3-D Letter Laura Fromme Blake Butkiewicz
Blake’s Thoughts The project seemed very easy to me at first because I naturally assumed it would be in 2-D. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? I also did a project similar where the starting off point was the same: create a symbol out of several different characters in a particular font. After doing 50 iterations with various different fonts, I narrowed it down to 3 symbols that I chose as my best. Two of my three symbols were chosen as the best. The font I ended up working with was Bauhaus. I chose Bauhaus over the approved fonts for a few reasons. 1.) I was told Giddyup wouldn’t result in me getting a good symbol (IT WORKS). 2.) I forgot about the approved font list. 3.) When I started doing the rest of my symbols in the approved fonts, I found they were boring to me and very basic. I wasn’t able to see them as one cohesive piece. I saw them as 4 of the same letters, inverted. I believe Bauhaus works because it’s slightly irecongizable and, frankly, not seen in everyday use much but isn’t quite as rare as Giddyup. Then I get the ball dropped on me. This is, in fact, a 3-D project. My mind is blown. Begin panic. Pure-panic. After the initial shock and learning the requirements of the project, we also learned that we could partner up. Laura and I decided to work together and we chose the symbol that I made with 4 uppercase ‘D’s in Bauhaus. The symbol itself sort of remind me of a symbol you might see for a company logo or of a logo for movie production company that you might see at the beginning of a movie.
Blake and I chose the uppercase D that we did because it peaked our interest in making it. It did not seem as difficult as the Zapfino gs. However, we quickly found out that it was all difficult.
I was very excited for the project at first. I love to make symbols out of letters in my spare time- especially to the point of making them irrecognizable. I did plenty of “sketches” at first.
When it was time to sketch these 3-dimensional however, my brain became stuck. I could not imagine it. I could only picture it and sketch it one way: the way it was. Eventually, I downloaded Google Sketch Up. Being able to create numerous 3-D objects at the click of a mouse spiked my creativity. I then began sketching until I could not think of any other possible situations to create this symbol of letters. I sketched the symbol with the square shorter/taller than the sides. I also sketched it with the middle square at a slant, or 90 degree triangle. I also sketched it with the sides at different lengths, and with the combination of that and the slanted middle. Finally, it came time to create mock-ups. Again, I was stuck. I researched how to make an oragami box and made it out of paper. I attached the curves to the side of it. There I had a simple, but not very clean, version of the original symbol in front of me. Then, I began to play with the paper versions of the uppercase D. I had numerous ideas, as you can see from the pictures below. While I was doing this, Blake was creating the cardboard mock-up. We now had many versions of the original symbol to work with and decide to use. In deciding the materials, money and availablitiy became an issue. I got some foam board, clear wire, and cardstock. I then cut them out to the sizes I expected (a little larger to give room for error).
This is the symbol Blake and I chose.
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 5
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 6
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 7
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 8
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 9
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 11
Lauraâ€™s Sketches 12
Final Thoughts The project proved to be very difficult. In the beginning, we were a bit stumped. We were both thinking the same way: rather narrowly and inside the box. This is a 3-D project but we were having a very hard time thinking about the final product or any product, for that matter, in that form. You might say we were thinking rather one-dimensionally. Get it? No?…Anyway, our original thoughts were the same, which was to essentially extend the symbol outward. So, if you were looking at the symbol on a sheet of paper, you’d be looking at the top of it or the bottom. They’d look identical and would, again, just extend in height/depth. We learned that this wasn’t far enough. That is, we weren’t thinking creatively or critically enough. I compared my mental block to looking a cube drawn on paper and then trying to invert the form so that the front and the back are switched, as well as the top and bottom, respectively. We both looked at the book of 3-D fonts hoping to have an “ah-ha” moment but no such luck. We even tried researching 3-D letters and fonts online. I was still confused and frankly still am. Others seemed to be having an easier time with it. That’s something I thought about. We all have different letters. It’s possible that there letter was easier to bring into 3-D form. Or, perhaps there mind works differently. Or both. I didn’t know. I don’t know. All I knew was we had to have something. We were given the suggestion to break up the symbol. This seemed like a rather basic idea to me and I doubted its ability to help. But it did! Breaking down the symbol and working with ¼ of it (and just duplicating it 4 times later) was a much easier concept for me to grasp instead of tackling the whole thing. We were also starting to get past the idea that the symbol didn’t have to remain the same as it looked from our original. It could be changed and modified. We started thinking about the ‘D’ and it’s
shape and how we could twist and change it. We toyed with getting rid of the gap at the bottom of the letter but we decided against it because it is an essential part of the font itself. I started thinking about the movie Inception and the scene where they explain the Penrose steps aka the never-ending staircase. It kind of reminded me of some of the 3-D font I was seeing and those many architectural drawings by Escher. I had one idea that branched out into several more. They revolved around the curve of the D and making it into sort of a slide looking thing so that it was more slanted and diagonal rather than straight up and down. The ideas I had that related to this, didn’t pan-out as they weren’t plausible. We had no clue how we’d do them. We kept playing with the design and came up with several mockups made from various materials (paper, cardboard, and this foam paper/board stuff). During all of this we were thinking about the materials we could use. We discussed using wood for the box but we thought that might be to hard to manage. Pipes and tubing were ideas we had for the round parts but because of the cost, we ruled these things out. We settled on foam for the structure and insides. Since it’s not the nicest looking material, we are going to put something on the outside like paper or matte board to make it look more presentable. In the end, we went with matte board. We used toothpicks and hot glue to hold the materials together. We narrowed our final design down to 2 different designs. One where the D’s were all standing, corner to corner, making a box in the middle. The other idea is having all the rounded parts of the D at the top of the piece, sitting the flat end on the bottom and have them all interlock. As I’m typing this, we still haven’t really decided 100% on one or the other. However, since the two designs are going to be constructed in the same way with the same material we 53
Final Thoughts Cont. are going to try and do both of them if we have time or scrap one idea if we discover itâ€™s too hard. This way, we have a backup if need be. When going to the store for supplies, it was clear what design we were going to the go with (the one that you sort of came up with). We went with this one because of what was required of the other one. The other design would have needed much more material and wouldnâ€™t have been friendly to our pockets. In the end, both of us spend a lot of time, effort and energy into this project. Although we are decently happy with the way it turned out, there are some major improvements we could have made. If we had more time, we would have probably chosen a different material to work with. We also should have done a larger mock-up to allow for an easier transition between the small examples and our final project. We also would have had a more finished and complete looking project. Our project turned out a bit more messy than we expected it to look. If given more time, we would have took our time in cutting, constructing and putting our project together.