When you are asked to design a product you start exploring the function, imagining what it could be. This assignment for the TextielMuseum in Tilburg (NL) didn’t start with function but it involved a specific machine. For me, this immediately enlarged the possible outcomes of the project. The machine I’m talking about is a computer-controlled jacquard loom (Dornier). The Dornier is well known amongst designers because the museum regularly commissions designers to create a tablecloth on it. Most designers have an image transformed into a fabric binding. They make you step back to admire the big picture. I found it interesting to reverse that and to show, by looking closely, that each thread performs an important role in building an image. Text really fits this way of looking, better than a picture. We developed the smallest possible font. One line of text can be woven with just nine wefts. The font has been digitized and put into a font program. Basically, everything that can be created with a font can be directly converted to the loom. When the font was finally there, we didn't know straight away what we would write with it. We successfully designed a typeface that can easily be woven, to be honest, the content was not that important. After all we chose our favorite Wiki-pages. On the napkins, the font becomes a pattern. We definitely see more things happen with ‘Font of the Loom’ in the future.
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