Project The Visual Word. Exercise: Playing with words

Using the following words create typographical representations that present both the word and a suggestion of its meaning.

  1. Sad 2. Safe 3. Sardonic 4. Saucy 5 Scholarly 6. Serious 7. Shadow 8. Shattered 9. Shy 10. Short 11. Silly 12. Sinking 13. Skimpy 14 Sleek 15. Smart 16. Snowy 17. Sodden 18. Soothing 19. Sordid 20. Sophisticated 21. Speed 22. Squat 23. Squeeze 24. Stiff 25. Stodgy 26. Stoned 27. Style 28. Supine 29. Swagger 30. Sweet

Start this exercise by working on A4 sheets of paper. Set the words in 48pt Helvetica Bold, print and cut out the words and then arrange them and stick them to a sheet of paper trying to capture the meaning of the word visually. Think about the composition, using the white space of the page to help you construct your meanings.

Then work digitally using any of the software you have available. Explore how you can set text at a slant, at different sizes, in different colours and fonts. Try using filters in your software for other effects.

Make notes as you work explaining your choice of representations and which ones you feel that you were most successful with.

I found a couple of the words below impossible to illustrate so I made a circle of them and photographed them.

words_not_done_sm

I made thumbnails of the ones I completed:

thumbnail_sm

thumbnail_2_sm

I then made a booklet of them so that I could add them easily to my learning log.

words_cover

 

Here is the first of the Software created words:

1: SODDEN

sodden_2_sm

I don’t think it looks really sodden!!!! So I soaked it in water and scanned it.

sodden_3_sm

2: STONED

Dublin graffitiI started with the adjoining graffiti image. I downloaded a graffiti font from Dafont.com

Dublin graffiti

This was created in Photoshop using layers. First layer was the graffiti image. I then used the Horizontal type tool and added a fill layer. Then I moved the text between the layers. I tried to add a filter but could not.

I then tried this with a black background:

Dublin graffiti

 

The ‘d’ is half missing because the graffiti had black behind here. I like the half missing letter – after all I am supposed to be representing ‘stoned’!! I added a filter pixelate and crystallise. I also prefer black background.

3: SAD

I used Illustrator and made a path around which I wrote SAD. I used a rather murky pink. In the ‘a’ I put a ‘sad dish’ mouth and nose of my granddaughter. I then placed it on a gradient background using the same pink. I reduced the opacity.

sad_1

 

4. SHATTERED

For this I searched YouTube for a method of ‘shattering’ letters on Illustrator… I found one on Youtube Here is the result.

shattered_sm

5. SAFE

This is a boring word in all it’s meanings…. So I sketched a boring safe, in Illustrator, and wrote the word safe….

safe

6. SARDONIC

I loved this challenge on the computer whereas I could not think of anything on paper. For this I used a Vonster pattern for the background. I wrote the word in Princetown LET and then I distorted the word using Glass distort. Finally I warped it using a bulge warp. I thought this indicated a cynical cured lip…. I have never used any of these before and maybe they are bit over the top but it was fun.

sardonic_sm

 

7. SHADOW

This was pretty simple. Wrote Shadow in Scorched Earth typeface Made the colour wine. opened Effects, Sylise, drop shadow. Put on Black background for heightened effect.

shadow

8. SAUCY

I decided first on a red background and then I looked for a script type on DaFont. I settled on Letra Hipster – Personal US. I then tried several effects and settled on Pixilate Mezzotint. This is the result:

saucy

9. SCHOLARLY

I tried to create a mortar board in Illustrator using perspective and the pen tool…. My results are less that perfect…

scholarly_2

10. SERIOUS

I wanted to create spectacles which are  always though of as serious… I need to learn how to join anchors in Illustrator. I ended up using the eraser – not to very good effect!!!

serious

Am reading about book cover designers. I like this piece of advice by Oliver Mundy:

 think more and design less.

 

11. SILLY

This was easy for me I love playing silly games with my grandchildren on paper….. So I hand drew this with the pen tool….

silly

12. SKIMPY

This suggested itself to me as a ’60’s slimy skirt which I was guilty of wearing in those days!!!! The type face I used was eccentric std!!!

skimpy

13. SQUAT

I am looking after the dog of a friend and of course squatting is in her daily routine so naturally I thought about this!!!!

squat

I am not sure if we are meant to do every word in the list but I feel my designs are getting a little ‘samey’. So I will give it a break…

14. SMART

I was trying to look for a typeface that I thought looked smart and I cam across this site. The Typeface which was designed by Nelson Balaban looks beautiful. I tried to create my own version…. This might be a little presumptuous but it was fun. However does not look very smart.

I also added what I think is a classic smart typeface which is probably what I would use if I was called on to make something commercial. I followed the principals outlined in this paper.

smart

15. SNOWY

For this I just downloaded a free typeface form here. Not ver imaginative but it would work for a Christmas card…

snow

16. SOOTHING

I used blue as the colour as this is supposed to be a restful colour.

soothing

17. SOPHISTICATED

I think Futura is a sophisticated font and in grey it becomes even more sophisticated especially on a black background…

sophisticated

 

18. SORDID

For this I used Myriad Bold Condensed and replaced the “i” with a syringe… Sordid enough!!

sordid_2

19. SPEED

I used Helvetica bold and with the Free Transform tool I turned the word around . I then I used to surround the word with ‘dust” to give the impression of dust around car wheels. Then distorted to give the impression of speed

speed

20 SQUEEZE

I just squeezed the word up with the Free transform tool.

squeeze

21. STIFF

stiff

22. STODGY

I found this paper about fonts and like the fact that Big Caslon is described  as stodgy…

Here is is

stodgy

23. SWEET

I used Mona Lisa solid with an imported candy strip background.

sweet

24. SUPINE

supine

25. SHORT

I made the word short of its total form…

short

26. SINKING

sinking

27. SLEEK

sleek

28.STYLE

Madre script

style

29.SWAGGER

swagger

30.SHY

shy

REFLECTION:

This was one of the most difficult and time consuming exercises I have ever done for OCA. I think I have learned a lot about typography as I can now recognise some of the typefaces. I have also been reading Type & Typography by Phill Baines & Andrew Haslam. However it is like reading something from another era. Things stood still in the world of printing for so long and with the advent of the computer it has rushed ahead.

I cannot possibly decide which  results are successful. Since I was using most of this software for the first time I would not consider that I am in any way proficient with it. I enjoyed the challenge but there is a long way to go before I would be at ease or know which results work best. I will await the tutors response.

 

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