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Texture Map Type

Recently I’ve been interested in experimenting with 3D. While I was on the RCA Typography course - I was wondering, ‘what opportunities are there to explore 3D workflows and type? Can I texture 3D objects using typography? What would that look like?’ 


One of our briefs on the course was to create typographic expressions that evoke a sense of ‘air’. I thought of the way that some unwrapped texture maps look as if the fragments have been exploded or suspended in the air - a loose connection but it got me started. 


My initial experiments involved handwriting directly onto spheres. I used Womp spheres (a web-based SDF modelling program), because I like the nature of the way that they unwrap. I tried a Blender sphere at some point, and you get very different results! 

One possible use case I considered was LP design - could the circular record label be an image render of the sphere, and could the record cover be the unwrapped texture? I made a mockup of what a Hiatus Kaiyote album could look like using handwritten song lyrics. 


Eventually I came to using this system of graphic production to see if I could create letterforms. I took image renders of Acumin Pro ExtraCondensed and used them to texture spheres in Procreate. 


I then selected interesting distorted letterforms from the texture maps and used them in typographic design. This was a really fun experiment and I’m happy with what emerged from this process. 

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