US exhibition poster by Non-Format for Tokyo Type Directors Club

Preparing for the inaugural arrival of the Tokyo Type Directors Club (TDC) exhibition in the United States, American and Norwegian studio Non-Format have designed a poster and mailer for exhibition following their previous creations for this year’s event held in Japan. Having already made a “special three-dimensional TDC image” alongside a “custom typeface” in 2014, the studio has produced an adapted image using Cinema 4D software that’s heavy with texture and richly rendered for the new location.

With a spotlight on the evolutionary nature of typography and the intricacies of shape, the poster depicts a ‘TDC’ that seem to be erupting, crackled and foaming, while suspended by taut wires in mid-air. Japanese characters on the poster have been retained, set beside a Roman typeface that mimics the silhouette of an ascending staircase. These clean sans-serif lines appear in direct opposition to the extensively textured — and blemish crusted surface — of the type hovering above. The step motif was a response to the work of Wolfgang Weingart as the father of Swiss Punk typography, and has been used by the studio before as a custom typeface for photographer Sølve Sundsbø’s Rosie & 21 Men exhibition at  Shoot Gallery in Oslo.

Studio founders Jon Forss and Kjell Ekhorn, spoke to Creative Review in March about their original 2014 poster, saying that the letters were designed to create a strong impact from a distance and reward viewers with intricate details on closer inspection. “There’s a lot of detail in the surface texture itself but we added quite a lot of extra photographic elements to create as rich a visual experience as we could.” They continue to explain, “we included the zigzag [in the TDC font] partly as our nod to postmodernist revivalism and partly because we think it adds quite an interesting texture to the poster as a whole.”

An event that’s sure to attract plenty of international interest, the Tokyo Type Directors Club exhibition will showcase 150 of the most outstanding pieces from the 2014 TDC annual awards — to be staged at the Twin Cities in Minneapolis, hosted by Concordia University and Werner Design Werks

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