Unrealized Archive 7

Text to Image


Bad Words, 2019/2023

David Karwan

Vinyl Installation

A self-initiated project that reflects the designer’s continuous task of visually resolving the tension between the content provided and the form generated. The statement is set in the typeface Wonk, an experimental font/ornament system created by Karwan in his last year at CalArts (2012). Wonk is a mix of 2 and 3D, geometric and biomorphic forms used to create unusual patterns and unexpected letterforms. Spontaneous or controlled, this modular typeface enables a user to construct a range of shapes into various styles of letterforms. Conceptually, this font is a typographic tool that both subverts a kit-of-parts and discovers parts, into a kit.

David Karwan is a graphic designer, educator, photographer, and writer who lives and works in Los Angeles. He is currently Creative Director of Graphic Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he has worked since 2012; he has taught Typography and Senior Projects at California State University, Los Angeles (2020–2022). His work was exhibited in Jon Sueda’s 2014 All Possible Futures, and has appeared in the pages of Idea No.360 (Japan), Slanted Magazine #35 (Germany), and Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1980–2019, and he co authored the essay “Agency and Urgency: The Medium and Its Message” with Lorraine Wild for the exhibition catalogue Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, published by the Walker Art Center in 2016. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University (2005) and an MFA in Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) (2012).