Posts tagged ‘fictional letterforms’
I previously uploaded some of the drawings I did for this project at the beginning of it. Many of my prospects were too elaborate, or they just had pieces of letterforms – tildes, brackets, etc. – stuck on awkwardly. This proved difficult in execution, as one of the important parts of coming up with a letter was to make it so that if you were to draw or write it out freehand, that it would be easy to do. We had to name our letterforms; I chose “Xy” (like the beginning of Xylophone), which I settled on somewhat easily since my letterform incorporates both the lowercase x and y. It may not be too obvious, but the arm/shoulder/ear of the lowercase r comprises the top right portion of my fictional letterform as well…I thought it complemented the descender of the bottom left, and generally made it look more fancy. I wanted my final letterform to incorporate a few of the main characteristics of Transitional type (more flattened head serif, vertical/near vertical stress of the bowls, greater stroke/substroke variation than in Old Style/Humanist font), but I wasn’t able to settle on anything that satisfied two or three of those characteristics and that struck me. I picked the “Xy” because I liked how strongly it emphasizes the variation in stroke and substroke thickness, and I picked to insert it between the x and the y because I felt it would juxtapose various similarities and differences between aspects of both letters (like the apertures of the x and the y, for example). All in all, I’m pleased with the finished product.
The last part of the assignments for Project 3 is to analyze and critique the fictional letterform of someone in our group (we were put into groups based on which type of serif typeface we were working with – mine was Transitional); my critique is of Anthony’s “Ah”, as he named it. What I have to say I like most about his letterform is that it uses various aspects of certain letters; you can see the bowl of the two-story lowercase a (or it also looks like a lowercase d to me sometimes),the head serif and crossbar of the lowercase t, and the shared terminal of both the a and the t. Anthony explained that his choice of where to insert his fictional letterform into the alphabet was based on the fact that he wanted to show his letterform with letters that have an ascender and a descender. Some of the main characteristics of Transitional typefaces are 1) more flattened head serif (as compared to Old Style/Humanist), 2) vertical or near vertical stress in letters with bowls, and 3) greater variation in stroke and substroke (as compared to Old Style/Humanist). The letterform definitely shows the variation in substroke – mainly along the curve of the bowl – as well as the vertical stress of the bowl. Another important characteristic of Anthony’s letterform is the ability to draw this letterform freehand, as one would do with any real letter in the alphabet. The letterform also points out that the lowercase t in Transitional typefaces does not reach as high as the ascender or cap height, which I never really noticed before. I think the letterform is nicely balanced, looks good, and uses important characteristics of Transitional type that call attention to the idiosyncrasies of the letterforms.
Our class is currently at the thumbnail sketch stage of this project, where we are observing the idiosyncrasies of a letterform category as well as exploring new combinations. My letterform category is Transitional Serif, so I will be continuing to work with Baskerville, in addition to some new ones like Perpetua, Times New Roman, Bell, and Bulmer. Later, we will be using our research to design a new letterform. Here are some real letters as well as some fictional prospects.