Monday, 28 March 2011

Final Typeface

Above is my final typeface. When cutting out the letters I tried to add as much variety as possible while still trying to make everything clear. Variety is important as I wanted to show the physicality and the numerous ways the books could create these 8 bit fonts to illustrate that books are in many ways superior to e-readers. I cut through blank pages to revealing lines of text as well as the reverse of this. I cut into images to reveal either text or a blank page as well as cutting into the covers.

I tried to bring in the same variety when photographing the images. I really wanted to show depth and the book as an object that can be manipulated. I took images from different angles, I used the shadow and light created as well as trying to include the pages along with the letters.While photographing I was keeping in mind the work of Veronica Bailey whose work is shown below:

Her work really emphasises that books are objects and are beautiful and interesting in their own right.

 I'm pleased with the font as I feel it gets the message across. Although I find some letters are harder to make out than others but I feel this is less noticeable when they have the context of the letters around them, how they work on their own is a different issue. For the sake of fitting them all onto one sheet I had to crop some of the photos and I felt some pieces looked better with more space around the letter. With more time I would have liked to experiment more with how I could have cut the letters and ways of manipulating the books to make the images more interesting. As I went on photographing I had to come up with more and more different ways of shooting the letters and I think interesting results would have happened if I kept pushing this.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Font Research and Experiments

The new project for our Online module is to create a font. I spent a good lot of yesterday looking through some of my favourite type books and browsing online.

One of these books is 'New Typographics with font samples' which the below examples are from. The first two pieces are by Richard Niessen and the last was designed by Barbara Battig. I love the colours and creation of a wonderland like castle using fonts and the retro feel of the other pieces. I was inspired to look at retro 8 bit fonts.

The other book is 'Playful Type' which has an amazing collection of experimental type.  The below examples by Lisa Rienermann and Superscript show how type can be created using the environment around us which is very relevant to the brief.

 Camille Lebourges and Hjarta Smarta's work show examples of how fonts can be made of objects. I like the childhood nostalgia in Lebourages piece, which I was considering for my work. Smarta's work relates to my love of collecting objects and I was considering doing a font based on collections in the V&A because of this piece.

 Another work that relates my collector mentality and my love of physical objects over digital was the piece below by Annemarie van de Berg showing a letter made of books. While Yokoland's piece yet again brought in my interest in 8 bit graphics and type.

I combined these ideas to create a font which I wanted to express my love of books and while I know there are advantages to digital e-readers I never I want books to be replaced entirely.I cut 8 bit style type into books to create depth and show the physicality of books. 

I kept thinking of different more handmade ways of creating digital looking fonts and was inspired by the pieces below.The letters using light by Hort and Nir Tober inspired me to experiment with coloured light and Karina Petersen's piece below these inspired me to look at shadows.

 The results of these experiments are shown below. It was hard with light I had to create sharp images and the camera wouldn't focus on the shadows but I think the results were interesting.

I decided to focus on cutting letters out of books and trying to successfully photograph them.

As part of my initial research I also looked at Rebus, Film Titles and various other things. I was really interested in film titles like Saul Bass inspired pieces such as 'Buried' and 'Catch Me If You Can' as the way the text and image interact is really successful. While not relevant to the direction my project is taking they could be useful for future projects. is a great site with a variety of interesting film titles.

There was also the above posters for the 'Coraline' movie promotion which was a alphabet where each letter was placed in a magazine with the corresponding first letter. I like the small additions to the letters which makes them images.

This 'I Fight Dragons' album cover is where the 8 bit inspiration also came from. I was also interesting in possibly doing a rebus piece similar to Paul Rand's IBM piece.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Japanese Earthquake Zine - Final Spreads

 These are the final spreads of my zine. I originally did my zine on a black and white photocopier but it made everything much harder to make out so I did a colour version instead. These are the front covers of both as well as a spread showing the back and front spread.

 I then went to some establishing shots, I tried to show 3 of the main areas I edited, dividing the page up in thirds as I didn't want a page for every scene. I then took the images of the reverberations and showed two stages of the shaking starting and getting worse. I didn't split the page evenly to give a more chaotic feel.

 I then showed the groceries flying everywhere and the shaking stairs which then leads to a double page spread of the crack going up the stairs.

 I put the collages of the street in a wreck and the church crumbling together and then lead to the most chaotic images of the fires and floods. I wanted the most expressive pieces to be towards the end.

 In the black and white version of my zine this piece was the final page before the gravestone as I wanted a bit of calm, just showing the water in the city. However in the crit it was said that it was hard to make out what was happening in this image so I removed it for the colour version.


I'm hoping the colour version is clearer, if it isn't another idea I had was to put quotes from newspapers but I wanted to avoid this as I wanted the audience to reflect on the images without text. One idea might be to put a page at the front with quotes and then go into the images, maybe having the scenes of calm before this.I feel I should have also focused on a clearer narrative and more noticeable stages, I started to show graduation from calm to the shaking, destruction, the fire and flooding and finally the gravestone but I could have made these stages clearer. I could also have considered the use of different media as I think using oil pastel towards the end was effective and I think I should have worked on slowly changing how much I edited and what I edited with. I was hoping the title of 8.9 was clear enough, which may be the case this close to the incident but when there's been a greater gap including the word 'magnitude' might help. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Japanese Earthquake Zine

 Our next project is to create a zine using photographs taken at various locations. I wanted to relate my to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I went around my area taking pictures with the intention of editing them to make it appear that an earthquake occurred in Harrow, bringing the disaster closer to home.

 I took photos of cracks in the ground with the intention enlarging them and using them to make massive cracks in the ground. I took pictures of buildings and streets to show them in rubble or on fire.

I then printed some of the images to experiment with. I firstly tried using oil pastel and marker pen to create chaotic images. One was showing a tree falling on a train and causing a fire. I also took the image of fruit and veg and cut out the boxes and some individual pieces of fruit to make them appear as if they were falling. I really liked the outcome of this so tried it with a crumbling church.


I also used acetate and tracing paper to copy images and then move the acetate over to give the impression of shaking. I also went over images to show the rubble and debris that would build up as well as the water from the tsunami flooding in. I also experimented with ripping the tracing paper and photo below.

I took the images of stones and cracks in the ground and created a collage of a destroyed street. I used oil pastel again to show both the tsunami and a building on fire. My images were both based on typical imagery associated with earthquakes as well as images on the BBC News website from Japan.

 As the last page I intend to use the gravestone from the pictures above and for the first page I want to use the image below which is 8.9 (the magnitude of the quake although some places state its 9.00) written in cracks in the ground.