Type 4 | Experimental Type Research | Start to Finish

I'm interested in researching and expanding on energy based typography. Energy based typography to be specific is typography created by an electrical current. Why energy? We're faced with it every day, global warming, and the pursuit to reduce our carbon foot print is a major issue of the century.

Ideas that I'm working with:

-Custom Molded Ice cube tray letterforms, I would then freeze black ink, and let melt inside a fish tank or outside on the side walk. I want to drop the letterform in and film them melting, referencing land disappearing. I'm reluctant to do this, because I feel it's been done enough to were its considered mainstream. It be cool to make, but not very original. Maybe I could make the letter large enough to put plastic animals on them or something like that. 

-Copper letter forms, with electrical current passing through it to speed up the process of corrosion to form creating oxidized letter forms, that bubble up in mineral deposits. Negative aspects include expenses to produce or buy pre made letterforms (Home Depot address plates) And Id have to use a lot of energy just to produce one.

-I'm also interested in producing reactive typography. For example, if you were to make a letterform out of potassium, now potassium is very reactive to air, and its state will change, or if you were to make a letter form out of magnesium, injecting water to create a chemical reaction.

-Build solar panel letterforms, that existence in the environment that help save energy by storing the Sun's energy.

-Ferrofluid: producing letterforms with magnetism. The magnetic strength exerted greatly effects the way the ferrofluid is pull, stronger = huge spiky forms protruding from the edges.

Type 4 | Experimental Type Research | 10 Questions |2/5/2010

1. Could you tweak the genetic structure of a  Cow, Dalmatians, or any spotted animal, to create letters from the spots. In the future you may see advertisements on the sides of cows?

2. Elastic Typography when stretched creates one word but when not stretched creates another word?

3. Type that is based on the economic trends?

4. Type created based or formed on the environment and its changes/trends?

5. Could you make tangible type that changes based on, touch, heat, frequency of touch, age, health?

6. Type dependent on proximity, or type that appears with proximity, for instance if you had a wall that appeared visibly blank from 50 feet, but if you were to walk by it (four feet from the wall) the type would appear and form based purely on movement/Proximity?

7. Could you make invisible type that only appears with heat?

8. Could you make type, mold to your perspective, allowing greater clarity?

9. Type that only appears in low light?

10. Could you make tonal based typography?

11. Can typography teach science.

12. Would scratch off typography be cool.

Type 4 | Experimental Type Research | Experiment | Electrolysis |

Started Experimenting with copper pipe, and trying to speed up corrosion with electrolysis.
Electrolysis:In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using an electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction.

Type 4 | Experimental Type Research | Exploration | Freezing |

I've been experimenting with different materials to freeze, and so far I've tried coffee, food coloring, tea. I plan to try sand, dirt, endless amounts of material I could try. The materials I use will focus on or pertain to the message, for example: spelling land, with the forms made out of dirt.

Typo 4 | Experimental Type | R & D | Process

I also started making the buildings and other land forms, likes trees, and possibly mountains, depending on the scale I'm able to achieve.
I gathered some dried out stoneware, terre cotta, and basic top soil to use in my molds. I put holes in the bottom of the molds just large enough to slide fishing wire through them. The fishing wire will allow be to anchor the letters in a upright position once placed in water.
I started building my molds in away that allowed me to fill them from the top of the letter, enabling me to fill the letters with different layers  much more easily, with better results.
I started building my molds, and soon realized the way I was building them was wrong,  I had intended to put clay in between to divide sections as they were filled, once that section was frozen I would remove the clay divider and place it farther up the the stroke of the character and repeat the process. The clay divider was problematic, It would crack, causing the section to leak.
Typo 4 | Experimental Type | R & D | Process | Part 2 |

photographed all the letters on a Green background first (wished I had done it on white), so I would at least have something to show incase the dissolving didn't go as planned.

Heres my set up, filmed this type experiment in my room, because it's close to the freezer (extremely important) and I can spend as much time as I want producing this scene.
These are all the scaled down landscapes I created. You have your Nuclear power plant, your sky scrappers, and basic terrain. I was in the process of creating the golden gate bridge, and other energy suckers, but found myself low on time.
Heres the letter I, the bottom layer is made from stoneware, then coffee grounds that your not able to see yet, followed by terra cotta, and paprika.
Above the "ground" is ice. I've been experimenting trying to get clear ice, my roomate suggested that a slight vibration would do the trick, but it didn't really do much. I placed a weight slightly offset from the center of it's spin, to cause it to vibrate. This is the motor I used:
Ice freezes in three stages, due to it's mineral content. The reason why ice doesn't freeze clear is because of these stages, so the idea is to filter the water, boil, let cool, then boil again or just go to the grocery store and buy distilled water.