I was curious as to how this design was crafted, I'm assuming in a hands on sense. My approach would be to print the original text and pour this liquid material overtop of it to cause the distortion, then take a photo of it, but what material would be suggested to achieve this effect?
University of Design and Art / Poster by C2F
It looks like bags of a gel-like liquid that has been melted in places and/or had glue from a glue gun applied. However, this could also be a 3D image effect.
Probably the best way to find out is to ask the creator C2F
C2F is a swiss communication design studio founded 2006 by Cybu Richli and Fabienne Burri. We provide solutions in visual communication for clients in the fields of culture and commerce. Personal commitment and passion are our basics. We offer our clients unique solutions: critical thinking leads to the creation of new and innovative design.
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Watching it a while reveals some details.
Where the letters are especially stretched vertically, there the internal bubbles also are vertically stretched => aftewards warping has been applied
Some too good hits - a letter is perfectly focused in the middle of a bubble and shown in reduced size, the texts seem to follow the bends of the material
Word hochschule is warped also on plain paper
fuzziness (=blur) here and perfect transparency there = non plausible if the material is the same. The fuzziness seems to be added to hide optical inconsistencies
The material has been sticky in some phase - the fibers reveal it. It can be some cast plastic or even glass. I would try at first hot melt adhesive. If it's not too hot, it can get freezed to complex forms.
The texts are added and modified afterwards. The transparent block can have been placed on a written page or grid, but the result has been used as guide only. The final result has been edited manually. Very complex warping job, I say!
Alternatively several photos have been taken and the text has been moved between shots. This way one can get every needed word acceptably in some shot and combine them. The glosses can be ON or OFF depending on where the light come from. Both versions are needed.
The glosses fortunately are already there, but still the effort is remarkable and probably well beyond the patience resources of most Photoshop users.
My workflow would be:
I want to control the gel shape
The lighting of the text
The refraction and to put the right text on the right gel
1) Transparent acrylic further away from the bottom plane, so the gel does not cast its own shadows, or at least I can control them.
2) Large softbox for the reflection.
3) Probably some backlight if the shadows are too strong. The amount of it depends on the final composition.
4) Work with hair gel, but cooled down so it has more "body".
5) Pure it with the pretend text below it as reference.
6) Taking some photos in a consecutive way taken very fast.
The actual text
Grid with some references
If the first image does not work, I would use the second one with the third one as a reference and compose it on Photoshop using the wrap tool.
In my opinion, it is composed, because some text is wrapped too much and I doubt with only the refraction of the gel is possible.