Designing 3 letter words with simple shapes. The challenge here was to design lettershapes with simple modules rather than to think of drawing letters per say, as the students usually have no or little knowledge about type, especially during the early months of their training. Through various exercises during the course of the year, they become progressively more and more familiarized, allowing them to do hand-lettering and use existing typefaces. The results here are not always easy to read, but often interesting design wise.
The idea here was to write words using silhouette shapes of recognizable objects, animals, etc... It turns out that familiar things can have similar shapes with letters; in other words, it seams important to me to see letters as shapes rather than just signs when one is learning about design. When aligning letters to make words, one must also take into consideration the regular white space between each, which is called letter-spacing and cannot be measured with a ruler but with a good eye that needs to be trained little by little.
This is what I call my typeface problem; litterally the object was to design faces with only type. The first three series are final renderings done with black gouache, and the last three are collages done beforehand with found type. Learning about composition is the main thing here. Spacing, allignments, proportions, relationships, axes... Sometimes students had to use the letters from various words; sometimes they could use any that they liked just for their design. One of the things about this exercise is to go out and gather material, in this case type from magazines and elsewhere. It is part of a designer's work. Supplies don't always come from art supply stores! It's like a scavenger hunt! It may appear to be a simple detail, but looking out for the right stuff can make a big difference in the end result. Every little bit counts.
Here, students had to learn about working on layouts combining abstract words with large graphic illustrations in a big square. The layout was pretty much imposed; only the type could be centered or flush left or right. Learning how to choose a typeface that would go with the visual and semantics. How to create an eye-catching visual? There is no real recipe for that. The visual was obviously more important size-wise, so the meaning had to be either obvious or intriguing and eye-catching or all three; the word had to be written under the visual and work with it.