TYPOGRAPHY Abha panchdhari

This was one of the collections of found letterforms that I collated from within my condo.
This was the second set that I curated in UWC using a wide variety of sources.


This was the first set of found letterforms I did. I took these photos in school and found it really hard to find certain letters like G, P, N, R and essentially letters that had both curves and straight lines because I think they are less common when we were looking around. I really didn't like doing this but I think that I began to understand how Indesign works. I first tried to create each square and place individually which made it hard to make spacing regular but I later understood how to make a grid which made it a lot easier. I used filters from VSCO on some of the photos to make the letters more obvious. I also later reduced the saturation on all the pictures which did kind of limit the use of the filters but I liked the black and white version better.


This was the second set of found letter forms I created with photographs I took in my condo. When I used Indesign, I had a much easier time because I now knew how to create even grids and didn't have to spend a long time on the formatting which made it better. I think that my letters in the bottom were pretty clear too. To make the image black and white, instead of individually colouring each of the images, I exported the PDF (in preview) to a jpg which I opened in Photoshop and removed the saturation and saved it again. I then re-exported as a PDF from preview which meant I had both a jpg and a PDF which were black and white. Again, this wasn't the most fun or interesting thing to do because of the tedious nature of searching for letters but I think it was interesting to see how Indesign worked. I found that since I already knew what I was looking for, it was easier than the first time.

I think that overall, this was an enlightening activity to do because it questioned the nature of letters and broke them down into simple shapes. Finding parallels between type which I tend to associate with computers and nature/architecture was interesting because it showed how letters are simple but still can convey messages. I think that the most challenging part was actually finding the letters, especially ones with more complicated shapes and curves because often, they weren't easily replicated in nature and in isolation. It was helpful to learn about indesign as another tool to help to design with and I think that it was a fun activity to learn how grids can be created by hand using indesign.


This was the first poster I created on Indesign, based off the mindmap and the film. I tried to create a dynamic design using Indesign. I like the effect the stair stepping of helvetica gives and the way the information is scattered amongst the title and separated through the extensions of the text and the changes in font size. I found Indesign really frustrating at times because the lines changed in thickness when I zoomed in/out and it was really difficult to see if the line I created were inline/the same size as the text and it changed colours when I zoomed out, making it really difficult to see the poster as a whole

This was the mindmap that I made about Helvetica. I created this mindmap when we watched the documentary about Helvetica in class. I tried to summarise all the important details as well as quotes. I tried to understand both the history of Helvetica and what it represents now. I used red ink to highlight important words. I think it turned out quite well.


We had to create distortions of the word Helvetica in the Helvetica font to later use in our Helvetica Destroy post using prints of the word and destroying it in different ways, using different tools on illustrator and photoshop and a combination of the two. This helped to develop ideas for the poster and tested our creativity. We also learnt new skills and sections in Adobe apps to use later like filters, warps and liquefy.

Here, I cut out little triangle of the paper using the ceramic knives to create a more patchy look. I think that when I put it on Illustrator and trace it, it will look more distorted because here, you can see the cuts but I think that it will seem like helvetica is unfinished.

In this try, I used the format paper and trace over helvetica using a thick marker. I then went into the art rooms and started to put water on the ink, causing it to run everywhere, creating a distorted, water colour-like effect. I really liked how this turned out and I kept photographing as I went on adding water so it could be interesting to see the progression of the typeface as it becomes more blurred.

I had crumpled up my paper and teased it to create a more rumpled and messy effect. I think that this could be really interesting because of it's irregular shape and baseline.

I began to create my helvetica distortions in Illustrator by tracing the images I took on my phone and adjusting the threshold and the 'ignore white'. This was the first set I did during the first lesson and I think that I have a variety of results. I like some of the 'helvetica's but I think that some of them didn't really work. Some of the images I had to abandon because you couldn't always see all of the 'helvetica' or the text got really smudgy and you couldn't see what it said. These were generally the bases of all my other distortions, I tended to use certain distortions more than others but I think that these were really helpful.

Here, I used the liquefy tools to warp my images further on photoshop. I think that this was a fun tool to use because there were a wide range of options while still controlling the image. Some of these could be used, especially the ink stain one as I adjusted it to look more natural. However, some are no longer readable. The canvas was quite small and I think that this could have led to some problems, especially later. To use the liquefy tool, I used photoshop and adjusted settings before manually changing the image (or in this case, the word)

These were the distortions that I made using the filters in the filter gallery on Photoshop. I used an original, imaged traced image and transferred it to Photoshop and used a variety of effects to adjust the image. Also, I used the warp to on some of them which changed the proportions and could create a 3D effect. I used the filter gallery later too; it became useful when I was doing text effects. I think that these looked quite interesting and it was fun to play around with a tool that wasn't too complicated but still gave an appealing look.

Here, I used a variety of displacement maps to distort the image/helvetica. There were quite a variety of different options in terms of designs and since displacement maps are generally unique, the designs looked different. I attached two of the displacement maps I created using both Photoshop and Illustrator. I really liked this because of the variety of things you can do with a displacement map. I like the displacement map made from letters and using on it on the helvetica.

