Custom Typeface Designed by BYU Students Wins an Award - Y Magazine
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Flipping Script

An award-winning poster uses a custom typeface called Pilf which was designed using real spatulas.
The poster Sunny uses a custom typeface called Pilf. The typeface was designed using real spatulas and experiments with positive and negative space.

It all started with a trip to Deseret Industries. While traversing the aisles graphic-design professor Linda A. Reynolds (BA ’81) happened upon a pile of old kitchen spatulas and cooked up an idea. “I was looking at the shapes and patterns in all these spatulas, and it just occurred to me,” says Reynolds. “We could create a typeface using spatulas.” So she bought the lot of them to take to one of her design classes.

Reynolds and a team of students used the spatulas to build a custom typeface they called Pilf. Each student crafted two letters. After toying with the positive and negative space of the utensils’ slats and dots, they cut the spatulas with a band saw to create the individual letters. Once the letters were scanned, Reynolds redrew them and created the poster design.

The final piece, a Graphis silver-award winner, all revolves around the idea of flipping. Its title, Sunny, nods to an egg served sunny-side up, and the name of their typeface is the word flip—flipped backward.

Reynolds says she loves collaborating with her class “because the students are so creative. They’re making all kinds of creative work—really odd and interesting things.”