Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) is a team of engineers, scientists, artists and designers, working to turn new ideas into refined products which explore the way we relate to technology. The studio’s latest project, Jacquard, sees Google weave new digital experiences into everyday things, from the objects we love to the garments we wear. Using jacquard weaving to integrate new digital possibilities and experiences, the studio investigates how we might skip a song by swiping our sleeve or take a photo by tapping a shoulder strap.
Google ATAP’s findings are explored in a new book designed by Yorgo&Co., a Paris-based design studio founded by Yorgo Tloupas and specialising in logo design, magazine art direction and branding. To date, it has worked in a range of fields from designing corporate typefaces for Cartier to overseeing the creative direction of Yorgo’s ski brand, Blackcrows. The new book showcases the Jacquard interactive technology, chronicling Google ATAP’s recent exhibition at Le Mobilier National and featuring a cover whose luminous title only appears when approached or touched by a hand.
The book is available in two versions. The first features an embossed cardboard cover while the second comes with the enhanced technology of a digital system where “the Jacquard thread senses a hand approaching and lights up the title, hidden behind a cloth surface.” The interactive cover contains a complex digital system including a PCB, a USB connector, a piezoelectric disc, a battery, a white 3D spacer to let the LED lights shine through, and a layer of Jacquard touch- and movement-sensitive thread, which altogether creates the interactive effect.
Yorgo Tloupas tells us more about the exhibition featured throughout the book: “Artists created walk-through installations where the touch-sensitive Jacquard thread triggered visual and sonic interactions.” With the photographer Alfredo Piola commissioned to shoot the installations and the artists, the book delves into the work of three different artists: Chloé Bensahel, Amor Muñoz and OMA Space. Each of these were selected for an artists in residency program to bring together technology, art and fashion. They then turned their proposals into installations over the course of six months.
The graphic language of the book finds neutral ground between the three artists as seen through the grey, typographic cover which pays homage to the technology explored by Google ATAP. Yorgo, a connoisseur of typographic logos, was particularly inspired by “the graphic intelligence of the J in the Jacquard logo,” which resultantly became the foundation for the book’s grid system and the typesetting of the phrase “Prière de toucher le fil” which translates as “Please touch the thread”.
The publication also features a bespoke typeface for the project, extended from the logo which evokes the lines of thread in the jacquard weaving process. “We simply extended that principle,” says Yorgo on the typeface design. The bespoke lettering does not feature a full set of characters, however, as certain characters would be “quite complex to build” – namely, the letters G, K, Q, V, X and Y. Luckily, all the artists’ names and the title did not include these characters.
GalleryYorgo&Co.: Jacquard by Google book (Copyright © Yorgo&Co., 2021)
Yorgo&Co.: Jacquard by Google book (Copyright © Yorgo&Co., 2021)
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.