tetraphobia, the fear of fours

It’s 80 degrees in March, weather only sunny Southern California can offer. ^.^

Here are two versions of the Tetraphobia project I created in October 2012. If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s a quick summary: The word for the number four in many East Asian languages is identical to the word for “death.” So there is a superstition about using fours in public spaces, and is many times avoided.

So, I wanted to portray the number four in a “dangerous” way, as something to steer clear of. Being a Los Angeles native, I was inspired by Old English typography, a style we see often around here, and very related to our local gang culture. I gave the numerals some simple ornamentation, but added barbed wire elements to keep the danger theme going.

After making the initial drawing, I used photo etching and aquatint to create the plate used for printing.

tetraphobia bright

I flooded this version with bold, sunset inspired colors.

tetraphobia muted

Here I wanted to show the grittiness of the metal plate. Personally, I like this one better because you can see the spray paint texture in the aquatint, which gives it more of a territorial, urban feel.

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