Typography Unit Vidhi arora



Our introduction activity to the unit was to walk around school looking for shapes or objects that had some aspect of a letter in them. I really enjoyed doing this and it really opened my eyes as to how common letters are hidden in our everyday lives. It was fun to hunt for letter forms all around the campus. It got a bit challenging at times and I struggled to find some letters (just because the shape of it was a bit uncommon and so harder to locate).


We had to do the same activity but we had to do it in a different location. I chose to do it in my house. I find this location harder just because it was a smaller area and therefore did not have that much potential for letter forms to exist. Also, you are restricted to only using indoor items as letters (can't use signboards or buildings and things like that). Whereas in school, there are so many classrooms and places you can go to, filled with letters!

Destroying Helveticas!

Crushing the paper and then teasing
Folding (fan method)
Crushing, tearing, ripping
First I copied the words helvetica onto a piece of paper with an ink pen. Then I distorted it by dropping water on it and using a brush to further drag the drips down. This is definitely my favorite distortion.


After we distorted all our helvetica pieces, we had to bring to them life on the computer so that eventually, we could further distort them. We did this by image tracing. This was quite exciting because I learnt how to get things that I had on paper onto illustrator. It was surprisingly very easy and I was really excited to get started with distortions on the computer.


Now we started to experiment with the text we had, by putting filters on them such as grain, glass etc. It was interesting to see how one text type could look so different just by layering filters on top of each other. The picture I have inserted is one of my distortions with different filters applied to it.

using liquify

Liquify was another interesting tool illustrator had to offer. The effect it created was as if the letters were losing form, letting go of its weight and as a result it led to them dripping away. You could also change the size of the brush and the intensity of the effect, which was fun to experiment with.

Here it is evident I used a low intensity and brush size - the result isn't as dramatic.
In this picture, it can be seen that the intensity and size of the brush was quite high/big. The product is bold, obvious and loud.

displacement map

This was another interesting distortion we learnt how to do using photoshop. Here is a link to the instructions. It was quite challenging at times because there were so many steps to it. But in the end we produced something really unique which looked really professional. I was really proud of the work that I was able to produce.

thumbnail sketches!

After taking inspiration from other typographic posters we were asked to produce a page full of thumbnail sketches that demonstrated several potential layouts of our poster. The catch was, we had to include the words - "Helvetica", "Destroyed", "70" "Anniversary" "1957-2027". The suggestion was to print out the posters whose layout you wanted to take inspiration from so that we could show direct connection when we were drawing. I also printed out different distortions of my helvetica to show which layout I would like to incorporate it with.

developing an idea...

At first I started drawing my developments quite small. And I didn't exactly develop my initial idea. I took inspiration from the essence of the design and created some more ideas. But that was when I realised I wasn't developing. Development meant that I needed to refine my preferred choice and to show more detail as to why I want to do that. Also, the sketches are supposed to give me a clear understanding of how I am going to make my poster on Illustrator/ Photoshop. So, then I started making bigger drawings that showed more detail in the placing and shape of the letters. I also played around with the boldness of the number - 70, and the placings of the text and everything.

bringing your plan onto photoshop

UNIFINISHED!! You can see here that I used liquify to distort the helvetica's. I was still trying to figure out where things went, and so I didn't have enough time to complete the poster.

Typographic Portraits

For me, this was really fun. First we had to take a picture of our face. This was quite time consuming because we had to get the right angle where all the features could be seen properly. Also, you had to make sure that your head or anything you wanted to include in your portrait wasn't cut off. After getting the right picture, we placed it onto illustrator. For this activity we had to use a sans serif font - so I used helvetica nue. Also, we were not allowed to distort the letters (stretch or make them narrower) and so we always had to hold the shift button down while resizing things. The first thing we did on illustrator (after placing the image) was dimming the layer to 50%. This was done so that the letters can be seen more clearly while working on the project. After that we typed out all the letters on the keyboard (and then all the characters and stuff by holding shift down). After typing out all the possible letters on the keyboard, we made these letters into outlines so that we could resize and rotate them however we like. This basically made these letters into shapes which is why we could now do all this. Then we placed the letters on our faces. One thing I struggled with is that I often put very large letters and so it looked quite ugly. So from this I learnt that making many small letters to fill an area looks much better than one big one. Overall I really enjoyed this activity and I learnt a lot about how the placing of things can have a large affect on everything.
For this one we had to do the same thing expect with a serif font. This was a big change from the other more ordinary font. I definitely prefer this portrait over the sans serif. It has more detail and looks more like me.
So for this activity we had to do the same thing except we had the choice of choosing our own font. There were a lot of options and it got slightly overwhelming (got the fonts from dafont.com - Gloss and Bloom). We had to make sure that the font had capitals and non capitals so that our portrait had variety. I am personally proud of the improvement I have made from my first portrait to now. I feel much more confident in knowing which letters to choose and pay more attention to the placings of each one.

experimenting with gradients

Trying out different backgrounds and different gradient fills was very fun for me. I love experimenting with colour and observing the immense change a colour can make is really fascinating to me. Personally I really like the bottom left the most because I feel that the black really compliments the blue well. It almost seems as if my portrait is the sea and the background is the night sky. I love the atmosphere that it creates!
For this activity, we had our typographic printed out on a piece of lino. Our job was to ink them well and copy our design onto a piece of paper. We had to roll the ink well onto the lino, making sure that we covered all parts. Then we had to press HARD on paper to get the ink to rub off there. My first copy didn't turn out so well because I wasn't sure how equally you needed to spread out the ink across the lino. Furthermore, I didn't have a fair idea of how long I needed to press the lino onto the paper, and also how much pressure I needed to apply. As a result of putting less ink, my first print contained a lot of white spots. For my second print I had a better idea of how much pressure and ink I needed to apply. So, I was happier with my result.

text effects

I got to the tutorial for this text effect from here. It was quite challenging because the tutorial was based on using text, but ours was a shape. Also, we had to duplicate the layer a lot of times and so it was hard to keep track of each one and doing the right things on the right layer. Additionally the colour didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I am not quite happy about this result.
Text effect 2 - I had done this text effect for my logo and it worked out quite well with it. So I wanted to see how it would look with my portrait. As you can see it didn't come out well. You can barely see my design through the rain, it is not opaque enough. However, it was fun to do it again and it was interesting to compare this with my logo.

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