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Descriptive Pairs Process Book _________________________

Tracy Conoboy

The purpose of this project was to conceptualize a

descriptive pair based on the two words’ individual meanings. For my descriptive pair I chose “Crash Course.”

Definitions Crash (noun): a violent collision, typically of one vehicle with another or with an obstacle Course (noun): an area of land set aside and prepared for racing, golf, or another sport Crash course (noun): a rapid and intense course of training or research (usually undertaken in an emergency)

First, this project involved

examining one distinct word’s multiple meanings. For this, I chose the word “cell.” The meanings I found were: 1. Microscopic organisms typically consist of a single cell, which is either eukaryotic or prokaryotic. 2. A storm cell is an air mass that contains up and down drafts in convective loops. 3. A cell phone 4. A small compartment in a larger structure, such as a honeycomb cell.

I came up with visuals and began to


my ideas. This one combines a Nokia cell and a honeycomb cell.

This one combines a Eukaryotic cell and a cell phone.

The next part of this project included making a list of descriptive pairs and choosing three to work on further. The descriptive pairs I chose were “Crash Course,” “City Light,” and “Sweet Nothing.”

Here are my sketches:

After doing these sketches, I began to use Adobe Illustrator to digitize my art. I worked on “City Light” first.

I used the Direct Selection tool in order to stretch out certain parts of the typeface. I did this to create a citylike structure. The parts on top of each building were made using a lowercase letter “L” as well as punctuation such as a period. In order to create the word “Light” I used periods and attempted to create letterforms. However, it was challenging to do this and make it look professional. I was unhappy with the results of this descriptive pair, so I decided to illustrate “Crash Course” instead.

In order to begin making a digital image of my “Crash Course” sketch, I had to

research how to create a crash-like effect with my word “CRASH.” I found an instructional website in order to help me. ( The steps I used were: 1. I typed out the word “CRASH.” I chose to use capital letters in order to make the typeface act as a sound. Capitalization symbolizes a loud noise and I wanted to convey that in my illustration. 2. I selected my type and went to Type > Create Outlines in order to convert text into a group of objects. 3. I created linear segments diverging from a point on my word “CRASH.” 4. Then, I selected the lines and letters and clicked Divide in the Pathfinder panel. This cut the letters into separate objects. 5. I then selected Object > Path > Clean Up in order to get rid of the paths with no fill or stroke. 6. After that, I ungrouped the objects from one another by clicking Object > Ungroup. 7. I clicked Object > Transform > Transform each and selected Random and I also edited the Horizontal and Vertical displacement. I chose 7 and -7 pixels as a test. I clicked Ok and I was pleased with the results. 8. In order to add even more of a crash-like effect, I selected certain objects from each ungrouped letter and rotated them slightly. I also used Copy and Paste on small parts of the letter “H” in order to portray a real crash with exploding bits and pieces.

My next step was to create the word “Course.” The visual image I wanted to convey was a racecourse. In order to do so, I stretched certain aspects of each letter in order to create the look of a course. The top of the letter “c” stretches into the letter “e” and the bottom of the letter “c” stretches into the letter “s.” All of the letters are touching some aspect of another letter because a course must exist in a loop. I stretched out the cap height of the letter “u” and lowered the baseline as well. My purpose for doing this was both to offer variety to the form and to have it act as the hairpin of the racing line. A hairpin is a u-shaped bend in a racecourse.

“Crash Course” final product:

difference between each word, and also the descriptive pair these two words create. This image can either be seen as two separate meanings or as their descriptive pair: “Crash Course.” The two different forms work together to provide a definition to “Crash Course” as a rapid and intense course of training undertaken in an emergency. The word “CRASH” literally crashes into the word “Course” in order to show the rapidity and emergency that require a crash course to exist.

Final Thoughts

My final project works to convey both the

"Crash Course"  

This book shows the process of digitally illustrating the visuals of the descriptive pair: crash course.

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