Archive for the 'Maggie Wolicki' Category

Maggie Wolicki

February 17, 2011

Smell Case Study

letters cut from koolaide scratch and sniff paper


Taste Case Studies

Letterforms made from food

Images from my first case study focusing on touch. I took each letter of the alphabet and applied a different texture to each surface.

A: feathers

B: rubber cement

C: sequins

D: hole punches

E: straws

F:puffy paint

G: glitter

H: acrylic paint

I: ribbon

J: rubber bands

K: house paint

L: foam stickers

M: popcorn kernels

N: saran wrap

O: garland

P: fabric

Q: tin foil

R: hair mousse

S: hot glue

T: dryer lint

U: yarn

V: stickers

W: scratching paper surface

X: buttons

Y: holes poked from back of letter

Z: wax


Typography as a multi-sensory experience


The world most commonly knows type only in the conventional sense. Because we interact with it every day, the majority of people aren’t able to look past its most practical approach. Typography can provide endless amounts of inspiration. There is always a new and interesting way to look at it or use it. An n, for example, is more than the stem, stroke, shoulder and serifs that make it up.

When Ivan Chermayeff created his iconic 9, he showed people that there is life for a letter beyond the confines of a piece of paper. His 9 lives in the environment and has had an influence ever since he put it there. When the pop artists Robert Indiana created his famous sculpture Love he explored how a design intended for printed material can become life like and dimensional. Some viewers do not register the fact that this sculpture is type based. This is an excellent example of how typography can be transformed when it lives in different environments.


I intend to explore type as a multi-sensory experience. To figure out when letters become more than words on a page and what happens when typography is explored with more than ones eyes.


Conventional type

Type used purely in the traditional sense to form words


The quality of type that affects the perceptibility of a word, line, or paragraph of printed matter


Perceptible to the touch; tangible


The shape of a singular letter


any of the linear elements within a letterform


a curved stroke projecting from a stem


short strokes that extend from and at angle to the upper and lower ends of the major strokes of a letterform


The main vertical stroke of a letterform

Case Study 1

In Ebon Heath’s work  Stereotype the viewer is able to appreciate the letterforms on their own because he has taken the viewers first instinct to read the words out of the mix. The letters are more than ink printed on a page. The viewer can walk through the it, touch it, and feel it. Heath’s work creates an environment that explores the possibilities beyond an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

Case Study 2

Alida Sayer’s SlaughterHouse Five: Type and Form explores how type can be a three dimensional experience. By cutting into the paper, the printed typography now has an added quality of depth that the viewer can explore and feel.

Case Study 3

Jaume Plensa’s larger than life statue Nomade he shows text can be more than words. He plays with the backside of the letterforms. People try to read them, they can feel them. The viewer can actually walk inside this sculpture and completely immerse themselves into the typography. In his Genius and Species, the viewer is able to touch the letters, feel their movement and listen to the letters clinking together.


Antonelli, Paola. Design and the Elastic Mind. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008. Print.

Biliouri, Katerina. “Yatzer Meets Alida Sayer.” Yatzer™. 12 July 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. < alida_sayer>.

“Jaume Plensa at ISC Conference, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpure Park. Part 9 of 9. .” youtube. Web. 26 Jan 2011. <http://www.>.

Mitsios, Apostolos. “Ebon Heath and His Visual Poetry.” Yatzer™. 16 May 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. < his-visual-poetry>.

Venezky, M. J. It Is Beautiful– Then Gone. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2005. Print.

Reading Log

January 13 Tree of Codes by Johnathan Safran Foer

January 15 Alida Sayer’s blog

January 18 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer

January 18 Typography by Emil Ruder

January 18 My Way to Typography by Wolfgang Weingart

January 20 Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler

Maggie Wolicki, 1, 11/30


I am very interested in typography. To me, typography is most interesting when it is used in non-conventional ways. It is a very versatile part of graphic design because type can convey a message without having to spell out the letters. The letterforms can be abstracted in such a way that they start to create an image or patterns. This would also be a new way to explore grid, hierarchy and scale. I have always been intrigued by work that is based solely off of letterforms. I have been very inspired by the work of Marian Bantjes. She is able to take the type and turn them into more than letterforms that create a word.


I have am interested in book design. Books are a constant part of our every day lives. We interact with hundreds every year and they have an impact on us whether or not we are aware of it. If a book is poorly designed, it will not get picked up off of a shelf, no matter how excellent the story is. The book design must have shelf appeal. I have been looking at the book covers that Chip Kidd has created. The images that he creates feel like they are simply pictures taken from inside the world that lives inside that book. To gain the skills it takes create something with good “shelf appeal” would be advantageous because those skills can be applied not only to book design but any other work that I create. One must be able to create “shelf appeal” no matter what they are creating.


I am interested in package design. As consumers, we interact with packaging every day. I think it would be interesting to learn about how to make packages that would appeal to consumers. I think it would be very interesting to learn about why certain designs for packages are more attractive than other designs.

1. Type as Sculpture

I am interested in typography as sculpture. I think that letter forms are interesting and beautiful on their own. They do not have to be used in conventional ways at all times.  In visual aesthetics, we had to create greeting cards based purely on typographic forms. I was inspired by that because it was the first time I looked at letter forms as more than parts of a word. I was forced to look at an e, for example, and see what it could be rather than what it is. When researching this idea, I came across the work of Alida Sayer, Ebon Heath and Jaume Plensa. I think the work they do,  though each work is different, explores what a letter form can be when it is pushed past the normal limitations.

2. Unconventional Book Layout

I am interested in unconventional book layout. I received a book with a unique layout. The author took an epic poem and found a story within the story. He then die cut each page to remove the excess information. This book made me think about book layouts and why every single book has a conventional design. I then researched the publisher of the book and found that they only publish books that break the usual design. It was very interesting to look at the different designs that are out there. A book does not have to be bound or even readable for that matter.

3. Green Typeface

I am interested in how typographers design a typeface to use less ink. I have come across articles that talk about the use of hairlines and how that uses less ink than fonts that do not use hairlines. I have also come across fonts that use circles with the middle cut out to use less ink. I am interested in how typographers design a font to use less ink. I have been researching ecofont, which is a program that creates dots in a font to use less ink and be more environmentally friendly. I have also been reading about the use of hairlines in a letter form to use ink, but still maintain the structure of the letter.