Designers Craft a Moving Typography Inspired by Famous Artists

We talked to Alexis Zacchi and Federico Pelat of We Are Maniacs, the creators of 'Textures,' the motion graphics film where each letter in the alphabet represents a different master artist.

by Emerson Rosenthal
Mar 20 2015, 3:44pm

Screencaps via

Textures from We are Maniacs on Vimeo.

A is for the aluminum sculptures of César, Z for the Zoetropes of Peter Hudson. In between, odes to Olafur Eliasson (D for diffraction), Ryoji Ikeda (F for flash), and Dan Flavin (N for Neon) flow through Textures, the moving typographic alphabet from We Are Maniacs—the duo composed of designers Alexis Zacchi and Federico Pelat. "Textures is a tribute to the many contemporary and classical artists who have perfected their techniques creating masterpieces," Zacchi and Pelat explain. A different word embodies the work of 26 artists or art duos, which, expressed as letterforms through a myriad of techniques including painting, macrophotography, and motion graphics, becomes a literal ABCs of modern masters. 

"We were both very interested in many techniques around graphic design and wanted to make something that allows the spectator to truly feel and experience those textures; to make him think about everything that tingles creativity," the duo tells The Creators Project. "After digging around the subject, we came to the conclusion that, to inspire creativity, we should present artists who worked their techniques for so long that they created masterpieces that are both the result of hard­working and talent channeled through their tools."

Selecting Lineto Foundry's LL Circular as the font to unite each letter's vignette—"it is, in our eyes, the best symbol of contemporary type­design with a strong historic base," they explain—Zacchi and Pelat combined Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, Premiere, and Photoshop with footage of themselves drawing, painting, and sculpting with foil and concrete, and set it all to a booming and buzzing soundtrack as tangible as the short film's title. So how did they pick their roster? "Many names came up and we made a selection of classical and contemporary artists to whom we wanted to pay tribute," they continue. "We wanted to feature both world-renowned artists and others we discovered more recently. All of them are artists we admire and we wanted to understand the way they work and create."  


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Olafur Eliasson
short film
graphic design
Alexis Zacchi
Federico Pelat
LL Circular
Lineto Foundry
We Are Maniacs