36 Days of Type is a yearly challenge created by Spanish designers Nina Sans and Rafa Goicoechea, which invites people across the world to design a new font every day for 36 consecutive days. For this year’s edition, up-and-coming visual designer Jesseca Dollano stepped up to the plate and designed an expansive typeface for the challenge, one that manages to be futuristically cybernetic, mildly retro, and strangely cohesive at the same time.
The most interesting part of Dollano’s typeface is her numerical set, which functions like a time machine of typographical history in reverse. Beginning with a ‘0’ that is splintered into geometric 3D sections as if it were a NASA architectural blueprint, the numbers slowly become more corporeal and evocative of typographical styles from the 70s and 80s by the time ‘8’ and ‘9’ roll around.
Even their color palettes reflect this pattern of polished futurism, beginning with sleek, cold, and calculated blues and purples until bubbly reds and yellow burst into the font. Dollano later created another version of the typeface in an entirely synchronized palette revolving around shades of turquoise, yellow, and green.
Despite the fact that the Hong Kong-born, New York-based designer primarily works on app interfaces, infographics, and Samsung ads, this wasn’t Dollano’s first foray into typography. Her earlier project One Rock Alphabet saw the designer create an entire typeface from photographed movements of rocks, an idea she derived from a passage in physicist Alan Lightman’s book Einstein’s Dreams.
36 Days of Type marked a departure from a more formal and composed typographical style into something energetic and less constrained. It's the first time she engaged in a time-based, durational design project, a feat that was challenging to say the least. “Designing anything at all (even if it’s something small) for 36 days straight will be a challenge for anyone. There is just not enough time in a day, especially after work,” Dollano tells The Creators Project.
“A friend actually challenged me to do this and it ended up becoming a competition between the two of us on who gets featured the most,” she adds. “I almost didn’t have a social life, as I was so dedicated to this project. I thought I couldn’t do it at first, but in the end, I managed!”