What do you call a graphic artist who does not need a computer?
A typewriter artist.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Álvaro Franca is often called a graphic designer but may be better known as a typographer or type designer. He creates fonts.
What is your favorite font? You might use Calibri, Arial, Tahoma, or Times New Roman. Franca develops fonts that are seen online and in print. He has developed fonts for reading purposes and as parts of advertisements. He even designed labels for beer bottles.
Franca uses a computer to craft font types, but it is what he creates with a vintage typewriter that makes the 22-year-old artist most impressive.
In a collection of work titled, Typewritten Portraits, Franca creates portraits by using a vintage typewriter to strategically placing single characters on a blank sheet of paper. To deepen the complexity of his work, he defines, shapes, and shades the faces of infamous authors so they are recognizable and, in some cases, may be mistaken for sketch art.
The method for creating Typewritten Portraits was conceptualized by Franca in 2013. While he might be the first person to use a typewriter to recreate portraits of Jose Saramago, Charles H. Bukowski, J.D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, and Clarice Lispector, he was not the first artist to use a vintage typewriter as an art medium.
In 2012, Segmation wrote a blog about vintage typewriter collector and artist Keira Rathbone. Rathbone lives in London and uses over 30 typewriters to create original works of art.
While both artists use typewriters, Franca and Rathbone have contrasting approaches to creating art. Using his computer, Franca created a method that allows him to know exactly where to put characters on a typewriter page. For instance, from the start, he maps out where to add the letter “m,” which is the character he uses to add depth and dimension to portraits.
Rathbone, on the other hand, does not sketch or outline any of her art. With a well-trained eye, she is able to create scenes from her imagination and recreate images she sees. By going over parts of a picture multiple times she produces the perfect amount of shading. This gives her images the level of depth and dimension that Franca factors in from the start.
These two artists live a world apart but both use typewriters to create masterpieces. Rathbone truly needs no computer while Franca uses his for precision. Watch the artists at work and let us know which approach you like better. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this page.
[vimeo 90642350 w=500 h=281] <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/90642350″>Typewritten Portraits</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/alvarofranca”>Álvaro Franca</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
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