This half of the module began mostly with theory and I was getting restless because I wanted to get cracking with the practical side of things. As it turns out, however, the theory was really interesting! I have never been one to be intrigued by looking into the fine details of design, but there was something really appealing about how it was relevant to the project and I even managed to apply what I learnt into the final designs.
The first bit of practical we did was editing the font “Helvetica” to form a new font family. I used this as an opportunity to reacquaint myself with Illustrator, which I had used before but not in a year. I found it quite easy to get the hang of again; luckily, as I would be using it a lot in the following weeks.
The following week we were set the task to design a self portrait of ourselves and upon reflection I realise that colours and different font’s could do this not by literally drawing an image with letters.
I then began to think about my final designs. From the words assigned to us, I found getting inspiration really hard, I even began to get quite stressed at one point because I couldn’t, and didn’t think I’d be able to, think of a decent idea.
I began by doing what I did for the self-portrait task and took it literally.
I now know that, rather than creating images and personifying words, the aim is to understand the power of a font. Gothic fonts have a horror feel and should be used accordingly; Calligraphic fonts evoke ideas of old writing or even posh events etc. The list goes on. I feel that perhaps I missed the point of this assignment for a very long time and hope that I saved it, demonstrated my understanding and made up for it.
My final design:
I read “Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design” by Timothy Samara. It gave me some insight to the benefits of colours are, pointed me in the direction of revising colour theory, taught me that space between letters increases or decreases a words intensity, told me the space between lines is directly linked to the readers interpretation of relationships and more.
After choosing the word ‘Calm’ I was still thinking about things in the wrong way. I hadn’t yet realised that I wasn’t allowed to use images and so wasted a fair bit of time with ideas like this.
When the confusion got cleared up I saw no inspiring ways to tackle the word. It would have been plain and boring to resemble calmness.
So I chose two new words, “Touched” and “Lost”. I chose “lost” simply because of an idea I had originally about making a maze but this time I thought deeper into it and I had a message to portray and I could do it by one uses letters. My only concern, with an otherwise conceptually strong design, was that I had still created an image.
I then read into the word touched. I began at first by thinking about turning the T into an arm with a hand, touching people, but now I knew that images were a no-go, so I arrived at the idea to remove tracking between the letters until each letter touched.
The idea I initially decided would be my final had colours and, remembering a conversation, I thought that I would try to do this design without colour. Making it all about the letters and it would demonstrate my skills to be able to get around my issue with no colour. I first thought that the word “touched” looked cold and gave the wrong message without colour. But, after giving in to changing my word from “Calm” to “Lost” to “Touched” when I said I wouldn’t change my word at all, I was determined to do something I said I would!
I feel that after the confusion of what I actually had to do, I executed the theoretical aspects of this project well alongside the practical. My final design demonstrates that as a designer, I can think laterally about a word and what different uses of fonts, position and weight can do to change that.