Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Alphabet Soup 5th-16th October

An Alphabet for Brady Miller

This project involved creating a hand rendered alphabet that describes the personality/character of another student from the class. My parter was Brady Miller; I interviewed her to find out more about her so I could best represent her in my alphabet.

Interview with Brady Miller:

What is your earliest memory?
Grabbing hold of my mums leg at play group because I didn't want her to leave.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Tash, my best friend, because she is so individual and crazy. She doesn't care what anybody thinks.

What is your most treasured possession?
My teddy, called Rosie.

What would your super power be?
To be able to go back in time.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
My best friend, Tash.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
The whole of the 'Friends' cast.

What makes you unhappy?
Being in hospital.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
An extravagant fairy.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"OH NO!"

Brady also showed me a website called, the blog of an artist called Linda Zacks. She said she personally loved her work and the style she worked in.

From this interview I picked out four words (which either described her or the way in which I wanted to work) that I would focus on to help me create the alphabet:

1. Girly
2. Floral
3. Messy
4. Extravagant

The brief was to manipulate an existing font, so I wanted to pick an already extravagant, decorative font to portray her girlie side, and so that I could manipulate it with inspiration from Linda Zacks style to portray the chosen words 'messy' and 'extravagant'.

I chose the font 'chopin script', which I found on '' :

I decided to use uppercase letters because they were more extravagant and I thought they would create a better overall feeling.

I sketched out some ideas, using mainly pen and ink and water colour paints. Some images were directly inspired by Linda Zacks, whilst others were ideas I wanted to explore.

Below are some general ideas of different strokes and techniques I could use (neat outline, swirly design, rough splodged effect, etc.)

I tried out some floral designs because Brady has a tattoo of a rose on her back.

A design from Zacks Adobe blog page
I tried to replicate her design but without using collage materials because this project had to be hand rendered. I used pen and ink, oil pastels and pastels.

I love the style of this piece by Linda, it is very messy with ink dripping down but the image is still clear.

I tried to incorporate the letters into the same style with ink dripping down.

Looking more at neutral colours and focusing on the natural shape of the letters still with the messy and unpredictable style of Linda Zacks.

The environment by Linda Zacks

Wild, uncontrollable, a mix of thoughts within the image, colourful, provokes interest to examine deeper

Brady's favorite colour is pink so I tried pink water colour to see how it looked against a white background. I don't think it is as effective as using black ink.

Test of my skills of drawing roses. Not very successful.

I wanted the finished affect to be very hand drawn and not precise, so I drew out the letter form and designed with in and around it, using styles already tried and tested.

I think the gold leaf makes it stand out more. Elegant gold contracting against harsh, bold black.

Experimentation with pink, Brady's favourite colour. Not as visually appealing.

Looking at symbols and layering. Layering wouldn't work because it doesn't adhere to the brief, but I like the effect of the different opacities.

The typeface that I chose didn't have a '£' symbol, so I designed my own. Some of my ideas are below. I looked at swirls and lengths of the symbol, letter weight, whilst keeping it tied in with the chopin script.

I decided to use pen and ink to form the outline of the letters. I just wanted the outline because then I could fill it in with colours etc. I used gold leaf, pink and yellow oil pastel and water colour. Yellow symbolises the pollen on the flowers. Gold gives the image a more eye catching finish. Pink is used for the girly look. Ink splodges for messy and Linda Zacks inspired. Scribbles are Linda Zacks inspired for effect. Little object like wand, tiny details relating back to the interview. Big ink splodges randomly placed expressing crazy and not caring about anything. I wanted to do a lot of experimental work before hand, however I wanted my final piece to be a one off. Because of the style I was going for it is very spur of the moment and individual, with the ink splodges they just wouldn't come out the same every time. So taking everything into consideration and setting basic outlines of what I was going to do helped create the effect I wanted.



Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Visual Language 6/10/09

Visual communication of 5 words through the use of the letter 'a' in different typefaces and point size. Choosing the right typeface was essential because it gave the piece a different feel and helped represent the given word better.

Words represented from left to right: Compress, Dissect, Hybrid, Duplicate, Edit

Next I was asked to represent the different words through a sequence of four. Here is my personal response to the visual representation.




I was set a brief to create 10 letterforms that explore and communicate my interpretation of the word 'compress'; focusing on the manipulation of existing typefaces.

I initially thought of using short hand, the compression of words, and to then manipulate them into some form of typeface. I looked at the origins of short hand and the different pen strokes used to represent the same words.

I hit somewhat of a dead end with this idea because I realized it would be hard to manipulate the shorthand into individual letterforms. Brain storming different ways I could represent 'compression' within letters, without going for the obvious squashing or thinning out of the letterforms, I thought about compression within a file. When you compress a file on a computer document it loses its quality and therefore creates pixelation. I liked this idea and looked for existing typefaces online that had a pixelated effect.

Below fonts top to bottom: superpoint round, 04b, abstract, redensek, superpoint square, v5 prophit

I looked at different typefaces, including ones which weren't already pixelated to see which one
I though could make the best effect when I pixellated them myself.

I took a stylized font, Promised Freedom, which wasn't pixelled already and on Photoshop experiment with different ways of pixellation, pushing the font to see how pixellated I could make it before it was illegible.

I decided after this that I needed a font which already had a pixellated feel to it. I chose
Redensek because it had a box feel to it. I experimented with colours, kerning, shading, stretching and the amount of pixelation.

For my final design I chose to add colour to help differentiate between the different letterforms. This piece is best viewed from a distance or when you blur your eyes. Viewed normally close up gives a totally different perspective, of just different coloured squares.