Form, a skewed and distorted (Jell-O inspired?) typeface by Alexis Gallo


Renner meets Dali in Alexis Gallo‘s type experiment, Form. Gallo, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, used Futura as a reference while creating this distorted typeface for a school project. Gallo was also inspired by the famous melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory.


When I first came across this project I thought, “Well, this is cool, but is it actually usable?” But the more I scrolled through Gallo’s images, the more I was convinced it could really work in some scenarios. Gallo designed a number of styles for the typeface including a flat version, which I found to be the least readable. But the 3D and cutout styles are especially interesting on a fairly solid background. Gallo also staggers the typeface in her booklet which almost makes it look the letters have each been laid on the steps of a stairwell which is an interesting play with perspective.

When she she was first playing around with the distortion of the letters, Gallo said she wanted them to appear floppy and unstable. Originally she tried making them with pancakes and was eating pancakes for days. After deciding to make the type 3D instead, she turned to Jell-O for her video.

“Something about its consistency and sporadic movement seemed to fit the image I had in mind,” Gallo said. “I thought this application would give a more playful spin, allowing the typeface to be more versatile.”

Gallo had a difficult time with the Jell-O letters. She had a few failed attempts but she said the hardest part was actually getting the material to melt for the video she made with photographer Jose Alvarado.The two had to use blow dryers and hot water to keep the continually solidifying Jell-O running.

This is Gallo’s first typeface but she said she hopes to do more. Form is not available for purchase or download but that may change in the future.  At the moment, Gallo is working on another project  called “Warped” where she plays again with distortion using tourist attractions and the panoramic feature on her iPhone  while she studies abroad in England.