The Family Five: TNOP
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
After creating memorable work for Chicago design firmSegura, Inc. and its digital type foundry T26, Wangsillapakun struck out on his own as TNOP. His work in packaging, poster and identity design features a colorful mix of custom type and clean lines. We recently met up with him.
You work between Bangkok and Chicago quite a bit. Do you like designing in one city more than the other?
I prefer designing in Chicago, actually. I can get a lot done here for some reason. Chicago is a comfortable city [in which] to live and to work as a designer when you compare to a competitive city like New York. On the other hand, Bangkok is a hectic city, but it offers local cultures and other source of inspirations that I can’t get in Chicago. You have to be focused to get things done in Bangkok.
Which typeface should be burned, buried and forgotten forever?
There are a lot of them I feel that way [about], especially the overly illustrated ones. But for some, if you look at its context, I see challenges or opportunities that might lead to something new or better from my perspective. Even the most famous type designer has had a bad day!
I remember collecting your T26 promo posters in school. In fact, every design student I knew plastered their studio with them. What are some of your favorite projects you produced while working at T26?
My favorite project was the newspaper for the “Typerware” set, a collection of text fonts from T26. Back then, when people think of T26, they didn’t think of nice and clean text fonts, even though T26 carries quite a bit. So I came up with the concept of “Typerware” to represent this collection. I used Tupperware boxes to represent the easy way to use, then reuse, this collection of text fonts over and over. The other project that I like is the T26’s “Spaceships” poster. I originally created only 13 spaceships, but later modified and finished 26 of them to release as a font called “It’s over captain.” I’m always excited to see the experimentation in your personal projects—the “Fresh” poster, the “Design Propaganda” series, the “Container” print.
Are you working on any new products for your shop?
Yes, I’m working on a new poster which is based on one of my paintings. I started this poster a while ago. It’s a combination of design, typography and Impressionism (specifically Pointillism).
You are well-branded as TNOP. Can you give us your full name? Or is it a secret?
Not at all. TNOP comes from “Tee-Nop,” as in “Teeranop Wangsillapakun,” which is my full name. Although, it doesn’t look this long when I write in Thai