The Universal Times
Reimagining a cult classic with Slime Mold.
The cult classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is not just a story. It is a world created across media and time. This world is constantly being adapted and reinvented. Inspired by graphic design for cinema, I set out on a quest to discover how to retell his story through graphic design. How could I make this world my own by creating a visual language and fabricating meaningful points of entry? I used Slime Mold to grow my own micro universe and to generate an organic visual language that would convey the context, feel, and emotion of the novel. The Universal Times is a non-linear attempt at approaching the narrative through the context, the world of the novel.
All content is adapted from and based on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams.
Follow the Yellow Connections
By removing the element of linearity and time I was able to take apart the hierarchy of the narrative. If read in a linear fashion the story slowly reveals itself to the reader but the sequence of events stays hidden. To make sure the reader is not completely left in the dark I decided to build in a color coded system that connects the main plot points of the narrative. I was inspired by the single cell organism Slime Mold. If fed oats, the Slime Mold oats will make connections between them. It is an alternate form of intelligence that can learn through habitual learning and cannot be classified. It seemed to me adequately alien for this project.
Slime Mold also known as “many headed slime is a eukaryotic organism that can live freely as single cells, but can aggregate together to form a seemingly smart super organism. It is sensitive to light, yellow in color and absolutely loves oats.
Blobface is a typeface based on slime mold. The letterforms are derived from close-up photographs of the mold. I chose to construct it through the counter forms of letters to push the level of recognizability. I wanted it to feel strange but still create a point of entry for the viewer.
Completed at Maryland Institute College of Art (2018) under the guidance of Lindsay Ballant, Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Jason Matthews
Gottlieb and with help of the whole MICA MFA GD class of 2018. Special Thanks to Potch, Matty, Aurora and Douglas Adams.
Typeset in: Proxima Nova, Tiempos and Blobface.