Y2S1 TYPO1- Assignment 3: BLACK & WHITE TYPE (Process + Research)

New assignment! Lets go!


Brief 3 BLACK & WHITE TYPE: Playing with type language
Summary Typography is a versatile element in the world of visual communication. Not only is it meant for language communication but also as graphic communication. The following experiments will get you to think differently about typography. It aims to equip you with the principles of type and also pushes for discovery of new typeform. Use only black and white, no other colours are allowed.
Assignment objectives: Exercise 3a and 3b will allow students to appreciate type beyond its textual nature but as a graphic element of image creation. Exercise 3c develops the students’ sensitivity to the scale and white spaces of typography and the impact it produces to communicate emotions.
Task 1 3a. Type as image

Select one traditional typeface and create a series of composition explorations from it. You may use the various font within the typeface as your series but you need to stick to your chosen typeface. Explore the various anatomy of the selected letter and see how you can create an image out of it. You may also crop or combine certain anatomy together to create your image !

For example:

Typeface: Baskerville

Font: Bold / Light / Italics

Deliver: 2 best compositions at 14cm by 14cm.

Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

Task 2 3b. Type as pattern

Create a series of patterns using a single letterform from any traditional typeface (for eg, an “S”). Copy and repeat the letter in columns or rows to make an overall pattern. Change the spacing of the letters to create variations, create repetitive rows and columns and try overlap them. Change the orientation of elements to find your own grid. Repeat

that grid to see what kind of pattern reveal itself

Deliver: 2 best pattern creations at 14cm by 14cm.

Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

Task 3 3c. Type as emotion

What does emotion looks like in black and white? Express the word “HELLO” in the following mood. Choose only 4.

Friendly, Angry, Seductive, Confused, Arrogant,

Depressed, Annoyed, Excited, Bored.

Use only one typeface throughout but feel free to vary the different weights, caps, spacing, sizing etc. Explore negative and positive spaces too! No manipulation of type.

Deliver: 4 different emotional type creation at 14cm by 14cm.
Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

What you
must deliver
for this assignment
A total of 8 square cards

A process documentation link on OSS

Grading criteria
  • Due diligence of experimentation
  • Depth of methodology and craftsmanship
  • Aesthetics of image creations
  • Sensitivity of paper choices
Due date: Week 10

So before that, Miss Angeline allowed us to do some experiments in class to have a gauge of what the assignment for task 1 and 2 is about!

Task 1 trial: We were told to try different methods to distort the alphabet on the paper physically and rearranging it to create an image out of it. I cut the letter up with a pair of scissors and arranged it like so. Can you tell what letter and typeface it previously was? 🙂
Task 2 Trial: Afterwards we were to experiment with the repetition of a letter to create a pattern! Can you tell what letter and typeface it previously was? 🙂 It was the letter ‘P’ of the Typeface: Bauhaus 93.

3a. Type as image

Using different letters of the same typeface, I will slice and dice the anatomy of the letter; and then creating the letter using the anatomy of the other letters, to become another typeface.

I chose a few typefaces to narrow down which one I would like to use eventually in the end. In my search, I was looking for type that had more personality. Type where the mere fraction of its anatomy can distinguish itself from the other alphabets. Hence, I chose these 3 to analyse.

And I chose Adobe Caslon in the end as I felt that the Caslon type anatomy has more personality and can aid in distinguishing the letters.

MethodologyI also tried to recreate some other alphabets.

3b. Type as Pattern

I had a lot of fun doing this segment of the assignment as it not only is very interesting to see how each letter of each type can create beautiful patterns, the variety is endless because every angle the letter is inverted or tilted, bolder etc. It gives off a completely different feeling!

I used the typeface: Garamond for this part of the project as I really liked the old style serif. It looks classy and posh, especially the letters with the round descender, such as the lower case ‘y’.

I decided to play with many ways of creating patterns with the lower case Garamond ‘y’.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: I was inspired by Bohemian carpets for this pattern, wanted something that resembles the sun.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: Inverted the colors for this: White on Black background. I also increased the scale so that the radial composition can be seen more clearly, while also turning the composition in 45 degrees to make it less straight.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: Mirroring and reflecting.

I decided to play with optical illusion for upper case ‘Q’, the tail of ‘Q’ is very long and sleek, hence direction can be created subtly with the tail of ‘Q’.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Repeating the upper case Q in a radial direction, and reflecting it so it will create a sense of movement with the different directions as indicated by the tail of the Q.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Inverted the colors, White on Black.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Created outlines and varying the core color to create more movement, as though you are being sucked into the hole on the top left hand corner

I have realized that not only layout and composition is very important as it is not merely just repetition, I wanted to create movement in my compositions. Hence, I chose to do my patterns in radial form, to create some form of optical illusion. In addition, I inverted the colors and played with tonality and outlines to push my designs.

3c. Type as Emotion

For this segment, I chose to use the typeface: Helvetica. My objective was to convey emotions through layout, scale and tonality.

I chose Helvetica because the typeface is very neutral. There is no biasness or any form of personality which was what I wanted as it can help me achieve my goal: Strip off any preconceived notion of typeface to express the emotion. For instance, if I were to use ‘Black Letter’ for this segment, Black Letter is medieval and vintage. Hence, using Black Letter to express the emotion, ‘anger’ it will feel like an angry old man being angry. Well… that is my interpretation. 🙂

Inspired by a weak heartbeat on the heart monitor

Changed the tonality of ‘LO’ and arranged in high and low to emulate boredom

All pushed to the side in a black background Wanting to be alone. All letters are tilted as though leaning on each other for support

Excitement is bursting of out the frame! E is tilted to show slight cheekiness as compared to the straight ‘HLLO’

Pushed all to the corner. Tonal contrast shows that it is slowly being consumed by darkness.

A more Obessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) perspective where everything is aligned properly and there is a titled letter to ruin the formation. Used Greyscale for visibility.

Swirly line formation to create a whimsical mood. Scale changes as though it is approaching you. Letters go out of the frame to express enthusiasm in the greeting.

I have come to the end for this process documentation of my explorations! Stay tuned to my final Assignment 3 post to see my final productions! 🙂

Thank you!

Seng Yi Ling.

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