One of my favorite things about being a typeface designer is seeing what people do with my typefaces. Case in point: Ohm. This typeface started as a piece of lettering that then turned into a type design parlor game that then turned into a typeface. I had no idea if anyone would ever use it, let alone what it would be used for. But, designers have used it to great effect.
Well, not too long ago a really weird thing happened. I got a tip that I should go to a nice market near my home here in Baltimore. My wife and I showed up at the appointed time and grabbed a quick bite. While we were eating our lunch, a truck pulled up. A truck carrying some Ohm. Literally, a truck carrying some Ohm. I took a picture to prove it:
(Faces obscured to protect the innocent guys who were quite puzzled by the weirdo excitedly taking pictures of their truck.)
As it turns out, the market was getting a brand new sign. The typeface used on the sign was Ohm. Did I mention that I live near this market? And that it specializes in local grown and produced products? Small world…
This is what it looked like last night:
Neat! But wait… I drew Ohm to look as if each letter was made from a single tube. I did a little research on neon tube mechanics, but I decided that it was more important for the letters to look like neon than to be accurate technical drawings. Anyway, upon further inspection of the sign as it was being installed, I noticed that each “tube” representing a letter was actually made of numerous real tubes:
OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!! Seriously, this is one of my favorite things ever. I’m a huge nerd about the technicalities of constructing letters, so this hidden detail amuses me so much. At night, it all blends together perfectly:
So, in summary, this sign features a neon interpretation of a typeface that itself is an interpretation of neon letters. If I was still in art school, I would write a wordy essay about this and it would probably earn an A- in that Understanding Post-Modernism class that I didn’t do too well in.
Thanks to Mary Mashburn at Typecast Press for using Ohm on the sign!