Type Trends: Hand-cut

A surfacing trend I’m glad to see growing, and a subset of physical type, is the labored-over paper cut genre. Doing work in this vein appeals particularly to the able, young designer because of its cross-disciplinary nature. Designing harmonious typographic compositions to later cut into paper, depending on the scale and depth of the piece veers from the mostly two-dimensional world of traditional graphic design into the realm of three-dimensional set design and art direction. And what designer, after a string of single-color jobs doesn’t want to move on to the intricate, hands-on work of making, lighting, and photographing dioramas?

The effort shows. Here, Spanish design studio Versátil represents the kind of education offered at Antonio López Art School using graphic elements arranged to suggest a bursting forth of ideas. The script up top is Alejandro Paul’s Mr Stalwart.

Strictly speaking, the above sample isn’t type or typography (before anyone accuses me of muddying the waters here), It’s lettering. My point is still the same. When the beholder sees an accessible process applied to an accessible medium, here applying scissors to paper, and notes that it indeed took quite some doing, he is given pause—the familiarity of its elements being the key factor. That this autoinitiated piece from Miguel Dias doesn’t translate perfectly into English I find completely forgivable.

Lastly, an example of a more traditional paper cut. Michael Lomax’s work tells a Hans Christian Anderson tale with graphic illustrative elements and delicate Script and Fraktur lettering. This is no dabbling by the way, Michael’s papercut portfolio is immensely well developed.

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