Page 1



contents Chapter One - Distinctive Characters

1 - 16

Chapter Two - Distinctive Characters continuted

17 - 24

Chapter Three - Vernacular Letterforms

25 - 38

Chapter Four - Lectures

39 - 44

Chapter Five - Workshops

45 - 52

Chapter Six - Extra Curricular Activities

53 - 58


chapter one distinctive characters: typography as a semiotic resource brief: ‘Working in groups of two choose an initial letter... based on

terminologies and glossaries contained within the brief develop a word that is related to the unit.”

three dimensional initial character that communicates its meaning. The model can be made of found objects but must be wall-mounted” “Design and make a

I chose the letter ‘C’.


mind map calligraphy




curl craft



cardboard counter


cap height




cut crazy


climb circus





initial sketches

After I created a mind map of potential words, I sketched some initial ideas of 3D letters. My favourite so far are clockwork and curl.


research I decided to pursue the words ‘curl’ and ‘counter’. I made a mood board for each word in order to inspire my designs. ‘Counter’ is the only word which fulfills the brief most effectively as it is a typographic term meaning the enclosed or partially enclosed negative space of letters such as ‘d’ or ‘o’.

curl - to form into a curved or spiral shape. counter - the enclosed or partially enclosed negative space of letters.



I researched the negative space element of the word counter and found some interesting examples in typography. My research showed me that a letter can be suggested by certain shapes arranged together. I looked into the work of Escher, a Dutch artist who explored mathematical relationships between shapes, figures and space.



During my research of the word ‘curl’ I came across a method of paper art called Paper Quilling. It involves curling strips of thin paper into curls or spirals with a small tool. This method would be appropriate for my 3D letter.


I also looked into swashes in typography and how they are added to letters. However, the letter ‘C’ often does not have a prominent swash.

paper quilling Paper quilling is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.


initial ideas I decided to use paper quilling to make the 3D letter form. This idea incorporates ‘curls’ of paper surrounding the negative white space or ‘counter’ of the letter ‘C’.

I developed my original idea and decided to have the curls following the curve of the ‘C’. I also plan to test different colours and sizes of paper curls. In this idea, there is no outline of the ‘C’ which makes the negative space more obvious. However, this could cause the form of the type I use to be lost.

This sketch incorporates the idea of a ‘swash’ or curl in a letter form. I also experimented with placing the curls inside the letter form.



Feedback: - The ‘C’ has lost its form - Try using different heights of paper - How does the colour scheme help the design? - Try using a rounder, curly typeface

Solution to previous tutorial: - Used a different typeface - Simplified the colour scheme Feedback: - Try using a slab serif typeface - Use different heights of paper

type testing

Cc Cc Helvetica Bold

Brush Script Std

Cc Cc Arial Black



I tested multiple typefaces in order to find a suitable one for my 3D letter. I decided that the typefaces with a swash on the ‘C’ would not be suitable as the word ‘curl’ would get somewhat lost and would not contrast sufficiently with the meaning (this was found in the second test of the 3D letter on p.10). Therefore, a bolder typeface would be more suitable. I chose Rockwell Bold for the final 3D letter as it holds the form of the ‘C’ well and contrasts with the word ‘curl’.

Cc Cc Monotype Corsiva


Cc Cc Palatino

Baskerville Bold


further research


evelin kasikov I came across Evelin Kasikov’s work in the key text ‘3D Type Book’. She created a handprinted Alphabet which consists of 26 lowercase letter forms, 4 colours and 26773 stitches. Kasikov attempts to create stitched letters considering typographic characteristics: legibility, coherence, weight and contrast. I found her use of colour interesting as in our tutorials I was told to justify the colour scheme of my 3D letter so a scheme of CMYK would be suitable as it is related to graphic design.

final product The final 3D letter form incorporates the colour scheme of CYMK as it furthers the graphic meaning of the letter. I took the feedback from my tutors during tutorials on board and created different heights of paper curls in order to make the 3D element of the brief more prominent. I think that the use of a slab serif typeface contrasts well with the delicate meaning of the word ‘curl’. To create the letter I first marked out the shape of the ‘C’ with pin holes then made the paper curls to surround and define it. The final step was to secure the curls in place with PVA glue so it can be wall mounted. The words my 3D letter form communicates are ‘curl’ and ‘counter’. The curls surrounding the letter form create a negative space.

chapter two distinctive characters: postcard brief: “Produce an A6 postcard with the image on one side and a brief

description of the word on the other.� Size: 105 x 148 mm Bleed: 3mm Slug: 18 mm


initial sketches I did some sketches planning the layout of the postcard and seeing which would look best. I experimented with the positioning of the text and the orientation of the postcard. I decided landscape would be most effective and there is not enough space for the text in the landscape option with the typeface I have chosen.



