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Oct 18 / Halie Mcintosh

Project 3; Fictional Letterforms

cover page

Project three is designed around the exploration of the microscopic details that define a typeface. The steps are broken into three categories. Step 1: draw your chosen typeface; Step 2: sketch the details that define the typeface and then explore combinations of those details; Step 3: create a fictional letterform that could potentially exhist in the family of your original chosen typeface.  This is a journal of my exploratory process…my looooong process.

My typeface: Didot

Category: Modern



After re-evaluating my process, I did a little research in order to guide me through my reproach to my sketches. I found these images helpful for that purpose.

Inspiration for sketches:


lettering+typography+printable+the+graphics+fairy      3289749364801_pyYd4K9h_l

super_veloz  modularalphabet

When I first began the project my initial sketches weren’t exploratory enough. After examining the microscopic details of the font family, Didot, I think I was fixated more so on the decratvie elements as opposed to the overall form the type was taking.

My initial microscopic analysis of the anatomy of Didot:


IMG_0509  IMG_0510

My second attempt at pin-pointing the intricate details in the anatomy of Didot:



The second time around I made sure to go back and notate the differences I was seeing. This made it much easier when I started to try and combine the subtle details.

My initial exploration of recombining the microscopic details:

3 23 3

3 13 8

Second Attempt at combinations:

3 5     3 43 6     3 7

This is my first round of digitized fictional letterforms:

1 2

3 4

Paired with existing letterforms, it helps to add “believe-ability” to my fictional forms


I tried to pair my fictonal forms with letters that share similar qualities to make them seem more “at home” with the other existing letters.

Even after all that work…I wanted to push myself to really think outside of the box. Explore my options, even if it meant taking risky chances.  So I started on  a new letterform.

     Initial:                                                      2nd Revisions: 

5   scan

At this point I really wanted to play with the weight of the curve. It became too challenging in Illustrator, so I broke out a good old fashioned marker and got to work.


This is my final letter. The baseline, x-height, and ascender lines have been drawn to better demonstrate proportions. The ascender line was intentionally drawn to note the fact that my new letterform has two ascenders.


final letter copy

One Comment

  1. Ruwaida Ba-arma / Oct 26 2013

    Your process work is really good 🙂 I like that you have inspiration sketches at the top. It is nice to see the the original sketches compared to the your second attempt. I think all of your letterforms are strong and fit the system.

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