Popular Mechanics Parametric Typeface

ArtCenter College of Design

The new logotype for Popular Mechanics consists of a clean sans-serif font with the parametric typeface. The combination of curves and angles reflects the notion of presenting complex problems in an interesting approachable way.
Controlling the parameters in Processing.
A brand montage that showcases the typeface and its visual language in different contexts.
The interactive poster shows the relationship between letters, language, and sound. Using voice as input, the viewer can directly interact with the typeface and experience the notion of entropy—constant changes.
The PM Typewave Generator is an electronic instrument that uses the form of a letter to generate soundwave. It visualizes the relationship between shape and sound.

Popular Mechanics is a magazine of popular science and technology. The parametric typeface is designed to help the brand provide a more versatile physical and digital experience. Based on the concept of subdivision and unification, the parametric typeface, written with Processing, is a generative system that forms complex graphics with simple dashes. Like a pixel or an atom, a single dash can be paired with others and arranged to construct a more complex system. Based on the different inputs, the system controls the dashes into a typeface, a pattern, or animations. It explores the relationships between shapes, sounds, and language, depicting how defined arrangements could form meaningful information out of randomness.

Qi Zhu
Ming Tai
Roy Tatum
Project link