TYPOGRAPHY Jemma

Introduction

The typography unit was all about looking around and really looking at what is there. Understanding the different personalities that each type face can have and the effect the person looking at it feels, weather they know it or not. In this mish-mash of projects we looked at abstract looking, attention-seeking posters and analysed their layouts. We adapted that to our own accord and learnt weird and totally awesome new tools on both photoshop and illustrator such as displacement maps. This unit was not all centred around 1 thing, one project, like the logo unit. Which was a really good starter and way to ease ourselves into kind of understanding a glimpse of the possibilities using graphic art. But in the typography unit there was more freedom and a lot more of the harder skills to master.

Below, is my found letterforms poster. After being tasked with finding all 26 letters of the alphabet in different parts of the school, I used In Design to put them all together. It was very tedious as this was the first time I used In Design. Some of my letters still aren't up to par but overall I'm happy with the letterforms I could find. This made me think about all the ways letters can be found in manufacturing as well as nature in everyday life. It got me to think about how much text I really see without realising it, and therefore the potential effect typography can have on the way people think or see things.

This could possibly be the most frustrating thing I have ever done.

This was the first time I had ever used InDesign. So far in graphic the first couple of times I try something, literally never seems to go to plan. But like everything else I tried for ages, multiples of thousands of times and eventually came to the poster below. Which I am quite happy with.

The next section of the typography, was a big one, HELVETICA. In the first couple of lessons we learnt of it's significance and how it evolved. Learning key terms like what a serif is. While looking into helvetica and what it stands form I in turn learnt the power typefaces can have and their role in everyday life. We watched the video below... It is extremely long but it took me back to where helvetica came from and helped me grasp the understanding of how creating a font is like. And even more than that, creating a font quite a few years ago, using more 'vintage' technology.

After undertsanding the roots of helvetica. It was time to destroy it.

Next we were set the task of destroying it in as many ways we could. Cut it up, tear it, crumple it, paint over it. And then learn how to transfer that onto the computer where even more distortions could take place. Below are different methods I used to try manipulate and change the helvetica font.

Here I distorted Helvetica by scrunching the type face in my hands and then using al the folds to bend and manipulate it in different ways. I took different photos along the process of changing it so when I transfer it into adobe illustrator, I will have more options of distorted Helvetica.
Here I distorted Helvetica by cutting it up, tearing it apart by ripping and by using the knives. After cutting them up, I moved the singular parts individually, putting them further and closer from each other giving a lot more options to get different distortions from one set of deformation.
Here I traced the printed Helvetica and used different strokes with a pencil to get a different vibe with the same lettering and type face.
When I cut the Helvetica this time, I attacked the positive space more and kind of left the negative space alone. For some I cut out individual pieces. Whereas for others I discovered that i could scrape and jab at the inked areas with the knife without taking out bits of paper all together. This way of cutting will add a new dimension to the cut up Helvetica images I made at the start.
Here I distorted Helvetica by tracing the printed Helvetica and colouring it in with a black marker. I then used water and splatter motions to help the ink run. This created lots of different patterns and distortions without taking too much away from the letter form itself until it got to a point where it was unrecognisable and I stopped adding water.
Here I used the back of the ink dripping Helvetica. Until there was too much water. Not only did the front of the Helvetica with dripping ink add an interesting dimension but so did the back. I can draw many different deformations of Helvetica from this step when I upload these to Illustrator.

Next I uploaded all the different paper distortions onto the computer and using live trace, among other tools such as displacement maps, I continued to distort, destroy and change the helvetica everyone knows. Except now on the computer.

****INSERT HELVETICA DISTORTIONS FROM ART CLASS MAC******

After creating some distortions and understanding helvetica and where it came from, the creation of my first poster in graohic was created. Below is a mish mash of different concepts or facts covered in the video I whatched along with the usage of some of the helvetica distortions.

This was a great activity to lead into what came next in the helvetica portion of the typography unit.

Next up was to draw inspiration from other artists. Looking at and analysing the graphic art different people had created in poster form was a way to widden our minds to see past the G5 starters poster making workshop. And see what can be done and how we can translate new skills into creating abstract new techniques.

