As a longtime resident of Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park neighborhood, one of my favorite dog-walking routes was past graphic designer Erik Brandt’s house on 36th Avenue. The allure: an ever-changing panel on the side of his garage that every day or two featured a new poster (or three) by designers and typographers from around the globe. As a neighbor and friend of Brandt’s, I was also one of the earlier writers to pick up on the project, dubbed Ficciones Typografika. I interviewed him about it in 2013 on my personal blog, Eyeteeth, and wrote a more comprehensive essay on it for the now-defunct Medium design-focused site re:form a year later. When it came time to finish the project—after 1,641 posters installed year-round from 2013 to 2018—Brandt graciously turned to me to contribute to his just-released monograph on the project. Published this month by Australia’s Formist Editions, Ficciones Typografika: 1642 includes photographic documentation of every poster—including some amazing work by the likes of Iman Raad, Ed Fella, Anthony Burrill, Sarah Boris, Bráulio Amado, and friends like Jasio Stefanski and Ben Schwartz—as well as an essay by Ben DuVall and a new interview I conducted with Brandt.
It was a wonderful project for the way it joined the global and the local, the physical and the virtual (it had a huge life online, thanks to Brandt’s dutiful documentation of all aspects on a Tumblr site and related social media), the high and the low, and I’m honored to be involved.