Posted in Art, Visual Language

Alphabetical — Dan Tobin Smith


Dan Tobin Smith’s ‘Alphabetical’ is an experimental project in more than one way: it is an exploration of typography using different materials but also one of perspective, where two-dimensional structures are recreated in three-dimensional settings. Dan plays with scale, colour, space, light and perspective, combining these elements to create the visual illusion of a flat letter when viewed from a certain angle.

Smith explains:“The project makes use of anamorphosis, or distorted projection to create the forms. This is a technique which dates back to the Renaissance and found one of its first uses in photography with an image called ‘The Human U.S. Shield’ made in 1913, which shows a staggering 30,000 officers and men of Camp Cluster forming an enormous U.S. Shield.”

If the final images themselves aren’t impressive enough, seeing photographs of the work in progress — from a variety of angles and at a number of stages throughout — emphasises the sheer amount of effort that has gone into this expanding project. Beginning as a commission for the letter A by Creative Review for their Annual, Smith continued to create letters of the alphabet using different methods and materials — all unified through the use of Helvetica as their basis. Thus, despite such a range of approaches, the series (still ongoing).

Thank you to Dan and his team for helping with this post.

Keep an eye out for ongoing updates.
The alphabetical website can be found here:

Dan Tobin Smith’s main site is here:


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