Friday, 17 October 2014

OUGD404 - Design Principles - Visual Literacy - Lonely Hearts

Today we got into groups and exchanged the three type faces we had selected from the previous design principles task. Mine were 'Willow', 'Walter' and 'Typeposter'. We were asked to swap the fonts with someone on another table and write what each letter means to us, this was quite useful in understanding the visual language and connotations of each letter form. Once we had done that the fonts were returned at it was intriguing to see what people had made of the three I had chosen.

They said Willow is 'sophisticated' and 'Gothic', as well as 'serene', Walter is 'personal' and 'playful' and Typeposter is 'sporty', 'bold' and 'influential'. I agree with the comments. We then had to explain to our group why we chose each of the fonts and which one of the three we preferred over the others. I chose Willow as my favourite. I have been watching a lot of 'American Horror Story' recently and this series employs willow throughout its branding. I really love the double cross bar found on the letter A and H. I also like how the letter O is superscript and is supported by two dashes underneath. Its elongated qualities make it seem superior and powerful, yet it is slick and refined. This font is unique and reminiscent of times past. Its art nouveau qualities are romantic and subtle. Willow is a great typeface.

The other seven people in my group chose the following typefaces as their favourites, and here are their reasons for doing so:

  • Lucifer Blackletter- has beautiful archaic calligraphic qualities,, very defined serifs, unusual and not used very often so has an edge over very sleek geometric fonts in terms of contextual use 
  • Ribbon 131 - used on a Deftones album cover, really big fan of this band so that's why it was chosen. Lots of beautiful flourishes and very slender elongated stems. It's ornate and script like
  • Armata - geometric yet personal, its thin, crisp and very functional
  • Century Gothic - painfully symmetrical and geometric, unapologetically clear 
  • Futura Bold- similar to Century Gothic in terms of its geometric qualities, revolutionary and widely accepted as a modern typeface
  • Cyclone - an awesome font, modern, bold, makes a brilliant impact and a wonderful alternative to Futura and Helvetica
  • Stencil - unusual, playful, interesting, fragmented and slightly comical 

We then had to pick one letter form to focus on in more detail.
We became 'typographic genealogists' for the afternoon session, carefully selecting certain aspects of the eight typefaces and combining them together to create one beautiful hybrid letter form. We decided to focus on the letter A, as we liked the idea of extending the descender on the capital A to represent the ornateness of Ribbon 131, this was one of our favourite qualities. We really liked the double cross bar on my typeface Willow, so we included that in the design,
which I was happy with. We liked the disjointed qualities of Stencil so decided to fragment the lower case A. We liked the height in Cyclone, so elongated the upper case A considerably. We also exaggerated the serifs on both fonts to produce a letter form with has Gothic qualities.

We came up with the name 'Gothura' because we felt that our font represents quite Gothic qualities from the various fonts,whilst still retaining some nice, geometric clean cut traits found in Futura and Century Gothic. We were then asked to choose five words to best describe our newly create letter forms. We chose:
  • Gothic, several of the fonts used to create the new letter type have Gothic backgrounds, seen through the heavy serifs and general heavy weight
  • Playful, the new letter forms are a mischievous mish mash of styles and influences and overall they come across as playful. The extended flourish on the stem of the capital A demonstrates this quality well
  • Disconnected, as there is a double crossbar and an extra outline on the letters. The lower case A is fragmented, this took direct influence from the Stencil typeface
  • Misunderstood, because there are a lot of things happening at once and they could come across as quite complicated and visually complex
  • Elegant, due to the serifs and thin strokes that contrast with the heavy more Gothic sides to the letter forms
The one word I would use to best describe 'Gothura' is playful. Our typeface has so many different qualities which are fun and inventive, there are plenty of contrasts happening. The curly flourish on the capital A demonstrates this quality well, as well as the quite subtly placed double cross bar. Below are some of the initial sketches from the session, they illustrate our idea development in relation to the task:

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