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Term 2 Workbook:


Distinctive Characters Type as a semiotic resource What is a totem? Design Development Acetate Prints 3D Outcome Postcard A6 Letters in the Landscape A Lexicon of Urban Typography Book Binding Lectures & Workshops Ooh Ahh Mmm POWER OF PERSUASION Photography Killed Painting Fukuro - Toji LetterMPress

BRIEF #1: TYPOGRAPHY AS A SEMIOTIC RESOURCE Typography can be used as a powerful vehicle to transmit ideas and notions of culture, gender, history, materiality and value. The function of typography is to communicate a message so that it effectively conveys and reinforces meaning. In the early 20th Century Beatrice Warde in The Crystal Goblet ascertained that typography should render itself invisible and be subservient to the content. In the 21st Century digital intervention has allowed greater access to typographic technologies and no longer is typography judged on its ability to remain within these constrained parameters.Typography as a semiotic

resource in its own right is capable of transmitting meaning. The study of semiotics has been used by academics to analyse and deconstruct Post Structuralist Theories. If we look at the work of The Semiotic Alliance on we can see how semiotics are used within the commercial sector to help some of the world’s biggest brands find fame and fortune. If we go much further back in history to the Middle Ages we see how religious and secular texts use Illuminated Characters to accentuate meaning, reinforce understanding

and establish hierarchical construction. Even the use of colour is codified to provide particular emphasis and meaning to the texts.

Words begining with T Having been given the letter ‘T’, then my task was to find an appropriate word begining with the letter, to then design a corresponding letterface that speaks out this meaning to viewers.



30 cm


Totem Our word of choice was TOTEM, because we felt a variety of visual approaches could be taken. On the left are some initial ideas for how we could incorporate the aesthetic of totems in the shape of a the capital T letterface. Our concept must transcend from 2D to 3D, finding our on way and processes in doing so. To begin with we made a digitised concept on illustrator, inspred by existing totem-poles but stylsed in our own way. First we looked into the meanings and purposes of totemS as a means of communication.

DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERS WHAT IS A TOTEM? Originating in the north-west coast of north America, totems were carved from trees by the indigenous people. They had multiple purpose; telling legends, showing clan lineage, explaining an event and even for public shaming. Not for worship, these beautifully adorned poles served more for symbolic reminders - it was an early means of communication, like an ancient billboard. Distinct forms and patterns are carved into large tree trunks. Uniques styles and symbols are considered property of the respective peopleS.

Design Development Adobe Illustrator allows to layer many layers of shapes to achieve details and contrasting patterns, some what letting me simulate the aesthetic of of north american art. Totem pokes can have a sequencial layout (read top to bottom) often starting with a bold head piece. Some head pieces are based on animals with spiritual significance. Starting form here we developed our design.

DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERS DESIGN DEVELOPMENT The purpose of Totems: With a growing design, we need to think about production, will it just be an A3 Print? Alternatives that we could try: • Layered Acetate: Seperated colours Black as the back layer • A3 Matte high quality print: Optimum quality print and paper High GSM

CMYK Colour Scheme: So far, we’re pleased with our tri-tone palette, using CMYK for print outcome integrity. The colours are loosely based around some totem poles we found in our research, but overall this colour choice is meant to be visually striking, and the contrasting tones bringout the forms of the design.


Layered acetate print attempt: The layers and the distance between them gave the design a light depth. However, the printers used an ink that does not set on acetate, so we ended up having a permanently wet print, which lasted only long enough to photograph.


3D Lasercut outcome: We thought that lascercutting would to bring out the different contrasting tones and patterns. In our .AI file: black fill represents the deepest engraving, blue the second and white as non engraved. A 0.001mm red line for cutting through. We found that the different depths werent contrasting ennough.

MDF Laser Cut (200 x 154mm) Close - up

A5 postcard: Our brief asks for a final postcard that sums up the meaning of our word, while clearly showing our design. To sum it up, I’ve explained how Totems were a means of communication in the past, thus relevant in some ways seeing as typography is a modern mediumof communication.

Evaluation: In retrospect, the layout and design of the post card is too coloured and needs to be more simplistic to draw viewers into the text. The outcome doesn’t exactly have a target audience, though I feel that in terms of purpose, our totem T fulfills our distinctives characters brief.

Possible Improvements: Our 3D outcome could have been remade with much more contrasting engraved tones using the lasercutter, this would have allowed the design and patterns to stand out more. More time should have been spent experimenting with and improving our lasercut process.

BRIEF #2: A Lexicon OF URBAN TYPOGRAPHY This unit begins with a visit to Poole where you will identify, collect and photograph, examples of vernacular letterforms in the town. Your images could be literal interpretations of details of road signs, hand painted signs, neon signs, fragments of words, individual characters, manhole covers, gravestones or shop-front signs. Documenting these typographic havens is crucial to rebuff the constant threat from planners and councils that choose to subvert local history and ignore the rich traditions of vernacular heritage. Alternatively, you could choose to record a slightly more challenging abstract collection of ‘hidden signs’

drawn from architectural forms, found objects, and unintentional typographic structures. You will be working teams of two and planning which letterforms you each photograph in order to create a lexicon of vernacular letterforms. Remember, you will need a full alphabetIt is important that you keep accurate notes for each of the pictures:ie Photographer, Location, Date, Description before returning to AUB and uploading your pictures to hard drive. You will then go through a process of picture editing and retouching in readiness to prepare layouts for the book they will be published in.


POOLE VISIT: Poole has lots of history, and some bars and venues date far back. The signs and notices had lots of great and impressively crafted typefaces.

Vernacular Type: On our trip to Poole, we sought to find as many letterfaces as we could to make an A-Z booK. We looked for examples that were as clear and as interesting as we could find.


fastened to table

Hold signatures in place forward or backward

V Perfect Binding with the Lumbeck press: This binding tool allows us to easily bind a series of signatures to make a book with a soft cover. This experience helped me to gain insight on the manufacturing and binding process behind books. In the future the understanding I developed in these sessions will become very useful.

Preperation: Once printed, the pages had to be folded in half by lining up the crop marks, with the help of a lightbox. We ensured to use a bonefolder to achieve nicer folds. After ordering the pages, the body of pages is ready to be put into the lumbeck press, were it can be squared off and bound.


b c

Glue applied at an angle for maximum contact

back cover

Glue reaches between the pages

Glueing: Using the lumbeck press, we aimed to spread glue evenly along the spine, whilst allowing the glue to be in contact with the insides of the signatures, rather than just the outisdes. The lumbeck press allows us to bend the spine to allow for a slanted application of demonstrated in the diagrams aobe to the left.

Measurements: To get a cover cut out, we needed the measurements of, (a) cover, (a+b) front and back, (a+b+c

Lecture 1 Oooh, aah, mmmm

Notions of taste, aesthetic judgement and consumer culture w/ K.Hardie: In this lecture we explored, discussed and criticised notions of taste, aesthetic judegement and consumer culture. The question is down to how we respond and give value to ‘things’. Kitsch art has a satyrical value, an almost extreme opposite of sound design, instead some people have a taste in ‘poor-taste’. We can get a picture of how our choices in purchases encourage and nurture a consumer culture and the proliferation of standardised goods. Is it wrong to enjoy design without purpose or function? Or is the function then turned into a different way of enjoying design and percievings things form the opposite end of taste?

How do we judge design? Function: does it serve a specific purpose? Does it facilitate any process? Ergonomics: It is designed to suite it’s target audience? Is the human body and anthropometrics considered? Is it easy to use/ hold/ wear? Size: is the size suited to the designs function and target audience? Manufacturing: Is the product ethically manufactured? Does the process create excess waste? Recycling: is the product recyclable? Shape, colour and style: is the design aesthetically pleasing? This last part is heavily relative to the consumer. Do we base our choices too often purely on aesthetics?

Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Woman: This series of paintings was heavily mass produced in the 1950’s and onwards, and owning this piece could have been considered of poor taste. This piece is mainly remembered for its kitsch value.

Lemon Squeezer by Philippe Starck: Known to be a lemon squeezer that isn’t very good at squeezing lemons, this design is an example where aesthetics is prioritised over function. Now people enjoy this design for its disfunctionality and the way it has become a landmark in design.

Mister Softee logo: The original logo for mister softee takes on a very cheesy desing approach. A typically humanised ice-cream cone is comical. Some appreciate this design for how blatant it’s concept is, and fnd a value in it’s historical context.

Lecture 2 power of persuasion

Figures: 1. Che Guevera BY Jim Fitzpatrick, 1968. 2. Canada's Club Scene Sucks", PETA, 2011. 3. Obey poster, 2013. 4. James Victore, Racism, 1963. 5. coin design by John Bergdahl, 2014. 6. Kiss for Peace poster, Tomi Ungerer, 1967.

Propaganda -Meanings, Methods & Messages� w/ K.Hardie: In this discussion session, we questioned what the purpose of propaganda is, what it is and why it is used. Propaganda is usually a method of persuading people. Often associated to war, which can be very two sided, propaganda is usually a biased piece with a very one sided portrayal of an issue. We explored issues such as mass manipulation in relation to works of propaganda. When mass produced the message is even further enforced, trying to convince more and more people.

How do we see propaganda today? Propaganda has purposes today, like promoting animal rights, political campaigns. I took away a base knowledge about propaganda and its effect and uses on society. In som eway propaganda shows how graphic design can be trully impacting and how designers are participants in changing the world and not bystanders.


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...and digital is dead w/ Sarah James: This lecture essentially disputed whether or not the coming of technology leaves forms of art redundant, or is the genres of art develop and adapt to technology. Paul Delaroche’s ‘Execution of lady Jane Grey’ 1830’s, shows Delaroche’s technical proficiency in hyper-realistic painting. He essentially did the job cameras, in capturing reality on to canvas. When Delaroche was shown a daguerotype, it has been claimed that he said: “From today painting is dead”. He felt that the advent of photography would oppose his naturalist realist painting style. Did photography remove the need for realist painting? Some realism takes on a quality that creates a reality that doesn’t actually exist, even if it is an observational paiting, the artists style and different subtleties make it a different experience to photography. J.A Whistler paints scense that resemble the framing and dramaticisation of landscapes that photography allowed for.

In counter arguement, it can be said that artists took photography, embraced it and did not face it as a restriction, but rather a change and even a benefit to artistic capacities.Technology actually rarely threatens for the extinction of practices, it most certainly brings about change in whats possible and what can be done. Edward Steichen’s the pond (1904), a photograph that pushed the boundaries of photography, and in a opposite motion - takes inspiration from fine art, and creates a different type of ambience facilitated through the technology of photography.Pictorialism was a photographic movement (18851915). They borrowed painterly qualities trying to elevate photography to the ranks fo fine art.

FUKURO TOJI 袋綴じ Japanese book-binding I particularly enjoyed this workshop, it proved to me how simple it can be to make crisp, high quality binding with the right resources. There are many different types of japanese book binding but ours mostly resembled the 'fukuro toji' or 'bound-pocket book' style, where thread binds the spine of a series of signatures. This was the process: first a stack of pages is cut, ours was roughly a5, so are the two cover and back pages which are a harder card.The front cover had a crease by the spine. Secondly, we tried our best to square off the pages and then secured it with bulldog clips. WIth a template page, we drilled four measured holes through the stack.we then cut a length of string to prepare for the binding stage.

Starting from the middle whole and the middle of the stack, we started looping outward in a pattern perpendicular to the spine. Once around the spine, and over to the next drilled hole after, repeating the pattern until we reached one SHORT-SIDE end of the spine. WITH THE SEWING PATTERN COMMENCED, IT'S A MATTER OF REPEATING AND FORTIFYING THE BINDING, WITH THE OPTION TO DOUBLE UP ON THE THREADING. WHEN THE LAST HOLE IS STRUNG, A KNOT IS CAREFULLY TIED WITH THE SEWING NEEDLE TO COMPLETE THE BINDING. THE RESULT IS A HIGH QUALITY, SIMPLE DEWING-BOUND JOURNAL / BOOK.

DIGITAL LETTERPRESS USING LETTERMPRESS USING AN AFFORDABLE SOFTWARE CALLED LETTERMPRESS WE COULD SIMULATE THE WORK-BENCH OF A LETTERPRESS STUDIO. ALOT OF CONTROL IS GIVEN THROUGH THIS SOFTWARE, AND THE EXPERIENCE OF LETTERPRESS IS NEATLY PACKAGED INTO A USERFRIENDLY INTERFACE THAT WAS QUICK AND EASY TO LEARN. I CHOSE TO EXPERIMENT WITH THE NAME OF MUSICAL GROUP 'BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB' I really enjoy ther music, and their a little dated now so I felt that might fit the retro feel of letterpress.. I PARTICULARLY ENJOYED HOW you can recreate grunge, imperfect finish, which mimics the print quality of letterpress. It's a software that was worth every penny, and one that I'll be re-using and utilising to experiment with type and digital print.





SOURCED IMAGES: commons/6/6a/Ketchican_totem_pole_2.jpg Mister Softee. Phillipe Starck. Image courtesy of MoDiP files/imagecache/gp3_full_article/photos/2013January/chinese_girl_portrait.png americas/7028598.stm collection/browse_results. php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A35811&page_ number=3&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Graphic Design BA (Hons) 1st Yr Term 2 - Visual Thinking