Vista Sans Wood Type Project Goes International
Tricia Treacy, a graphic design and printmaking instructor in Fine Arts, has initiated an international collaborative type and print project. Part art project, part utopian visionary action, The Vista Sans Wood Type Project is an unsinkable love affair with technology in service to art and art as a vehicle for the possibility of a collaborative community.
Treacy and long-time collaborator Ashley John Pigford describe the project as a "collaborative exploration of the interplay between venerable/archaic and experimental/modern technology in the effort to produce a hybrid form of typographic design where the production process is ingrained in the product."
They produced 20 sets of the Vista SansTM typeface with a purpose-built Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) router and invited 21 different international artists/designers/printmakers/letterpress studios to reflect on the post-digital and multidisciplinary nature of contemporary artistic practice.
"The post-digital reality we now live in is composed of artists and designers operating between digital and analog systems, between cognitive/ on-screen and physical/off-screen experiences, between high tech and high touch," the duo described. "Further, with digital technologies readily available and humanized (i.e., D.I.Y.) post-digital artists and designers are able to experiment with the blending of archaic and modern processes of production, with the values of each embedded into the product."
Treacy and Pigford have shipped the type all over the world for multiple exhibitions, including The Type Directors Club in New York, Belfast Print Workshop in Belfast, Northern Ireland, AIGA Space in Philadelphia during Design Philadelphia and Yale University. This fall, Treacy and company will present the project at TypeCon, a national typography conference, in Milwaukee, WI and in AtypI, a major international type conference at the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
"We started with a contemporary Emigre typeface, Vista Sans, designed by Xavier Dupré, because it was created as a blend of, to quote the designer: 'the rhythm of blackletters; big contrast, emphasis on the vertical, graphic and strong looking' and 'humanist shapes,'" said Treacy. "We emphasize the grain of the wood in the printed letterforms, choosing to mostly use side-grain or low-quality plywood instead of traditional milled/planed end-grain wood, to infuse the material with meaning."
To learn more about Vista Sans Wood Type Project, visit http://vswtp.org/.
video by Dafi Kühne (Zürich, Switzerland)