Local Flavors Typography
Sweat drips if one dares to go outside between noon and 5 p.m. during the summer in Houston. These are unpublished typefaces, designed at home in the thermal comfort of AC while steering clear of the muggy outside air that is filled with a savor of BBQs.
There is Providence, and then there is H. P. Lovecraft’s “ancient city of Providence.” The writer often used his native city as the setting in his cosmic horror stories, and his writing brings out the mysterious Gothic and mystical dimensions of the old neighborhoods. “I am Providence” is his epitaph.
A definition of local might be “the Here and Now,” but I tend to feel pulled among many locations because of my dual nationality and multilocational upbringing. Wherever I am, I am fascinated by the geometry, color, and typography of street signage, its codes and systems at once banal and exotic. I redrew and filled in lettering based on a 1930s typeface by Rudolf Koch (the solid form more closely resembles old enamel London transport signs) and placed it on a recent photo of a street curb in Auckland, New Zealand.
Beautiful Detroit is the “Motor City.” In the year 2008 what could be more American? Black for oil and green for dollars, greenhouse gases and green technologies—all wrapped in computer-aided design and manufacturing.
New York City houses eight million people on 300 square miles of land off the coast of America. It is made up of five boroughs, each a city in itself, divided into distinct neighborhoods, which are worlds of their own. But whether you hail from Brooklyn or Queens, the East Village or the Upper East Side, you are above all a New Yorker.