Typonimy is a publishing project developed with Giuseppe Ciranna, it aims to illustrate the wide variety of typographic symbols that can be trackable in Barcelona and their close relationship with the city’s architecture and history.
Is it possible to portray the face of a city? To take a photo of an urban physiognomy? Even if map is undoubtedly the more schematic and familiar way to depict a city and distinguish unambiguously one from another, we can’t say too much about its atmosphere and the aspect of its façades. Just like a digital impression or an X-ray photograph can’t say too much about the personality, the character or the aesthetic of a person.
To capture a global vision of a city’s appearance, we have to observe, above all, its architecture: emblematic buildings and anonymous houses, streets, squares and gardens, in other words, the body of the urban area.
If we wanted to analogously locate the face of a city, we would have to look to the intersection between its horizontal and vertical axis: the sidewalks, the ground level, the entrance halls and the commercial activities, that will decontaminate the transforming face of the city.
The typographic element is probably one of the multiple aspects which are continuously changing: emblems, architectural friezes, road signs and old and modern inscriptions that manifest the taste of an epoch or a passing trend.
Typonimy stems from this observation and tries to focus on Barcelona’s urban typography, designing a new map of this city in which the typography is topography, where letters, overlapping the façades and running along the streets, become new somatic traces in a snapshot that wants to be the document of a historic moment and an invitation to discovery.
Text by: Giuseppe Ciranna, Filippo Poli