Alphabet soup - illustrating with letters.


Welcome to another helping of badlandian joy, this time we have a steaming hot alphabet soup to feast your eyes on, with a side dish of texted portraits. For all of you who wanted to know what happens when art directors stop being polite, and start using that "spray image" tool in freehand....

Possibly the first one, hands down the coolest anyway since it moves, and it's webancient , Bob Dylan (and other artists) faces appear written by the lyrics they sing.
Watch it in action here @

Finalists in 2004 for 'illustration and graphic techniques' in the Epica awards, SCP created this campaign for the Göteborg Symphonic Orchestra. Illustrated by Eva Lilja.

And most recently (I presume, since I was just emailed this example.) - Spainish WWF campaign.
I do not know when this campaign 'aired' in any case, so don't jump to conclusions.

Another 2004 Epica nominee worth mentioning in this context is DDB Paris "Mohammed Ali" for L'EQUIPE. I can't tell if the text spelling our Alis face here is from "when we were Kings" or what is going on here really though. Still. Same-ish.

Know of any others?

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (7)

  • RLDavies's picture

    NTL (phone, cable TV, broadband) in the UK is running a TV commercial that is so close to the Bob Dylan thing that it can't be a coincidence. Words like "broadband" swirl around and make a child's face, and "call now" come out of its mouth.

    Jun 16, 2006
  • Dabitch's picture

    Really? For shame!
    Unless of course the crafty person behind the Dylan thing got the gig, in which case, yeay! ;P

    I hear that TBWA Paris is running a current Amnesty campaign where peoples signatures create a "door" behind a prisoner. Sounds very similar but I haven't seen it.

    Jun 16, 2006
  • aiiobo's picture

    Close, but not quite the same. That old "ascii illustration" thing those ads used has been around for ages as well. I recall it seen in magazines rather than ads though. Works for louvre online.

    Jun 18, 2006
  • Dabitch's picture

    It won a bronze lion in Cannes. The door is drawn by peoples signatures. Kinda similar.

    Jun 26, 2006
  • RLDavies's picture

    I've always liked that sort of typographic illustration. Going back some years now, we used to do pictures like that (but not that complicated) in school typing class.

    Jul 02, 2006

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