I used InDesign to create some different layout ideas for the postcard. Each of them features the 3D letter form and a brief description of the meaning it communicates.


This layout features the text before the letter. It can be assumed that the post card will be viewed from left to right (western reading pattern) so the text could be viewed before the letter form. In my opinion, the postcard would look more balanced with the text on the right hand side.


This layout features the letter form spilling over the page edges. It makes the form of the ‘C’ stand out however, the detail of the curls surrounding the letter are lost.


In this layout, the text is centered right of the postcard. It looks out of place and misaligned. I like the ‘C’ on the left of the postcard.


final product

The final layout for the postcard features the text to the right of the postcard. The text decribes how the words ‘curl’ and ‘counter’ are shown in the 3D letter. It also explains the colour scheme.


chapter three : vern

mapping the landscape - a le

nacular letterforms

exicon of urban typography


“Identify, collect and photograph, examples of vernacular letter forms in the town. Your images could be literal interpretations of details of road signs, gravestones or shop front signs... Or abstract collections of ‘hidden signs’ drawn from architectural forms, found objects and unintentional typographic structures. You will be working in teams of four. You need a full alphabet. Technical specifications: Trimmed size: 300 x 300 mm Four colour 300 dpi CMYK tiffs Binding: French fold


the journey First we were briefed on the task in the main studio, then we got into groups of four and made our way to Poole on the bus. When we got to Poole we were guided to the museum where we were told there were vast opportunities to photograph typography. Next, we started photographing obvious and ‘hidden’ letters we came across. We each took an equal amount of photographs and ended up with a range of different photos ranging from hand painted typography to cracks in the pavement that form letters.


We managed to find a selection of different options for each letter of the alphabet. We also managed to photograph a range of obvious and hidden typography. The natural light did not prove to be a problem as it was a fairly sunny day.



As a group, we edited our photos using Photoshop. We adjusted the levels and manipulated the brightness and contrast so the photos were more vivid and less dull. When the letters were picked from a word we had photographed, the clone and healing tools were used to edit out the surrounding letters if they distracted from the letter we intended to use. Editing our photos allowed them to be more aesthetically pleasing.



layout descisions We decided to juxtapose smaller frames of photographs with full page bleeds. This created a pattern that the reader could follow and therefore know what to expect next. However, on some pages we had one large image across a double page and on others there were two full page bleeds next to each other. This injected some variation and made sure the book was interesting. It was challenging to remember which pages would actually be next to each other when printed and folded. The French fold method requires one A3 page printed but the images on this page will not be on the same double spread in the final book. We did not make any errors and the layout turned out as expected.

printing and binding printing: The pages were printed on

good quality A3 paper.

folding: We folded the pages using a

bone folder.

binding: We bound the pages of the book

using the perfect binding method. This involves arranging the untrimmed pages in the screw press then applying glue along the unfolded egdes. Then a strip of mull is glued along this edge once it has dried to strengthen the spine.

trimming When the book had dried in the press for at least six hours, we were able to take it out and make a cover for it. First we cut out a cover to the size of the book then we flattened down the glued edge with a scalpel. The front cover was folded so that the book would be easier to open. Next we secured the cover to the pages and put it back into the press to dry for another six hours. When it was dry we trimmed the edges using a mechanic guillotine.

final product

Overall I am happy with our finished book. I think the pages flow well and the images are of a high quality. Although the process of making the book was time consuming and challenging I enjoyed the task. I have furthered my skills in InDesign and Photoshop as well as learning how to perfect bind a book.

chapter four lectures: ooh ahh mmm

The first lecture I attended concerned the notions of taste, aesthetic judgement and consumer culture. The main learning objective was to explore how our aesthetic judgements and purchase decisions relate to consumer culture. I learnt about planned obsolescence and how manufacturers deliberately make products so that they break or go out of fashion in a set amount of time in order to encourage the consumer to keep buying the product. We also explored the idea of form follows function and vise versa. This notion was followed by the topic of kitsch design and classic design. We were then shown examples of ergonomic, kitsch and classic design in the form of toilet brushes, toothbrushes and lamps. Kitsch design was considered humourous and a novelty as well as usually non functional and mass produced.


seminar After the lecture we returned to the main studio where we continued to explore the notion of kitsch design and form follows function. We did this by examining items from Modip and analysing them in groups. We considered the colour, size, function, form and design of the items and attempted to classify them into groups. This exercise encouraged us to use analytical skills.


