Vernacular Typography

Distress – extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.

Vernacular typography is taking a photo of words in an area or surrounding. For our vernacular typography project we got into a group of four and got allocated the word ‘distress’. We started to think of the word and definition of distress and what it means to us all, we explored the idea of distressed surfaces and what makes us individually distressed. We decided to go to the letter press room and letter press the word ‘distress’ then blow the word up by using a photo copier and place it somewhere that represents distressed. On our way to the letter press room we took the lift and having a lot of people in a small lift created quite a distressed feeling, then we started to think about how people have phobia’s of lifts and how they can be quite claustrophobic, therefore decided that we would use the lift to represent ‘distress’.

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We chose to do the font in red as it is a bold colour that represents the word distressed well as it is quite and angry colour. We also wanted to show this through the size of font we used, we chose to go for a superior style typeface as I think this makes the typeface look un easy.


This is our final vernacular typographic photograph showing the word ‘distress’. We have captured this so the lift is full and all looking away from the camera and the typeface is the main focal point of this piece as the red is bold and is in the foreground. You can also see how the surface of the font is slightly distressed. We did this by not applying a full amount of pressure whilst using the roller when we letter pressed the word. I like how the brightness in the lift is quite dark so the word stands out even more and the slight showing of the text in the mirror.


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