Lightbook was a typography experiment that I made during my graphic design studies. The basic idea was to design an illusory font that would be drawn by rays of light. Only condition I had at the beginning was to create strictly geometrical letters that could be built from few basic geometrical shapes.
To achieve this I have used the principle of theatre lights—when rays of two different light sources meet at the stage floor the light intensity of this intersection equals intensity of the source 1 plus the source 2. That allows to create two light shades within one shape.
Every single letter in this alphabet consist of at least two geometrical shapes, most of the letters consist of three of these shapes (circle, square, rectangle etc.). These shapes are apart each other and printing them out would have no reason and almost zero legibility. But as soon as you execute a stencil where these shapes represent holes through a non-transparent material and place a small light source behind each hole, in certain and very exact distance from the stencil you will get a picture of final letters. I named this font Lightbook Mono Block.
After a few experiments I designed an universal mesh of light sources (660 pcs LED) and placed it into a very simple white cuboid made of semitranslucent plastics. On the top side there is a narrow hole which allows you to insert a stencil. After you switch it on a short (max. 120 characters) message coded in stencil appears on the front side of the box. Changing stencil changes a message you would like to look at (can be anything from your favourite quotation to “to do” list).
Stencils are made of transparent polycarbonate covered with black sticker in which desired letters are cut out. Dimensions of the object are 40×25×80 cm. Dimensions of the stencils are 35×51 cm. Works great as a moody interior lighting too.
Award: Gold medal in category BOOK AS AN OBJECT, Phenomenon: The Book, Brno, Czech Republic, 2012
Exhibition: Czeggs, London, UK, 2013
Thanks to Promodel for technical support.