The Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) in Ohio has some merry pranksters in their midst. Two seniors studying Advertising and Design began leaving a chalkboard in one of the buildings on campus, emblazoned with stunning typography and emphatic, literary art. They go by the name Danger Dust and, for now, they’d like to remain anonymous.
Their work takes the words of others and bring them to life in a way that we’ve never seen before. And it’s all the product of two talented designers, their imaginations, and a whole lot of chalk!
Their art is the product of meticulous work and nocturnal stamina. Sometimes it takes an entire day just to plan a piece before spending hours of chalk-time in front of the blackboard, using a strange array of tools e.g. q-tips, paint brushes, bowls of water.
They would work in a locked classroom at night and on weekends so they could finish their pieces privately. After they completed a piece, they’d set the chalkboard on its side outside of the classroom and prop it up on chairs for their classmates and professors to see.
Their work focuses on quotes that allow them to experiment with typography. They get their ideas by stumbling upon random quotes, suggestions from friends, and even through Google searches. Their art blends seamlessly with the words they choose. According to an interview done at CCAD, Danger Dust says, “We try to adopt the style of [whomever we’re quoting].”
When they were in school, they would leave a piece up for about a week and then erase it all so they could start again. But the duo recently graduated CCAD. They’ve set up accounts on both Etsy and Behance in hopes of turning their chalk-art into a full-time job. They’ve switched to smaller canvases, but they’re determined to continue bringing life to the literary world.
Each quote is meant to inspire and to provoke conversation. Danger Dust has gotten in our faces and made us reconsider the meanings behind text. By adding aesthetic beauty to their chosen quotes, they put prose into a new context.
We often take words for granted, but Danger Dust makes us remember their innate beauty.