Rapid Proto Type

Arkitypo is a collaborative research project between Ravensbourne and design studio johnson banks that aims to push the limits of rapid prototyping technology in the creation of a 3D alphabet

Arkitypo is a collaborative research project between Ravensbourne and design studio johnson banks that aims to push the limits of rapid prototyping technology in the creation of a 3D alphabet

Ravensbourne asked johnson banks to come up with an idea to utilise the newly-acquired rapid prototyping machines at the college. Johnson banks’ suggestion was to create a 3D alphabet in which each letter expressed an idea relating to a typeface whose name started with that letter. For example, the F, above, is from Fraktur, a typeface that will forever be associated with Germany. The 3D letterform is extruded from the shape of Germany on a map, which can be seen on the reverse.

The B starts as a Baskerville B which then morphs into the same letter in Bodoni – a reference to the fact that Bodoni was derived from Baskerville.

“For each letter we carried out extensive research, made drawings, built maquettes and did simple 3D visuals on our machines,” say johnson banks. “before handing the ideas over to Ravensbourne’s team. There was a period of ‘virtual proofing’ where we examined the ideas as rendered files, and when all parties were happy, we began the printing.” Some of the letters took up to 90 hours to ‘print’.

The R is set in Retina, a typeface designed to deal with ‘ink-fill’ at tiny sizes: “We reversed the process and drilled an ‘R’ out of huge, oversized ink bubbles,” say johnson banks.

“This slightly mind-boggling design takes inter­secting ‘Z’s from Zig-Zag to create a 3D puzzle”

Some of the letterforms are on show at the London HQ of Arup (8 Fitzroy Street W1).

The show opened to coincide with the latest of Arup’s Penguin Pool events in which they ask various designers to speak on a theme – last night’s being data visualisation. The Arkitypo project is on display until February 8.

The entire project is documented in the February edition of Monograph – the A5 publication that all CR subscribers (and only CR subscribers) receive free with each issue of Creative Review. If you’d like to subscribe, all the details you need are here.

 

There is more about the project on the johnson banks website here

Design: johnson banks
3D imaging and prototyping: Jon Fidler
Photography: Drew Morgan
Project client: Jill Hogan
Project advisor: Ben Caspersz

 

 

CR in Print

If you only read CR online, you’re missing out. From the meaning of beans to the power of love, the February issue of Creative Review features our 20 favourite slogans of all time and the stories behind them.

What makes a great slogan? We investigate the enduring power of these clever little phrases in our special slogans issue, dedicated to our choices for the top 20 slogans.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

More from CR

CR’s Pick of the 2012 Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl is an epic event for both fans and advertisers alike: with millions of viewers in America settling down to watch the game, it offers an opportunity for brands to show off their finest TV spots of the year. Or so we hope. Here’s our pick of what was on offer in the ad breaks of yesterday’s battle between the Giants and the Patriots…

Graphic Designer

Twiddle & Co

Design Team Leader

De La Rue