A Bit Brutal

Letters play once again. This time, a trip back to the world of brutalism and its – as the name would imply – brash, hard-faced aesthetic. I am a fan.

Ironically, this dalliance began as something similarly geometric but rather more elegant, slicing up octagons and trying to create letters with very slender and narrow lines. At this moment I found myself wanting something bolder, not a headache, so I decided to leave it for further exploration at some other time, perhaps. Perhaps not.

The most fun had here was with the texturing, a hangover from the Twenty-Six Spins challenge of yesteryear, of which brutalism was a highlight. While the simple forms have an appeal of their own, it’s those grimy, utilitarian facades that really play to the theme.

And, of course, the nature of these letters leaves them open to the iterative process. The bars, stems and other assorted body parts can be thickened or narrowed to create diversity without losing the overall vibe. There seems to be a trend these days of using different sizes and weights together in typography so, there we go, I’m in with the crowd.

Later, I spotted that flipping the “R” made rather a nice “Y”. I like it when possibilities bring themselves to the fore.

Indeed, as often happens, this ended up pretty much driving itself. I get great reassurance from that, more and more as time goes on. It’s always fun.

8 comments
  1. Man, I love these types of textures, it’s so eye-catching. Very well done Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent designs Jacob, and the tones are deep and grimy, like watching Metropolis to the soundtrack of Nine Inch Nails! I too love Brutalism – largely due I think to my formative years growing up in Birmingham and experiencing first-hand its often-lambasted architecture. Shame that much of it has been demolished over the years and replaced. I like how you chose the word ‘severe’ and ‘in your face’ 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Ah thanks so much TVTA, I love that description!! 😎 Yes, Birmingham has/had some fine examples of brutalism. Some in Norwich have gone the same way, sadly – amazing how the face of the city has changed since the 90s – but others remain (for now), like the UEA, which is guaranteed to catch the eye every time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good that your home city has hung on to a few examples to preserve the history. I was reading earlier about Battersea Power Station (more art deco than brutalist I think) and how it’s managed to defy being bulldozed all these years. It’s currently grade II listed and is used as a shopping centre/business centre/apartment complex.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        That’s interesting, I remember hearing that they were rebuilding the four chimneys as part of a restoration. Of course the Tate Modern is another example of a power station being repurposed to great effect. Those old plants certainly have their own brutal, looming presence. The old one across the river in Great Yarmouth (long demolished) with its huge chimney could be seen for miles around.

        Liked by 1 person

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