FiDU Alphabet is a typeface made from inflated sheet metal
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FiDU Alphabet is a 3D typeface made from inflated sheet-metal

Polish design studio Zieta has launched a new typeface that can be produced in 3D with the same metal inflation technology used to create its 2008 Plopp stool.

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

The create the metallic FiDU Alphabet, two copies of each letter are cut from paper-thin sheets of steel and welded to one another using a laser. Blowing pressurised air through a small hole then transforms it into a three-dimensional character, giving it a helium-balloon-like appearance.

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

"We decided to get involved in a new project, putting yet another letter in our alphabet of FiDU technology," said studio founder Oskar Zieta. "Because the characters used in the new system were assumed to be unique three-dimensional objects, it was necessary to connect typographical issues with other factors such as lighting, scale and production techniques."

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

The Zieta design team collaborated with typographer, urban activist and graphic designer Marian Misiak to create both two-dimensional and three-dimensional versions of the typeface.

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

"The result of joint work, full of discussions and clashes of aesthetic and technological fields is FiDU Alphabet – the first official, fully designed according to the principles of typography, typeface using FiDU technology," said Zieta.

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

The designer drew parallels between the welders they use for this process and traditional printers: "In the creative industry is a popular saying that the graphic designer's best friend is the printer – no matter how carefully your design is refined, the work depends on the print quality of the printer and its final value," the studio said.

"Our project creates a new relationship - in this case, the best friend of a typographer becomes the welder, as it is he who has the greatest influence on the final shape of the inflated steel letters."

FiDU alphabet by ZIETA

Zieta first used the FiDU technique to create the Plopp stool for Danish design brand Hay in 2008, and also creates mirrors and home accessories in the same way.