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Week 2 Illustrator - Typography Shape of Lettering and the visual language it communicates

I found typography and creating shape and meaning through letters an interesting challenge. As with the previous workshop, having a taster in the lesson was followed up by numerous watches of YouTube videos on the subject, to further improve my understanding.

I learnt to create text and manipulate it, changing the shape of the letter forms to give it a completely different meaning. This was surprising to me, because the way the shape of the letters were altered visually communicated more edginess, futuristic elements and playfulness.

Looking at these different ways of manipulating the text by just a little helped me to think about the theme of play and how the text on my poster could visually communicate the impact of environmental breakdown.

I imported the word ‘travel’ into Illustrator and traced over it using the paint brush or pen tool. But I created too many anchor points and it was difficult to get a smooth trace over. So I felt this was not a good way of reproducing typography in a clear and aesthetically pleasing way. There were too many points that were not smooth and it did not look professional.

Instead, I tried another method. I tried writing normal text on illustrator and then manipulating that text to form meaning with the typography that was written. I was able to control the manipulation better and produce better results.

I feel that they were more consistent and I had more control on where the anchor points should go, using shortcuts such as command shift O. This helped me to produce a more consistent typography.

I could further manipulate it by creating waves in the typography by changing the path. I found these results exciting and pleasing to the eye. However, I think more practice is needed to master typography. When I used Illustrator on the iPad, using the pen tool to create typography produced more unique results, as I had more control over similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure & ground, and symmetry & order – as per the principles commonly associated with Gestalt.

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