The manipulation of the letters as well as the contrast between the bright distorted images used to draw eyes ad the basic alignment and colour of the information is what drew me to this poster. The irregularity and distortion of the bright letterforms is something I could recreate by using a displace map in my own poster. After looking at this, it would be a good idea to use wither the white or red and manipulation to draw readers in before they see structured red or white text relaying the important information. I also like the use of the blue squares. They provide contrast against the warm colours and also draw the eye as their boxy square shape is very different to the fluid, manipulated shapes replicated by the other shapes and letterforms.
This poster drew me in immediately with the black and white contrast. The colour doesn't have to be the part that pops. I also love the difference between the basic regular pattern of the lines falling at the same angle against the letters. And how the alignment of the lines and the letterforms are also very similar. The lines at the n=bottom have regular spacing whereas at the top this spacing changes up. And the same happens in the letterforms but the differences in alignment is more noticeable especially with the sharp white against the duller background. This poster shows how alignment can be used to switch up something that would've been simplistic and turn it dynamic and interesting.
I love this poster purely for the contrast between the top and the bottom of the page. As well as how the one line of red text in the middle is used to provide the important information. This is an idea I would love to try and replicate in my helvetica poster. A simple layout at the tip, crisp replaying of information which has the contrasting colour (red), followed by a mixture of distortion at the bottom that although uses the same colours and tones as the rest of the poster (excluding the red text) provides such a different feel. Like the other poster I looked at, the yellow and pink poster, the use of squares interests me. Placing them around the distorted areas is really very effective. Their regularity in such an irregularly laid out area brings a sense of focus.
This poster is dynamic in the way that the distortion of the picture and the distortion of the letters match. And how something as simple as adding layers of different combinations of black and white can completely switch up how effectively viewers are drawn in is really interesting. As well as the layer and movement in the poster, the use of colour is definitely something I know I can transfer into the helvetica poster I make. The reddish colour against the distorted black and white with the distorted letterforms is really impressive and although in a way simple, is still very effective at drawing people in to looking at the posters message.

After spending time looking at the creations of others it was time to take a design brief and start the process we use in graphic art.

So just as in the logo unit, the first step was thumbnails. In the first unit I found these very difficult as it was my first time. I think the issue was that I overthought them, tried to get a viable idea for each one. When in reality the good ideas come from a whole bunch of bad ones. As I had done thumbnails before, I realised that I find it super beneficial to make rough little notes on the sides of my thumbnails to make sure I remember where I wanted the idea to go in the future. So I guess there was just a new level of comfort with this step. It was also easier this time round because my thumbnails were heavily based on the posters I looked at before. I pasted the different poster inspirations onto my thumbnail page, drew ideas from them and adapted them to my own design brief. I really enjoyed this step of the process and I felt prepared to be moving into the next step, developments.

*******INSERT UPDATED DEVELOPMENTS!!!!!!*******

After developing my idea to a place where I felt comfortable and sure of it, it was time to transfer my idea on to the computer. This was quite an interesting process because I actually found it very different to transferring my logo on to the computer even thought the same types of skills and principles applied. I think because with the logo, only one thing was on the page and I wasn't thinking about lots of different factors at one time, it was a lot simpler. I realised that knowing what exact angle I wanted and the numeric measurements of everything are so important. Or at least for me, I'm not comfortable with all the tools and just in illustrator or photoshop yet. Which means that not having the exact measurements and staring at a blank screen was very daunting. Eventually after figuring the finer details out I managed to transfer my development onto the computer as shown below.

While doing this step I learnt and built upon skills including image trace, inverting colours and I feel like my understanding of using illustrator really grew. Although I still find Photoshop hard to work with, I want to start trying to deepen my skill with that programme. I created a pattern brush with the 70's to put on a line through the diagonals. Because i have to image trace to convert the type with effects from photoshop, the distortion changes so in this case I didn't like this type as much. So developing from this poster, I want to make many variations and tweak it. One thing I'm planning on experimenting with is the diagonal lines because the white box behind covers the helvetica and makes it seem too blocky if that makes sense. It doesn't flow. So my plan is to make variations of the type of the Helvetica as well as adjust the lines.
Here are the variations on the lines I did, I removed the white behind the 70 pattern line. I then used red,light red, dark and light grey to see what colour work the best. At the minute I like the idea of the red or the dark grey but I'm not sure. I like these variations better than my first attempt as it really shows the letters and their distortion. It also makes people look at their layout which was something I really liked about this poster which was hidden in my first attempt. If I had had more time I would have wanted to play around with this layout and some other Helvetica distortions I have created. I may have changed up the 3 lines of writing at the bottom as they are slightly boring, however the simplicity of those lines next tot he distorted Helvetica seems to work.

