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Typographic Selfie + CODE

A selfie is a form of art. Over one million selfies are now taken every day. Selfies are not always as spontaneous as they seem. They can be a visual communication tool like any other that can be manipulated for purpose. The typographic selfie + CODE is an extension of Selfie + CODE, a collection of generative selfies taken by the author, Yeohyun Ahn. She started taking her generative selfies in 2015 to raise awareness of Asian female faculty being isolated in a predominantly white institution of America. The algorithmic processes expend the concepts of traditional self-portraits to generative selfies conveying specific thoughts or feelings. Ahn’s generative selfies capture psychological moments to express those individual identities being disrespected, devalued, and being treated as being invisible by a homogeneous institution of America and are shared by social media. Her virtual supporting system, “Like,” at Facebook, enabled her to persist and survive in a regionally isolated, segregated, and exclusive community. Eventually, it has brought Ahn psychological reconciliation and healing to succeed in dealing with difficulties. It is extended to a medium, typography, with the title, Typographic Selfie + CODE. Typography is regarded as a form of art to make written language expressive. Based on the type choices, different emotions and moods can be visually delivered through the generative selfies. The typographic selfie + CODE uses diverse typefaces to convey feelings and thoughts in the generative selfie. It shows possibilities to use the own personality of each typeface to be expressive and visually appealing in the generative selfies.


Yeohyun Ahn

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Interaction Design University of Wisconsin Madison

Yeohyun Ahn is a designer, educator, and researcher integrating creative coding, digital fabrication, and physical interaction into spatial typography and graphic design. Her interdisciplinary typography project, TYPE + CODE Series, has been featured in the Washington Post, PRINT, the New York Times, and many other publications. Ahn’s new project, Social Homelessness on US Campuses, is a multidisciplinary art and design project intended to bring awareness to Asian female faculties in America. Immigrating to America led Ahn to become aware of social inequity, discrimination, and marginality. She currently explores generative self-portrait photographs showing social homelessness and being isolated and marginalized in professional areas of American society. This project has been presented through SIGGRAPH, ISEA, ARTECH, and IEEE GEM, etc. Ahn was a freelance graphic artist featured in the New York Times Magazine and has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.