Project 3: Fictional Letterforms (Process Work)
Project 3: Fictional Letterforms was all about seeing letters through a designer’s eyes: as lines, curves, and shapes. Although we as designers clearly realize this and utilize letters in a way the rest of the world does, we also have trained ourselves to see letters outside of their everyday context and to take a step back in order to analyze their visual qualities. This project also capitalized on the various type classifications and the characteristics which set them apart from each other.
Here is a small excerpt from Ellen Lupton’s “Thinking with Type” on Type classification:
- “A basic system for classifying typefaces was devised in the nineteenth century, when printers sought to identify a heritage for their own craft connected to calligraphy and the movement of the hand.”
For this project, I chose to utilize the font Perpetua, which falls under the type classification of Transitional. I worked to study the font closely, noticing all of it’s unique distinctions. I initially typed the entire lowercase alphabet out on my computer, and used this as a guide to begin sketching some thumbnails. I focused first on breaking up the letter, getting close and seeing every individual curve, weight, and overall taking notice of the different parts of the anatomy.
I then moved on to experimenting with creating my own fictional letterform based off of my previous findings:
The next step was to then switch over from using a pencil and paper to creating letterforms in Illustrator:
After much experimentation, I chose the following letter form to be my final product. It is a combination of the letters u, t and g.
The file was then sent to Professor Dan, who took the time to get each student’s letter laser cut on wood in the WSU wood shop. I then spray painted the letter matte black. We were then asked to have a “photoshoot” with our letter, collecting various images to potentially be used in the next step of the project: the creation of a poster.
Once I had collected my images, I began to work on the poster. The poster project had a very rigid set of guidelines that were to be followed. I spent time working on various elements, such a devising a Pantone color scheme, showing my letterform interacting with the existing alphabet, naming my letterform and deciding it’s phonetic spelling, and writing information about the typographic category from which it came (transitional).
below: working on my poster