Certificate of Typographic Excellence, Type Directors Club 63, 2017
Gijs Bakker award nominated. 2016
recent video by creators project:
How to write Bodoni lowercase; Recently Sooji Lee has worked on a project for DAE master thesis, under the theme of 'Craftsmanship'. This project is literally about how to write certain typeface. She designed physical tool, process and behaviors for handwriting Bodoni. Since the mechanization has been intensified, lots of humane qualities have been deleted and replaced by machinery. Sooji Lee wondered what’s the non-reproducible humane originality and she found the possibility of a humane ‘aura’ in ‘craftsmanship’, which machines can never imitate.
Generally craftsmen stick to use their old tools because those tools are already ‘trained’ by craftsmen. As a graphic designer, Sooji Lee thought, the computer that she depends on most of times, doesn’t have that kind of material properties. She says, she is ‘training herself’ to follow newly developed software rather than ‘training it’ as her own tool. This is why she decided to design physical tool to write Bodoni.
Craftsmanship doesn’t come from the aesthetically well-made art piece; it comes from one’s attitude shaped by endless repetition to achieve the highest level of perfection. To draw the perfect Bodoni, she deconstructed lowercases and found 26 elements from which all letters can be constructed. For one letter ‘a’, it needs 74steps of strokes, 60curves from perfect circles, two different widths and directions of pen points and she steps on the pedal 43times to pull the pen up and down. It takes 30minutes to complete one single ‘a’.
We can reproduce an infinite quantity of identical letters of ‘a’ with a push of a button. The letter ‘a’ in her project takes long time, and the results of it will have all-different shapes; depending on the speed of hand, the spread of ink, the effect of the tool can’t be constant. Those autonomous differs become the humane perfection that the machine would never represent.