Hybrid Typography

Author, Author: Reporter, Development, Projects, Sketchbook, Visual Research, Workshops

The application of typography to or into image

Often, typography isn’t present in my work. Either that or it is an afterthought. Which it shouldn’t be. So I was excited to spend some time working with my current idea and typography before getting anywhere near the final outcome. I wanted to focus mostly on typography that reminded me of the industrial nature of the city that is Southampton so I selected extracts from both Spike Island by Phillip Hoare and Owen Hatherly’s New Ruins.

31015670923_e76d9e195e_k_d

Selecting typefaces

Before starting to experiment visually with my chosen words and sentences, I felt it necessary to carefully select typefaces that were relevant to what I was trying to convey. I therefore chose typefaces that had industrial aesthetics, being geometric, bold, and strong (some of which are pictured below). Almost trying to envision these letterforms in their many typefaces as concrete brutalist structures.

31796064441_508f233611_k_d

31875497376_d2c0a1ead7_k_d

31103561103_6e5c3bb415_k_d

Workshop difficulties

Despite being really prepared for the workshop, with all my typefaces and words, and sentences printed out in various sizes, I found it difficult to grasp what I was meant to be doing. Yes, I was meant to be experimenting with typography as image but having been shown examples of how other artists, illustrators and designers do this, I felt myself just replicating their technique with no relevance to my goals. Thus my initial tests were unsuccessful and not very considered. I didn’t know why I presented them this way or even why I mounted them onto images of my cardboard structures as backgrounds. The workshop after all was “type as image” and I soon realised I needed to focus more on this.

31677976472_8192768393_k_d

30984550114_1899bb30e9_k_d

 

Experimental development

I took a step back from what I had created at that moment in time to really think about my initial industrial type ideas and realised that out of my initial experiments one had been successful. Despite not understanding why I mounted it on an image, I really liked the way I fragmented the type and arranged it in a way that made me think of the way buildings are often pictured in skylines. What I had created, reminded me of Katie Scott’s playful use of type and how her illustrations mirrored the typographic curves and worked with the text because what I had done was manipulated the text by cutting it up to become an image.

31677977752_d6086cc8ea_k_d

My first initial fragmentation of typography.

29820750624_cd629fcaf7_k_d

Katie Scott’s use of type and image, whereby her illustrations mirror typographic form.

The technique of fragmenting my text and recollaging was one that I realised I could continue to use and develop and my first thoughts jumped to the work of Cecil Touchon who does exactly that. The act of cutting and reassembling the text in Touchon’s work made me focus more of the intricate shapes that are left as a result of taking away other parts of the letterforms. Due to my focus being on the industrial nature of Southampton that I was trying to convey, thus focusing on bold geometric forms, I reminded myself El Lissitsky’s constructivist posters, where there are clean  cut lines and shapes.

9268474647_2e989c7236_o_d

Cecil Touchon’s fragmented typographic collage

b6b50aed3ace4d5c3df90ae82f4f4043

El Lissitsky’s use of geometric shape and composition

Final outcomes

With this is mind, I decided to continue fragmenting my typefaces and shifting them, pulling them apart, turning them upside down, combing them and creating new forms. I thought these were successful because I had somehow created these new forms, much like Cecil Touchon, that I started thinking of as a new basis for creating my cityscapes.

31765106362_fac0bfb0b4_k_d

31015670603_741f7456e1_k_d

31677976312_eea68375e5_k_d

I also used my mark making skills from my previous experimentation and wondered what my new letterforms would be like to draw using a brush and ink and the end result were shapes that reminded me of hieroglyphics.

31015648253_7abfd36839_k_d

Brush lettering taken from my new hybrid forms

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Hybrid Typography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s