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Work / Graphic Design

Sawdust’s typeface for Wired is designed to work as flat and 3D forms

As part of the Wired UK redesign, London-based Sawdust was asked to review the display typography that was being used as section headers throughout the magazine. Sawdust, who designed the typeface previously used, responded with a typeface that could be implemented as flat colour and three dimensional form, in both black and white.

“We set ourselves the task of creating a typeface that worked efficiently in both flat colour and three-dimensional form, however the 3D version needed to work directly over imagery, and without the need for a device within which to hold it. This created a whole new set of challenges,” says Sawdust. The appearance of the letters play with the smooth aesthetic of parametric and digital design and offsets this with some abrupt connections and junctions. In 3D each character appears like a singular object, combining to create sculptural headlines and section headers. When the typeface is used flat, it appears more like a stamp or carving – almost hieroglyphic in its appearance.

“We needed a typeface that would work in black and white both flat and three-dimensional. For the flat version, it goes without saying that the colour could be adjusted easily (it didn’t need to be set in just black or white) but changing the colour for the 3D version, logistically become exponentially more complex and so we agreed a black and a white version was best. Therefore when working in 3D it became important to keep tonal variants of white and black to facilitate its use across photography.” 

The final alphabet will also be used across the sections within the magazine, but also for specials and occasional alternative headlines.

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