Most Obscure

For my senior thesis at the University of Michigan, I chose to focus on process rather than outcome, and to explore, experiment, and play my way to a final project. Over the course of seven months, I completed a number of self-contained projects and countless fragments along the way.

To bring all this work together, I designed a suite of typefaces that drew both conceptually and aesthetically from my explorations. This project of processes is Most Obscure: an exploration of an anxiety over the permanence and rigidity inherent in the written word, culminating in three typefaces that embrace the uncertainty and fuzziness with which we communicate.

Advisor: Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo, Stephanie Tharp
Design: Audrey Stanton

Table of Contents for 'Most Obscure' book.
Introduction for 'Most Obscure' book.
Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing various letters made of concrete, dollar bills, and arms. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing cut apart magazine pages and letters.
Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing a system by which letters are blocked out according to letter height. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing refined sketches and process for 'Figure' game based on letter height patterns.

If you find that you often regret what you write and end up crossing and blocking out all of your words, use Conceal.

Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing modified and obscured scanned book pages, and zines that were made from these images. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing frames of the zine folding and unfolding.
Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing glitched typefaces. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing Audacity waveforms from the process of databending typefaces.

If you fret over your electronic correspondences being a little too permanent and a little too accessible, use Corrupt.

Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing whiteboard with brainstorming about differences between thought, speech, and writing. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing posters soliciting strangers to leave a message at a phone number.
Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing screenshots of Google Voice transcriptions of voicemails. Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing waveforms of vocalized characters.

If you feel that your writing betrays your thought and speech, use Convert.

Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing exhibition of the typefaces, including a projected video of the typefaces in use, flashdrives loaded with the files for viewers to take and use, and three books outlining the process of each typeface.
Spread of 'Most Obscure' book showing final thesis paper typed on 'Corrupt' typeface.
Back flap of 'Most Obscure' book.
Back cover of 'Most Obscure' book.