Cardboard Mutilation


We have started a new project in the tangible type series (to work on simultaneously with the Theatre of Literature). This one is more focused on form: we intend to experiment with various materials and lettering compositions without worrying so much about how they illustrate literary themes.

Each work uses one song title from the Pixies’ album Doolittle, starting with “Wave of Mutilation”, to produce typographic posters or potential record sleeves. We choose this album because we love it, of course, but also as a sort of tribute to Oliver Vaughan.

When we studied at the arts academy, especially during first years, designing a poster always ended in a trying challenge. We had to stick a printed poster onto cardboard and then cut out properly to achieve the required size of required firmness. Those moments of carving away at 3-mm thick cardboard with enough force but also care not to ruin the costly printout were stressful and we hated them (also, we sometimes did ruin the printouts, which we hated even more). But not only did they give us a pile of stiff posters to cover our head in rain but also a way too intimate knowledge of cardboard structure and how many layers you have to cut through to get from one surface to the other. Back then we always thought how this layered structure itself could be used in a project but we didn’t care for more cardboard carving. After a few years though, the time seemed right.

After coming up with the concept we sketched it into the cardboard with a needle:


and then proceeded to cut into the cardboard, deeper and deeper, removing unnecessary layers of paper with a variety of tool designed for different purposes (most of them for building stuff or at least for knitting).


By the way, we still find little bits of gray paper floating around the room.

We also designed a logo for the project to bind all the compositions together. It was one of those really quick jobs that are fun to do because no one wants anything to be bigger or redder.


And here is the finished project:

re-pix-wave-fullWith close-ups.

re-pix-wave-det1 pix-wave-det2 pix-wave-det3I now realize how “Gouge Away” was an even more appropriate title to choose for this one, but it’s good we didn’t because that would require too close a relation between the technique and the title in the future works – precisely what we don’t want to do.

1 comment
  1. On first seeing the top image it looked to me like the text had been etched into sand! (Which would have been appropriate) but I’m glad you’re not over thinking the concepts… I find reigning myself in challenging!
    Great album. Great project!

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