Led by the theme of “obsession” we were tasked with creating Wayward Arts, a piece that would combine our creative passion with the unique and detailed craftsmanship of Flash Reproductions. Armed with the quality products provided by Unisource and hungry attitudes, Typoccult was born.
Typoccult is a wink to the cult-like attitude in which designers uphold the world of typography. Some typographers throughout history stand-out as integral influencers and even demi-gods in the life of designers. We took this idea and applied it to the tarot through considering the historical and social correlations between the different characteristics of the tarot and important typefaces and type designers. This marriage results in a witty and unapologetic commentary on the world of typography as it is perceived in the design community today.
Fascinated by the idea of the unknown, we seek answers to that which we cannot explain. Attempts to discover and chart the future through methods of divination and magic are a cause for obsession. From horoscopes to crystal balls, it may seem like Typoccult exists as just another oracle of prophecy; yet this set of tarot cards is anything but ordinary. Each card of the twelve represents a unique archetype; a hybrid between the tarot suit and a typographic specimen. The magic lies in decrypting the significance and meaning behind each card; the key to unlock this rests in the lens. With a pass of the lens, symbols animate and illusions are born.
Taking the form of twelve cards, Typoccult explores the dichotomy between typography and mysticism. Each card profiles a role of the tarot and is represented by a typeface that embodies the characteristics and symbolism of the tarot. A unique character was crafted for each card to capture the soul and personality of the tarot it represents. A symbol on the back of the cards links to the tarot – a scanimation that brings it to life. An acetate lens accompanies the cards and interacts with the symbols, animating and bringing each card to life. The twelve cards are housed and sealed in a case that opens to reveal the twelve houses of the tarot.
When your font library is pushing the limits of your computer’s memory card, and the typographic landscape extends even further, it’s difficult to choose a select twelve fonts to work with. How do you choose amongst so many great typefaces, and then how do you pair a typeface with a tarot card suit? By diving into the history of typefaces, and learning more about the meaning behind each tarot card suit we began to spark connections. We wrote stories and imagined these hybrid and fantastical characters that married the two worlds.
The visual development of the characters and the cards was a process that was filled with whimsical explorations of collage and colour. Working through this process allowed us to try out many different things and resulted in some quirky characters that although didn’t make the cut; still exist in our archives as a dynamic bunch of collages.
This project couldn’t have come together without Flash Reproduction’s amazing dedication and quality craftsmanship. Both Flash and Unisource championed our idea from the very beginning, and pulled out all the stops to make our Wayward Arts issue something truly unique.
Flash Reproductions is widely considered to be Canada’s most innovative and versatile print production facility, collaborating with brilliant designers to produce award-winning results since 1969.
Unisource is the leading national distributor of commercial printing and imaging papers, deeply committed to the Canadian graphic design community and corporate communication marketing departments.
Wayward Arts is an inspirational monthly magazine showcasing the pure unfiltered spirit of Canadian graphic design. Each month a prominent Canadian design studio will design a new issue filled with innovative design, featuring specialty printing and finishing techniques. every issue will be an unpredictable expression of creativity.
Design: Belinda Alfonso, Yvonne Koo; Creative Direction: Michaela Jantoska; Contributors: Michelle Budge, Samantha Olivera, Rachel Teoh, Joanne Mitchell