Wish I Designed It: Pref_ID

I spend a good chunk of time looking at type and fonts. Technology makes it easy for me to fall into a type-hole, watching 30-second clips of people writing the letter “W” with a paintbrush in a single stroke. It’s fantastic and beautiful and becoming commonplace. So when I came across the work of street artist Pref_ID, I was immediately drawn in.

This is not a campaign or new website or a logo rebrand, but a style of layering text that I never thought of. It’s understanding type and how to use it as the artwork for a particular job. Bending and shifting phrases and lettering together into one big hot mess.

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The designer’s work is aggressive. It makes you stare at it, frustrating you into a weirdly addictive submission. There is a secret message in the work and you need to stare at it before you figure it out, like a Magic Eye poster.

The phrase is hidden, making it a struggle to read the message. In design we typically want the messaging to be communicated clearly. In Pref_ID’s case, you sometimes need a decoder ring to translate his work. But the colors, textures and style of the words draw you in. The layers become deeper and as you peel them back you begin to see the words as they are.

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When I see Pref_ID’s work I am reminded of how this design rule of clear communication is only relative. We can get our message across in other ways and they can be just as beautiful and more rewarding once we discover them.

– Tim

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