Stefan G Bucher’s Letterheads: characters with character

Creator of The Daily Monster series, Stefan G Bucher’s latest project is an alphabet of 3D characters inspired by the people of Los Angeles

Regular CR readers will remember Bucher’s Daily Monster series in which, inspired by ink blots, he created a new creature every day for 100 days, recording the process on YouTube.

Bucher’s latest self-initiated project is Letterheads, an A to Z of 3D-modelled heads, each designed to convey a different personality trait and emotion.

“As a graphic designer, I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about letters,” he says. “I love letters. Always have. I started copying the big, bold cartoon letterforms from comic books when I was three years old. I’ve always known that letters have personality. Usually, it expresses itself in elegant curves and decisive corners, in size and color, in the way the letters play with one another. But I thought it was high time to take a different look at the alphabet—to let each letter truly come to life in its own right.”

Letterheads has now been published in book form: each head is accompanied by text about its ‘personality’ and a complementary colour. “Some are young, some are old. Heck, some of them may be italic. Who am I to judge? Like us, they come in all shapes and sizes. As with humans, there is no right or wrong way for a letter to be,” Bucher says.

The heads were sculpted using ZBrush, a far cry from the pen and ink used on the Daily Monster series. “In the spring of last year I spoke at -ING in Dubai, and checked out a ZBrush workshop by [creature designer] Neville Page. [It] hooked me instantly,” Bucher says.

This video explains how he did it.

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