Out of the complete palette of the graphic designer, one of the most effective methods to reinforce a message or idea is the possibility to direct the combination of type and image: the reason why the 'Passage of Entanglement' investigates the dialogue between letters and pictures.
Graphic designers are both blessed and cursed for working with two very distinct modes of communication: the word and the image. When the two coexist, each remains a distinguisable entity, occupying its own space, while continously interacting with the other in dictinct ways.
As one of the few, Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell attempted to unravel the magic between pictures and letters in their book ‘Type, Image Message’ (Rockport Publishers, 2006). Though many combinations of permuations of are possible, they separated the following four criteria: separation, fusion, fragmentation and inversion.
In this passage in The Palace of Typographic Masonry, these categories are each represented by five examples, and they form the source collection of this space. You can find works by Piet Zwart, Ralph Schraivogel, Maureen Mooren and so on, in the hope that they can inspire other graphic designers to use this magic as well. And to go beyond what design critic Rick Poynor once described as a ‘fully postmodern representional space, where all that is solid often melts into an intoxicating, semi-abstract blur’.
In collaboration with Lowies van Zanen, Richard Niessen designed two A0 size building boards, silkscreenprinted by Kees Maas, that can be used to assemble a model of the 'Passage of Entanglement'.
Besides the source collection you can find 40 other examples of combinations of text and image here. Students of the second year of the graphic design department of the KABK in The Hague followed a class by Michel Hoogervorst and Richard Niessen in which they tried out the four methods of blending using an archive of images and texts. This ultimately led to one final work for which the students had to find a purpose: discover the reasoning and motivation behind the record sleeves, billboards, augmented reality filters and ethical hacking campaigns the students created.
The 'Passage of Entanglement' celebrates the craftmanship of amalgamation of type and image and shows how each can pull the other in specific directions. Letters become bolts, serpentines turn into numbers, text is constructed as buildings and a portrait acts as a stage for a variety of messages. Here visual communcation takes a poetic shortcut.