Anne Jordan’s Favorite Thing: The Volumetric Flask
I inherited this piece of antique lab equipment from a chemistry professor. It is perched on top of a bookshelf in my studio as a reminder of the relationship between chemistry and typography.
As a graphic designer, I understand chemistry through each chemical’s letter symbol on the periodic table. I imagine chemical elements in our world as actual three-dimensional letters.
For example, when I dive into a swimming pool, I visualize myself jumping into a pool full of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. I imagine the H’s and O’s separating as I dive through them, and joining back together behind the trail of my kick.
I view the alphabet as a finite set of components capable of infinite possibilities, similar to how chemical elements are the fundamental units of the universe. To me, letters are living, breathing, tangible things that literally make up the world we live in.
There is an inspiring similarity between a chemist experimenting in her lab to discover new ways to combine atoms, and a designer experimenting in her studio to discover new ways to combine type and image.