Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alphabet City

A charming short animation film by Alessandro Novelli, from the Italian, multidisciplinary design firm, n9ve. Just a couple of days ago, n9ve released and published the video online for its admirers to look into. It is the second video to the great Alphabet Series that I adore and follow. His short films are very inspiring and a lot of fun. I will get to that in a few seconds, but first, I must introduce his first Alphabet video that was produced sometime in 2010. In this older piece, he focuses on animating the names and look of each font family by presenting, and sorting them according their initial letter. Novelli's work is very crisp and clean--the simplicity of it is what makes it timeless (and effortless).

Of course, similar to the first, the second piece is also presented in alphabetical order. The difference is what they refer to as "developmental spelling," in which each character visually represents the meaning of the word itself. Here, you will find the artist experimenting with different techniques and materials, to create a video hornbook. As you can see, this video is far more energetic and colorful, not as simple as the first. However, the concept (and 'backstage process') behind this 'think outside the box' approach to typography is mind-boggling. I remember doing such visual exercises and experimentation for my typography, even communication design classes way back when. It is not easy to execute such ideas successfully. A definite hit or miss. That is why I put Stefan Sagmeister on a pedestal because he seems to hit the bulls-eye; probably even when blindfolded.

Moreover, n9ve is more than just your average design studio, they are ardent devotees and excellent storytellers. As visionaries, it is their pride and glory to be able to create stimulating and evolving work that push the visual boundaries. While you are at it, I highly recommend tuning into this following stop animation video too--one of their first ones.

Artist/Producer: Alessandro Novelli, n9ve.

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