Next in the typography unit was to create Typographic Portraits. I started by taking a picture of myself, with my head slightly angled to show my nose. As this makes the nose easier to fill with letters. We had the oppurtunity to do 3 different types of typographic portraits. 1) San-serif, so a font without a serif 2) Serif, a font with a serif 3) free choice, where we chose fonts that suited our personalities or were drawn to us. This part of the unit really made me think about the relationship between black and white. This part of learning isn't very well translated in what I created as it was quite a standard typographic poster. However, while looking at the typographic posters others towards the end of this section I realised how there doesn't always have to be a letter or shape in a space for something to be there. That sounds completely wrong, so what I mean is that the illusion of a line can be just as powerful. For example, I saw a peer who didn't place the typeface the whole way down his jaw, but I knew it was there. The negative space still created the illusion of the jaw being there based on its relationship with the surrounding positive space. It also was very tedious and quite slow, thinking about each letter. I especially struggled with facial features that are very recognisable or the features that define who a person is. So areas like the eyes, nose and mouth. Below are my three typographic posters:

Here is my first attempt at a typographic portrait and I found it a lot harder than expected. To start with two main things I would like to change or look for in my future is changing my nose and right eye. The nose is too heavy especially as it is a vocal point in the middle of my face. And the eye, it's just kinda creepy and I know I can do more with it. For next time I should keep going down and outline at least the top of my shoulders as a floating head is a bit strange. I did like the variation in sizes within my hair. I also like my jaw line and the shape of my head as it is very like me in person.
Here is my second typographic poster, using a serif font. In this one I tried to place each letter with more purpose. Instead of just filling space, I tried to use the right kind of shapes and orientation to create a realistic look. I found this very beneficial when doing my hair, more specifically my parting at the top of my hairline. I again didn't nail the facial features which had become my main goal when doing these posters. The nose is very very strange, the mouth has a better shape but still wasn't where I wanted it to be. (using more negative space around the mouth would be a lot better than trying to match lines up) However, overall I think this second piece was a big improvement from my first because It showed a more deeper thought process.
And lastly, my third typographic poster, where we could choose whatever font we wanted. I love note taking, which is weird I know but it's my favourite part of studying and homework. So I've seen lots of studyblr and this font reminds me of the perfect heading. A great font that showcases letters in a way that is legible but also kind of edgy due to the brush stroke but also not to harsh due to the curves and lack of harsh lines. So I guess strong and outgoing but not too harsh and stubborn which is a personality type I try to associate with myself. In this one I think I did a way better job on the facial features themselves, although the face shape is not the way I want it to be. For the eyes I used observations I gained while looking at my peers' work as well as a lot of trial and error. I wanted some wacky eyebrows and I got them! The nose, although it doesn't look exactly like mine due to the lack of curve in the bridge, I find it a lot more appealing than the noses I created previously. Overall I think in each poster I made improvements and this really helped me look at a font, what it says and the best ways to layout a typeface.

Text Effects

After creating the typographic posters, it was time to play around. Using text effects and different colour variations I was able to change a very simplistic elegant portrait into something with a whole new vibe or personality.

Here is an unfinished text effect from a tutorial. I found text effects impossible in the first unit and although I did find them much easier this unit. They were still very very frustrating. Tutorials are extremely helpful but I often got to the point where I was about to pull my hair out because it wasn't working. Anyway, even though this is not what the tutorial I followed intended to turn out as, I quite like it. The water colour background with the simple black typographic portrait spunks it up a bit whilst still leaving the type face as it is.
Here I tried to adapt the three different coloured text effects by inverting the background with the type. It didn't work as well as I wanted it due to the light tones in the watercolour background. However, this is what gave me the grounds to start exploring with effects and different lighting in my next attempt at a text effect.
This is my favourite text effect. Not because this is the one I like the look of the most but because of the super cool tool I found by MYSELF. Under filters I found a setting that lets you create a light or glow, like a lightbulb. You can change the lights brightness and angle and colour. So I played around in order to make sure to have both the spunk and flash of the colour whilst still being able to see the font itself. Although I lost the watercolour effect, I think it was still an improvement on the first attempt at inverting the colours.
And finally, my last text effect, I used a displacement map to input a scene of New York City within the letters. This trick has endless possibilities, trying new pictures, scenes or graphics within different letters and shapes. It's a concept I know I'll be able to use in the future especially as we move into advertising.

Beyond the computer - #throwback

One of the most exciting parts of this unit was the lessons we spent in the art room, off the computers. After creating my typographic portrait, Mr.McGrath lazer cut them into something we could use to make prints. We rolled black ink on a glass table and tried to find the perfect amount of ink to use, I swear it was like trying to use how sticky the ink was against the roller as a science to find when there was the perfect amount of ink. Too much, letters were filled in and the print wasn't crips. Not enough ink and there wasn't the slick all black "printer" look, with white speckles. After placing paper onto the inked up portrait, we used the backs of spoons to get the perfect print. There was friction, there was heat, and let's just say there were quite a few people (aka me) that had a sore fore-arm the next day. After rubbing the ink in for quite a while (without waiting too long, as the ink would dry up) we flipped them over and stuck them on paper. Below are the prints I created, I could still have gotten a more picture perfect print but I think it was such a cool experience. It showed me how graphic isn't always ont he computer, all the time. Something different!

-Typography~Jemma Stubington-

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