International Society of Typographic Designers

ISTD 2012
Brief: It happened on this day... The Tangiwai Disaster

On 24 December (Christmas Eve) 1953, a tragic coincidence of bad timing resulted in one of New Zealand’s worst rail disasters. At 10:21pm the Wellington to Auckland railway express plunged into a raging torrent of floodwater in the Whangaehu River, Tangiwai (central North Island). This was caused by a lahar, a huge volume of water that spilled over from the crater-lake on the top of Mount Ruapehu and travelled down the river. It washed out the railway bridge at exactly the same time as the train crossed on route to Auckland for Christmas. The loss of life on this day reached a total 151. It was a tragedy that stunned a nation for months to come. 

This project is a typographic exploration of the event using a combination of Letterpress, in a wooden condensed type and digital layouts and printing.

Bound at Modern bookbinding, Petone, Wellington.
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