A couple months ago, Mark Gonyea proved that there is more than one way to count to 100. Now, the comics illustrator-turned-graphic designer is back, proving that there’s more than one way to rattle off your ABCs as well: You can do it alphabetically like a chump, or mathematically like a boss.
The follow-up to “1 to 100”–Gonyea’s beautiful, kaleidoscopic print that used geometric principles instead of Arabic numerals or base-10 to count up to 100–“Letters by the Number” is, in the designer’s own words, an admittedly simpler affair than its predecessor. “It’s not quite as detailed as ‘1 to 100,’ but I really love the concept of using a letter’s numeric place in the alphabets as a basis for design,” he tells Co. Design.
In “Letters by the Number,” Gonyea takes each letter in the Roman alphabet and multiplies it according to its numeric placement in the alphabet. A, for example, is just a single A, but B is actually two Bs, and by the time you reach Z, you’re talking about 26, intricately interconnected zig-zags. And to make things a little more visually compelling, the print corresponds to a color scheme: red numbers can be squared, blue numbers are divisible by three, and orange numbers are multiples of five.
In addition to “Letters by the Number,” Gonyea’s got a couple of other prints in the fire: “Numbers to the Letter,” which is designed so that each panel is the multiple of the letters of that number (1 is ONE, 2 is TTWWOO, 3 is TTTHHHRRREEEEEE and so on), and ABCMYK, which is a fun, CMYK-abstracted alphabet.