Two words will draw me into a story like a flash … “unintended consequences.” In a way, that phrase is a story in itself. It doesn’t say if it turns out good or bad for the protagonist, but you can anticipate someone in the end shaking their head at an outcome. Designers have developed an infatuation with a typographic artifact designed to counter ink misbehaving on press. As a preventative measure, pockets of negative space referred to as ink traps, were incorporated at the crotch of diminutive letter forms. This allowed for ink spread or accumulation to occur but only to complete the original design. Clever and effective though primarily a remnant of another era.
As an example, the font Bell Centennial was designed for printing minuscule five point text in phone books on the cheapest, most porous stock in existence. This worked like a charm, but our interest really lies with the designers that started digitally enlarging this and other ink trap fonts way beyond their functional norm. Identity designers have fallen in love with the cavernous forms that had previously been too microscopic to perceive. Logos in this trend are typically crafted with new letterforms incorporating traps pressed beyond reason but this rediscovery has offered a fresh technical aesthetic and eye-catching anomaly–a consequence giving new credence to traps living larger than ever intended.
DESIGN AGENCY: ODDITY STUDIO
DESIGN AGENCY: ANOTHER COLLECTIVE
DESIGN AGENCY: BIGFISH
DESIGN AGENCY: M – N ASSOCIATES