February - March, 2008
International photographers were invited to explore the letterforms in their surroundings by documenting what they see within one city block of where they live or work. View all the submissions on the TypeBlock pool on Flickr.
Black Diamond, Alberta
Derek Beaulieu is the author (or co-author) or 3 books of poetry and co-editor of shift & switch: new Canadian poetry. He is managing editor of filling Station magazine. Since 1997 he has been an editor at filling Station, dANDelion and endnote magazines. The archive for his small press housepress (1997-2004), a publisher of radical fiction and poetry, is housed at Simon Fraser University. His work has appeared internationally in journals, magazines and galleries. These images were taken just off main street in Black Diamond, Alberta.
Parkville is a small, residential neighborhood just outside of Baltimore City, Maryland. House after house line the street, cape-cods built in the early 1950s, small square block homes. No sidewalks. A few of the original residents still walk through the neighborhood each day on their daily strolls. Most people just drive. All of these pictures were taken not far from my house. The missing dog flyer that’s been posted for months on the stop sign at the end of the street. The small community park garbage can that’s been spray-painted REPENT OR PERISH. Beltway Cleaners in “downtown” Parkville, whose neon sign glows as a beacon for the early morning and evening traffic. Flickr
I’ve been doing photography, mainly as an amateur, for about the past six years, and have a particular interest in architecural detail, which extends to any nice building numbers and, of course, lettering/typography, displayed upon the building fabric. These photos were all taken within or close proximity to the city centre of Glasgow. This is not a particularly large area but does possess a huge amount to look at — it contains the majority of the business district, the main shopping centres/thoroughfares as well as a vibrant cafe, restaurant and nightlife area. Flickr
Fort Worth, Texas
I’ve always looked at my amateur photography as journaling—interesting as a process but with somewhat common results. After years of backpacking and shooting in remote locations I’ve recently started focusing on type. Shooting in Fort Worth, Texas, I find a wealth of hand-lettered signs mixed with architectural type associated with some of the historical building booms. The images featured in TypeBlock represent my immediate neighborhood—a wonderland of taquerías and Pho restaurants that is always a refreshing break from the strip-mall creep that steadily consumes our culture like a Kudzu plague. Flickr
I work as a graphic designer for the Educational Media Group at RMIT University. My photos were taken around my block in Brunswick a young, culturally diverse, inner city suburb of Melbourne. The area began its life as a rest stop on the way to the goldfields in the 1840’s. It later developed with thriving brick-making and textile industries and then become home to many migrants after the second world war. Flickr
Dana Duncan Seil
Los Angeles, California
I grew up in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. I always had an artistic streak, drawing from early childhood. I graduated from Art Center College of Design with a bachelors degree in Graphic Design. After Art Center, I worked freelance and in various studios focusing on exhibit graphics, traditional print graphics, and corporate identity. I teach full time, at Art Center and I still freelance as a graphic designer and work on illustration projects too. Outside of graphic design I design jewelry, go hiking with my dog, and I love to travel. One of my favorite hobbies is travel photography. I really enjoy taking interesting photographs of unusual things I find in my environment. Flickr
Thalia Antonio Soto
Mexico City, Mexico
I was born in Mexico and moved to Canada when I was only 16. Leaving my family home, I came to study and for better opportunities in life. I have been in Canada for 4 years now and I like getting involved with other people in the community. Currently, I am a 3rd year Visual Communications Design student at the Alberta College of Art and Design. I enjoy design, typography, photography, and art in general. The photographs I contributed with for the Type Block project were all taken in different parts of Mexico: they are from both very big cities like Mexico City to smaller rural areas like Jose Ma. Morelos. Flickr
This is a fun project where we can all express and explore our love of letters through photography. The notion of documenting a city block was to make this a specific activity: take your camera into your immediate surroundings and see what you can find. Even in seemingly the most mundane surroundings, if you look, you can find the beauty. Garbage in the street, a bus token floating in a puddle, an emotional handmade plea to find a lost pet... or perhaps you find a stately plaque on a historical building, decaying hand-painted shop signs or beautifully designed modern signage. Each person’s “type block” will be different. Flickr