Thursday, 7 July 2011

Flying Kicks + Laces = Typography Round 2


In a previous post entitled the 'Mystery of Flying Kicks', this film's meticulous groundwork suggested a whole variety of explanations as to why our urban landscape is decorated the world over with kicks thrown onto telephone wires etc. Of the many answers suggested I want to simply focus on the topic of commemoration. Paired with my earlier posting of the TYPELACE typeface by Rafael Farias (an illustration of typography's infiltration into the sneaker game) I wish to illustrate the possible complexity of information conveyed in something as simple as the imagery of flying kicks. 





My exposure to the following anonymous artwork has automatically proved to me that ones capabilities to fashion a typeface homogenous to all sneakers is not necessarily constrained in design to the schematic grid-like structure of lace holes. I am fully aware that the images I'm basing my observations on are of a fictitious even unproven calculation, simply bound to the realm of artistic license and imagination. None the less all the ingredients are there to suppose that the jump from paper to reality is more than plausible even possible, though this issue will be addressed later. 

The role of flying kicks is as much a monument to the deceased as it is about their memory. Its purpose in this case is commemorative. The sneakers, chosen for their brand, model and colourway best represent a badge of identity and even a personification of the person to be remembered. For this reason it would be integral that the individual's most prized and sought after pair of kicks should be chosen. Inevitably the visual clues, details and idiosyncrasies are limited to the overall design of the sneakers as governed by the manufacturers. Individual customization can be accounted for but at the height that these charged mementos are displayed intricate detail is lost upon the viewer. So we must now return to the artwork.

With these pictures, we are being presented with a practical answer to bring a greater level of understanding to the individual's identity. The use of the the laces to spell out specific letters now opens up the opportunity at its most basic level to spell out initials. Developing this idea further by incorporating a greater number of sneakers, leads to an increase in the number of letters. This results in the spelling out of a name. The accumulation of letters means a gain in sneakers which potentially allows a more detailed representation of the individual through which kicks he wore and was known for wearing. The result is thus two fold. The monument not only becomes larger and more significant as a spectacle but the memories are intensified by the addition of every different pair of sneakers.   

Finally a brief word needs to be said about the actual method by which these images can be reproduced in reality. The knotting system works perfectly as a beginning and end point in for each different section in the letter's construction. What is more problematic is the guaranteeing of the lace shape between these knots. Obviously lace type is important. It would go without saying that the thicker the laces the more likely they are to retain their shape. However, this by itself is not enough. In the same way that if one doesn't have thick laces at one's disposal you can get an iron and some spray starch and fatten the laces. 

The method: whilst the laces are still wet get the point of the iron and place in between the laces. After this spray them with a bit of starch and pull them apart with your fingers to then iron them one last time. Alternatively once all the knots are in the right places you can get real thin and bendy wire and fill out the inside of the laces by giving it some internal architectural structure. Arguably this will provide the most durable and aesthetic results. Try it out! 
    

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