For my research I began by looking at different typographic artist first looking at the website 3D Typography and then looking at the work of Graphiatrist in order to inform my own work. I also thought after the initial day where I came up with my idea for the project that it would be appropriate to look into the act of dog earring a book, what it means and represents, how it increases the wear but allows the reader to keep track of pages of note that they might want to go back to later, and how this is an act exclusive to physical books.
Below are a couple definitions of dog earing from different sources. One thing I found especially interesting was the idea ,in one of the definitions, about a dog ear being used to keep track of a page that was particularly meaningful or poignant to the reader and this made me think about the connection between dog earing and the physical wear on the book but also the added personal touch and sentimentality that it brings to the reading experience that is maybe lost in digital formats of books. As well as the definitions I looked at authors quotes about books that I could use if I wanted to use my font in some way to communicate ideas about a love of physical books.
to fold back the corner of a page in a book
For the last time, don't dog ear my books!
A dog ear is a phrase that refers to the folded down corner of a book page, because wolves' ears stand erect while the ears of many breeds of dog flop over. A dog ear can serve as a bookmark. While generally frowned upon by those that want to preserve books in their original condition, it is particularly common in use on paperbacks which are designed to be cheaper and more harshly used than hardcovers. Sometimes, it is also used to keep sheets of paper together, in the absence of a stapler or paper clip.
Dog-earing is also commonly used to mark a section or phrase in a book that one finds to be important or of personal meaning.
Dog-ears can range in size from the tip of the page to half the page. Although people generally dog-ear the top section of pages (on either side), some also dog-ear on the bottom half of pages. Dog-ears work best on thin pages. Dog-ears may be unmade by folding it back into its original location and compressing the pages of the book together. Removing dog-ears is not recommended on paper that has yellowed from age, as it may cause the flap to separate from the page. Dog-earing more than one successive page can cause problems, as the flaps (depending on the thickness of the paper and the number of pages) may cause the marked sections to bulge and distort the book. Reference works are most prone to this problem.
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” - JORGE LUIS BORGES
“So many books, so little time.” - FRANK ZAPPA
“Aren't bookshops wonderful? The staff are always welcoming, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about their stock - and they are great places to browse, to explore, to stumble across new literary treasures. Long live bookshops.” - MALORIE BLACKMAN
3D Typography is a blog that collects different examples of the use of 3D typography in all sorts of mediums. I found the blog really inspiring just seeing the variety of ways that people were able to come up with letterforms and the sorts of ideas that could be created by these less traditional mediums. All the work is very striking and original and makes the viewer think closely about the choice of the medium and style of typeface and how that corresponds with the word. Below are some of the pieces that I found particularly inspiring and that related in some ways to my own work.
'Handmade Type is a self-initiated typographic experiment by designer Tien-Min Liao, where she explores the relationships between upper and lower-case letters. She drew with ink on one or both of her hands to make the upper-case letter, then through movement and perspective she created the lower case letter. '
I really loved this project, how she has related the medium back to the title of the project but I also like her choice of using the medium of a gif to produce her final outcome since it is all about the process and the upper case letter transforming into the lower and vice versa the medium of the gif is the perfect way to capture it. Also being a gif and having a loop it reinforces the idea of being a cycle as well as focusing on the movement of the hands and their key role in the letterforms. Overall the piece is very inspiring and I am definitely inspired to use gifs either in a future typographic project or in a later project where this idea of a process and a cycle means it would be appropriate.
'Russia based studio, Province, created deconstruct from brightly color blocks. The examination of letterforms through variation in block widths and heights creates unexpected forms and texture. Deconstruct challenges the convention of how traditional letterforms are made. We especially like how the 3D letter compositions transform into a 2D vector base alphabet.'
I thought this project was particularly striking and while I was scrolling through the blog it immediately caught my eye, I love the simple childlike nature of using the bright bold block shapes and how this contrast with the complexities and the textures created by the way the blocks have to be arranged t create the desired letterforms. I especially like the way that the letterforms have been photographed on a plain white background creating these dark shadows which further add to the depth of the image. When photographing my letterforms I got similar shadows from the way the folds had slightly raised the letterforms above the surface and this project has definitely inspired me to exaggerate and make use of these shadows as part of the images that I create. I however wasn't as keen on the 2D vector versions of the font I think by making it 2D it looses a lot of what I liked about it and although it is very clean and attractive I much prefer the full alphabet using the 3D photographs of the type.
