Plazm Magazine: Documenting Creative Culture Since 1991
Plazm is a magazine of design, art, and culture with worldwide distribution. Founded by artists as a creative resource, the magazine is now published by the nonprofit New Oregon Arts & Letters. Order Plazm #30 now.
The Making of MTVPE
By Joshua Berger, Pete McCracken, and Yariv Rabinovitch
(This article, about our experiences in creating the Mtvpe proprietary type family, was originally written for Upper & lower case magazine, circa 1998.)
"Challenge the notions of what a typeface can and should be." The words reverberated throughout our office. That was the creative brief from our newest client, MTV. Our assignment: create a new typeface for the channel to be used as the primary on-air presence.
Last summer, the channel was gearing up for yet another transformation in its continually morphing stay-in-touch-with-the-kids directive. The entire studio appearance was scheduled to change: new sets, shows, veejays, imagery, everything.
This is the story of our response to that creative brief from MTV, an environment for which it is difficult to conceive an original idea and where permanence is not part of the vocabulary.
Plazm's evolution could easily address the first line of the creative brief; since 1991, Plazm Media has been tampering with typographic solutions and exploring the world of type with long, extended, curvy feelers, watching, learning and inventing.
Plazm Media is comprised of three freestanding units; Plazm Magazine, a printed laboratory for graphic exploration, Plazmfonts, our digital type foundry and Plazm Design, a commercial design studio. Plazm Design is the youngest part of the business. Established January of 1997, the entity was borne out of the processes developed through Plazm Magazine and Plazmfonts. We put our portfolio together and began shipping it off. One found its way into the hands of Christina Norman in the MTV on-air graphics department. A month or two later we got a call to schedule a meeting and discuss the project. We received the creative brief and responded with a proposal. Work began in earnest mid-July and was completed by September 1, 1997.