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andrew zetek megan janeski

formal qvalities of a letter


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This is what the project began with. We were to make symbols out of the repeated use of multiple copies of the same letter in the same typeface. Andrew ended up making around 60 sketches, Megan around 30. Each of us designed three different letters in multiple different typefaces. Above are Andrew’s sketches.


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Above, Andrew’s sketches. The two photos below are Megan’s sketches. All work was done digitally.


Above, more of Megan’s sketches. Andrew: Here I thought would be our final piece, since we were to select a few of our favorite designs/ symbols I thought we would simply refine our favorite and later mat it and turn it in. Instead, we pooled our best symbols as a class, broke off into groups of 2 and 3 and were tasked with turning a design into a 3 dimensional object. We chose this design, created by a classmate:


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s k e t c h i n g cont.

On this, as well as the preceding pages, are our sketches for our three dimensional designs. Several efforts were made by both of us to conceptualize ways to project the design into 3 dimensional spaces. Some are much looser and less well thought out than others. Also included is a page of “ratios� worked out in order to find the relative sizes of the slope/sides of the shape of a V in futura when compared to the width of each terminal and other parts of the shape.


3 3 - d sketching

Megan constructed some 3 dimensional Vs out of cardboard to allow us to “sketch� in 3 dimensional space, which ended up being far easier than trying to imagine shapes in 3 dimensional spaces in our heads. These were four of our favorites, though the least favorite was likely the one immediately to the right of this text, as it is simply a projection of the shape into 3 dimensional space.


4 f i r s t carboard mockettes

Above are several cardboard mockups of our design. The first, on the upper left, was almost immediately agreed upon to be our best design and we decided to stick with it immediately after discovering it. However, once we attempted to put together 4 Vs with proper ratios/measurements (as what happened above) we realized that the shapes wouldn’t match up how we wanted them 2. We realized we had to both 1. cut down two of the Vs to properly meet the “bottom v” which rested on the ground and 2. have a “bottom V” which wasn’t simply a copy of a V in Futura.


5 n e x t mockette Here was our next cardboard mockette. This is where we perfected our shape and both cut down the ends of each of the Vs (except for the front facing V) as well as the bottom “V” that becomes wider near each of it’s terminals.


6 f i n a l mockette

Here was our final mockette. It was constructed out of matboard (like the final project) and additionally we realized we needed to not simply have the shape stay flat on the bottom. We further projected the shape into space by extending the bottom out, per the suggestion of our professor, which made the shape both aesthetically more pleasing and more stable


7 p a p e r mockette Here is an additional, final, paper mockette we constructed in order to see if there were going to be any changes or difficulties faced in the final construction due to the large size of our shape. We found it to be relatively smooth/easy to construct (despite the cardstock we made it out of being relatively flimsy). If anything, what was learned from this step was that our choice of matboard as our final material (and hot glue as our adhesive) was a wise one.


8 f i n a l piece

Here is the beginning of our construction of the final piece. Construction went well and nearly without any problems. The most important thing we learned before constructing this that aided in our construction of it was that we needed to have a certain element of “winging it” to our work. Originally, Andrew thought that we would need to measure out the exact angles of where each shape/ side/plane met each other, Though it was realized quickly that the construction of the “bottom V” as well as each shape extending from the “bottom V” would be made simply by both racting the corners of where each shape met as well as both the width and length between spaces in open air (since ratios can be worked out in 2 dimensional space on paper, but not ratios of width/height and angles in 3 dimensional space, as would be needed to cut down the end of each part of the top pyramid structure)


f i n a l piece cont. Here is a photo of our final piece. In order to emphasize the letterform and it’s “points”, as it were, we constructed both a stand that, when viewed from the front is relatively unobtrustive/does not distract away from the “points” of each V. Additionally, we constructed the stand in order to let the letterform stand up straight, and be read as a “V” rather than a more simple, triangular shape that is seen in many of the other photos when we simply let the shape stand on it’s own bottom (here the bottom in the other shapes is the top. When doing the final shape, we both covered it in acrylic to fill the gaps where each section of matboard met each other as well as spraypainted the shape with a metallic spraypaint. The end result looks like something in between metal and plywood, which we felt lended the shape an

Here is a photo of nearly all of our mockups next to each other, to showcase both the evolution of the construction of each letterform, as well as the materials used and the display methods utilized.


9 c l o s i n g thoughts Andrew: Ultimately I felt satisfied with our shape. I found it both aesthetically pleasing, sturdy to the touch, and I felt that it especially emphasized the “pointy” nature of our shape in a complex, but still relatively simple way (i.e. our shape is not too convoluted but not too simple either) that represented the way each side of the shape functions relative to the others. Had we more time to do this project, I think that I would have utilized a sander to get the edges of each piece of matboard to meet each other better. Then, we maybe would not have the rough/coagulated surface of acrylic to spray the spraypaint on, then the final shape would perhaps look a lot more like metal, maybe giving it a further illusion of “sharpness” (i.e. pointy metal implies sharpness) to emphasize the points of the shape. Other than that, I think we commited ourselves fully well to this project and that it came out fine.

Megan: Overall I’d say that throughout the project our time management was really good; however, when it came to the final day we were a little stressed with time and what was left that we had to do. Completeing the final piece took as much time as we expected, but getting it to stand and building the stand took slightly more time then we expected, but it was easy to overcome. Ultimately, this project was actually really interesting to see it all come together.


Formal Qualities of a Letter