Driving a New Spin on Typography

Pierre Smeets and Damien Aresta, two designers from Brussels, have put a new “spin” on typography, so to speak. Using Toyota’s new car, the iQ (pictured above), they collaborated with Zach Lieberman, an interactive designer, and racecar driver Stef Vancampenhoudt, and together they created a unique font using a smartcar.

To pull this off, they placed colored dots on the top of the iQ, which was then tracked by a computer while the car was being driven around in an airplane hangar. But it wasn’t just being driven. It zipped forward, cut hard turns and tight circles, and through these expertly executed maneuvers made the distinct curves and loopy but sharp shapes of the font. The result was a typeface with a fun, funky, and hand-drawn flair that promises to be a favorite.

Watch the video below for the process.

It’s interesting to compare this process with the commercial by BMW earlier this year, created by Robin Rhode, who used a BMW Z4 as a paintbrush. It’s been all over the internet (and even in movie theaters, where I first saw it), but in case you haven’t seen it, watch below:

Here is the “iQ” font, Agility, which can also be downloaded for free.