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picong

type design

Picong is a typeface that is the product of a research creation project surrounding the concept of language and text as mediums. Picong is a reaction to the academic text The Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan. The text displayed is a translation of an excerpt of McLuhan’s words; written by a privileged white academic for other privileged white academics, into the words and perspective of someone who speaks Trinidadian Creole—a dialect of the working class, and one that would be scoffed at if used in a “high-brow” academic setting. The letterforms themselves are based on Trinidadian hand painted signage. McLuhan’s original quote is as follows: “We are as numb in our new electric world as the native involved in our literate and mechanical culture.”

Picong was featured in two art shows at the beginning of 2020, Unshelved: What if we kissed at the intersection of art and the book? at the VAV Gallery and in.finiteConcordia's end of year design show. For the physical manifestation of the piece, the text was laser cut out of cardstock and adhered to the wall, taking up about a 5ft x 8ft space.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down access to the school before the semester ended, I never got a chance to turn the typeface into a useable font file, but if given the opportunity in the future I hope to make this font available for free download so as to be accessible to anyone who hopes to use it.