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Fictional Letterform Reflection

Project 3: Letterform Reflection

As a precursor to designing my own unique letterform, it was helpful to sketch existing letterforms in Baskerville and Didot. This technique helped me get comfortable with which one of the two I would be using to design my unique letterform. I decided to use Didot. When initially sketching my conceptual letterforms I aimed to find balance and flow within the new letterform by testing which characteristics of certain letters meshed well with each other. After feedback, I was able to target which concept I would further develop.

I decided to choose a difficult concept I was working with. It is composed of the letters s, g, and y. The letters were rearranged them to make them fit better with the Didot typeface. I straightened the serif be completely vertical which is how it would appear in Didot. I altered the tail of the y to extend directly from the s instead of including the g, and also omitted the loop of the g. This helped the balance and flow, and prevented the components from getting overly muddled. This also helped keep the new letterform sized to the appropriate height and width for the typeface. The final modification I made was to extend the serif further to the right to line up with the tail of the y. This gave the letterform a much cleaner look.

With my final letterform created it was sent for laser cutting. When it was returned I was able to spray paint the physical letterform with two coats of shellac. This was to give it more strength due the hairline features of the Didot typeface. I then finished it off with a glossy black. This was intended to give the photos a sleek, wet look that would look good from all angles.

Initially, I struggled a bit with laying out my poster. Images and text were all similar in size.  There was not much variance in typeface and font. Once again with feedback and guidance, I decided to go big or go home. I scaled the “Soy” letterform to the length of the poster and anchored it to the right side of the page. I then anchored the bottom of the page with a block of color, and followed the grid system to place my process work in a methodical manner while labeling the process along the way. The most important details were positioned in the top left of the poster and followed a hierarchy with font size, bold, and italic fonts. Lastly, the glossy physical letterform photos were reserved for the middle of the poster, and helps lead one’s eye and create balance with the other components of the poster. A great portion of the improvement in the poster is directly related to my use with my new friend the grid system.

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Posted by Ryan Caldwell on November 18, 2014

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