Posthuman Typeface

Posthuman

Applied Arts Student Award in Typography Design & Application, 2018
Shown at Swash & Serif 5, by The Toronto Design Directory, 2018

A custom typeface evoking the contrast and harmonious union of the technological and the biological. With harsh lines bending into quick curves, the form recalls both a digital clock and bent limbs. In creating Posthuman, I drew inspiration from the type style used on the covers of many 1970’s science-fiction films and novels, seeking to integrate the retro aesthetic into a modern form.

Posthuman Poster
Posthuman Specimen Poster
Posthuman Poster

Process

1

I began the process by thinking about the style of typeface I would like to create. I was naturally drawn to a science fiction aesthetic, and started my research by looking at illustrations from the 1970’s. The Twitter account @70sscifiart offers a great catalogue of work from this time. In addition, I looked at surrealist works, particularly by René Magritte. Looking at my research thus far, I felt I could gain more insight from actual typefaces from the same era as the illustrations, and so sought out vintage film and novel covers.

Visual Research of 70s Sci-Fi Art

top: Rene Magritte, Moebius, Fran Kelly Freas, Rene Magritte, Chris Foss / bottom: John Harris, John Harris, Cat Machin, Roger Dean, Bruce Pennington, Jack Gaughan

Visual Research of Sci-Fi Typefaces
Visual Research of Sci-Fi Typefaces

2

I analyzed the forms in these works and isolated ones that could become letterforms, sketching and then vectorizing the shapes to get a sense of a starting point.

Posthuman Sketches
Posthuman Sketches

3

With all these sources compiled, I landed on one basic shape from which I felt I could build out the rest of the typeface. All of the letters are made from pieces of each other, in order to create a consistent look and weight, with all letters being the same width (with the exception of the M and W).

Vectorized Sketches

4

To further explore the usage and flexibility of my typeface, I created abstract designs using letters from Posthuman. To add a new layer of emotion to the typeface, I placed the designs into a fashion context.

Abstraction of Typeface Characters