Vernacular Typography

Today we were set a short one day group project based upon Vernacular Typography. Essentially we had to ‘visualise the provided word through expressive typography in a space of our choice’. Our word was sparse meaning scattered or infrequent. Things we had to consider while thumb nailing were how we can use the environment to convey the word. Our initial thoughts were to have thin letters scattered around a large empty space i.e. a field or pavement. This would show how little and few letters there are compared to the space around them. After that we tried considering materials and typeface. Wire or string are thin materials we could work with, they would be easy to mould into any shape but also not looking bulky and fade into the background.  Ultimately we needed to get out into the world and find sparse bleak places, ideally looking for somewhere with sparse colour or life also.

Our first stop was the graveyard, we had thought that the little life there would have given a feeling of sparseness to our pictures. Unfortunately the thin wire lettering couldn’t be seen within the busy backgrounds of the graveyard. The pictures we took didn’t convey the word at all with the backdrops covered in rubble, rust and moss, they were much to curious looking and cluttered to efficiently represent the word.

After not achieving what we wanted at the graveyard we wanted to look for somewhere clear and open to take pictures. The city centre was a good place to find empty walls in which to separate the lettering. The turquoise wall we found I think really conveys our word, it shows a lack of life in an otherwise busy city. With our thin typeface at the bottom it exhibits the emptiness around it and uses the negative space to benefit us. All of these things make the picture sparse and empty. A thing i would have gone back and changed would be finding a different colour wall perhaps black, white or grey to show the sparseness even more.

Final Outcome


Six Word Stories

This short project extended off from our hybography word play trials, meaning we had to use the methods we were taught to help us complete this brief. Roughly the brief was to create an A3 black and white typographic poster using hybrids lettering. We had to convey a story within 6 words and the way in which we composed them. I chose the Strange Case of Dr. Jakyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson, a story I’d been fascinated with since childhood for its unusual characters and creepy subtext.

My starting point was to show an obvious split representing both Jekyll and Hyde, his good and evil sides. This was easily shown by the use of a black and white split background, this seen as the separation between good and evil. After I looked at picking appropriate typefaces, I knew I wanted older looking styles to reflect the heritage of the book. I chose Jamscript for my sans-serif font and Mix Serif for my serif font. Jamscript is thin and spindly meant to represent the devilish snake from the garden of eden. Where I chose Mix Serif to contradict that and to feel comforting or reliable as he is a Doctor. The two fonts in themselves show the split personalities of Dr. Jakyll but I wanted to keep adding to the hidden context to really see how much I could include but still keeping the work subtle. Subtle like Dr. Hyde was before he was discovered to be a murderous mad man.

A few more things I included to communicate the story was using the hybrid lettering. I split the two fonts equally in half to show the even split between the two through the majority of the book. The word submit however is in reference to his unruly other half which couldn’t be tamed. Its written fully in the devilish font and in a dark grey. This is subtle to the viewer but when looking up close you can read it fully. I did this to show how he always gives in to his dark thoughts eventually. Lurking in the darkness even when his morals tell him otherwise. You could also interpret it as he’s hiding from himself and once his associates finally get up close to him they really see the true Dr. Jakyll.    

On final reflections I think I did communicate the story within the poster. Although if it were a real book poster I would have wanted it to stand out more. Enlarging the rest of the font could have done this and have been more visible for passing consumers. Considering that I still think I made it subtle and thought-provoking which is what I like to do in my work. Communicating with the audience is really important in the world of graphic design. This short project was really helpful in building those skills and I took time in thinking of every subtle way I could involve the story line. For example carefully choosing the font to suit both personalities or even using the shades to help communicate my ideas. After this project I’m really excited for more thoughtful projects to build on my communication skills.

Constellation: Initial Thoughts

On arriving at the first constellation lecture I was very optimistic and still unsure what it was going to consist of. Now that I have an understanding on how the year is going to plan out I am really excited to have new views on thought-provoking subjects. Although I’m not confident on the writing aspect I’m going to try to get further help with my essay structuring.

I had been reading about the benefits of the topics for a couple of days now, so when I chose my options I felt really confident that they would not only interest me but benefit me too. Two that I felt really passionate about were Myth Making in Art and Design and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Myth Making had some really interesting points on advertisement, wanting to venture into this industry I  thought it would be quite relevant. The topic overview also brings up a curious thought that when designing you are putting out your clients view on how the world should be understood. On the other hand Smells like team spirit really stood out to me because it debated on subjects like gender, sexuality and race. These all are extremely relevant and pressing issues at the moment. In the working world I hope to create pieces that say something about important issues, even if they are not spoken about often. I think this subject would really develop my analytical thoughts and benefit me greatly.


