Alessandro Novelli’s dance in typography
Article by: Sami Jensen
[Sami Jensen] In just over a minute, Alessandro Novelli captures his (and our) love for typography and animation in “The Alphabet,” a spelling video inspired by children’s hornbooks. The music — Si Tu N’étais Pas Là by Fréhel (you may recognize it from the movie “Amélie”) — makes me close my eyes and imagine myself outside of a little Parisian café, but then I quickly remember I’m missing the beautiful, dancing, morphing letterforms.
It makes sense that viewers would imagine themselves in coffeehouses while viewing “The Alphabet”; designer Novelli was in a coffee shop in Brooklyn when the idea for the film occurred to him. ”The video is a personal project. I tried to connect my passion both for type and animation/motion graphics into a unique ‘piece,’” said Novelli. “In the coffee shop, I started thinking about the fonts and sketching the animations. Even though the setting of the video is visually abstract, in a no-space environment, the audio simulates the noises of café or bar.”
When I asked about his particular font choices, Novelli said he chose the fonts by two criteria: first, by his personal favorites and second, he wanted to mix different styles. “I wanted to create something dynamic, so I went from ”classics” to “modern” fonts or vice versa. For example, at first I played with “rigid” fonts — serif or san-serif — and then fonts like Godless for ‘G’ or Mod for ‘M’, a big block of black in the middle of the composition, were unexpected.”
He adds, “I just tried to bring a bit of surprise morphing from a font to another.”
Unsurprisingly, Novelli used a total of 26 different faces for the 26 letters of the alphabet. [A] is for Arial; [B] is for Baskerville; [C] is for Cochin; [D] is for Didot; [E] is for Euphemia; [F] is for Fandango; [G] is for Godless; [H] is for Helvetica; [I] is for Impact; [J] is for Jamille; [K] is for Klavika; [L] is for Lucida; [M] is for Mod; [N] is for Normande; [O] is for Optima; [P] is for Poplar, [Q] is for Quorum; [R] is for Relief Deco; [S] is for Stone Sans; [T] is for Times, [U] is for Uechi Gothic; [V] is for Verdana; [W] is for Waters Titling; [X] is for X Font; [Y] is for Young at Heart; [Z] is for Zinco.
Alessandro Novelli is a multidisciplinary designer born and raised in Sardegna, Italy, and currently working as a director for n9ve studio. He attended IED – European Institut of Design in Turin, Italy, where he studied digital and virtual design, and SVA in NYC to study graphic design. Novelli enjoys mixing different medias and techniques to create something engaging and unique. He’s working on“The Alphabet II,” which should be released in September.