Thursday, 19 May 2011

Poo Font returns. It is now a book

You thought you had scrubbed it clean from the porcelain rim of your memory banks, but no - Poo Font makes an explosive return!

Yes, Arne Gutmann's masterpiece of typography has now been included in a self-published book.

All 26 letters of the alphabet in their original form are featured in all its excremental glory in Gutmann's debut book. B is for Book is totally disgusting and ready for inclusion in your personal library.

"I had always dreamt that I would (make a book) once I finished the font," he says. "I saw one of the features at the bottom of iPhoto there and thought, this is just for me."

For those out of the loop, Poo Font is a font made from poo. Gutmann discovered one day, 20 years ago, that he had a particular knack for producing fully formed letters of the alphabet thanks to a "really good" digestive system. Over the next two decades, he photographed each digestive offering with the intention of creating a complete font. As of March, that goal was achieved.

"(My wife) was getting kind of bored with it but now she sees that it's almost kind of a movement and we have to keep the train to speak," he says.

He's found through Google and Twitter searches that people are talking about his project but it has yet to go viral.

He has big plans for his little book. The three-by-2.4 inch book is merely for promotion, and Gutmann says plans are already underway for an expanded, coffee-table book-sized format that will include original photographs of the letters, the black and white true font, the punctuation and brief write-ups for each one. He plans to call it The Red Flag Book after a Seinfeld episode where George is forced to buy an expensive art book after taking it into a bookstore bathroom. He hopes to have it completed by the end of the month.

Gutmann's font, while disturbing, is a certain type of genius - not in the work itself but in the human reactions to it. Showing the book to people is an experiment in psychology where most react with utter disgust and frank curiosity. B is for Book proves that humans, as decent as they claim to be, will always be attracted to the weird and repulsive.

While some people have raised skepticism that Gutmann's letters have been doctored or manipulated, he claims that what you see is exactly as he found it.

"The only reason some of them look obscure is because the bowl of the toilet obscures the full amount, so I have to cut that off (with Photoshop) and use what's there," he says.


Eager Gutmann fans can purchase B is for Book for $20 through Gutmann's website, Who knows? It could be a collector's item one day.

And no, sorry folks, the book is not a scratch and sniff.

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