Sunday, February 28, 2010

Type Process Mind Mapping & Final Statement

When Tyler was coming around to do desk crits the other day I decided to do a mind map to map out what I was thinking. I find it hard to sum up my thoughts in five minutes with a teacher especially when put on the spot. I realized that writing this down helped me so much. I was able to make connections with one thought to another. I was able to decide why and how I came to a certain conclusion.
In my last post I started talking about the fragmentation of words related to pop culture, and crude lyrics used in songs that are heard all over the public radio. By completing this mind map I was able to source where the idea came from. In this project I was happy when I realized how I can take what I am doing in my experiments and apply it to a real-world issue or system. I am not sure what I am going to be able to produce in this time frame until I present, but I am going to try to experiment with this concept of lyrics as much as possible.

Final Statement:

state briefly what questions you were asking; ideas, methods and processes used to pursue those questions; and what you learned about type through this process.

I started this project with a curiosity of the relationship between vision and typography. How do we perceive type? This brought me to the idea of the thaumatrope and how it works. The idea is that two sides are flipped continuously with a string, and we perceive the two images that are on both sides as one. Persistence of vision is the theory that we see an image and retain it for a moment after the initial reveal. Once the two images on the thaumatrope are twirled together in a speedy duration, they then give the illusion of one image.

I then came up with the question, can type only exist in motion? I started to ask some more these questions: How can the speed of repetition of parts to letter forms affect how the viewer perceives the type? What will digital tools do to help convey moving type vs. analog creations? How long can I fragment letter forms so they stay legible, but as close to illegible as possible?

I took to stop-motion in order to start experimenting. I started analog by illustrating letter forms, and cutting up letter forms into smaller parts. Each photograph was taken when I took away or added a part of the letter form. I didn't want the word to be legible in any of the frames however, because I wanted the word to be legible only in a time-based sequence.

Once I got some of the photographs into the computer I started to experiment with the duration and the sequencing of frames. I created a few stop motions that were successful and some that weren't so successful in answering my questions. For example I tried morphing the letter forms as well as cutting up letter forms, while still keeping the integrity of the typeface. The morphing of the type was interesting, but it didn't just exist in motion. It was able to exist in 2d print as well, and it didn't keep the integrity of the typeface.

I realized that type structure can be destroyed, and the viewer can still obtain some sort of meaning out of it. It can still be legible in some form or fashion. However, type represents a form of language that can differ substantially from person to person. A visual image has much more universal meaning than a word. The word "love" for example means SO many different things to so many people. They read the sign and the signified or image they think in their head is most likely not the same as the person standing next to them. Now, an image of a couple sitting on a park bench together hand in hand gazing into each others eye might be easier to comprehend as "love" compared to just seeing the type. I have realized in this experimentation that what we have been doing is informing the type more on the visual level. We are able to fuse the text with some sort of visual reference depending on how we are changing these forms. Our forms can be evocative or have a close relationship to an image that has the same connotations as the meaning of the word that we are working with. In my case I realized that the fragmentation of words can be a metaphor for angry and crude rap lyrics. It can symbolize the idea that these words are broken and can hurt people.

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