lundi 2 juillet 2012

Here is a series of typographic ononmatopeias. How do you translate sounds visually? That is basically, in essence the problem that had to be solved on a long strip of paper. I've given this problem several times and each time I find myself clowning around, imitating an orchestra conductor, trying to harmonize and modulate low and high sounds. Like a comedian I imitate the high pitch cry of a rooster, a toilet flush with a swirling slurping sound, whatever... and the kids just burst out laughing!!! Who says work can't be fun?

The problem here was to write graphic design with a variety of different typefaces. Looking for interesting shapes of letters and combining them harmoniously was the challenge here. The question here is how can you tell if a letter is niceley designed or not? It is mostly a matter of taste and sensitivity. Can this be taught or does each one develop his own, over the years? Each student has his or her own personality, just like typefaces; some are charming, some are good-looking, cute, funny, original... Each person's taste depends partly on his or her personality which is very subjective. A designer has to be as objective as possible while developing a personal style. Selecting from zillions of fonts is of upmost importance; they are not all well designed by far! 

Here students had to design entire alphabets with modules that they had conceived, which made for an incredible variety of solutions. The difficulty in designing these modular alphabets, was to be consistent throughout and very often by the time the students had reached the letter V, the last letters became much too wide. It was better to design using the proportions (width and height) of existing typefaces such as Helvetica, which is the basic typeface used throughout the year.

Using experimental techniques like rubbings, frottage, stamping, invented tools,... students were asked to draw an entire alphabet. Before they could try different things on two or three letters, like above, explore textures, accidental surprises. It's no fun if you know in advance what is going to happen! Learning comes from greeting gracefully the unexpected!

Here are a few secret codes. Each sign is supposed to reprersent a letter, which doesn't mean that it resembles in any way. For it to work like an alphabet, its got to be rather simple to reproduce and remember, and also coherent. It's like a family of signs, they've got to be related somehow.

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