In a previous post I showed how to create a typographic portrait using an existing photograph and several tools in Photoshop.
These wonderful examples above, from the book Men of Letters & People of Substance, show the art and craft that goes into creating a typographic portrait through careful observation and appropriate abstraction of form. The equivalent of drawing with letters, and the pun in the title of the book.
The really clever aspect of these portraits is they are made almost entirely from the letters contained in the person’s name. The only exception I see is the use of an occasional parenthesis.
In addition the letters are all from one typeface. Greene uses only Gill Sans, and Wolfe uses Argenta.
Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, the artist behind these examples, is a past master of such typographic ingenuity. His wonderful book and subsequent website, Bembo’s Zoo is a spectacular demonstration of the art of type.