This lecture covered the basic elements of propaganda. I discovered that the definition of propaganda is “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumour for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person�. We explored key organisations such as Green Peace and PETA. A concept I found interesting is black, white and grey propagana. This is a way of classifying propaganda depending on whether its source or author are credible and whether or not it contains credible facts. We also lightly touched on the different propaganda techniques, such as the use of selective stories, partial facts and repetition.


seminar During the afternoon we continued with our learning about propaganda by mind mapping examples of propaganda in small groups. Then we wrote them up on the wall to form a large poster. A problem we faced was that our thinking was not broad enough, we mainly focused on war and media based propaganda. Next we chose an example of propaganda and designed a poster opposing it. We then had to pitch our idea to the rest of the group. This helped our presentation skills.

rip off v.s witty repartee

This lecture was held by Visual Communication. It explored the difference between rip off culture and appropriation. It also covered some details of copyright laws and their origins. The first copyright law banned the copying of books, it was “an Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned”. However, another law was later passed to protect designers’ work. We looked at how designers seemed to appropriate previous works and how they are able to dodge copyright laws.


reflection The lectures I have attended this term have been beneficial in the fact that they have furthered my learning of design and helped with my essay coursework. They have also helped me by: - Furthering my note taking skills - Helping me to present my ideas in front of a group - Giving me the opportunity to work with other courses

chapter five

letterMpress, risograph prin

: workshops

nting, japanese stab binding


This workshop was titled ‘Mein Gott Gutenberg has gone digital’. It gave me the experience of traditional letterpress however, because it was done digitally through the app ‘LetterMpress’ it was considerably less time consuming and I was able to make multiple designs. The app allowed me to try out different typefaces and have the experience of placing them on the bed of the digital press. I found that it was difficult to align the separate letters perfectly. I was also able to ‘mix’ ink colours and choose a type of paper to print my design on. This workshop was useful because I learnt more about the importance of leading and tracking between letters or words.


Wooden letters and shapes can be placed onto the bed.

Different colour ink and paper can be chosen. When a handle is clicked it transfers the design onto the paper.

risograph printing

This workshop was held by illustration. It was a good opportunity to work with students from other courses and see what they had been working on this term. Risograph printing is the process of printing an image or document one colour at a time. It works best with fewer colours. I made a minimalist poster for the film ‘The Matrix’. First I created the image in Illustrator, making different layers for the different colours I was going to print. Then, we printed one layer (one colour) at a time and waited until it was dry enough to print on again.


Different colours are printed one at a time. A problem with this method is that colours often misalign.

japanese book binding

Japanese book binding or Fukuro Toji is the art of binding books by sewing. A stack of paper is trimmed to size and a front and back cover are chosen. Then a series of small holes are drilled through the spine. We did this step using an electric drill however, it would traditionally be done by hand. The pages had to be perfectly aligned, otherwise the spine would be messy. Next a needle is used to thread cotton cured with beeswax through the holes. Fukuro Toji binding would usually be bound on the right side but we used the western adaptation of binding on the left. I ended up with an A6 landscape book that I can use for sketching and notes.


chapter six : ex

london trip, gra

xtra curricular

aphics exhibition

london trip

3D Printing Exhibition - Science Museum The science museum curated an exhibition on 3D printing. It was interesting to see the process and the sorts of things that can be printed. The typography on the wall were 3D printed and were my favourite part of the exhibition.

Jameel Prize Exhibition - V&A This exhibition combined contemporary art and islamic tradition. Jameel Prize promotes the use of traditional islamic craft in modern design. My favourite piece was the pixelated rug installation.


exhibition: for the love of graphics

On the 17th February we set up an exhibition as a course to showcase everything we love about graphic design. We each bought in a couple of examples of graphic design and then curated an exhibition aroud them. There was an abundance of vinyl sleeves but items ranged from vintage ciggarette packaging to board games such as monopoly. We had to think about space and the most effective way to show off each item. It was challenging to fit all the items in.


Visual Thinking, BA(hons) Graphic Design - Sophie Le Marchand  

A descriptive workbook of my processes and outcomes throughout the visual thinking unit.

Visual Thinking, BA(hons) Graphic Design - Sophie Le Marchand  

A descriptive workbook of my processes and outcomes throughout the visual thinking unit.