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

Hand Drawn Typography into 3D

After drawing my hybrid typefaces, the geometric and block like shapes made me instantly think about how well these could translate into three dimensional objects and rather than just dissecting the industrial and modern images of Southampton, use these typographic shapes as my building blocks for my cityscape.



Initially, my first thoughts were on how to quickly produce these 3D tests to see if the idea could work rather than committing to a process that would take up a lot of time that may ultimately be unsuccessful. I then came across the work of (name) and immediately thought about using clay because I thought of it as a material that would be easy to manipulate thus allowing me to test the idea relatively quickly.

I was definitely mistaken as moulding the clay took so much longer than I anticipated and was incredibly fiddly trying to shape it according to my drawings. This encouraged me think beyond moulding clay, and to a method that is much more predictable.


Moulding clay into shape


I had difficulties trying to join all letters together so I had to make do with assembling the letters individually to make the word I wanted to.


Experimenting with the same lighting I used when photographing my cardboard metropolis. I cut out images of my metropolis and folded to be placed in the background to create more of a city illusion

 Paper craft

From this, I thought I would reuse the paper craft technique I used to make because I knew how quickly I could work with the malleability of printer or cartridge paper. However unlike my cardboard metropolis, I couldn’t work from mere shapes as I was basing my 3D sculpture on my hand drawn type. It seemed appropriate for me to be more strategic and create nets to work from.

This seemed to work successfully, although having a tutorial with Susanna made me realise that I was in fact forcing two ideas together and that the hand drawn type was successful in its own right and should be developed as that.


Front facing view of the model


Side view of the model


Lighting my 3D paper model in the same way I did my cardboard structures


Final thoughts

I decided not to push my type into 3D ultimately because it felt somewhat unnecessary to merge the idea with the cardboard metropolis concept. And the possibility of developing the type into something else as a flat image was more intriguing to me than turning it into an object.


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