A Meditation on Type

Alyssa Arnesen

Animated alphabet
Scanned letters
Type specimen
Full alphabet

A Meditation on Type is an alphabet created between October 2019 and October 2020. This span of time marks a phase of incredible insecurity in my personal history that coincided with a period of international crisis and unrest.

The series began as a way to confront the tension between competing urges to create and rest, find employment and take a break, practice design and avoid burnout, seek inspiration and do absolutely nothing. The mindful process of creating these letters satisfied all of these seemingly incompatible needs. Though each form started as a detailed attempt at building out a typeface, once the initial outline was drawn the ensuing process of filling out each shape became an extended meditative release.

As the year passed and personal triumphs overlapped with the rise of public health and political crises, both the physical construction of the concentric shapes and the digital deconstruction of each letter’s many layers continued to serve as meditative exercises that I returned to as points of stability amidst chaos.

The completion of this alphabet comes when the world seems more fraught than ever. But, incredibly, this weight feels more manageable after hours and hours of drawing line after line after line.

Alyssa Arnesen
Project link

Judges Choice: Tré Seals