5 Amazing Portraits Rendered Entirely in Type and Why They’re Great

Typography is powerful in communicating feelings and messages but what about faces> Here are 5 amazing examples of portraits created entirely in type.

1. Darth Vader

Vader Full Size

One of the most recognized villains in cinema has been immortalized in text – the Darth Vader Typography portrait.

This portrait of Darth Vader consists solely of type to make up the shape of his helmet, mask, neck, cape and sections of his front armor. Areas of lighter colored type are used to indicate brighter areas to contrast from the black background and Vader’s suit. The typography consists of quotes from the Star Wars saga to reveal Vader’s personality. However some type is cut off in awkward places which removes the true meaning from some phrases.

2. Steve Jobs

This portrait of Apple CEO Steve Jobs is made up of memorable quotes and Apple typefaces.

This typography portrait of Steve Jobs is adorned with memorable quotes that have been associated with Apple. Type is curved and darkened to give the illusion of facial features. The Apple touch comes from the variety of typefaces — Myriad Pro, Motter Tektura —used which have been pulled from the company’s advertising.

3. Obama

What do you get when you mix politics, typography and artists who have a penchant for rendering amazing portraits? The Obama typography portrait.

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign Obama’s political stance became synonymous with his red and blue hope poster and inspired artists to create parodies, alternative versions and reinterpret Obama’s likeness.

Out of all the Typography portraits and posters I’ve seen, Gui Borchert’s work is the most detailed and extensive. Comprised of 20,000 words pulled from Obama’s speeches and set in what looks like Helvetica Condensed is this amazing portrait of our president.

4. 51st Grammy Poster

2009 was the year of the 51st Grammy Awards which saw a very unique approach to advertising. Posters with portraits of various artists were render entirely in Type.

TBWAChiatDay was tapped to promote the Grammy Awards. Artists’ portraits were rendered in colorful type using a wide variety of typefaces composed of notable song lyrics from their more popular albums. TBWAChiatDay spoke about their motivation for creating posters entirely out of Type:

“We all have a song that inspires us, drives us or makes us feel better — music that makes you the person you are,” said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director at TBWAChiatDay. “This campaign celebrates the influence that music has on every one of us and asks the question: Do we make great music or does great music make us?”

5. Michael Jackson

Best known for his contribute to pop, his rise to fame and unfortunately dramatic downfall is Michael Jackson Immortalized in type. This poster done after his unfortunate passing renders the King of Pop’s face entirely in type and is made up of song lyrics.