Hands-On Experimental Type

On Tuesday we had a workshop all for the love of type. The aim was to make us aware of the possibilities of type and to get us to experiment and create our own letterforms. As not many people turned up that day, we were told to pick 4 letters/numbers/punctuation forms out of a hat out of 40. These were the characters I got:

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We had to choose a few different typefaces; at least one serif and one sans serif. After printing some out I cut them up, because I wanted to play around with the composition and alignment of the letters.

The fonts I chose were:

  • Century – G | K
  • Baskerville – g | N
  • Cochin – k | B
  • Avenir Black – n
  • Bauhaus 93 – b

I first used black ink go over the outlines of the letterforms:

I thought about the marks made by the ink and how they formed the letter shapes once the excess paper was removed. Although I liked the outcomes, I had no idea where to go from here.
I decided to print out the letters again and cut them out, this time using the actual letters rather than the negative space. For this series I cut one straight line through each letter and rearranged them.

Some of the letters I preferred over others, as I wanted to keep them recognisable still, but didn’t know how to change the style of the letters. I think “n” is pretty boring, but I like playing around with the capitalised version.

I decided to play around with the letters some more, and scanned them whilst moving the paper about. The outcomes were pretty interesting so I picked my favourites and decided to work with those.

I painted them, taking in the deformed shapes of the new letters. I then overlapped the new letters on top of the original ones and drew them together.

I liked the overlap of the letters, both out of shape and original, so I decided to work with that and scanned it in editing it on photoshop.
I wanted to keep the basic colours that I used for the painted letters, but because there were so many different lines, I decided to mess around a bit and use different shades of the colours for the letters. I didn’t expect to end up with these outcomes when we were first told the brief, but I quite like what I came up with.

I think that something I could improve on is to be more adventurous and to not always stick within the lines or “rules” of type. However this brief was definitely an engaging one, as it allowed me to explore new ways and processes. Some of the techniques used through playing around and testing different outcomes will surely come up in my later works.


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