Anthony Velen uses drones to build an alphabet from Swiss architecture

27 October 2017

Multi-disciplinary designer Anthony Velen has a talent for seeing things from a new perspective. This is proven by a recent photographic project that saw the designer reimagine architectural structures as a series of typographic forms.

“I always loved aerial shots, especially when the camera is pointing down,” Anthony tells It’s Nice That. “This can lead to unusual discoveries, such as interesting shapes, lines and sometimes typography.” Describing his creative process as “similar to a treasure hunt,” Anthony’s project begins at home, lurking on Google maps to find “buildings or places that can reveal interesting typographic shapes,” he explains. From there, he travels to the discovered destination, launches the drone in his home country of Switzerland and waits for the letterform to appear.

“I’ve almost crashed my drone more than once,” Anthony explains of the process. “The take-off is relatively easy, but the landing can be quite difficult in the narrow Swiss streets.” However, it’s the streets that make Anthony’s work so pleasing to watch. He says he often “waits for a car or someone to pass through to add some kind of life to the composition,” consequently creating short clips of daily life impacted by giant typographic structures.

“My goal is to achieve a complete alphabet someday,” he says. “It takes time and dedication but I love the idea of doing graphic design with things that already exist, to see them from a different angle.”

Anthony uses typography in a more traditional way as well in his explorer capacity. Graduating from a graphic design degree back in 2014, he is currently a designer at Moser in Lausanne, working as a creative on everything from branding to motion design. He’s also a dab hand at utilising typography on moving posters, which you can see below.

A #36daysoftype04 #36daysoftype #36days_a #fromwhereidrone #mavicpro #thuglife

A post shared by Anthony Velen (@anthonyvelen) on

RING: My submission for the project @blank_poster

A post shared by Anthony Velen (@anthonyvelen) on


A post shared by Anthony Velen (@anthonyvelen) on

BLANKPOSTER | WORD: MAKE @blank_poster TYPE: Cinderblock by @youworkforthem

A post shared by Anthony Velen (@anthonyvelen) on

Share Article

About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.