Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lions & Tigers & Type?! Oh my!

Roberto deVicq de Cumptich has taken "bembo", a humanist serif typeface, to a whole new level. He uses the typeface to make 26 different animals, one for each letter of the alphabet. This book was created for de Cumptich's daughter as a Christmas gift, so that he could simply teach her the alphabet. Each animal is constructed with the letters of its own name, and only a single weight of the typeface. It's exciting to see a designer embrace such a basic concept and create animals that are so enticing.

Check it out on his website! Here you can see his creations animated.
Also, below are some snapshots from the book that he created.

This is the book he created. It's even available on Amazon!

"A publishing house's creative director frolics in the fields of type and graphic design, assembling a menagerie from upper and lower case alphabets of the graceful roman `Bembo` font. Using only the unmodified letters of each animal's name, de Vicq de Cumptich creates stylized but easily recognizable figures; a row of N's becomes the spines along a dragon's back, C's become a crab's claws, the peacock's tail is a whirl of e's and o's. Sharply contrasting colors and large, strongly drawn letter forms give every spread eye_widening visual impact, and like Suse MacDonald'sAlphabatics (1986) or Leonard Everett Fisher's ABC Exhibit (1991), this will inspire appreciation both for its ingenuity and for its revelation of the subtle qualities that make letters beautiful. " (Picture book. 7_9, adult)

"You do not have to be a type maven to enjoy the conceit of ''Bembo's Zoo.'' But it would not be surprising if, after you spend some time with the book, Bembo becomes your favorite typeface." Steven Heller of the New York Times

Well are you impressed? Talk about smart. While we mainly using typography to supplement imagery, de Cumptich is using it to create the imagery! I was blown away by his creations and his originality, while it's a simple thought, it isn't so simple to do. He makes these animals sophisticated and even gives them a personality in his animations. Bembo's zoo gives anyone from child to professional artist a chance to be a kid again.

Don't stop here, de Cumptich has other beautiful typographic work that is definitely worth your time, check out his website

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