Fonts are utilized as vehicles for communication and expression. They work hard to transfer messages from the sender to the receiver. But what if fonts had their own emotions? What if the job of messenger exhausted them, inspired them, challenged them, and gave them anxiety just like rest of us?
Meet Mr. Frank—a new, living typeface that reacts to his environment and the people around him.
When he's in his quiet place, Mr. Frank is calm. He spends time kerning himself, and adjusting his baselines. However, if he spends too much time alone, Mr. Frank eventually becomes depressed. When working his day job as display signage, he gets dressed up in his finest and directs people through space providing the public with vital information. He is generally pretty good at his job but in especially busy times, Mr. Frank's nerves can get the better of him. His emotions are relentless and ever-changing. But he's trying his best.
Mr. Frank is made up of 500 animated characters representing a wide range of emotions from indifferent to nervous and excited. His states are triggered by sounds and feedback he receives from his viewers.
For the exhibition Typeforce, Reamue and Pryce installed Mr. Frank to interact with small microphones that were set up throughout the gallery. He proudly directed people to the restrooms and bar, while also requesting that the audience view the art in the gallery quietly and respectfully. As the gallery became busier, Mr. Frank became more agitated. If a sudden sound occurred, he would jump and breathe heavily. His insecurity also confused his language and phrases like "view quietly" became, "judge quietly". Because Mr. Frank was new to his job, Reaume and Pryce also requested that the audience give him feedback on how well he was doing. An iPod was displayed with a questionnaire. When the gallery-goers gave positive feedback, Mr. Frank became confident. When the feedback was negative, he became insecure.
Like all of us, Mr. Frank works hard to communicate clearly and thoughtfully. However, sometimes his feelings get the better of him. After all, he's only human.
- Graphic Design
- Megan Pryce
- Graphic Desgin
- Andrew Reaume