Following his studies at ECAL, Swedish graphic designer Tor Weibull has captured the interest of It’s Nice That readers many times before. With his typography-focused portfolio, Tor can make typefaces that looks like tubular shaded pieces of metal or another that replicates the game of badminton in its letterforms. More recently he’s turned to exhibitions too, creating the poster designs and a typeface for Carl Oliver Ander’s exhibition Accidents and Aftermath.
Carl’s photographs displayed in the exhibition at Melk Galleri in Oslo “followed the idea that photographs are just like accidents”, Tor tells It’s Nice That. “Similar to a car crash, they stop the progress of movement and time.” Consequently, the photographer’s images examine scenery and how it’s used as a place of investigation, encouraging audiences to try to work out “what has resulted in the photographed situation”. Tor was drafted in to translate this fascinating photographic topic into graphic design.
Beginning his process by talking at length with Carl, “it felt stupid to just lift one image on the poster”, Tor explains. In turn, both came to the conclusion that “it could be nice to use some of the images to both represent variation but also create a narrative for the viewer of the poster”.
With this conceptual approach decided on, the graphic designer then got stuck into the logistics of actually translating the pair’s idea into posters and a typeface. Considering the title of the exhibition is relatively long, Tor began by sketching “condensed letters to be able to squeeze the title a bit and make a reference to tabloid headlines, like some kind of breaking news”. He also thought about “how one could make some subtle twist to it to reflect the theme of the images, the accidental in them”.
By sketching with a parallel pen, the graphic designer noticed “that the faster I drew, the more sloppy and interesting mistakes in the letters became,” he recalls. “I noticed one mistake, or rather a typographical accident, on a lowercase ‘a’ where I hadn’t done a stem that was striking through the letter properly.” Taking this characterful mishap as an influence, the designer then applied it to the ‘a’ of the exhibition’s title when mocking up a poster, and “this handwritten ‘a’ became the symbol, or abbreviation, for the exhibition title which became aaa.”
From here, Tor had another typographic stroke of genius which saw him shifting the apertures of the letter to be curled inwards, referring back to Carl’s original description of his photographs being similar to a car crash with their warped details. This then formed an entire typeface to be applied across the exhibition’s branding, even extending the theme in his execution of framing posters for the event, only to smash them… accidentally.
About the Author
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.