thomas wirtz tests physical phenomena on 3D-printed typeface
thomas wirtz tests physical phenomena on 3D-printed typeface thomas wirtz tests physical phenomena on 3D-printed typeface
mar 23, 2016

thomas wirtz tests physical phenomena on 3D-printed typeface

thomas wirtz tests physical phenomena on 3D-printed typeface
all images courtesy of thomas wirtz





for his masters thesis, düsseldorf-based designer thomas wirtz has conducted a typographic and material experiment that combines digital and analog media with physical phenomena. ‘by the way’ begins with a series of 3D-printed characters — a full, uppercase typeface defined by geometric shapes and linear forms. these plastic models have been printed as individual letters that are able to be assembled in a sequence of various words and sentences.



video courtesy of thomas wirtz




using the modular system of 3D-printed forms, wirtz has spelled out common internet jargon, such as ‘BTW’ (by the way), ‘FYI’ (for your information), and ‘DIY’ (do it yourself). these phrases then undergo a series of laboratory-like tests — letters are lit ablaze; liquid matter floods through the forms; and water gyrates to an electric current. the project deliberately uses characteristics of the digital world, particularly the phrases used, and translates them to analogue media. finally, the experiments are treated to time dilation, where they are modified in slow motion to produce a video feature.

the letters ‘FYI’ are lit on fire

‘POV’ is treated with a liquid dye

liquid surrounding the letters ‘DIY’ gyrate from a pulsating electric current

a black liquid flows through the letters ‘BTW’

a colored gas is applied to the letters ‘AFK’

the project began with a series of 3D-printed characters

the uppercase typeface has been made using a 3D printer

some of the physical phenomena used in the experiment

as part of his thesis, wirtz included a personal laboratory kit

the project included the creation of a full typeface

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,115 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample