Playing With Words

“Using the following words create typographical representations that present both the word and a suggestion of its meaning. Sad Safe Sardonic Saucy Scholarly Serious Shadow Shattered Shy Short Silly Sinking Skimpy Sleek Smart Snowy Sodden Soothing Sordid Sophisticated Speed Squat Squeeze Stiff Stodgy Stoned Style Supine Swagger Sweet Start this exercise by working on A4 sheets of paper. Set the words in 48pt Helvetica Bold, print and cut out the words and then arrange them and stick them to a sheet of paper trying to capture the meaning of the word visually. Think about the composition, using the white space of the page to help you construct your meanings.” Sadly I don’t have Helvetica yet…(its not cheap!) So with all due apologies, I’m using Myriad Pro instead. I know this is the Graphic Design equivalent of turning up in a pair of cheap trainers, and at some stage I will have to invest in some decent fonts, but for now, lets pretend I have the same font all the cool kids have. Here are the words, cut out, printed off and glued down. imageimageimage I cut through the word “sinking”, and left a gap between the main part of the word and the very bottom. The word “stoned” is the most mixed up, with the letters out of order. Hmm…this is one of those things that takes several hours, but doesn’t really look like anything once you’ve done it. Hey ho. I was trying to think about the feel of each word, and consider the kerning, and the direction of the letters, whether to keep them straight and even, or kinked, curved, and travelling on one or several directions. You can see I also used pencil lines as a guide, even if I varied a great deal from horizontal. Now I’ve uploaded these, I’m kicking myself that it does suggest in the brief to make use of whitespace, which I didn’t really explore fully. We were then asked to work digitally, exploring different colours, sizes and fonts. Firstly, here’s the basic list of words all in Myriad Pro.

I used filter effects on some of them, but I’ve also read that stretching text horizontally or vertically (i.e. altering the x height and letter proportions) is considered to be generally  a “bad” thing…Maybe it depends on the circumstances. Next I moved on to using a large variety of display fonts. Here’s the list at 18pt black. font styles-01 And here they are in a variety of sizes and colours, with the chosen fonts.

There are a few variations, plus a few embellishments… such as the ink splatters on “Sad”, and I used the brush tool to draw a little flower with “sweet”. I enjoyed being able to work with a variety of fonts, as i found using just one was quite restricting. That said, it does make you have to think about how to arrange them, far more than when you can chose any font you want!

I’m a bit annoyed with myself that I worked on the feel of each word individually, and didn’t consider the colours as a group, so they look very mis-matched. I know this isn’t the main point of the exercise but it’s a bit irritating!


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