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The Veranda of Floating Threads

Ornament hardly seems to play a serious role in graphic design. But The Veranda of Floating Threads follows the trail of "coded language." This space zooms in extensively on one pattern and technique, which creates a clear view of the layers and functions of meaning that ornamentation can have.

Take a close look at the source collection. The kente textile strips of the Ashanti and Ewe people of Ghana are woven with a complex technique. You can read them as a code. The names of the patterns are linked to the oral tradition of the Akan and represent historical anecdotes.

Ornamentation is often dismissed as false or nonsensical frills, but the kente cloths are indeed very effective carriers of meaning. And aren't it precisely the designs that have become classic, that are ornamented in a special way? Ornamentation opposes banality and emptiness. It is an unprecedented tool for giving a subject identity and evoking involvement with it.

The palace of Typographic Masonry asked design studio RNDR to use the coded language of the kente strips as a starting point for an experimental software program that can visually translate text. They took the essay that Christel Vesters wrote about kente as a starting point to test this program. Then they used these strips to shape the publication of the Veranda of Floating Threads.

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