Creative Practice Project

Since receiving the creative practice brief here is what I understand, we have been asked to produce a creative outcome that runs along side the 4000 to 5000 word essay. The outcomes have to link in with the subject matter of the essay, my essay subject is Symbolism in Typography. We have to either create a 3 minute short film, 6-8 design pieces or a 10-12 photography series. Throughout the project we have been asked to do some smaller tasks.

The first task, we was asked to gather a mini series of 4 photographs that all represented power in a different way. We were then selected to be put into groups of 4 or 5, we did produce a response to this and it was shown in a group critique. However I can not show these images in my blog post just yet as I do not have a copy of them. One of the others members in our group has the original pictures because they wanted to edit them, as soon as I can get a copy of them I will upload them to this post. Our ideas included the power of genders and how society sees male and female. The power of industry, along with brand power over the people. Finally the power of engines and vehicles.

Another mini project we was asked to produce an answer to involved, showing our own interpretations of the 7 Deadly Sins.








Use the ‘Internet’ to source images. Work in a team of 3.  Qualify your visual choices using 27 words. These were the requirements, me and the team decided we would try and represent these through still shots from one movie. The movie we choose was The Wolf of Wall Street. Here is the outcomes.

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 I really liked our interpretation of the Sins, I think we produced an interesting answer to the brief. Some maybe wasn’t as effective as others but we found suitable replacements that worked well, there is back story been used to explain some of the images. For the creative practice brief we are to show our journey through our blog using 750 – 1000 words, this is the reason for me only quickly mentioning these smaller tasks.

My response to the actual brief started with my research into symbolism within typography. I found lots on symbolism but specifically for typography I had to look into the roots of typography. I found more than enough information for me to form an argument and an opinion on symbolism in typography. Here are some points I  have made note of, throughout the research there was a citation made by a Swiss artist called Jürgen Spitzmüller. The citation is called Visible by Design, the conclusion at the end of his citation completely backs up the theory that symbolism exists in typography alone. I also found a document made from the Royal Danish School of Arts, this included a quote from a PhD scholar.

“the choice of typeface plays an important role in the ability of a text to convey messages and identity. There is no such thing as a neutral typeface that simply conveys the linguistic meaning of the written words.”

“I view the individual typeface as much more than a mere container for a written message. It is a meaning-making unit that acts as an integrated element in a cultural context. Typefaces are in an ongoing dialogue with this context and produce meaning beyond the words that the typeface reproduces”

This was the starting point for my essay as it allowed me a way through the roots of typography to exactly where I needed to be. For this reason I wanted to use this information to further my research and involve it in my creative practice work.

The next stage allowed me to go on and look at the most popular typefaces of certain eras and time periods. I looked into the timeline of typography to help me with this idea.

For inclusion of my creative practice research I only included printable typefaces, however I included more in my dissertation research.

Claude Garamond from France was the first to developed the first true printing typeface not designed to imitate handwriting, but designed on rigid typeface. However it was designed on the geometric principles. Garamond started the tradition of naming typefaces after himself which became a very popular thing to do over the years that followed. Garamond became the dominant typeface for the next 200 years due to it been the first printable typeface and some- thing new and different of it’s time.

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In 1557, Robert Granjon invented the rst cursive typeface, which was built to simulate handwriting. Going back to the roots of hand writing type the idea was to create a written style that could be printed.

In 1743, William Caslon issued the typeface bearing his name which included straighter serifs and greater contrasts between major and minor strokes. This has since become more popular as time went on, there are so many variations of typeface in modern culture that thick and thin strokes are not seen as modern.

In 1757, John Baskerville introduced the rst Transitional Roman which increased contrasts between thick and thin strokes, had a nearly vertical stress in the counters and very sharp serifs.

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In 1780 Firmin Didot and Giambattista Bodoni of Italy developed the rst Modern Romans. The modern carry the transitionals to the extreme, thin strokes are hairlines, plus a full vertical stress.

In 1815 Vincent Figgins designed a face with square serifs for the rst time and this became known as the Egyptians or more recently as the Slab Serifs.

In 1816 William Caslin IV produced the rst typeface without serifs (sans serifs) of any kind, but it was ridiculed at
the time. This is a very interesting point to note as in 1816 Sans Serif typefaces were ridiculed but in modern society Sans Serif is considered a popular and clean modern style. There is a huge amount of designers that use this style of typography in the 21st century, it is believed if used correctly to give a clean modern image.

In the 1920s, Frederic Goudy developed several innovative designs and became the world’s rst full time type designer. We owe the Broadway typeface to him and many others, his work is well known around the world today.

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In 1954 Max Miedinger who is a Swiss artist is known for creating one of the the most popular typefaces in modern culture, that typeface is called Helvetica. There is a vast majority of people who know the name Helvetica, it has been so popular for so long that some designers now shun this typeface for been over used. The Swiss have become huge in today’s design styles and I think anything created by the Swiss has a certain visual expression of been modern and classy. Although the typeface was originally designed to have no visual expression.

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Here are just some examples of the most popular, I would have included more but I am currently running out of my word count. One I had to include though was Blackletter Typefaces.

Looking at blackletter typefaces is a good way to show that we trigger thoughts of images when we read certain styles. The Blackletter typeface (also sometimes referred to as Gothic, Fraktur or Old English) was used in the Guthenburg Bible, one of the rst books printed in Europe. This style of typeface is recognisable by its dramatic thin and thick strokes, and in some fonts, the elaborate swirls on the serifs. Blackletter typefaces are based on early manuscript lettering.

They evolved in Western Europe from the mid twelfth century. Over time a wide variety of different blackletters ap- peared, but four major families can be identi ed: Textura, Rotunda, Schwabacher and Fraktur. This is one of the strongest typeface styles around, the unique strokes instantly put a perceived images in mind. When people read a typestyle like Gothic they feel black colours, a dark age, old and powerful. This is a typeface that de nitely has cultural baggage, this cultural baggage and hidden symbolism could be the very reason it isn’t popular in modern society.

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I came up with a few ideas as I was going through this project, I wanted to make a nice piece of design that showed symbolism in typography. I though’t about making posters or little flyers but I didn’t feel I could make them effective enough.

In the end however I decided to make a brochure, I started planning the layouts of the pages but I never ended up using them. As I was looking through effective uses of typography I came across examples of the New York times news paper. I also came across Old Style uses in books etc, and then of course I came across Helvetica and the Swiss design.

I found some really nice design examples for each typeface, here are the ones for Helvetica.

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I did come across Josef Muller Brockmann, I have come across him before in other projects however so I didn’t feel the need to research into him again. However his design work has influenced so much of Swiss design this is where the angles and use of negative space come from.

Here are some influential uses of Blackletter over the years.

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I think the most famous uses of Blackletter out of all these is the New York Times newspaper, the blackletter typefaces are becoming more popular in branding today with beers etc.

I was looking for famous uses of Goudy and Old Style but all I came across were books and printed pages of long text, after some research into the Old Style typefaces it turned out that they were designed to be friendly to the eye. This was so they could be used for mass amounts of text on a page.

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I used these examples as ideas, as these are the most common ways of using these typestyles. I decided that it would be the best way to represent symbolism, by creating my own versions of these styles I can put my own little twist on them. This way it would allow people to make an association with the style. This would start putting symbolism into prospective.

I started to develop and design the pages of the brochure, using my computer skills along with adobe software here is what I created.

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I used the newspaper style for Blackletter as in my opinion this is the most recognisable use of Blackletter, also the same idea was used with Helvetica and Old Style. The information on the pages includes history of the typeface as I thought it was relevant to the cultural baggage. I really like the way these designs turned out although I feel as though I need something else to go with them in the brochure. I decided to include descriptive details of each typeface so the reader would learn how to identify the typeface.

To achieve this I used descriptive labels on each point of the typeface, I decided to give the page some character by adding a silver textured background and using large type. The labels are more characteristics of the typefaces themselves, I also used this idea for the cover.

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I thought the labels were descriptive and fun I really liked the way these designs turned out. I am running over my word count now so I will conclude the project.

Conclusion, I feel as though I have done everything asked of me by the brief. All outcomes were submitted before the deadline and I am happy with Them. I feel as though they are effective, nice looking designs, it has been difficult adjusting to a smaller word count with my work journal. However I am pleased with my response to the brief. I would add more pages next time as I feel that the brochure needs more depth but this is something I will do before the end of year show.