maps & more
while we rarely get to see a bird’s eye view of the cities we enjoy, we usually use maps to navigate them. this leads to us being able to recognise cities by their layouts. MAPS & MORE in an experiment to see if these recognisable shapes lend themselves to creating letters to represent the city itself, giving these forms a new function.
the shapes of letters can be found in many places, such as a bent tree, a piece of furniture or a grid. by using a city as the grid on which glyphs are based more unique shapes can be found. by creating ‘rules’ to limit how letters can be created, such as not being allowed to change the position of the map’s elements within the letters, and preferably creating them in one continuous location, so that theoretically you could walk the path of the letter’s outline in the city itself, the challenge creates the opportunity for more creative solutions and unexpected shapes appearing.
here you can see how amsterdam's canal system swell as it’s buildings can be used to create type. amsterdam was chosen as the subject for its wide spread recognisability that comes from the rings created by the canals, as well as the history of the city having a mix of city planning, creating a rigidity reminiscent of a traditional grid, and in the city’s center there evidence of a more organic spread of urbanisation, creating less predictable forms. together this gives the opportunity to discover what lends itself best to finding interesting areas to play with.
the final result ended up being less important than the way this project forced a different approach to the design process, not allowing set methods to dictate the direction this project took.
first trial letters
first trial of the full word
a second trial alternate 'e' and 'a' and realignment
'amsterdam' trials with alternative 's's and 'e's as well as a new 'd'
final letter choices
source image used again, this time for the built up areas
trace of built up areas
choice of section of the city to focus on due to high diversity of shapes and layout
finding letters in the city blocks
outlining the shapes to make them more legible
final decision on letters for this 'amsterdam'
the two 'amsterdam's together
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