Expresso was an Interactive Installation created for TypoDay 2019.

We created an ‘expressive typewriter’, where the strength and pressure of a key-press directly influenced the thickness and width of the resultant glyph on screen.

We built the typewriter on top of two MIDI electronic keyboards (to be able to capture the key-press pressure), and used the MIDI messages to render different types of a Variable Font through a JavaScript file.

Initially, the setup looked something like this:

This is an early image of the Expresso setup, consisting of two electronic pianos placed one on top of the other with a slight offset so that all the keys are accessible. There are strips of cardboard that cover groups of the piano keys, with each group being used to represent a single letter on a standard Q W E R T Y keyboard

Eventually, the keyboards came together and looked a bit cleaner:

This is the final image of the Expresso setup. The two pianos are completely encased inside a black frame, and the only visible parts are the keys which are covered with white acrylic strips that have the letters of the alphabet.

A demo of the final setup can be viewed below: