Brief: Type and the Spirit of Our Time
Background to the Brief
“Typography is the direct visual representation of the tone of voice with which we express the spirit of our time” Jonathan Barnbrook
Visible language has existed since Palaeolithic (stone age) man made pictures on cave/rock faces c.30,000 BC. Since then making language visible has evolved, encompassing many and varied systems along its journey e.g. pictograms, ideograms and phonetics. While the modern Western alphabet differs vastly from the pictures our ancient predecessors drew, a strand of commonality connects us, them and the interim period that has led our written language to where it is today. That is whatever has been committed to a writing surface, in whatever alphabet system used, has and still does uniquely express a facet of the spirit of the time from which it originated and also the tone of voice in which this spirit was expressed. While content and use of words are of course significant, the visual styling and arrangement of this content speaks volumes. It indicates the current technology of the time e.g. use of clay, papyrus, stone, paper, chisel, quill, metal letters, phototypesetting and of course the Apple Mac; the social strata of the time e.g. literacy levels, class and feminism; the predominant culture of the time e.g. uncials, illuminations, incunabula; and the prevailing political forum e.g. propaganda posters, leaflets. In short it is not just the content – the words – that communicate a message, but also the way the words, letter-forms, punctuations and numerals or characters look. In short, it is the way the work is made and arranged that ‘sets the tone of voice’,
Monday 28th September 2015
On the first session of Type Studies I had with Gabbi, we had to listen to a thirty second video clip, whilst our eyes were closed. We had chosen our writing material to write down any words that represented our feelings or opinions that come to mind whilst listening to the content.
During the session we listened to the content numerous times to get a good grasp of the people’s feelings in the video, so, therefore, I could encapsulate them in the way of typography. During this part of the session, we passed around our pieces of work, so, therefore, we could get a different perspectives of the content from ourself, to see other people’s opinions and emotions towards the news report through typography.
Tuesday 29th September 2015
For my homework I listened to a news report which was about Iron and steelmaking at SSI’s Redcar plant in the north-east of England, which is to be mothballed, with the loss of 1,700 jobs. I listened to the report four times, whilst trying to encapsulate different feelings each time; I did this by using various materials, such as, pro markers, watercolour pencils, chalk pastel and oil pastels.
Wednesday 30th September 2015
On the second session with Gabbi, the groups were split into four sub classes, so, therefore more a discussion could go on.
Mock up Design
In Gabbi’s session we learnt many useful skills on designing the mock up for the poster design. we learnt about where and how the design should be placed on the poster, so, therefore, everything will be coherent with each other.
The final artwork will be printed on a A3 document. The final trim size of the poster is 400mmx278mm. The size of the booklet pages are 100mmx139mm.
Thursday 1st October 2015
I was assigned homework, that was based upon SSI Redcar Steel Plant Mothballed Creative Type work. I had to design hand drawn words, that were based upon my feelings and opinions on the news report.
I had to form three keywords that encapsulates my feelings, while boarding out the topic. The three keywords I chose were Muted, Why? and Money.
Muted -The people in the article felt muted from everyone, nobody was listening to them, or answering any of their questions they had. The Prime Minister and the company they had all been loyal to were not answering them. The leadership style of the company is autocratic, and this is evident by the way they are handling the situation.
Why? -The workers were asking many questions of why this was happening to them, and why their livelihoods had to change.
Money -The SSI company had said the main reason as to why they were closing down the factory was because they were not making a profit from the business; I believe this to be a lie, for the reason that they feel that they are not making as profit as they could if they transfer the company to a less developed country, and have a eight year old complete the task at the fraction of the cost.
Hand drawn Words
Monday 5th October 2015
At the start of the second week of Type Studies with Gabbi, we were in groups of four to five people, and we started discussing our hand drawn words; we talked about why we chose these particular words and why we designed the words in that way.
Gabbi then came around, and gave further advice of how we can further our project more. The advice I got was to use more powerful words, to grab the audience’s attention; so, therefore, I chose the word “voiceless” instead of “muted’ as I felt it fitted more with the theme of the article, in addition to that I felt it will grab the audience’s attention.
I decided to make more hand drawn words for the new word I had chosen.