Some months ago we were asked by Utrecht-based studio Autobahn to participate in their ’26 Creative Characters’ project, which yesterday had its official debut in the newly opened Autobahn Gallery. The ambitious initiative celebrates the typographic diversity of todays graphic design, marking the 10th anniversary celebration of Maarten Dullemeijer and Rob Stolte’s design studio. As part of 26 contemporary (typo)graphic designers – among which are Studio Airport, Baster, Jaap Biemans, Martin Pyper, Max Kisman and Thonik – we were invited to create our vision for the letter ‘X’. The diverse outcome is a unique mix of styles, materials and ideas, with our design being directly inspired by and executed on a collection of 22 vintage wooden baseball bats, all individually numbered, carrying a little hand painted piece of the X. While creating the project we received numerous inquiries about the unique bats and therefore we decided to make them available for everyone in the newly revived Another Shop (with more coming in the near future!), where you can select your personal favorite numbered piece of the X.
Through the ages X has marked a spot, defined a generation, labeled superhero mutants or the son of god, has warned of explicit sexual content and always maintained its powerful and intrinsically aggressive appearance.
In our research on the history of the letter we learned that use of the X became common in Western society thanks to René Descartes’ use of the last three letters of the alphabet to represent unknown quantities in his treatise La Géométrie. Before that, in Plato’s Timaeus, it is explained that the two bands that form the soul of the world cross each other like the letter Χ. Through the ages the letter has marked a spot, defined a generation, labeled superhero mutants or the son of god, has warned of explicit sexual content and always maintained its powerful and intrinsically aggressive appearance. Two lines that cross each other, possibly like those bands that form the soul of the world. But, as the letter is hardly used in words its most common use is as the Roman numeral, which brought us full circle why we were dealing with the letter in the first place: 10 years of Autobahn.
The vintage wooden bats measure 60 cm x 6 cm, weigh almost 500 grams and come in a nicely packed white tube with black blotter and the printed story of the project.