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System Process Form

System Process Form


Title: System Process Form [Unit 51]
Author: Paul McNeil & Hamish Muir
Editor: Paul McNeil & Hamish Muir
Design: MuirMcNeil


Designed and edited by MuirMcNeil, System Process Form displays hundreds of visual examples taken from the Two Type system, printed in three neon inks and metallic black throughout and structured in three sections.

Section 1 serves as the book’s core database, cataloguing the eight type family groups – 23 typefaces and 198 individual fonts – that constitute the Two Type system. Revealing the logic and the potent visual opportunities of the system, Section 2 comprises a selection of two-layer combinations, where pairs of modular glyphs have been overprinted, either by choice or by chance, to generate a series of hybrid forms. Section 3 constitutes the main body of the book, with monochrome and multicoloured glyph combinations interacting in two, three or more calibrated layers. These integrated forms are structured within themed groups that are organized both algorithmically and by means of experimentation, play, observation and judgment.

The published examples, chosen for their distinctively abstract and striking appearance, represent only a tiny fraction of the total number of possible compositions generated in the making of System Process Form. To allow readers to develop their own designs, formulae are given for all glyph combinations shown throughout the book, specifying the fonts, sizes, tracking, line spacing and offsets that have been employed.


Founded in 2009 by Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir, MuirMcNeil was established to explore the use of systematic methods in graphic design, typography and moving image. Their first publication, System Process Form, is a detailed survey of their Two Type system, an extensive collection of geometric alphabets in which every stroke, shape, letterform and word is designed to correspond and collaborate in close harmony.

Far from a mere catalogue of typefaces, this publication is a powerful demonstration of the beauty of analytical approaches to form-giving for visual communication, one that embraces both micro and macro views, and one whose end results can be as spectacular as they are unexpected.

Driven by numbers, rules, conditions and permutations as well as design decisions and collisions, the Two Type system is a continuously evolving body of work both analogue and digital, algorithmic and fortuitous, predefined and wildly unpredictable. The system comprises eight family groups, designed not as independent alphabets but as features of an expansive design space in which individual glyphs interact as variable components.

A standard grid determines positioning for both shapes and spaces with every element aligning precisely, so that the superimposition of any pair of the system’s 198 modular fonts will result in a single unique instance from 39,204 possible combinations. Selected examples of these combined forms are displayed in System Process Form, along with many even more exuberant outputs composed from the millions of options afforded by the combinations of three layers.

System Process Form reveals how design can be liberated from the narrow confines of individual ideas, intentions or expressions, leaving the designer free to discover infinite new organisms rather than being obliged to invent them.


Size: 325 × 240 mm
Pages: 400 pages
Format: Clothbound hardcover
Printing: Three neon inks and metallic black, jacket printed 2/1 with machine varnish both sides on a 157gsm jacket art paper
Binding: Thread sewn book block and case bound with square spine
Typeface: MMcN San Sans 
Printer: RR Donnelley 

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