MAN OF LETTERS

MIS­TER AL­PHA­BET

Computer Arts - - Showcase - By Mar­shall & Ha­ley Roe­men www.mis­ter­al­pha­bet.com

Mis­ter Al­pha­bet is a fig­urine de­signed to bend into ev­ery let­ter of the al­pha­bet. He was cre­ated by Los An­ge­les-based cou­ple Mar­shall and Ha­ley Roe­men to bring the al­pha­bet to life through the in­no­va­tive in­ter­play of fig­u­ra­tion and let­ter for­ma­tion, unit­ing adults with chil­dren and de­sign with ed­u­ca­tion.

"Draw­ing upon our ex­pe­ri­ences in fine art and fash­ion, Mr Al­pha­bet rep­re­sents our shared pas­sions in de­sign, ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity," ex­plains Mar­shall. "We didn't want to make a big-eyed doll with a plas­tered smile on his face, but some­thing more tran­quil, with an eye-catch­ing and iconic colour scheme. Some peo­ple pre­sume he's a French mime, but we didn't set out to achieve that as­so­ci­a­tion. The first it­er­a­tion looked more 'Tim Bur­ton' than French."

That first pro­to­type was made from flower wire, tourni­quets, baked clay, cloth and elec­tric tape, with many of the hand-sculpted de­tails sur­viv­ing the pro­duc­tion model apart from the head, which ul­ti­mately re­quired a tran­si­tion to CAD. "The mag­nets in his hands and feet were de­signed to aid in the for­ma­tion of letters," adds Ha­ley, "but they also al­low him to hang in var­i­ous ways from me­tal sur­faces."

Af­ter suc­cess­fully pass­ing all 24 me­chan­i­cal safety tests by law and gar­ner­ing huge sup­port, the pro­ject is gear­ing up for its first pro­duc­tion run this year.

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