Book Binding Workshop

Today’s workshop was book binding, a craft I’d wanted to learn for a while now. I used tools I’d never used before and learnt the basics binding pages. My finished book was quite rough, I think with further practice I can refine this skill. One thing I wasn’t so great at was using the paper cutting tool, I needed to lean the knife on the table to achieve a  cleaner cut. I also pressed to hard using the bone scorer making the paper ripple. I’m planning on making another in my own time to become better. I feel like this skill will really be useful later in the course to convey ideas I need to at the time. Perhaps a more personal project as the hand rendered feel would really suit.

Deconstructing Design in Print

Today session was based upon layout, hierarchy and ‘the grid’. The way layout is figured out by practitioners is very complex they use columns to structure pages in print. We had a little activity where we had to draw 10 layout pages from magazines, at first I was a little confused but soon picked it up. My drawing above shows a layout from eye magazine is contains 8 columns on each page. It isn’t obvious at first, but after looking at the text layout out you can see the top left corner text is only half the size of the original text section making it 8 collums.

After learning this we were then instructed to create two editorial layouts, one symmetrical and the other asymmetrical. I really enjoy editorial tasks as I feel like everything has a place and i just need to find the right one like a puzzle. It also gives me full range to convey whatever message the article is talking about. Anyway my two rough editorial mash-ups came out really clean which i enjoy, they feel contemporary but still feel me. The only things i would improve is the symmetrical layout is harder to follow with the eye, its unsure on where you are meant to look after the title.


Fridays task was named Hybography, which I didn’t fully understand at first. I learned that this small task is about hybrid typography. We had to take a ‘playful’ word i chose decay and use the essence of the form to convey the meaning of the word. I chose two fonts that I thought could really help with conveying the meaning, they are Didot and Poplar Std. Didot is bony and weak looking, the end of the decay process, where Poplar is fat and full of life, before decay occurs. To show the decay process i used both types morphing into one another, the later letters actually falling apart as what happens when things decay. The layout i took from a bird’s eye view of a church aisle to signify death but it also could be seen as the letters falling to the ground maybe 6 feet deep.

Ive’s Type

An exercise we completed yesterday was a Norman Ives inspired task, we had to make our own version of his isolated typeface art pieces. His work is very thoughtful and helps you to appreciate the detail in the creation of font. Seeing the confined type in square forms makes it simpler to examine the letterforms in detail. It also poses the question of how far can you adapt a letter for it to still be recognisable. After I completed my first 4 squares, i stood back and could still recognise the letter. Once home i decided to try again and see how far i could push the letters to instead look like a piece of abstract art rather that type. My second attempt i really like, the colour palette suits the romantic nature of a letter ‘f’ and is now unrecognisable. This exercise was really mind-altering, i now look at type in such a different way. They are little pieces of art not just an everyday typeface.


Cardiff in Typographic Forms

Our first module is on typography which was one of the subjects i was really excited for, previously i haven’t had much experience with type but after this project i was so excited for more. We first had to research forms of typeface, the sheer amount surprised me but i found the exercise really interesting and rewarding. I feel as though i have a much better understanding of the basics to type. One that really took my eye is the use of bifurcated and trifurcated, the individual serifs really stand out and give an artistic look to fonts.

The following day we were sent on a typography hunt around the city centre. It was so fun, it felt like a treasure hunt. We were sent to find 3 different forms. One of ours were condensed typefaces, I found this tattoo/barber shop sign which included this old style typeface. It really caught my eye with the low contrast and tall shape mixed with the script font between. Once back to our classroom we were told to cut out our chosen letter from card and create a community desktop picture. With all the fonts together the picture looks really alluring and was a great learning experience.

Summer Project

My first project from my Graphic Communication degree course i found very intriguing, set in the summer holidays i was excited to have a project to think about. I had to answer these three questions; who are you inspired by?, what is an interesting fact about you? and why you chose to study at Cardiff Met. I love creating pieces of art that conveys a message, even if it’s not obvious at first glance. My inspiration was digital artist Saccsrty, she creates pastel surreal scenes involving girls. This is my personal style and shows with my palate choices and imagery. This including body modification which i have a real passion for. I love the way we can change our bodies to more fit how we feel on the outside. The last question, why i chose Cardiff met, was answered by my overall pieces. My art style is different and personal so i wanted to work in an environment i felt comfortable expressing my thoughts. Cardiff feels like home and i feel i can share my art without feeling distressed.

illuminated letterform