Creating stunning 3D graphics with vibrant textures and typographic forms is Singapore-based brand strategy and creative design consultancy BÜRO UFHO. Dazzled by their type-focused work, we interviewed co-founder Jun to spark a discussion about the field of 3D type.
Amber: Hi Jun, let’s warm-up shall we? Can you tell us more about what you guys do as a studio?
Jun: We’re a visual design studio based in Singapore since 2008, partnering with businesses to help build their visual identity, as well as providing crafted visual imagery for brands to help bring their message across in their marketing campaigns.
A: We want to talk to you about 3D type! What can you tell us about its landscape? Has it become more popular over recent years?
J: We’re excited about 3D Type too! As visual communicators, we have always sought new ways of expression with type to help better convey our clients’ messages. Now 3D tools and skills are more accessible than ever to help push typographical communications into the 3-dimensional environment. Going forward in a mobile-centric world, information not only needs to be engaging and interactive but also entertaining, so we expect to see more content with variations and combinations of 3D type, variable type and animated type for quite some time.
A: What kind of projects have you utilized 3D Type in?
J: Our first use of 3D Type on a commercial project was when we rebranded a music festival called NeonLights, where the client needed an identity that could double up as key visual for their marketing. We created a modular wordmark system that was stacked into a literal neon light installation. Our 3D Type was also used for presentation by Adobe for their conference, where we developed 2 different Ampersands in 3D to spotlight various partnerships. Last year, we had the opportunity to develop 2 key visuals with 3D Type for Adobe’s Experience Business campaign.
A: What software do you use to create your 3D type?
J: Cinema4D with Octane Render, and finalizing with adjustments in Photoshop.
A: How did you get into 3D type/animation? Are there any useful platforms / online tools that people can use to learn how to create it?
J: We’ve always wanted to learn 3D so when we discovered 36 Days of Type on Instagram in 2015, we took the challenge as an exercise to get serious about it, designing a letter a day in 3D. Animation soon became a natural extension and was first used in our branding project for GIF Fest in 2017. We picked up 3D from sites like greyscalegorilla.com and eyedesyn.com where they have tons of useful resources and tutorials to help anyone get started.
A: 3D type has so many possibilities, what’s your favourite thing it as a graphic technique?
J: We love the interactive nature of 3D; how we’re able to present letterforms in a new light, applying different textures and materials; how we’re able to not only make them dynamic and interact with each other but their environment as well. Now that we’re designing all faces of the type in all dimensions, they feel more like sculptures or structures with the possibility to be reproduced as real-world installations.
A: What advice would you give to someone wanting to learn 3D type?
J: Getting real-time preview is a must, so get a PC with 1 or 2 powerful Graphics cards specifically for it. We destroyed 2 iMacs while creating 3D type during the first 2 editions of 36 Days of Type.
A: Any exciting projects you can tell us about?
J: We’re glad to share that we are part of Avantform, the world’s first curated licensing platform promoting leading digital creators, and it’s launching in January 2020. We’ll have some of our 3D Type available for licensing on the platform. Check out the full project here.