Similar in spirit to the distortions assignment last week, I want you to experiment with altering letterforms by adding or removing parts of the letter. You may do this in the computer or off.
Use the letters RISD.
Unlike last week, we will discuss how the end piece alters the meaning of the letters.
Here are some examples of what you can do:
The website Wikipedia has a “random article” button on the left. Click it. Provided the result is not extremely long or extremely short, copy the text out of the page and typeset it using your typeface on 8.5″ wide by however long.
You may take the organization and aesthetics of it as far as you want, but the main goal is clarity. You are not replicating their format, but using their hierarchy. It is also another excuse to have you work in inDesign. Consider using tabs, paragraph styles, character styles and other parts of inDesign that you have not yet had a chance to use.
Tile your printouts to make a long verticle page or print on a plotter. Start this in class and let’s look at it next week.
On September 26 we will be going to the Providence Public Library’s Special Collections room. PPL is home to the D.B. Updike printing collection, bequethed to the Library in the 1940s. There we will see an overview of printing history back to the 15th Century until the end of the collection.
Take a good look at your assigned typeface — including the online marketing collateral, the lengthy type specimen sheet provided, and the typeface files themselves.
Zoom into the letterforms that make up your typeface. Find interesting positive and negative spaces, shapes, curves and angles. It’s important that we don’t read the letter. This assignment is about understanding form and counterform. Use only one glyph per sheet. Rotating is fine, but may not be necessary given the wealth of characters in the typeface.
Create 9 8×8″ finished drawings using either pen and ink or a photocopier. If working digitally (with the tyepface and InDesign), make 50 and print your favorite 9. Work iteratively. You’re looking to create engaging form.
Give an oral presentation on what you learned about the typeface to pair with your croppings. Describe your typeface in whatever terms seem appropriate: “whimsical”, “heavy”, “stern”, “Don Draper-like”. What classification system does the typeface fall under? What type of applications are well suited for this typeface? Is it already associated with a brand or cultural sector? What did you learn by observing the typeface (in the computer) and by creating the compositions?
You will need to post your script on this site after week 2 (to incorporate discussion) with your croppings.
Using the printouts provided (of the pdfs below), draw the letterforms that appear on the top of the sheet in the space provided in the white area at the bottom. Pay attention to the placement of the letterform relative to the baseline. Note differences in shapes depending on when they were designed.
If you are feeling comfortable with drawing the letter-sized glyphs, try enlarging your drawings on blank, larger sheets.
Letterforms, spacing and history