Normal office workers have fun with photocopiers by mashing naked body parts onto them. Apparently, designers do, too. But in José Ernesto Rodriguez’s case, the result was a beautiful typeface, not a firing offense. Rodriguez created “Handschrift” by pressing his palms and fingers onto the copier glass in various patterns. The grainy, photogram-like images became a set of 2-D letterforms with all the expressive, spontaneous appeal of modern sign language.
Granted, the letters in “Handschrift” work much better in groups than as individual designs. (“B” and “D,” for example, are kind of unrecognizable without context clues to rely on.) But one could say that about any particularly expressive piece of typographic design. And with “Handschrift,” part of the fun isn’t just in seeing what funny, funky connotations words acquire when set in the typeface, but in trying to discern what possibly painful contortions Rodriguez had to go through just to make the designs in the first place. It’s typography as performance art!
By using his hands, Rodriguez can also create clever visual puns. His quotation marks are a great example — the use of “air quotes” brought back around full circle. And if you don’t like “Handschrift” at all? Don’t worry: Rodriguez has already included a dingbat element just for you: