Make Bold Plans, or Something Along Those Lines


BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago. © David Schalliol.


Notes on the BOLD Identity by Renata Graw, Founder of Normal


Last fall, the BOLD exhibition invited the public to explore architectural and urban planning alternatives for Chicago, the physical and intellectual opportunities that lie between the seemingly rigid constraints and conventions constructed in the city since its foundation 179 years ago.

Just as we have come to appreciate the efficiency of the orthogonal grid that organizes Chicago, we have become used to the graphical representation of time passing on a straight horizontal line. For the exhibition, we wanted to explore that relationship between time and line, projecting us into future while still being connected to the present.

We extended the horizontal lines to interrupt the conventional flow thus opening spaces in unexpected places. The (blanks) in the typography offer room for new ideas just as unused urban lots and ill-conceived plans are asking for better answers. Ultimately, it forces the visitors to pause and rethink.

Instead of confining the typography to the boundaries of the two-dimensional plane, we applied it onto three-dimensional objects within the exhibition. The visitor had to physically move around them to make sense of the collection of cryptic fragments and decipher the whole. We wanted to invite the visitors to explore and ask: Why?

Sometimes we need to stretch the conventions and assume different perspectives to see other futures.











– STA 100 competition organized in 2016 by the Society of Typographic Arts. For more information, please visit

– 2017 Award of Excellence by Communications Arts. For more information, please visit Communication Arts.


NORMAL is a small, independent team of creative thinkers based in Chicago. Their work centers on the belief that thoughtfully designed experiences can have a profound impact on how people interpret the world, and that the most powerful experiences come from close collaboration between the client and the creators. | @TheNormalStudio

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