“Dream,” by Husbands

Typography lovers, this song goes out to you. The music video for “Dream,” by Husbands, is fairly simplistic: the written lyrics flash against a black background in sync with the song. What makes it so engaging is the lovely diversity of typefaces and backgrounds used — they range from ornate script, to Western-style slab serifs, to cool European grotesks.

But here’s the real kicker: this video was NOT made on a computer. As you can see in the behind-the-scenes clip below, the designers, Cauboyz, actually created a physical wall of boxes displaying type, each backlit by a bright light and operated by a control panel. Now that’s impressive.

Behind the scenes of “Dream.” Design by Cauboyz

In this spirit, we’ve brought together a killer roundup of art projects that take typography into unexpected territory. Enjoy.

the exercises

In this project by The Exercises, the artist embodies typographic forms. Left column: cover, regular, bold. Right column: italic, serif, sans serif.


Belgian design firm Coming Soon branded VIB’s entire 15 year anniversary event, using real chalkboards as a motif to express the values of the client, a life sciences research institute.


Vacuum-packed type — an experimental typeface by txaber.


Tiago Pinto’s The Type Faces project is a series of prints that use only typographic forms to create compelling human faces.


Artist Farhad Moshiri jams knives into the wall. Seen from the right perspective, they resolve into an elegant script.


Coral Type — another experimental type set by Txaber.


Spanish art collective Boa Mistura painted passage ways in a Brazil slum with bright colors and white forms that, seen from the right angle, resolve into letters spelling words like “belleza” (beauty) and “orgulho” (pride).


Using his fear of flying as inspiration, designer Tomas Ashe created this type-centric fold-out consisting of the thoughts that run through his head while on a plane.


Wood Type — another impressive experimental typeface by Txaber.


A typeface sculpture shown by Richard J. Evans.


A brilliant typography-centric poster design by Marcelo Schultz.


Obed Ezer‘s typeface mohawk and experimental iterations of Helvetica.


Lauren Hom’s hilarious Daily Dishonesty series takes tidbits of often-given, rarely-followed advice we give ourselves and renders them beautifully in striking type.


A glass type sculpture by Oskar Wrango.


A sculpture by Damien Roach that reads “Avant Garde” when seen head-on, but merely looks like sundry geometric forms from other angles.


Design firm Made By Stupid created this awesome promo for their client, Filthy, using black liquid and colored lights.


Nadav Dov Foyer carved the hebrew letter aleph out of a book to create this sculpture.


Sabeena Karnik molded the entire alphabet in ornate, cut-paper forms.


Penguin’s new edition of the Kama Sutra sports sexy letterforms by Malika Favre.


Artist Jenny Holzer introduces text in public spaces — in this case by projecting it onto the façade of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (photo by fluido & franz).


A handmade poster by Timea Andorka, consisting of ripped and acid-washed jeans.


The “Sequences” project by Jonas Valtysson and others involved photographing actual spilled milk and turning it into letter forms.

A hand-crafted, stop motion holiday greeting card by Camilo Rojas and David Garcia.

Sainam — an animated typeface art thesis by Ekawit Lekviriyakul.

Have any other cool typography projects to share?

Featured image: VIB (via Behance)