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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Mar 12 / Trevor Torres

Process for Project 4

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disappearanceenigmatic

For project 4, we were faced with the task of creating a new letter form system based upon a noun and adjective we were assigned.  The words I was given were the noun “disappearance” and the adjective “enigmatic.”  Interesting enough words, but how was I going to turn them into representational fonts?  Well, in order to complete this task, we were expected to find out some background information on our words, to do a little research.  We would be looking at the meanings of the words, as well as their inferences and connotations.

To begin, I took to an ever trustworthy source, the dictionary.  According to the knowledgeable book, disappearance was to disappear, the act of disappearing, or having disappeared.  A disappearance. “Police are investigating the disappearance of a young woman.”  To disappear is “to become impossible to see,” “to stop existing,” or “to be lost or impossible to find.”  Once I had determined the meaning, I started listing out different ideas of associations.  Kidnappings.  Missing person posters. Amelia Earheart.  The Bermuda Triangle.  To fade away.  Fading.  Just a list of thoughts and related thoughts that involved “disappearance.”

Eventually I decided to go with the idea of “fading.”  After going through a  few ideas and various tweaks, I finally came to my end result.  A blocky geometric letter system that seemed to have the effect of opening or closing blinds, with an increase in white space as you go down the letter.  I did this in the attempt to suggest the idea of “fading.”

Overall, I believe I dealt with my first word pretty well.  Although there are a few awkward points in the letter system (inconsistent widths and somewhat confusing letters), I think I dealt with the idea of “fading” quite well.

What then would I do with enigmatic?  According to the dictionary, to be enigmatic is to be “mysterious and difficult to understand.”  I then created a list of things that seemed be enigmatic in nature.  Stonehenge.  Easter island heads.  The Illuminati.  Witchcraft.  Psychics.  Then I thought of different words to describe enigmatic.  Shadowy.  Dark.  Complex.  Secretive.  Cryptic.  Mask.  Hood.

Enigmatic was more difficult to deal with.  The answer to the question was much less concrete than that of disappearance.  Eventually I decided to create a mysterious looking font that I thought would resemble ancient runes and text of centuries past.  Though I think it’s the less successful of the two representational typefaces, I think it’s understandable to link my font with the world “enigmatic.”

All in all, this project took an interesting approach towards teaching type design, and I feel as though I’ve gained a bit more of an understanding of the process of creating the letters and alphabets for words that we read and use every day.