Typographic Parallax in Environmental Space: Real and unreal depth and transformation in temporal typography

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Recent treatment of onscreen typographic environments interpret virtual space as environmental. Environmental space imitates the properties of reality, allowing recreation of processes such as navigation, and the subsequent visual experiences that occur when objects are designed to exploit depth and alignment. In fluid typography, letterforms transform from abstract or pictorial objects over time, either through kineticism or alignment. These behaviours rely heavily on recreating the experiences of concrete objects and spaces. In parallax, for example, objects at varying distances appear to flatten to become a single object when viewed from a particular point of observation. In fluid typography, it is possible to imitate that experience through virtual space, tracked navigation, and the creation of a privileged viewing zone that grants access to a particular alignment of objects. Abstract objects can appear to transform into lettering, and vice versa.
Understanding the letterform as a object, rather than a flat sign, and its backdrop as a space rather than a planar page, encourages connections between the real and the virtual. Virtual typography can imitate the properties of real objects, and sculptural typography can exist in real spaces. Designers are able to approach lettering as no longer contained within one category of environment, but transposable, offering the same kinetic and illusory experiences in real and virtual spaces. This paper will explore examples including television idents, sculptural typography and credit sequences, that have exploited the relationship between real and virtual space, creating kinetic experiences on screen and in concrete landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013
EventInternational symposium on typographic landscaping - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 17 Jun 201318 Jun 2013


ConferenceInternational symposium on typographic landscaping


  • parallax
  • typography
  • Channel 4
  • idents
  • Gestalt
  • CGI


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