Types × Graphics × Objects

Type of work: Professional

Gift Wrap Paper #1: How can figures be used to create ornaments?

Gift Wrap Paper #1: How can figures be used to create ornaments?


2013, Packaging design—An advent calendar consisting of 24 different sheets of wrapping paper. The corresponding 24 figures themselves were drawn to create each pattern. Therefore, an additional labelling is not any longer required neither boxes which allows now the user to wrap bigger and other shaped gifts as wine, apples or tangerines.

Client: Frau von Zahl; Idea: Elena Braun; Type design: Angelo Stitz; Print: Buch und Offsetdruckerei Gebr. Molberg GmbH, Bonn;
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Detail of the gift wrapping paper.

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Overview of the gift wrapping paper.


Typographic considerations


Contrary to a common typeface for usage in text or in display applications, the design doesn’t depend on legibility but more on a harmonic interplay of patterns. Overall the main object was to achieve an ornamental character, away from the actual figure in favour of a pattern as an entire composition. During the process it occurred that figures with closed shapes like e.g. figure eight, don’t fit very well in patterns commonly. Open shapes are more suitable and easier to arrange to each other in patterns, because the shape interacts more with its surrounding white-space.    

It turned out that mandatory adjustment of stroke weights of horizontal and vertical stems (to let them appear the same thickness optically) doesn’t make sense in patterns as in figure ten, where the zero is used three times in three different reading directions.  

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The figure 14.

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The figure 1.

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The figure 10.


The arrangement of figures—depending on the composition of the pattern—poses different challenges to typeface design itself. For e.g. the figure one in number fourteen has the same edge-gated shape as the diagonal corner of the number four.

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Overview of all 24 gift wrap papers.


Every figure relates in its vsiual style to different typographic ages like classicism or baroque This offer enough variety on the way to look forward the final Christmas Eve. Colour was consciously left out to create enough scope for an individual design, using ribbon or to tie bows after ones fancy.

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Example of an advent calendar.


Print — 2014/01 PAGE Magazin 14/01, Ebner Verlag, P. 8

Print — 2014/02 “Computer Arts Magazine #224”, Future Publishing Ltd, P. 98

Print — 2014/09 “Graphic Digits”, Victionary, P. 182–185, ISBN 978-988-12228-8-6

Online — We Love Typography, [04.02.2015]



    Types × Graphics × Objects

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    Angelo Stitz
    Art Direction, Type and Graphic Design, Visual Language Research
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