Karloff, convergence of beauty and ugliness
Karloff connects the high contrast Modern type of Bodoni and Didot with the monstrous Italians. The difference between the attractive and repulsive forms lies in the contrast between the thick and the thin.
Animation: Thibault de Fournas & Christopher Wilson, Screenplay: Peter Bilak, Voiceover: Harvey Gold, Music: Nicolas Jaar.
Karloff explores the idea of irreconcilable differences, how two extremes could be combined into a coherent whole.
At the start we looked at the high-contrast Didone typefaces which are considered by many as some of the most beautiful in existence, and the eccentric ‘Italian’, reversed-contrast typeface was designed to deliberately attract readers’ attention by defying their expectations. No other style in the history of typography has provoked such negative reactions as the Italian.
Karloff, the result of this project, connects the high contrast Modern type of Bodoni and Didot with the monstrous Italians. The difference between the attractive and repulsive forms lies in a single design parameter, the contrast between the thick and the thin.
Having designed two diametrically opposite versions, we undertook a genetic experiment with the offspring of the beauty and the beast, interpolation of the two extremes, which produced a surprisingly neutral low contrast version.
Read more about the concept in the article Beauty & Ugliness in Type Design.