Cas Spoelstra // Light Type

2012

3D printed letter needing light and shadow to be read

Edward Tufte is viewed as a pioneer in the field of information design. He propogates in a minimalistic approach on visualizing data. He describes the quality of an informational design based through few principles such as: how direct does the visualisationrepresent the data, the clearity, the amount of detail and diversity in the data explained.

The basis of these principles lies in the amount of ink used to showcase data.
The amount of ink that is actually used to provide information should be as low as possible. No ink should be used for aesthetic appeal or graphic distortion. All the graphic elements inside a visualisation are used for better understanding of the data it is representing.

Detail of 3d printed letters

Based upon research on the use of illustration in inforgraphics and Edward Tufte's view on these subjects I wrote a subjective essay 'Illustratieve Getallen'. As a continuation on this research in a typographic manner instead of a textual one, this typeface was designed that could function as an alternative cover for the written essay.

Detail of 3d printed letters

This 3D printed letter functions without the use of typical ink altogther and instead uses plastic. The amount of plastic used in the form is cut down to a minimum. The form itself is created out of a hypothetical shadow of the letter itself, this provides us with a mental picture of the whole letter. The form provides us with enough information to form the letter without using the entire form, saving plastic in the process.

Detail of 3d printed letters

The title 'Illustratieve Getallen' consists of 2 words. Both words in this type are compressed into a single form. To read the individual words a lightsource can be placed either above the letter or below it. One word is sloped upwards and the other word downwards. When a lightsource is placed below the form one word is lit and the other is covered in shadow. When moving the lightsource above the form the before lit word is now covered in shadow, reveiling the other word.

Digital animation of shifting light source
Typographed poster consisting of 3 letterforms. Top is the 3d prints with a light source from the top. Middle light source from the top and bottom. Bottom is the digital flat letterfroms that where printed