Typophile The Smaller Picture

Typophile: The Smaller Picture

The Smaller Picture was a online experiment designed to explore the possibilities of a community designed typeface. Starting with a random 20x20 grid, typophile.com members were allowed to turn on or off individual pixels.

The Problem

The initial interface only allowed typophile members to see one letter of the alphabet at a time. As the shapes developed in isolation, conflicting approaches to letterform design caused users to unknowingly overwrite each others' work.

I realized that in order for the thousands of participants to develop a cohesive design strategy, they had to be able to see what each other were doing.

My Solution

I collaborated with the project developers by designing a small multiple presentation of the typeface, showing the development and its history in real time. We placed this visualization beneath the current letter, allowing the designer to see it in context. Separate visualizations were developed for the lowercase alphabet and the numbers.