Making the invisible visible, with ink and type
After documenting its progress on Twitter for over a month, Laura Hudson’s inky typographic project reached its zenith this weekend. As part of her final degree project, Laura has created a time-lapse film of ink being absorbed into a lettered design to reveal a message about the invisible nature of mental illness.
As a sufferer of depression Laura wanted to highlight a cause she felt passionate and aligned her project with the Time to Change mental health campaign. “The idea is as the ink absorbs it’s physically making the fact visible, raising awareness.”
Inspired by Oscar Diaz’s Ink calendar, she contacted him to ask about paper typed used, but after a slightly cagey response she decided to test out different types of paper herself, finally settling on 300gsm scientific grade blotting paper.
Her lettered design was then laser cut into the paper and suspended in her studio. The ends of the paper structure rested in vials of cyan printer ink and the natural capillary action of the paper drew the pigment up the lettering. The process produced some lovely chromatic bleed effects (as shown).
Laura took time-lapse photos to record the process. In tests the ink moved 15cm in five minutes over a straight line but at the scale of the final design it slowed dramatically after six days, requiring only one photograph every 12 hours to measure its progress. Other challenges also cropped up on the way: “Unfortunately I’ll be pressing the camera shutter for my project. Time lapse is broken so now I’m babysitting!”
After a little ‘encouragement’ with warm water the ink was finally absorbed into the whole piece and the film was completed. Take a look here.