Using the quote “A characterful alternative” from the Dalton Maag website I have learnt how to use the letterpress equipment. The workshop has taught me how to set type, print using small letterpress contraptions that roll and press in one smooth sweep and how to clean equipment afterwards. The hands on nature of letterpress and creating the sentence physically was a welcome change to on screen methods of producing text. I enjoyed both the process and the outcome of letterpress as it has a quality digital type doesnt in that although it is ‘flat’ it still holds some texture and physical presence in a way onscreen type doesn’t.
After visiting the Quentin Blake exhibition at the National Museum and after some personal research I’ve shortlisted ideas for the Roald Dahl six word story brief; ‘Balding witches can’t wear pretty shoes’, ‘mouse eradicates worlds witches then dies’which are both from “The Witches”. Whilst discussing ideas with my peers and tutor during group tutorial I have finalised my 6 words – ‘mouse ERADICATES worlds witches..then dies’. I’ve played around with different layouts and of the words and decided the word ERADICATE needs to be the most dominating on the page and look as though it is taking over, as the word insinuates, this would contrast with the small more rounded type of mouse and world. Whilst witches needs to look ugly and grotesque, to not undermine the mouses triumph and to add humour to the poster i have decided that ‘then dies’ will be minuscule in comparison to the rest of the text.
During the session after each member of the group had presented initial ideas we decided to use my type design to create a draft type face, using a triangle/ isometric grid paper I created a system whereby each letter form contained the same size triangle.
After discussing the typeface further with my group we decided on a half filled half outline but stick with system of the triangle in each letter, I chose to create a ‘j’ digitally and this being the result;
The final ‘j’ is quite abstract which i think is its best feature as well as the mixture of the filled and outline shapes, however the actual computer rendering of the letter form is quite untidy where the descender connects to the top of the ‘j’ proving I need to put in some more practice with illustrator.
Exploring the nature of hybrid letterforms using 2 typefaces to create a new typeface. Focussing on conveying the meaning of ‘hulking’ (a person or object very large, heavy, or clumsy) with only text and no image was a challenge however the planning and design process helped a lot in visualising what the word ‘hulking’ would look like. The outcome of the task quite successful but needs pushing further from just tracing the letters to possibly creating paper letters, on reflection I think this would add to the outcome as it would be a more accurate visualisation of ‘hulking’ making it look less planned and more ‘clumsy’ as it should.
After spending the morning hunting Slab Serif, Clarendon and Transitional type in Cardiff city centre we replicated some of the type we’d found. Learning to recognise different typefaces and more importantly why they have been used seems to be the biggest thing I take from this exercise. How context plays a major role in the design of type of signage and of lettering in general. And how to distinguish between typefaces. Creating the display of letter forms made me think about how different styles of lettering can contrast and work together, I noticed also how the space was used and how the letters were placed, making me more aware of composition in my own work.
After an introduction to typographical forms I have researched the different characteristics of various key typographical terms. This preparation enabled me to pick out the various typefaces on shop signage and street signage the day after.