Popular Mechanics is a popular science and technology magazine with a century-long history. With a century-long history, it gained great popularity by presenting complex problems and concepts in intelligible yet interesting manners, especially among mid-age males. Today, the brand needs to provide a more versatile physical and digital experience.
Inspired by the brand’s mission of explaining how the world works, the parametric typeface is a generative system that forms complex graphics with simple dashes. Based on the concept of subdivision and unification, the parametric typeface is the core of Popular Mechanics’ reimaged identity. Written with Processing, it can control multiple dashes based on inputs to generate text, pattern, and animation across media. The same mechanics is also applied to image and video treatment. The software can transform any visual content into the identity system, working as a filter to accommodate the wide range of contents that Popular Mechanics has. It unifies the visual language while allowing for more unique ways of presenting its contents in the future.
The new logotype for Popular Mechanics consists of a clean sans-serif typeface with the parametric font. The combination of curves and angles reflects the notion of presenting complex problems in an interesting approachable way. Thanks to the long brand history, the logotype can appear as an acronym in many usages, allowing more flexibility.
The interactive poster provides a unique introduction to the brand. Using voice as input, the viewer can directly interact with dashes to learn and experience the notion of entropy—constant changes.
Another part of the brand experience is the PM Typewave Generator, an electronic instrument that uses the form of a letter to generate sound wave. It presents another sound contained within the letter itself. It also visualizes the relationship between shape and sound. Both of the interactive experiences are the extension of the concept of the parametric font.
- Agency/Creative: Qi Zhu
- Article Title: Popular Mechanics Parametric Typeface
- Organisation/Entity: Student
- Project Type: Typography
- Project Status: Non Published
- Agency/Creative Country: United States of America
- Agency/Creative City: San Franscisco
- Industry: Mass Media
- Keywords: WBDS Student Design Awards 2022/23
Educational Education: ArtCenter College of Design - Graphic Design
Educator's Name: Ming Tai