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.

Modular Typeface

Module typefaces are made up of shapes that can be turned and twisted to become another typeface, for example ‘p’ can become ‘d, q, b’ if it is rotated. As a group we started to design different typefaces on a grid template then we came together and decided on a modular typeface. Some letters were more complicated than others, when I was designing the ‘a’ I had to design a range of different typefaces to see which would be the best to fit the Modular typeface. I have made the typefaces on Illustrator but found that because of the shape of the grid the letters don’t sit perfectly on the baseline.


Hybrid Typography

Hybrid Typography consists of two existing typefaces, 1 serif and 1 san serif merged together to create it’s own letter form. I chose the word dissolve to experiment this method with, I  started with a serif font, and as the word went from left to right the serifs ‘dissolved’ out into a serif font. I used a dotting technique to create the effect of the word ‘dissolving’ away. I thought this looked visually aesthetic and portrayed the word ‘dissolve’ well, although this was too much like imagery and didn’t show hybrid fonts well enough.

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We were given a brief to create a 6 word story inspired by Roald Dahl using hybrid typography, by this I was able to try and portray hybrid typography in a more clear and correct way. I chose the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as this is one of my favourite by Roald Dahl. I explored a range of possible 6 word stories and the one I decided to go with was ‘Your magical ticket to chocolate heaven’. I felt that this was a good story line to describe the film as a whole. I began to think about layouts and the way I could create the hybrid typography. I looked at Type Snap to help give me inspiration and ideas and looked through the adobe fonts to see what would suit my story title best. I chose the fonts ‘Bodoni 72’ which is a serif font and ‘Savoye LET Plain:1.0’ which is a sans serif font. I chose the sans serif font as it is a script style which represents the words ‘magical’ and ‘heaven’ well and when merged with the serif font creates a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel as the letter forms look fun and exciting. I decided to position the text central and getting larger in size, I did this because it makes the text seem louder and more exciting but also the idea of ‘the stairway to heaven’.


I think that this task has given me more of an understanding of hybrid fonts, but also how powerful typefaces can be on their own without using any imagery. This is the first time I have used illustrator, I found it took a while to get to know the tools but I like how diverse illustrator can be for typography.

Cardiff in Typographic Forms

I have researched some terminology to help identify a range of typographic styles, I used the website I Love Typography and the book Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton to help my research. By doing this I have become more familiar with different typographic forms and able to identify them.

We got set three words, mine were Slab Serif, Clarendon and Transitional and set out on a typographic hunt in Cardiff City Centre to take photos of Typographic Forms in the style of our three words. We all chose a letter from our photographs that we collected to cut out the typeface in coloured card to create our Cardiff typography wall.

By doing this I have learnt that ‘Cardiff in Typographic Forms’ isn’t something as obvious as the well known landmarks. By collecting material from Cardiff and creating this innovative typography piece it just as much represents Cardiff than a photo of the Millennium stadium would, this critical way of thinking that I want to take from this.


Summer Project

Over the summer we got set a Summer Project to complete to introduce ourselves to Cardiff School of Art and Design. The brief was to use the first initial of your name whilst including three questions that you must answer in the project.

1. A fact about yourself

2. Someone that inspires you

3.Why you wanted to study as Cardiff School of Art and Design

The ‘Vogue‘ is a fact about me as I have a strong interest in fashion and it is my favourite magazine. I love the layout and house style of Vogue as well as the content. I have the word Vogue in the font they use at the top of the ‘I’ to create the look of the Vogue masthead on a magazine as it is instantly recognisable. I chose the illustrator Hattie Stewart as someone who inspires me as I love her bright and bold style and they way she expresses herself through art and fashion. I love the way that she ‘doodles’ on magazine covers and I think this linked in well with my interest in fashion. I have created a skyline of Cardiff though using famous landmarks, this is because I did my foundation year in Cardiff Arts Academy and I really enjoyed the course as well as studying in the city. We also came over to Cardiff School of Art and Design a couple of times to do workshops and liked the feel as soon as I worked here. This is the reason I chose to study at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

I enjoy using computer manipulation but I also love working with hand rendered pieces so I wanted to combine these techniques in the summer project. I started out by sketching a design and then creating the piece on photoshop. I liked the over all design but felt that it looked too busy with the amount of things going on within the design so started to put different elements on separate layers. I printed the layers out on paper and painted the layers with acrylic paint, the bright colours made the piece fun and exciting which is what I wanted to communicate. Where I cut the pieces out with a scalpel they became quite fragile, when I painted them with acrylic paint and started to layer the piece it made it a lot stronger. I like the detail and the way that I have tackled the brief to create a piece that represents me, I enjoyed the project and thought it was a good way to introduce yourself and get to know other people.

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