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Detailed Portraits Made with Only Text are Produced Using a Typewriter

At first glance, you might not realize just how Brazilian graphic designer lvaro Franca creates his stylized portraits. A closer look reveals that his subjects' faces, hair, and clothing are all comprised of letterforms that are impressively produced on a vintage typewriter. Aptly titled Typewritten Portraits, text is grouped together and gives five of Franca's favorite authors a sense of form and shading.

To craft these works, Franca created reference images on his computer. It gave him an idea of where the dark and light parts are on a face, and he used this as a guide when pecking away on his typewriter. Certain letterforms seem to be perfect for conveying a sense of realism in the portraits. The “m,” when placed together, creates a dense, shaded area, and we can see that the designer also layered text to further enhance this effect.

Franca's authors include: Jose Saramago, Charles H. Bukowski, J.D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac, and Clarice Lispector. He considers these incredible and meticulous works an ongoing series and has plans for five other portraits to be finished this year.

lvaro Franca Behance page
via [L'Acte Gratuit]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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