Deconstruction of Letterforms

With Matt we looked at the deconstruction of letterforms and how we can manipulate them. We had to use the font we chose to at the beginning for the brief and, in my case, this was Futura. Then, we had to chose a letter from a hat, it could be absolutely anything but the first one you chose, that’s the letterform you had to manipulate. In refection, this was a good choice as the amount of faffing people will do over one out of 26 letters is rather impressive.

After we had printed our letterforms, in my instance the letter S in Futura, we had to manipulate it and play around with it’s form to see what we could create, then photograph it to document our findings. I worked with Harry and we manipulated it’s shape, curvature and used the patterned acetate sheets to create an interrupted form, similar to the lecture we had with Neil on legibility, only this time it was traditional rather than contemporary. This was my printed letterform, extracted with an xacto knife and manipulated by form:


Moving onto the computer we were told a few techniques to try within Photoshop; 8-bit, lined patterns, grayscale, levels and threshold. On reflection, these were ideally given to us as our 3 books had to be in black and white, so using tools such as grayscale was a great technique to learn as I needed to use it within my experimentation book. Applying the techniques we leant onto my letterforms resulted in some unique pieces. Here are the outcomes:

8-bit and pattern 

This was by far my favourite outcome of the session. I started with the background pattern, layering white and light blue stripes. But I wanted to make it black and white as I already knew I wanted to use it within my experimentation book, so I adjusted it using grayscale which made the piece look a little monotone, to say the least. I wanted more depth. Something to make the letter pop from it’s background, afterall, it is a 3D shape. So I took Matts advice and used 8-bit. This gave me the extra depth I was looking for. As you can see, the light curvature from the dimension of the S stands out more when put under 8-bit as the dots emphasise where the light hits.

Basic manipulation

After my first deconstruction, I wanted to resort back to the basics. ‘What follows the form of an S?’ The dollar sign. Using the rectangle tool I created this simplistic $, which I did develop on. But I’ll show that later within the post.

Levels and colour manipulation

Using levels and colour manipulation, I really emphasised the deeper meaning of this piece. I mean, not that there was one before, but now it has a whole different kind of emotion than the one you would have gotten from the original. The purple hue that emits from the piece gives it a moody and cold undertone which is baffling to me, how one colour can change the entire mood of a piece. But, as a graphic designer, this is an important lesson to learn as in my future of designing, the colour could be the deciding factor on a piece, and what that colour represents can also be important.

Now, as I am impartial to keeping with the times and as a graphic designer it’s important to be politically and socially aware, I wanted to design something using the letterforms that reflects what’s going on in the world today. So, as we all know, America is living it’s toughest reality to date; Donald Trump became their President-elect. So, not only does this mean America is about to foresee it’s greatest downfall, but the world as a whole get to witness it. As Trump is money orientated and I made a dollar sign out of my letterform, I created the following piece to reflect on this dark, dark time. screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-02-26

Overall, the techniques I learnt within this lesson were invaluable and the fact I’m studying a degree where I can reflect on society and use humour within my work is crucial to the advancement of my education as I believe it’s important to still have your individuality within your work, rather than just following suit.



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