Monday, September 24, 2012

Chalk Board Typography

A few weeks ago an artist by the name of Dana Tanamachi was pointed out to my by my web design teacher. Upon looking at her work I was just shocked at how amazing it turned out to be. I have seen beautiful calligraphy, but this was something different and special. The scale in which these are done must make hand drawing all of the letter forms very difficult. The variety of different type faces in her work must have taken years to learn and perfect. Tanamachi must have taken such a long time at her craft to create such an impressive body of work.

The examples that I found most interesting were when her work interacted with other elements. For instance the example below was a spread I found from West Elm's 2011 holiday catalog. Seeing her typography interact so well with the products displayed is just what made that spread stand out amongst  any other typical spread. Not only does it maintain that hand done feel but it shows off precise hand skills and typography knowledge. 
Another example that I enjoyed is O Magazine feature story opener spread done in February 2012. I found this example to be unique because not only did it display her amazing hand done typography but her use of color as well. Tanamachi doesn't seem to have much color work, but clearly she is very capable of it. The interaction I see in this piece is the one between the dog, model, and the typography. The whole spread looks so fun and exciting. There are many type faces being showcased in this piece, but they all work together and unite as one. I also think there is something great about showing the floor with all the little pieces of chalk and the dust everywhere. It is also nice to see the smears around the carefully drawn type. It feels tangible and accessible. 

In a world of digital advertisements this is such a refreshing display of what typography once was. It pays homage to a handcraft and a skill that is now showing its face again in the design world.

Check out more of Tanamachi's work at her portfolio site here.

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