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MOTORIX is a typeface of alternatives. A versatile and highly flavorful constructivist design in three weights with corresponding italics, and hundreds of variant forms. Motorix’ interchangeable letterforms yield a multitude of combinations that elicit electronic rhythms and at times take on humanistic forms. The name Motorix is a pseudo-feminized variant (the ‘-ix’ suffix being derived from ‘-trix’) of the German word ‘motorik’, which refers to both electronic music and human motor skills. The typeface lives up to its energetic name, synthesizing precise rhythms and alphabetic waveforms into a uniquely upbeat and spunky typeface.
This typeface started out from a grad school type workshop, and grew into an individual study with Sibylle Hagmann. It then grew and evolved and landed at PSY/OPS Type Foundry, where I worked with Rod Cavazos to refine, and add on to the idea. My research started out in the beginning by looking at existing sans serif typefaces, and wanting to understand how they worked optically, visually, printed, and on-screen. My research objective was to take current sans serif type (and modern English language), and see how I could manipulate it to look differently, but keeping the principal components of how letterforms are easily recognized. I went through many rounds of drawing letterforms freehand, as well as using graph paper. I questioned how far could I push the letterforms until they became hard to read as language, separately and as a whole (in text form). Experiments were used such as presentations on overhead projectors of continuous text, to see how legible the text was, as well as printed matter (specimen pieces, articles) and read by colleagues.
Results showed that the typeface read fairly well, and was mostly meant and designed for headline and larger text formats, but also worked surprisingly well as continuous text at smaller sizes. The effect of the research in real-life design is that it is a niche typeface that fits into tech, space, modern and alternative type categories, where application has limitless possibilities to be explored and applied to various projects. This typeface was meant as an experiment to see what language can be and look like, and my hope is that it will challenge where language and type design can go in the future.