The anatomy of a font can be made of individual points, lines from a pen, the strokes from a brush. . .or even hairs from your head. This, at least, is the idea behind Dutch designer Monique Goossens’s Hair Typography, which rounds up the strands of hundreds of stray hairs and groups them together into a filamentous font.
There’s a barbershop aesthetic about Goossens’s hair typography, as if it were somehow inspired by seeing the accidental design of a spilled lock forming a letter. That’s not so surprising: the root of the idea for the artist’s hair typography comes from a previous product, a chair made entirely of hair called (what else?) the Hair Chair.
“As I worked on the Hair Chair, I found myself exploring the possibilities and properties of hair by making letters out of the odds and ends,” Goossens tells Co.Design.
Constructed of individual strands of hair gathered together, Goossens’s hair typography tries to invoke something of the qualities of handwritten script itself. “Especially well-designed script typefaces have a dynamic form which is expressed through their energetically curling lines, a varying heaviness of stroke, and the extended elements of the letters themselves,” says Goosens. “The natural properties of hair take this principle to the extreme.”
Placed together, the effect created by Goossens’s hair letters is similar to that of a letter drawn with hundreds of strokes of a finely tipped pen. This effect is by design. Intriguingly, Goossens takes the unique qualities of each strand of hair into account–the individual hair’s curliness, straightness, springiness, limpness and so on–when assigning it to a letter. A hair that has a tendency to curl, for example, might become a “C,” while a straighter hair might become an ‘I’.
“To a large extent, it is actually the dynamic of the hairs themselves which ends up determining the shape of the letters,” says Goossens. “To me, the ends of these hairs end up creating a sort of organized chaos, an energetic play of lines which forms a haze around the letter’s basic shape.” Especially without mousse.
More of Goossens’s designs can be discovered here.