The Letter M
Walking a skybridge through the Pheonix airport you notice small triangular windows, oddly placed. They turn out to be a piece of structure – and essentially – these triangles are the result of a pattern of “M’s”. Great big M’s powerful as a set of strong shoulders. Not so the “X” in architecture – the X’s forte is resisting being pulled apart, not so great at resisting being pushed on from above. We don’t know if the architect was somehow taken with M or if this shape was the resultant of other forces. I’m OK with it either way. It works laterally and in compression, and there’s more than one way to hold up a roof. Bridges are full of letters, V, M, N, X, L, A. Today’s bridge was brought to me by the letter M, and I enjoyed my use of those shoulders while I awaited my flight. Typography is like poetry. There is a richness and a depth to the field in a letter, and that’s exactly what makes it so satisfying. There’s not much there, but anything you want, really.