oded ezer is a graphic artist and typographer, based in greater tel aviv.  designboom recently spoke to him about his work and influences.



DB: please could you tell us how you came to do what you do for a living?
OE: I started out as an aspiring musician. I had a band and also wrote poetry in my twenties. at one point I realized I will never be as good as bob dylan, so I turned to design and specifically typography which always played some part in my life. I realized that I can express myself much better through this medium and so I decided to go to art school which led me to pursue a career as a designer.





view of the ‘tipocriaturas’ exhibition, 2011




view of the ‘tipocriaturas’ exhibition, 2011





typembra, 2009




DB: how would you describe your style to someone unfamiliar with your work?
OE: typography and plastic surgery; typography and biotechnology; typography and anthropology; typography and genetics; typography and psychology… etc.



DB: what’s the thing you enjoy most about typography?
OE: type is abstract. type is flexible. type is powerful. type is universal.





biotypography, 2005-2006




this project shows manipulated hebrew and latin typo creatures.










DB: what or who has been the biggest singular influence on your work?
OE: my parents. for better and worse are probably my strongest influences. I got my creative abilities and rebelliousness from my mom and my persistence and discontent from my dad. also: john heartfield, edward ruscha, yoko ono, david bowie, takenobu igarashi and many, many more.



DB: which of your projects have you enjoyed the most to date?
OE: creating my design fiction typographic projects such as biotypography, typosperma, typoplastic surgeries and, more recently, a series of eight typographic videos for the V&A and the skypetype poster, to name a few.





helvetica live poster, 2004





original design flag, 2012





DB: what areas of your work are you hoping to explore in 2014?
OE: every year I choose a new theme to explore. for example, last year I focused on type and video. that’s how I came up with creating the ‘memory palace’ typographic videos that were part of the V&A museum exhibition and are now shown at MOMA’S ‘a collection of ideas’ exhibition of permanent collection. this year I hope to explore the concept of monumental typography.



DB: what do you know now that you wish you knew when you left university?
OE: definitions are not as important as they seem.





stills from the ‘memory palace videos’, 2013





eight short typographic videos created for a multi-dimensional exhibition, sky arts ignition: memory palace at the V&A museum, in which 20 leading graphic designers, typographers and illustrators bring alive hari kunzru’s work of fiction.





DB: do you think it’s important to be able to draw as a designer?
OE: I always get bored when I’m drawing. I guess I’m just too lazy. I assume drawing helps, but most of the time I manage without it.



DB: what do you do to keep your ideas fresh?
OE: I find that walking, sleeping and taking very long showers are a good way to get the stream of ideas flowing.





typosperma, 2005





typosperma, 2005 – a sort of new transgenic creatures, half (human) sperm, half letter. these imaginary creatures are cloned sperms, that typographic information has been implanted into their DNA.





DB: what compels you to design and what other compulsions do you have?
OE: designing takes me away from banality, from mediocrity. my other compulsion is reading too many books – not that I remember most of them later.



DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs?
OE: I would never use the name of a family member to name a typeface that I’ve designed. does that count?




typo plastic surgeries, 2006




typo plastic surgeries, 2006




DB: what’s the last thing that made you say ‘wow’ ?
OE: the recent exhibition ‘david bowie is…’ at the V&A. that’s what a 21st century exhibition should look like.