Typography showcase

This project was about creating four different 30*30 cm artboards, each featuring a different combination of typography we made during the first session and imagery based on our monoprints. I’m just going to quickly go over each one and how it developed.

Artboard 1: “Face of the high c’s” – 50% image and text – 50% nothing


I definitely wanted to use the wave monoprint, but I didn’t know how to make it work with typefaces. My first idea was to have the wave act as a divider between the empty half and the filled half of the image, and then have the text „falling” on it or something like that. Then I remembered that I had a scan from the other side of the paper too, so I was able to set up a semi-symmetric structure for this page. Also added was the „dripping” monoprint, with the green lines and everything. To contrast that with the wave I applied a saturation gradient, so the left side is black and white, while the right has full color.

I also wanted to do something with the c made by accidentally spilling ink from a cup (see my first Typography post), so I went into Illustrator and traced it. I didn’t know about the Trace Image function at this point, so I did this by creating a new path from scratch. After finishing that process, I aligned the two ends of the c with the two waves. It didn’t really look good, so I got the idea to import some other c’s I’ve done. I manually recreated the rectangular and triangular typefaces, but then struggled with the script-like one. This is when I looked up the Trace Image option I mentioned before, and I ended up using that on every letter from this point on.

I wanted to align the c’s in a way that they contain each other (so the smallest one is inside the one that’s a size larger, and that one is in the next smallest, etc.), and the innermost one is connected to the waves. While that latter part didn’t happen, I realized that the large „spilled” c looked like the hair on top of a face, so I reorganized the letters a bit, and ended up with the image above.


This second version changed two small things. First off, I mirrored the eyes, because I wanted all the letters to face the same way. Second, I added some slight curves on the inside of the rectangular so it wouldn’t look so artificial.


I wasn’t quite happy with the giant black blob that was the hair, so I tried to use an outline instead. But then the „mustache” was too black compared to everything else, so I just hollowed that one out too.


This still wasn’t good. Now there was too much white space on the image, and nothing really had any weight.


I ended up inverting the colors of the background inside the two outlines. This resulted in a look I liked so I stuck with it.

Artboard 2: “Slideshow navigation” – 50% text – 50% image


This was a fairly straightforward artboard. Above is the image I started with. It’s a combination of two monoprints, and the idea is that a slide projector is showing a digital GPS system. Because analogue-digital I guess.


That little crossfade between the images didn’t really work for me after looking at it for a while, so I insted went for a slightly harder edge, while also raising the brightness of the right one, so that the paper colors match.


For reasons that should be obvious I used my blocky font for the „digital” and my script one for the „analogue” text. I had to cut off some of the image on both sides because otherwise it wouldn’t have been a 50-50 divide on the artboard. The ’g’ and the ’l’ overlapping the print wasn’t intentional, but I liked it well enough to keep it.

Artboard 3: “Cartographic GPS” – 20% text – 80% image 


Most of the work for this artboard was done in Photoshop and not Illustrator. I started off with the „triangle map” print, and using my graphics tablet I drew some lines and symbols resembling basic GPS navigation. I then tried out some variations, none of whih I ended up using, because they didn’t click with me.






I instead tried to the look of an actual navigation app, so I created a bar on top.


Then I added one to the bottom, both because that’s how those apps look like, and cause I needed to fill some extra space to reach the 80-20 text-image distribution on the artboard.


Afterwards I filled up both bars with icons and some information, to make it look as authentic as I needed it to be.


With that done I needed to make the text for the other 20%. I accidentally pasted the cut letters to a black background, and because I didn’t delete the paper perfectly, each letter had a very interesting background.


But after looking at it in a pdf, this was a bit too dark and unreadable, so I ended up raising the brightness a bit, desaturating the image, and adding little boxes around each letters bounding box.


And that’s how I ended up with the finalized Artboard #3!


Artboard 4: “Stop this madness?” – 80% text – 20% image


This final artboard started with me wanting to use the hand monoprint. However, I felt like I had a bit too much green and blue on the other ones already, so I played around with the colors a little bit.


Once I got to that specific hue I realized that the upside down hand looks like a question mark, and the open red hand is the usual sign for „STOP!”


With that in mind I threw together some letters that spelt „stop”, and at the same time I wanted to use my other script letter, so I just threw that in upside down for some reason.


And then I realized how much the different typefaces in the „stop” clash, which gave me the idea to do something chaotic, so I started using every little inkblot or failed letter I could find. To avoid confusion I colored these with white or gray colors, so they are obviously part of the background. I also added the question marks to make the „stop” uncertain, and to make the text reflect the image.

stop-glyph stop_glyph-2 stop_glyph-3 stop_glyph-4

Finally I drew and assembled some unconventional „STOP” words to add a bit to the chaotic nature of the image. And after I placed them mostly randomly on the artboard, and adjusting them a bit so they weren’t at a terrible angle, I deemed the whole thing finished.


Well, that’s all the insight I can offer on this project. Mostly it was just playing around with stuff rather than thoughtfully assembling something coherent. Which, if nothing else, at least got me familiar with Illustrator, and that will be helpful for the next „Hidden Typography” brief.

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