Looking for 'Typographical Art'

pa007's picture


I'll briefly introduce myself. I'm a student, graphic and web designer, artist, etc. and am looking to create a large piece of 'Typographical Art'. I've searched the forums and the 'net and can't seem to find anything. I might have accidentally made up the term in a dream, judging by my success, but I know I've seen some type-based art, I just can't remember where. I'm basically after any art, and I don't want to get into a discussion about what is and isn't art, that not only uses type to communicate it's message but does so without relying on the text and does not contain any significant graphical elements. I assume there is some stuff out there. I would love any pointer as to where I can find it. I really just want to see what people are doing in this field before I really start.

This is just a personal project so I'm in no rush to get it done, though I want the first piece finished by christmas (hopefully).

I'd also like to say that the forum (and site) is amazing and well done for creating a pro atmosphere without making it at all intimidating. I'm so impressed, I might by a t-shirt or two.


Pete. :)

mike gastin's picture

Small scale, but you can check-out member ChrisL's avatar ...


russellm's picture


is that what you are looking for?

garyw's picture

Take at look at Yee-Haw Industries fine art prints ... I love all of them.


And Paula Scher, of course.



The Maharam Pillow at Design Within Reach ...

russellm's picture

Here's something else:

Moleskine, Paula Scher notebook

edit to add a big Oops - garyw, did't see that link. Great minds or fools not differing?

Hiroshige's picture

Si Scott
Barbara Kruger
christopher wool
Robert Indiana
Ed Ruscha
Filippo Marinetti
Piet Zwart
Jenny Holzer
El Lissitzky
Milton Glaser

...to name a few.

pa007's picture

Wow, amazing response, they should keep me going. I obviously didn't look very hard. Out of curiosity does it have a specific name? Or does it just fall somewhere under graphic design?

Thanks very much.

Pete. :)

paul d hunt's picture

check out the work of Oded Ezer, very interesting stuff.
tybrids are some of his most recent work.

Berg's picture

There is also the movement "Lettrisme", founded by Isidore Isou who passed away last month.

Quincunx's picture

Lloyd Schermer, sort off kitsch, but also quite nice.

fredo's picture

Alan Kitching. Some of his work can be found here and here.

mister_eaves's picture

Check out Sister Corita Kent. Nun. Activist. Designer. Artist.

More examples of her work here:

fredo's picture

Corita, yes!

After I had read an article in Eye magazine a few years ago I found a boxed set (book and portfolio of prints) from 1968 in an antiquarian book store (with a webshop) located in San Francisco. — Sometimes I think the internet was invented for things like this. — Anyway, the prints were in perfect condition and the printing was excellent. We now keep six prints framed in our kitchen.

I'm happy she once again attracts attention with the Come alive book.

Although I'm not sure this qualifies as typographical art per se I find some of Ben Shahns posters typographically inspiring.
Here's a classic; Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.

jupiterboy's picture

Tatsuo Miyajima might be a good artist to look at.

ffetish's picture

john cage, his book "m" (letraset mesostics littered throughout). nobody will deny that he's an artist (as opposed to a mere designer).

rob keller's picture

Some of Stephanie DeArmond's stuff makes me a bit envious...

And Ronald Kurniawan's stuff is pretty great and crap at the same time...


ffetish's picture

Mary Ellen Solt, "Flowers in Concrete"

timd's picture

Not concious but appealing because of that.


russellm's picture

I removed my images. they were more 'typographic toys' than typographic art :-)

PouyaJahan's picture

An interesting twist may be looking in to contemporay Iranian Graphic design and calligraphy art
Look on google (image or web search) for "Mohammad Ehsaie", www.5thcolor.com site as well as typogrsphy.ir.
My website www.farsitypography.com should be up in 2 weeks or so...

See attached iamges.
I apologize for my large uploads!

dux's picture

I find Oded Ezer's Tybrid uncomfortably non-format / wire, despite how well it's produced.

eastonwest's picture

Look at any current hipster magazine for type/lettering based art. Or Sister Corita Kent. She was featured in a ANP Quarterly 3 issues ago, and now has a monograph, if you need a visual reference. You can still back order the magazine. Marian Bantjes is effing amazing, look her up. Also checkout the blog fecalface.com

Or modern art from the Rauschenberg / Warhol era. Or Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger. Just do some research in a few art books and you are guaranteed to find something.

Good luck,

Jonathan Clede's picture

My senior art show at university was typographic in nature, but I chopped up the letterforms so much that they're really just images. In retrospect, I kind of think it was an inappropriate use of type, but anyway. Here is a record of it.


kegler's picture

9,000,000 wooden alphabet blocks (equal to the number of American children with no health insurance coverage in 2007.) and other visually engaging statistics.


delve's picture

Here's some of my own art: withrington.com which, is often inspired by type and sometimes inspires my type. And really, I wasn't looking for a shameless self-promoting plug but since it's on topic... ;^)

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