'Living Language' Grows Old and New Hebrew Typography in Petri Dishes

By: Cadhla Gray - Sep 7, 2015
References: 2015.bezalel.ac.il & fastcodesign
Designer-turned-scientist Ori Elisar merged his linguistics degree, graphic design studies and interest in biodesign to create bacteria-growing Hebrew typography. For his final project at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Designs, Elisar created and grew letters from the old and new Hebrew scripts in individual petri dishes.

The old language has been dead for 2,000 years and was written in thin, simpler lines than the new thicker script. So Elisar created the first with bacteria and the second with algal -- a protein that bacteria eats. As the bacteria ate the algal, it became wider, transforming itself into the more modern Hebrew typography.

While most typography uses computers, this unique design is all-natural. Elisar likes to boast, "I did the whole project -- design, typography, everything -- without even opening Illustrator". His goal for the future is to create an ink made from bacteria, changing the design world forever as the evolving ink would create designs itself.