The Story

By a remarkable paradox the one person who should not be called upon to perceive the
fine qualities of the shapes of letters is the person who reads them.
– William A. Dwiggins

Garamond Corpvs alphabet posters

With over 13 years experience as a illustrator, animator and graphic designer, Björn Johansson has developed a sharp eye for details that have led him to work with some of the biggest clients in the world.

Driven by Eric Gill’s quote ”Letters are things, not pictures of things,” Björn has long been fascinated by the idea of letters being seen as three-dimensional physical entities, abstract forms of something bigger. In Garamond Corpus, each letter of the latin alphabet has been dissected to illustrate their skeletal structures, like that of old anatomy books.

The study is based on Geoffroy Tory’s book Champ Fleury from 1529. Tory was a true renaissance man, meaning he wanted to master all of the art forms from that time period. Apart from being an eminent printmaker and bookbinder he was also a renowned typographer and made some remarkable comparisons between typography and the human body. Armed with geometry, perspective, mythology, and the golden section Geoffroy Tory thoroughly described how our latin letters could be reduced to the proportions of the human body and face.

The purpose of this study has been to examine each individual letter, its form, and typographical characteristics. In typography, the letters have many qualities that can be compared with man. There is something called type anatomy that, to a notable extent, resembles our own. Yes, some letters have arms, legs and feet, eyes and ears, a spine, and even a chin. There are narrow and thick letters, small and big. There’s even a hint of movement in the italic letter and each capital letter has a younger sibling: the lowercase.

– Björn Johansson 
Founder and director at Brikk

Björn Johansson Garamond Corpvs

The screen printing process