Relajaelcoco studio uses dynamic movement and typography in an exploratory project for the Thyssen Museum


For the first table, Young knight in a landscape by Vittore Carpaccio (1505) is a Renaissance painting of an armed knight surrounded by vegetation and wild animals. Wanting to emphasize the “chivalrous air” of the painting, Carmen explains that they were looking for a type with pointed serifs, resembling medieval armor and imagery. For this, they landed on Natalia Timea’s Faglia type in the Type Department. The second array included was Expulsion. moon and firelight by Thomas Cole (c.1828), with a twilight Gothic landscape. The studio landed on Bouk Ra’s Faust typeface, also in the typography department, because – as Carmen continues – “the abrupt shapes of the letters and the x-height played a key role in representing the essence Gothic”.

These latter typefaces relate to works that are at the more contemporary end of the timeline. For the Russian Avantguardists video, Alaska discusses a number of artistic ancestors of the constructivist and geometric approach. For this, Carmen turned to Nodo from the Due studio for its modular elements, and its repetition and rotation of similar shapes. Finally, for Jackson Pollock Brown and Silver I, Carmen says the studio wanted to take inspiration from dripping, for its relevance in Pollock’s work. So they landed on Velvetyne’s Pilowlava, “a typography with very organic purposes.”

The studio then highlighted and improved the fonts throughout the animated videos. On the videos of Alaska speaking – directed by Enrique Millán with music by Pedro Perles – the studio’s typography appears and disappears as the conversation progresses. In the introduction, each typeface morphs, morphs, and morphs into each other, seamlessly representing the interconnected nature of the art and its enduring legacy. In addition, the studio experimented with fonts, creating new compositions. “In the case of Carpaccio, we chose to create a composition with the initials of the artist VC as a medieval insignia,” explains Carmen, “and with Pollock, we resorted to dripping and repetition.”

Looking at the project, Carmen sees one of her greatest successes in how each video operates independently with its own “personality”, yet all have the ability to be cohesive, “and respond to a common visual system”. Francesco concludes our conversation by emphasizing how special it was to work with such an interdisciplinary group of people, “that’s what makes this video series so special and unique”.


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