APRIL 24 · There is resonance in the sounds of secrets, in the names of those we love, in the things we long for. At the RISD Museum’s recent Design the Night event, we offered museum-goers a chance to give voice these prompts…by transforming typography into sound! The typeface they used was Staccato (an Emily Rye original), which is designed to adhere a 15-line musical staff—corresponding to the pins, or notes, inside a hand-cranked music box. During the workshop, we gave each participant a staff, a type specimen, and a punch in order to spell out the names of friends or family; to give voice to their hopes or secrets. Intermittently, the click of paper punches would quiet and a “score” would sound out from one of the music boxes in the space. Each was as variable, and personal, as is was beautiful. As for us, we couldn’t think of a better way to learn about typography, than to make some music together. (Many thanks to Erik Gould at the museum for the photos…check out his new book!).
“What a truly spectacular evening. Design Agency created something that was at once simple, beautiful and utterly delightful. It was a pleasure to see all ages engaged, strangers feel comfortable talking, and to watch people leave with looks of sheer pleasure on their faces.” —Hollis Mickey, RISD museum educator