I pitched the idea of taking old prints and cutting them up in a way that they could be reconfigured to resemble large scale versions of the metal printers' ornaments that we work with in the studio on a daily basis. Then a new kind of cityscape could emerge on a vastly different platform.
After finding out the project was accepted, I started to cut down prints to piece them together and see if patterns would emerge. Indeed they did! Then I knew I could focus each 'building' around a specific color theme and that prints could be organized accordingly.
Printer's Devil Jo was very helpful creating patterns with the 'ornaments' and double checking we had as many as we needed.
I couldn't resist taking the cut up and taped together pieces and putting them into a type case. Here's most of our city along with a handy little paper cutter and the rough 1" scale schematic I put together for reference.
Once the pieces were cut, taped and trimmed the buildings practically assembled themselves.
A few days prior to the install I pinned everything in the hallway to see if there would be any pitfalls. Apart from minimal tweaking it worked fine and I got a greater sense of how the colors would play together.
Here's a snippet of some of the interesting patterns that emerged once everything was assembled.
Something needed to fill up the sky a bit, so a typographic wind blew into the studio. Type prints were cut up in thin strips to differentiate from the square format of the building ornaments and were then glued to a backing sheet.
Last but not least, a few trees and CTA train, without which Chicago would be incomplete.
We mounted the trees onto wood and trimmed the edges in paint. These cuties were laid out and ready to be mounted on the wall during the install.
The train rested on a magic track covered in Virgin Wood Type calendar font from the handful of leftover 2014 calendar sets we had laying around.
Our wall appears to float above the floor, as you can see, but that didn't stop the trees from looking right at home.
This is about the best shot I could get during the install, and as it turns out the best of the weekend as it was too crowded at the opening to get a better one. Off to the side you can see the table we used for people to be able to create their own cityscapes from our leftover scraps.
My install partner, Matt and I went for falafel wraps when we finished. Major score!
Opening night always features a treat of 3D typography in the windows.
This is me!
The evening started in a serene manner and the paper crafting definitely appealed to the younger set. As time wore on, the table became increasingly chaotic, with paper, glue and mixed drinks taking over as the adults rushed to get in on the action. Who knew little paper scraps could be so much fun?
Here are just a few of the projects that were left behind. Well done, type nerds!
Matt had to show everyone up with his minimalist approach.
Three fine printmakers from NIU, including Danielle in the middle, former Starshaped lady and Typeforce artist.
Jeff took to the interactive wall, as did many.
Did I mention it was crowded?
Poor Julie tried to take a nice picture and got the treatment from Adrienne.
There were many gems from the show and I attempted to get a few shots of them here. My sincere apologies for not having all of the images credited, but it was exceptionally difficult to read a lot of the labels and get decent pictures given the crowd and lighting. You can get a little more info at this site.
Yep. I've totally got this. If only I had gotten to eat one of these words before everyone else beat me to it.
You can get info about the closing reception on February 26th here. I hope you get a chance to check it out in person and to experience all of these clever explorations in typography.