Sticks and Stones: Typeforce VII


Earlier this winter, One Design Company was honored to be included in Typeforce VII, an annual showcase of emerging typographic artists curated by Ed Marzsewski (of Lumpen) and Dawn Hancock (of Firebelly Design). Typeforce has become something of an annual event in the city since it’s inaugural run in 2010. For seven years, the exhibition has routinely drawn thousands of visitors to Co-Prosperity Sphere in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood during it’s multi-week run to view the eclectic range of type-centric work on display. This year, roughly 30 pieces were on display from February 26 to March 11, representing a wide range of talent and compelling perspectives from around the country.


Sticks and Stones is an interactive installation designed to demonstrate ​the​ destructive power of language. As viewers engage—leveraging a microphone to respond to a typographic prompt (featuring a verse from the popular Children’s nursery rhyme “Sticks and Stones”)—the negative effect of harsh, critical and hurtful language takes a physical toll on the typography, as it crumbles before the viewer’s eyes.

Sticks and Stones Installation at Co-Prosperity Sphere

from our artist statement

While the emotional and physical impact of language is something many are well aware of, it’s something we often turn a blind eye toward. From bullying and verbal discrimination to political rhetoric and propaganda, the negative effects of words resonate throughout society today in potent ways.

Sticks and Stones brings both the destructive and empowering qualities of language to life typographically, confronting the viewer in an immediate and visceral manner not commonly experienced in our day-to-day interactions.


Beyond our typical day-to-day

This project was an opportunity for our team to create compelling work beyond the scope of a client-driven initiative, exploring contemporary, relevant topics by leveraging the tools of our trade. Highly collaborative, the project leveraged the expertise of every discipline represented in our studio—from concept and content development to experience design to art direction, animation and software development. This was a chance to push ourselves creatively, conceptually and technically—exploring the limits of what we can create while honing our craft in the process.

Keep an eye out for a more detailed post to come in the future, where we’ll take a deeper look at the technology under the hood that makes Sticks and Stones work.

Bridging skill sets, from analog to digital
Collin and Chris fine-tune details on opening day


Nearly 1,200 folks visited Co-Prosperity Sphere on opening night, February 26th, with many more to follow in the weeks since.

In fact, if you’re in Chicago you have until Friday March 11th to check the work out in person before the show comes to a close.


Typeforce website

Exhibition Dates
Friday, 02.26.2016 – Friday 03.11.2016

Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 South Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois

Installation Details
Custom software
Microphone and audio processor
LCD display
Druk (Commercial Type)

The author's avatar

Design Director David Sieren’s experience encompasses user-research and brand strategy as well as interactive design. At One Design, he’s at the forefront of brand and communication strategy for our client portfolio. Formally trained as a designer, throughout his career he’s been involved in design and branding initiatives for clients large and small, including Caterpillar, Jones Lang LaSalle, Nike, Herman Miller Healthcare and others. David is part of the Post Family, President of AIGA Chicago, and adjunct faculty at DePaul University.

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