John Maeda

American (1966)

Tap Type Write

digital media | CD-ROM and booklet
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  • Tap Type Write

    John Maeda, Tap Type Write, 1998; CD-ROM and booklet, Collection SFMOMA, Gift of John and Kris Maeda; © John Maeda

This work was inspired by some of the great typographic experiments of the modernist era. Designers ranging from Jan Tschichold to Paul Rand sought to push letters beyond their supposedly neutral position as carriers of meaning and to reveal their nature as marks of a particular technology. They also wanted to make designs that responded to the speed and distraction that are typical of the way modern people read texts.

Here, Maeda, a computer engineer and graphic designer, has managed to translate those dreams into the digital age. Letters fly, somersault, grow, pulsate, and perform a circus full of acrobatics on the screen. These delightful acts of typographic daring create patterns that change over time. They either express moods or are purely abstract and have no practical function. To Maeda, however, they point to the potential of using the computer as a tool for making beauty.

Acquired 1999
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of John and Kris Maeda
© John Maeda


computers, squares, letters, sections

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