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Daniël Maarleveld

Impossible grid typography

By 23-04-2021

Description of the illusion
When you look at the grid letters, the shapes seem 3D. But on closer examination, nothing seems to add up. Is the shape rigid or flexible? The bottom becomes top, the back becomes front, and it even looks as if parts of the letters rotate in different directions.

How does your illusion work (and what does it tell us about the human brain/mind)?
We perceive the shapes as a solid 3D shape. But looking closer nothing seems to add up. Even when we know that this form doesn’t exist, we keep trying to follow the logic. Grids can sometimes change our view of reality because we see it as a purely logical form.

How did you discover your illusion?
I posted letter animations on Instagram for 36 days, which led me to discover this illogical logic. I later scripted these animations with the help of Jonathan Puckey, co-founder of code platform paper.js.

Music credits video
Music composed, produced & performed by Jan van Wieringen
Additional synths by Wieger Hoogendorp

About the autor
Daniel Maarleveld is a graphic and motion designer based in Amsterdam. Since 2007 he has been running an independent practice, with a strong interest in generative design and kinetic typography. His work is an endless quest for unexplored possibilities of natural and mathematical principles. Recently, his practice has shifted more towards code-based motion design. In addition to his design practice, he taught at the Saturday course of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and typography at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem The Netherlands.