Laser Cut Walnut Type Game

The type game was designed and constructed as an fun educational for young designers who are learning typography. It is based on the children's game, guess who, in which well crafted questions are used to determine the identity of a character. The game consists of two sets of walnut wood blocks which have been laser cut and etched with letterform specimens which contain exemplary characteristics of each typeface, along with a matching woodblock which contains the name description and interesting fact about the typeface, alongside a secondary specimen. The wood blocks attach to rotating panels cut from walnut via countersunk neodymium magnets, allowing the panels to be flipped down to conceal the blocks flush with the surface of the game. The drawer in the front of the game can be used as a type case to store the collection of wood blocks, but also contains the directions for play laser etched into the bottom. All pieces of the project were designed and exported as paths in order to be cut from sheets of American Walnut by a beam dynamics laser machine. Walnut was chosen for its tight grain and high contrast burn, which increase the legibility and allowed for the reduction of point sizes on the wood blocks. The design was laid out specifically to minimize scrap & the total amount of material necessary. The total cutting and etching time was roughly six hours for two cases and six sets of type blocks. The wood was then coated with natural shellac, the secretion of the Tarcadia Lacca beetle also known as the “Lac Beetle”. The natural, non-toxic finish brings out the grain in the wood while preserving its tactile and olfactory qualities.