Synapse 1.0 Redux

blackhawk's picture

An exploration in time-based typography.

synapse.swf (123 k)

Joe Pemberton's picture

Cross your fingers:

synapse.swf (123 k)

Joe Pemberton's picture

It's great Ryan.

Tell us more. I assume this is an original
design... or are these someone elses outlines
that you're animating?

gulliver's picture

Hey -- that's pretty cool. I'm glad you and Joe were able to get it posted for us to see. (I still haven't braved posting a Flash file, so my hat's off to you.) :)

The name definitely makes sense now. It's kind of fun to watch, too -- with a sort of "fritzing-out neon" feel to the sparking pixels.

If, as Joe asked, this is an original outline as well, I certainly think you should complete the static version of it as well as the animated version.

Would it be possible to see a full character set any time soon?


blackhawk's picture

Synapse 1.0 : a brief description

The origins of creating type has traditionally been predicated by a reader engaging type as a static experience. With the relatively new accessibility of interactive media, I believe it is time for both typographer and reader to re-examine how type is created and engaged. Typography can no longer be viewed as a static event, bound by the pages of a book. Each letterform now has the potential to be an event within itself. A universe of activity could reside in the single letter "a".

Synapse 1.0 is an experiment in time-based typography. It is a hybrid of the biological and the technological - an organism of undulating modules. Shapes rhythmically coalesce into familiar and abstracted letterforms. Beyond a statistical improbability, a reader will never experience the same letter "a" twice.

Synapse 1.0 is an entirely original design inspired by various sources including Herbert Bayer's type designs, bitmap typography, and the destination signage on San Francisco's public transportation trains. I hope this typeface inspires conversation and debate. All comments are welcomed.

The entire set for Synapse 1.0 is nearly complete. Uppercase, lowercase and numbering are ready for critique. These will be posted in the near future. Finally, I would like to thank Joe Pemberton for his assistance in posting this file.


pickles's picture

You sure do like hyping yourself up.

I'd be interested in seeing the ActionScript behind this animation. Are you simply triggering movie clips randomly to flash the segments of the fonts, or is there method behind the sequencing?

Being as it is called synaptic, I'd like to see a variant where the fluctuations are nerve-like responses to stimuli.

Another avenue of exploration would be to really change the structure of the letters. Instead of just alpha-ing out segments of your letterform, what about designing a series of letterforms and utilising alternative segments to construct letters which are truly original each time. Even going so far as to breakdown each letter into a series of components - ascenders, descenders etc -and then construct each letter from random selections of each required component (This WOULD get messy, but hey, you wanted abstract).
Even calling upon the powers of Flashes drawing API to draw completely original shapes for each component every time - randomised within constraints.

I'm just not sure at the moment that your really breaking new ground here yet. For 'time-based typography' we could just as easily read 'animated logo'.

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