Peter Nancini


Peter Nancini came to talk to us about his illustration/ design/ making work.
I was really drawn to some of the objects he has made, but it was his approach to typography, especially recent projects, which really made an impact on me: the aesthetic of the page and the nods to literal interpretations of some words and meanings made me smile. I see some of the tactics he uses to draft his fonts and layout as very makerly.
I particular he discussed his contribution to the Page 1 book project in which the first page of the original printing of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is interpreted by a different artist. Within this context Nancini utilises typographical terms for layout, such as widowed and orphaned words, to good effect in reinforcing the bleak circumstances of the characters. In using the font he designed himself, Nancini has the freedom to highlight words he interprets using his broader linguistic knowledge, in this case when the character is described as ‘gauche’ in his actions (literally translated as ‘left’) in French, then an alternative, left handed presentation of the letter ‘a’ is substituted.
Nancini was very open about the production of his 3D objects, explaining that the materials he selected for their position within the parameters of tone or quality he had set himself were of relevance, the laser-cut production methods he used did not grant him status as a hands-on maker. However, he also acknowledged that the hands-on work he does do is digital, and as someone who is always drawn to the object and 3D work, I recognised this as a very current predicament: whilst there is no denying the ‘once removed’ work which takes place on a computer, there is a skill set and dexterity nesseccary for successful making whic I am sure is an area of investigation worthy of a dissertation in its own right..l

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