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Using Type in your Work

In my instagram feed last week I was focusing on the use of a lot of black in abstract collage. I mentioned there what a revelation it was to me to start using black in my work and how book covers helped me discover its power. I became mad for black covers, and while I was at it, I came to be equally mad for their titles.

Excerpts from the world of paperback book covers.

There is so much fun to be had with type. Look at these beautifully designed typefaces! Serif, San Serif, Slab Serif…and something especially fun about book covers is they often use very condensed forms of these faces. Condensed faces can still have good height and command space on the page, while packing many letters into the narrow paperback format.

Plus, these are not just letters, but words and sentences, titles. Because we are doing collage and therefore LIKE fragments, we can take any part of these titles— maybe its just shape, maybe it is words— and recombine them in new imaginative ways.

I did a whole series of these black and white “Type” compositions, and these remain some of my favorite collages over time. I found that I like to have something to read in my work. I like a weird sentence. And I also just like the pattern of shapes, maybe unreadable, or at least unmeaningful. This series will be my focus for instagram this week, here is a sample.


Black on white, white on black, mostly unreadable but for the smallest bit of type: immortality. Balancing activity and quiet, graceful curves and blocky pronouncements, thin and thick, small and large, and trying to achieve a rhythm that takes us across the page.

What is your experience working with found type? Have you tried it? I found this enormously fun. And limiting color made it even more so. I am someone who wants to throw the whole kitchen sink into a collage and this restraint and focus was a nice relief for me.

I invite you to bring type, or words, into your work this week and let us know what happens! And leave us a comment below. We love to here from you fellow artists.

Happy Explorations,


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