Constructivist Fictions Typeface

2013. Minor Conceptual Typography

Conceptual typeface that employs negative kerning to form pattern combinations.

The Constructivist Fictions typeface was inspired by an essay of the same name by Richard Kostelanetz. According to Kostelanetz, “[c]onstructivist fictions tend ‘to write themselves,’ once their initial premises are established; the process by which they are made could be called ‘generative’.” This statement formed the basis for the mathematical system that made the typeface ‘happen’.

Consisting exclusively of diagonal lines, the typeface is based on keypad-based typing, where number combinations are used to write letters (e.g., pressing 9 twice writes X). In this case, the number combinations prescribe the angle of the lines for each of the 26 glyphs.

By setting the kerning at minus 50%, the glyphs overlap to form line drawings instead of words. This feature was demonstrated by a 6-metre wide projection installation that was made as part of this project, displaying what would be "constructivist fictions".

The type specimen consists of 26 sheets folded into a gatefold record sleeve. The sleeve holds a custom-pressed record on which Kostelanetz elaborates on his notion of constructivist fictions in a 1989 interview.

© Dieuwertje Luitse 2014