This was a combination of images that had been displaced. I used layer styles to add colour. I think that this turned out quite interestingly and I think that this was really helpful to learn.

Creating helvetica distortions helped to teach me skills on both Photoshop and Illustrator such as using various filter and warp tools to adjust the look and coherence of an image. I think that this helped me understand how typography can define the feel and the mood of a word and shows how letters and writing can be translated to a form of visual art.


After creating Helvetica distortions, we were tasked with making a "Helvetica Destroy" poster with our distortions and skills we used. We went through the design process both on paper (thumbnails/developments e.t.c) and on the computer, even though we never actually finished the project. Personally, I didn't like doing this project and I don't think that it really helped me learn new things and instead frustrated me. I found that I struggled with coming up with "dynamic" designs that I liked and didn't like the majority of my thumbnails. However, it was simple to recreate the poster on the Imac and I thought it was easier to come up with ideas when I could immediately make a rough draft so my design actually changed a little between the development and the final product.

We had to find typographic portraits on www.typographicportraits.com and use them as a future base for our poster designs. These were some of the few that I liked.

- david francisco

I liked the layout of this poster as it still looks clear and clean (remaining visually appealing) but is still dynamic in terms of text arrangement. The text is rotated which makes the reader have to focus on the words and the balance between space, colour and text creates a refined effect.

end of summer at the "end of the world" club party - charity party 2013, nikodem pręgowski

I think that this poster is quite simple but I really like the way that information is spread out and how the rain drops seem to add motion to the poster. I think that the way the the eye is first drawn to the title and travels is quite interesting as it isn't linear or circulatory.

dichte gedichte - sven tillack

I really like the design of the poster and the way that many different pieces are combined and arranged in an almost circular pattern, based around the central illustration. I think that the way the writing is arranged at the side is reminiscent of a gallery and makes the poster seem more artistic.

quim marin

I like the distorted text and the way that textures and colours are overlaid and show contrast. This could be achieved by just layering distortions to get a similar effect. I like how the text is layered and the stepping effect that is given. I think that the background with the white rectangle also gives a very cohesive look. Though it isn't very dynamic, I liked the distortions of the text and the arrangement.

- aaaaa atelier

I like the layout of this poster and the way it looks like an optical illusion or mirrors. I think that the font used and the way that the text size decreases seems like movement and challenges the viewer to have to focus.

remco van dun

I liked the colour scheme in this one as well as the layout. I think that the way images and illustrations and text are combined provides contrast.

Some more example posters from typographicposters.com
I had to take pictures of the thumbnails because of some of the difficulties I had

This was my thumbnail page that was inspired by all the posters I found on typographicposters.com. I tried to work my way out and I tried to expand and develop all my ideas but I ended up running out of space. I think that it was really interesting to see how my ideas developed over time and I think that I tried to use dynamic poster ideas and tried to incorporate design elements in to my designs. I didn't really like any of the things I produced here but I tried to adapt some of them later on to become something better.

This was also another photographed thumbnail sheet

These were the second page of thumbnails I did and despite not having printed pictures, were heavily inspired by more of the posters on typographicposters.com and I tried to experiment with some different styles and work outside my comfort zone. I often find the I don't like the visual aesthetic of many dynamic posters, especially when they become too complex or too rotated and it became a struggle to do something I liked but would also satisfy what we had to do.

This was one of the pages of development/thumbnails that I started but didn't continue because I didn't like the base idea very much.

My scanning wasn't working so I took a picture of my work. Here, I was trying to expand my thumbnails and trying to find something that I liked. I took some of the ideas that I liked and tried to make them better. These were bigger thumbnails because I had ran out of space on the original page.

This was a page of coloured developments that I ended up not using.

These were the coloured developments I created after finalising my design. I tried to mirror my idea from one of the posters I found and I tried to use lots of the dynamic poster ideas like stepping. I wanted to use negative space to make the design more visually appealing and I thought that my design could turn out well on the computers.

This was my developments and I tried to play around with a variety of different styles of 1 poster and experimented with colour as well as placement and details.

We then transferred on the the computers and tried to recreate our designs on either photoshop or illustrator.

These were some of the new things I made to create my posters. I used displacement maps to adjust and distort words and tried to

These were some of my poster colour schemes ideas. I tried to use some different ideas and tried to see what would look best in terms of colour, typography and overall aesthetic.

I think that this stage of Typography ended up being quite frustrating and I think that this helped me learn how to overcome blocks like not having any good ideas and struggling with difficulties. I think that the skills I had learnt from both units became helpful here because I found that making patterns as well as using different colour schemes applied to both units. I think that the poster could have come out well if I had more time and I think that if I had more time to adjust it on the computer or if I had come up with an idea that I liked quicker, it would have been easier. This can help me plan and showed me how in the future, I can spend time. I think that though I became annoyed, perseverance helped me and I think that some of the skills I learnt could become really helpful in future projects.