3D Typography Booklaunch at American Book Center and #StoneCarvedTweets
'At the American Bookcenter’s Urban Arts Festival, Dutch design agency Autobahn will present the booklaunch of 3D Typography and exhibit a new project: #StoneCarvedTweets.
The pace of modern communications is very high. Twitter is a good example. Anyone can let everyone know what he / she is doing in 140 characters at any moment. Autobahn reflects on this fact by connecting Twitter with a highly contrasting communication method: text cut from stone. We expand the font of Dutch architect and typographer Dom Hans van der Laan with numerals 0 to 9, the @ - and # sign. A Twitter Stream (# Stonecarvedtweets) is the input for us to cut. We will print the messages and places them in the ‘inbox’ of the stonecarver(s).'
This was a performance piece that the blog itself took part in as well as the readers that interacted with the project and sent in their tweets. I really like this element of collaboration it's not something that is very common within typography but it fits really well with this project. I also really like the contrast between the method of creating the type and the idea of using social media and I think this is very effective in promoting themes to do with how we use social media, a tweet is something we use very flippantly in the spur of the moment and it can always be deleted but this immortalises the text in stone and transforms it into something permanent and more impactful. I really like this idea of using the medium through which the type is created to imply ideas about the text that it is visualising and think that since this is a project about using paper to create letter forms experimenting with the paper that I use could be very appropriate.
Graphiatrist is a design studio located in Brooklyn run by Eric Ku and Alex Merto. They work across a range of mediums and materials working in illustration, art direction, brand identity, packaging, interactive design and others. Their work is fairly varied but overall generally the work is fairly minimal with a use of bold colours and quite geometric solid shapes. The two images at the top are both of a typographic experiment that the studio created using paper in a similar way to the project we were working on however they instead used circular pieces of paper in a thicker black type of paper. I really love the project the design is so simple and yet all the letterforms are completely legible I also love the texture created from creasing the paper. Similarly to the Deconstruct project the type is photographed incredibly well, the white background keeps the focus on the details of the letters and the high contrast between the black and white makes it a very bold and striking design.
Below the images of this project is another project that Graphiatrist created for Vakkorama I really liked these designs and even though the actual typography is used fairly simply and the designs are very quiet I really liked the use of colour and the bold shapes that are in the bottom right of the image. I thought that these designs would be quite useful as inspiration for creating my digital letterform design. Even though it isn't necessarily applicable for this project I also thought this project was very inspiring it terms of their use of layout, although their is a clear branding and cohesive visual theme throughout the work the use of layout varies across the work and I think that in such a minimal design this works very well and I especially like the contrast between aspects where they have created patterns that fill the space and other areas where there is a small are of type among a large area of negative space. Therefore I would definitely like to revisit the work of this design studio in a project where I was maybe looking at branding or packaging.
The final image is a typographic project by Merto and it was created for an event and in the brief the artists asked to participate in the project were given a letter and the letter given to Merto was the letter F and so he chose to create the Effing Typeface. The outcome is lighthearted and crude and creatively interprets the brief, he uses the letters to communicate common sexual slang, his choice of the bold simple style of the illustrative type means that it is reminiscent or cartoons and keeps the designs fun and entertaining and by only using black outlines on a white background the design remains simple and effective. I really liked the designs but for this specific project it wasn't necessarily appropriate for the style of work we were producing however I did find his creative approach and his use of a theme throughout the type generally inspiring.
THE FIELD GUIDE TO TYPOGRAPHY-
Since this project was an introduction I thought this book would be useful to look at the very basic aspects of typographic terminology and techniques. The book itself is a collection of typefaces that are seen everyday with images of them in use and information about the historical background of the typeface. The book also talks about how fonts are classified and the relationships between some fonts. For this project I looked at it to get some basic technical terminology to do with type as well as flicking through the rest in general to see how different typefaces are used. Below are some of the definitions that I found especially interesting or helpful:
- Display type- Typefaces designed for title or headline applications rather than for reading texts.
- Family- Generic description of a collection of fonts of varying weights and styles sharing a common design approach and construction features.
- Readability- The definition of being able to read and absorb typeset text when composed.
- Legibility- The quality of one letter being recognisable from another.
- Ink Trap- Design feature where corners and elements of letterforms are removed to allow for the spread of ink when printed.
- Fleuron- Decorative typographic ornament, often a flower or botanical symbol.