Deadly font

Designer Jelte van Abbema was a winner at the Dutch Design Awards and the accompanying €10,000 Rado Prize in part due to his piece “Symbiosis,” a font created with e.coli bacteria. One could say this could be a nasty computer virus!

Van Abbema created the font by stamping bacteria into paper, and then placing the paper in a jury-rigged incubator, which provided the right humdity and warmth for the organisms. As they multiplied and died, the resulting fonts changed color and shape. As van Abbema says, bacteria “transforms the image to something new,” creating something that is literally alive, changing every minute without ever being tended.