The next stage in the Typography unit was creating various typographic portraits from serif, sans serif and decorative fonts. We had to use an about 45 degree angle photo of ourselves and use illustrator to try to recreate our faces using the letters and symbols of the type. I personally found this really fun and liked creating the faces because of the different things I could create and the way I could manipulate shapes into conforming with the natural relief. I think that creating the portraits were really fun and helped me learn how to use letters and symbols in a new way.

Sans Serif Portrait

I really liked creating this because it was quite a new idea and it was interesting to see how letters and shapes could be used to create a face on Illustrator. I found it really fun to try to adjust the letters by scaling and rotating to create the best face I could using the photograph and the font helvetica. I think that creating the portrait for the first time was quite hard because finding the right shapes was quite hard. Certain angles like the curved right angles were quite hard to find and I think that also recreating the lips and eyes were also quite hard. But I think this turned out quite nicely.

Serif Portrait

This was the serif portrait that I created using Times New Roman in the same way I made the sans serif portrait. By first taking a photo of myself and then using Illustrator to place letterforms on top of the picture to replicate the facial structures that I have, I created a portrait of myself. I think that the serif was harder to make than the sans serif because all the caps were sticking out and made it difficult to create outlines. But I think that it turned out okay despite some of the weird edges.

Free Choice Portrait

This was the portrait I mad with the font "Bakery" which was a calligraphy/brush font. I also used a different photo to create a different effect. I think that I made this the same way I made all the the other portraits. I liked how this turned out and I think that the font helped to find curls and was quite good in creating curved shapes. I think that through practice, the portraits became better. I liked the way the font curves outward and I think that this helped to create some interesting shapes.

My first attempt at using my portrait to create a print wasn't very good. The first step was to spread ink into a surface. We then used a roller to evenly roll ink onto the lino block with the engraved print. We then put the block onto a piece of paper and rubbed it in small circular motions with a spoon. We finished by using a round, flat object to rub the print. In this version, I didn't rub hard enough in certain areas and I didn't have enough ink.

My second attempt went significantly better than the first try because I pressed hard and for longer but still there were a few grey spots where the ink had not transferred. The ink was more evenly spread this time and the print looked better overall.

My third was quite successful other than a few small areas where the ink didn't transfer. I rubbed for longer this time and when I tried to pull the paper off, the ink stuck to the block, causing a few small issues. I think I got better over time as I had more practice and experience.

My final attempt at making a print turned out okay and only had a few small mistakes. It could be improved by more rubbing in certain areas but I think that it was quite good. I ended up rubbing for less time than my 3rd attempt and the ink didn't stick which was good.

I think that the printmaking process helped me figure out how exactly to measure the right time and pressure and when to take the lino piece off the paper. It required patience and perseverance because often, it took quite a while and if you took it off too early, it would be as good.

Here, I tried to use Illustrator to find different variations using colour and gradients for the portrait. I used a variety of colours against various gradient background and tried out some different effects. I think that they turned out quite well and I think that some of them became quite nice. I tended to gravitate more towards more metallic gradients because I think they looked more sophisticated and don't look as messy. I liked doing this because I like experimenting with colour and using colour to portray a mood or a theme. I think that the portrait itself was suited to colour and I think that colour was something that I really enjoyed doing.

These were some of the coloured versions of the portrait where I added a drop shadow to make it look more 3D and to add depth to the portrait. I think that the contrast between all the elements made these portraits look quite good and I liked the way they turned out. I think that the one on the blue/grey background looked like it had been put in between glass and the blue/gold one looked like it was shining so I thought that that was pretty cool.

This was a text I tried called Grease Chrome which was inspired by the movie Grease. I tried the effect but it didn't quite work on the portrait even though I followed the steps. I think that the shape and the font didn't quite work and lots of the glows and shadows didn't show up properly because of the font's size.

We had to add text effects to our portrait. I tried to make my portrait look like it was made out of glitter by creating a pattern from an image of glitter and changing the layer styles by adding a bevel and emboss and adding a texture that I created. Then I adjusted the saturation and hue. Finally, I added a drop shadow to make it look more realistic. I think that it turned out quite well, however the canvas was quite small and if I scaled it up, the image would become very pixelated. I think that the effect turned out quite well, even if I didn't have the right elements (because I couldn't download the provided documents and pictures, I had to make my own) and I think the font suited the effect quite well.

This was another text effect I created on Photoshop using a "Glow" tutorial. The tutorial went well however, it didn't work as expected because of the shape of my letters. It looks more metallic right now which I like more than the original effect. I created a texture and added gradients to the background. I then changed the layer styles and added a bevel and emboss, texture and contour, a drop shadow, inner and outer glow, satin, inner shadow and a gradient overlay which I made up because I couldn't use the given gradient. I think that it worked quite well and I like the changes I made to the tutorial.

I think this unit was interesting and even though I didn't enjoy the first section, I learnt a lot. I really enjoyed making the typographic portraits and I think that they turned out quite well. I think that in terms of typography, I've learned a lot and begun to understand how letters are just shapes and can be manipulated in different ways to adjust to new artforms.

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