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UDA Webinar 2021 Vol. 1 of 6

Tangible Type with 3D Printing

Taekyeom Lee

Assistant professor
Iowa State University in Ames

Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 8:00 pm CST
Presentation in English

Typography has always evolved with technologies and creative processes as new technologies, processes, and materials fused new ideas and creative design solutions. 3D printing is one of the emerging technologies which can bring groundbreaking impacts in many industries, and the demand for typography with 3D printing has already arrived.

This research started as an experimental research project to investigate the possibility of implementing 3D printing in typography to enable new typographic experience using emerging technology. Various conventional and unconventional materials in 3D printing, such as Polylactic acid (PLA), Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), Nylon, Steel, and even Ceramics, have been used. Notably, 3D printing can allow text to be printed/materialized in the physical world, and this will change how we experience typography and the notion of printed text. The tangible type does not lie on the static surface or live on-screen as a mirrored image. The letterforms are convergent and still provides artistic visual expression but tactile experience in the physical realm. Thus, these letters acquire new characteristics such as texture, structure, volume, dimension, and even interactivity with their physical tangibility.

Webinar Contents


Albert Young Choi
UDA President Emeritus
Professor of Brand Design and Experience Design
Hanyang University ERICA, Korea


Taekyeom Lee
Assistant professor
Iowa State University in Ames

Discussion with all attendees

Final Remark

About Presenter

Taekyeom Lee is a multidisciplinary artist, although he prefers to introduce himself as a designer using the artist’s material and artistic sensibility. He is currently an Assistant professor of Graphic Design at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. He received an MFA degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research explores unconventional methods of creating multi-dimensional types, graphics, and even designed objects with materials and techniques unique to typography and graphic design. As a design researcher, he tries to develop, test, and find emerging technologies in artistic and creative practices. He infused 3D printing into his research and experimented with various digital methods and conventional and unconventional materials.

His research draws attention nationally and internationally. He exhibited his work and provided workshops and lectures across the country and abroad. He presented through national and international conferences including ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale), ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art), TypeCon, AIGA DEC (Design Educators Community), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Visualization, and NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts). His work has been featured by various media, including Communication Arts, Make Magazine, Now This News, Core 77, Art Insider, and New York magazine.

In keeping with the UDA mission of celebrating global awareness and providing both educational and professional opportunities in communication design, UDA offers webinars. These events are one of many activities as we continue to develop our design awareness in society and culture.