What happens when modern technology meets historic printing processes? Tricia Treacy and Ashley John Pigford explore this in a collaborative Vista Sans Wood Type Project, now showing at the College Book Art Association Conference in San Francisco.
Beginning with digital software such as Adobe Illustrator, Treacy and Pigford reproduced the Emigre typeface Vista Sans, designed by Xavier Dupré. Once the computer process was complete, the two created physical letterforms using a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) router. The video below shows the CNC router cutting the letter a out of a block of oak.
Because Treacy and Pigford chose to cut the letterforms from raw materials such as plywood and scrap wood, the resulting letterforms have quirks and imperfections similar to those found in old wood type.
Once finished, the 432-point wood letterforms were sent out to 20 international print designers who were asked to make a short run of experimental type prints using the paper and type provided. These artists blogged about their processes on the VSWTP blog, and have submitted their prints to be showcased at exhibitions across the country. Currently, the VSWTP is exhibiting at the College Book Art Association Conference in San Francisco, and Treacy and Pigford have promised to give us an update upon their return. [SJ]