Whether you’ve tried and failed to remember if you turned off the oven in your apartment miles away, or squabbled with a friend over the details of your first meeting, you know memory is a funny and mysterious thing.
Its ebbs and flows are the subject of so many great stories; the most famous one declares, “Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
Visual representations of time and memory abound too, of course. The theme ripples over war memorials and outlines for user experience design alike, each addressing how our perceptions shift when the element of time is introduced.
To bring that shifting to life, Sub Rosa Graphic Designer Michelle Ando and her creative collaborator Ryan Bugden dreamt up a font that would shift subtly in appearance each time its used over the course of a single print publication.
They created “Memoire” for an issue of the magazine La Petite Mort that was dedicated to memory, tweaking the contours of the letters so that their edges appeared dulled by its final use.
“We were mostly inspired by the nature of memory itself and how it relates to the way physical printing types wear with use,” Ando said in an email to HuffPost.
“In our minds, the transformation that the type goes through holds as much tonal impact as the form of the typeface at any given instance,” Bugden added. “With regard to both, we were looking to evoke a sense of nostalgia.”
Describing the font, Sub Rosa CEO wrote:
"Over time, our memories degrade. They get offloaded to our devices and journals. They begin to be colored by our perception and morph into near-truths. Amidst these subtle changes in our memories, we lose sight of the actual experience and instead grow new, semi-accurate versions of the facts. Whether this is detrimental or blissful is not for us to decide. It simply is."
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