Letterform

February 25, 2014

Below is the working draft and final submitted version of my “R” Letterform. In trying to achieve a balanced look to the R, I spent quite a bit of time revising curves and adjusting the thickness and weight of the stem, as well as the shape of the counterform. I wanted to evoke both an Arts and Crafts weight and thickness to the letterform, as well as a woodcut feel. While I nixed a variation using “adze” marks cut into the outer edges of the letter (which you can see remnants of in the Stage 2 drawing), I began to simply draw lines into the interior of the form. A look similar to Eduard Munch’s “The Scream” emerged, but I didn’t wan’t to have that level of tension in the letter. Two of my favorite draftsmen are Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, so I continued with the simple lines snaking and worming their way through the interior of the letterform, hoping to evoke a more organic and placid feel to the lines. I like this idea because I think that it can translate well through the rest of the alphabet, and while it may be an endless path of experimenting with variations on each letter after spending the time simply creating them, it gives every one the opportunity to have its own lyrical personality. There are places in the letterform where I felt the need to resist adding too much, though perhaps still need a different synergy, so there is more work to do, but I think that creating each of the additional letters will allow for experience and “looking” to help resolve my instincts.

Stage 2 below shows the disparity still evident between the sketched image (black), and the digitized drawing (green). In using the red geometric guides, I had strayed from the original drawing, and the result (posted in my Feb. 18th entry), felt off balance.

Letterform R: Stage 2 Aligning arcs and rectangles to homogenize the overall shape

Letterform R: Stage 2
Aligning arcs and rectangles to homogenize the overall shape

In Stage 3 I redrew the digital version using corrected guides, staying more faithful to the original drawing. I also employed spheres to create smooth, repeatable transitions between the arcs and rectangles which had become the skeleton of the letterform. In order to maintain a consistent softness, I began to explore a roundness of the bottom of the feet, something I carried through to the last stage of the letterform.

Letterform R:  Stage 3 Using spheres to create repeatable curves in counterform/bowl, legs, stem and feet

Letterform R: Stage 3
Using spheres to create repeatable curves in counterform/bowl, legs, stem and feet

In Stage 4 – Final, I filled the finished form with black…what came to mind was an etching and woodcut look. As I continue this I also want to tailor this look to evoke some favorite 19th century draftsmen, Klimt and Schiele (more so than Munch, but I do like his drawings too). Anyway, my 4 year old just walked up as I finished this and said he likes “the Tree one better.” My best critic in life is now commenting on my homework!

Letterform R:  Stage 4 - Final selecting black fill and digitally etching lines and woodcut marks

Letterform R: Stage 4 – Final
selecting black fill and digitally etching lines and woodcut marks

 

February 18, 2014

Some refinements on the letter R, and trying to use geometric shapes to provide uniformity and consistency of scale to the letterform. I need a series of spheres to help create the various radii where stem meets leg, etc., and I created a series of arcs to find the larger shape of the R’s bucket (sic). Will look for more guidance in this week’s class on how to strengthen the forms. I also began the process of softening the feet of the R and the serif at the top of the stem, but will need to more closely study existing Arts and Crafts font types to find a good solution.

"R" Letterform with rudimentary guides

“R” Letterform with rudimentary guides

February 5, 2014

Hand drawn Letter R, inspired by the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Bauhaus periods, and ending up with a streamlined woodcut look. Scanned into Photoshop, contrast tweaked with levels then positive shape selected, inverted and deleted to leave only the pencil outlines, then placed into Illustrator. In Illustrator, I used Image Trace and expanded, however I was left with well over 4,000 points, even after simplifying the path. I then resorted to tracing over the placed photoshop image using the pen tool. A much cleaner start.

Letterform R_02

February 3, 2014

Beginning letterform studies and exercises

Letterform S Bodoni

Freehand “S” Bodoni Typeface

Letterform R_01

“R” Thumbnails

Letterform R_02

“R” Thumbnails – refining shapes

Letterform R_03

“R” Thumbnails – defining characteristics

Letterform R_04

“R” First freehand draft

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