Graphic system and identity including a custom typeface design for Eventi Letterari — a festival of literary events in Monte Verità (literally Hill of Truth). The festival is located in the Swiss canton of Ticino, which has served as the site of many different ‘utopian’ and cultural events and communities since the beginning of the twentieth century. This was when an alternative, vegetarian colony was founded on the site, and the mythical golden age of Monte Verità began. Artists, anarchists, philosophers and thinkers settled there and share ideas.
In 2013 the title of the edition was “Utopias and Magnificent Obsessions”. The idea for the graphic system and typeface has been taken from “Utopia” as a keyword, turning it into a visual representation. Since it is a literature festival, we thought the best solution was to create an alphabet based on the “utopian” concept. That’s how the typeface Utopia (Utopie) has been conceived: a typeface inspired by illusionistic ideals, where every letter is a formal paradox — a form which cannot exist.
The typeface was awarded a Red Dot Design Award in 2013…
Note to oneself: Surprises and disappointment come in many unexpected ways…
I am well aware of the trend and predecessors in this particular style. Please let them continue showing us some awesome and creative solutions and designs !
To me, the surprise was that an institute like the Red Dot award committee wasn’t up-to-date with their knowledge. Nothing more, nothing less.
My studio mate Frank (2F) drew a related impossible alphabet based on isometric projection for his own use in 2012, initially named Maurits and currently known as Twist. Not every instance of similarity is a case of imitation, some things are simply in the air. When I showed him Macula, Frank expressed his admiration for this inventive and professional design — but concluded that his version works better for his purposes.
I agree with Jacques that a jury that decides on typeface design awards should have a thorough overview over the scene. This reminds me of Bombere and Vexier — the two related designs were both among the winners of a competition held by Letraset in 1973. More award trivia? François Robert’s Chicago was awarded in a Mecanorma competition and released in 1969. A few years later, he successfully submitted the pretty similar Astra to competitor Letraset.
Not every instance of similarity is a case of imitation, some things are simply in the air.
I couldn’t agree more.
Contributed by Stephen Coles
Contributed by Indra Kupferschmid
Contributed by Florian Hardwig