project demonstrates a potential feedback loop between digital and analog design processes, and may provide a different model of engagement between these modes of design that are often viewed in opposition.

Parsons Thesis Page