• 7.19.17

    Craig Ward Makes the Unseen Seen

    We think of the human brain as being a lump of folding flesh, rippling on itself, chock full of information to be accessed at any time. And although this is (largely) true, what makes a brain so remarkable is the system of neural networks that connect pieces of information. Our brains break the world down into tiny pieces - “book” “walk” “brown” – but it is the connections between those bits that make it possible for us to walk over and pick up the brown book. It’s not easy to point out neural network as a separate entity from the brain (it’s the white stuff next to the pink stuff), but it’s there and it’s what makes our brains so powerful. Craig Ward knows this, and that’s why he created an entirely new process to create an entirely new typography for Boston Consulting Group. Neural networking is the key to organic intelligence – it’s how we see the connections between disparate elements in our world and are able to harness hidden strengths – so shouldn’t it be the key to artificial intelligence?

    That question is a big one, but Craig’s job was to use this idea to help BCG discuss it.

    In order to create typography that plays with these ideas he found a piece of freeware online and made it to an entirely different job. “I found this ivy generator online which was a super janky piece of freeware that crashes every 15 minutes but I was able to grow complex organic systems around 3D type,” explains Craig. “I then took those exported paths back into Cinema 4D and composited them into the headline where no type is shown, only inferred by how the 'ivy' grew.” By using an artificially natural pathway for flora he was able to create an idea of the internal workings of fauna. The result is a play with negative space, where we read between the networks. Just like with brain activity, the networks, the white matter, aren’t the ideas or thoughts we have, but they do give them shape. They aren’t the star, but they make it possible in the first place.

    Craig’s job was to create the typography for “ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE” but he brought the idea further in at least one execution that gives us a hint at what this execution has the potential to say.

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