The Phonografik Collectivo

The Phonografik Collectivo is a collaborative project organized by Ashley John Pigford, Tricia Treacy, and Roman Wilhelm. Through this project we intended to create and exchange original, experimental typographic/hand-lettered/calligraphic artworks as contemporary translations of the common phonemes (sounds) that unite many of our world’s phonographic languages, represented by the Phoenician alphabet.

Artists include Tobias David Albert, Sarah Alfarhan, Anthony Burrill, Daniele de Rosa, Andre Fuchs & Martin Borst, Maurice Goldner, Uriel Hartov, Mariko Jesse, Robb Leff, Brody Neuenschwander, Laura Serra, Guy Tamam, and Yimeng Wu.

The results of this project will be on exhibit at the Cornish College of Arts Main Gallery, 1000 Lenora Street, Seattle. Join Tricia and Ashley at the gallery on Friday, August 26, 5:30–7:30PM to celebrate the release of a self-published book about the project and the exhibition opening, (part of the events related to Typecon). They will also be presenting the project at Typecon on Saturday afternoon. A limited amount of books will be available for purchase at the opening and during the conference.

Support for the Exhibition Opening provided by AIGA Seattle, (yay!).


An evolution of the art of Collaboration

This project followed the completion of a similar collaborative print exchange, the Vista Sans Wood Type Project (VSWTP), created and organized by Tricia Treacy and Ashley John Pigford in 2012–14. For the VSWTP, participants were challenged to create original, experimental letterpress prints using wood type made by the project creators from a contemporary typeface. The Phonografik Collectivo (PC) offers another collaborative exchange among artists/designers who primarily work with calligraphy, illustration, or hand-lettering as their method of expression. Whereas the VSWTP resulted in each participant providing an edition (multiple copies) of original artworks, the PC project has resulted in a wide range of approaches by each participant.


Each participating artist/designer was presented with this prompt:

1. We send you 50 sheets of 15x21-inch Zerkall paper, a digital representation of the corresponding Phoenician letter/glyph, a written description of how to make the sound, and a link to a digital file of the sound itself.

2. You explore how the sound of the glyph can inspire the creation of original, experimental, hand-lettered/typographic/calligraphic art, created as an edition, multiple, or series.

3. If possible, we ask that you post images and text regarding your creative or technical process to the project website/blog so that all participants can see what you are up to.

4. You send us your artworks, with a brief written reflection of your process.

5. In return, you receive a set of artworks, representing everyone’s contribution to the project, plus inclusion in many exhibition opportunities and a book about the project.


And these notes:

• We have chosen to use the Phoenician alphabet (glyph system) as a representation of the common origins of many phonographic scripts of the near East and Western world; however, we are most interested in the graphic expression of what came first: the vocal sounds.

• We do understand that this type of work is not typically created in multiple, which we hope you will find as a uniqueness of this project and result in subtle differences of each of your artworks.

• We hope you will consider blending materials, processes, ideas, and/or production techniques in your approach. We want you to be part of this because of what you will bring to it, i.e., how you will translate the sound and help us develop the project itself.

When & Where
Fri, Aug 26, 2016 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Cornish College of the Arts
1000 Lenora St
Main Campus Center, 1st Floor Gallery
Seattle, WA 98121