Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Illustrative Alphabet: Part One

This illustrative alphabet was created  by Cherisa Hawkins. She did a smoke typeface that utilized Helvetica as a starting point and then moved into a more abstract version. This was done with burning incense and a program she found on line.

This Illustrative Typeface project will be your second project for the semester. Start thinking about how you want to approach this and then take a look at work created on Flickr and previous designers....google "illustrative typefaces" and you'll see an array of work. Yours should be different.
Here are the Specs for the project followed by examples:

The Illustrative Alphabet Project:

In every culture throughout history, there has been the establishment of a visual language. This language is based on the ideology of that particular unique group. The development of a visual language (iconography) may stem from it's environment, its food source, its rituals, and even its individual religion. From cave drawings to the hieroglyphics found in Middle Eastern cultures to modern day graffiti, cultural societies have played the part of graphic designers and illustrators documenting our lives and culture.

This project will enable you to design a sequential illustrative alphabet based on your personal experiences within your own culture and/or history. You might choose to make this typographical illustrative treatment a serious examination of how you read the alphabet or you might wish to present examples of a tongue-in-cheek creation utilizing found objects in nature or out of existing objects.

I would encourage you to think of 3 concepts for this alphabet assignment. Through the process of elimination, find the one concept that you wish to produce. Perhaps create this in a Black/White format first and then move into a final color format. Your critique will be based on the color version although you might want to show both at the critique.

Each illustrative alphabet letter form should be approx. 2"x 2" in scale. This might be vertical or horizontal but all alphabet type must be on one board.  If you see that it needs 2 boards then organize it appropriately to fit. This depends on the images you create therefore the alphabet can be a percentage larger (vertically or horizontally). Remember that once you establish a GRID for your personal alphabet remain true to that GRID for the rest of the alphabet.
If you want to also create numerals, punctuation marks on a second board that is even better.
Consistency in concept and rendering and presentation is key to a successful project.

Be Clever. Be insightful.

These might be hand-drawn, photographed, collages, computer-generated and/or combinations of all mentioned. Think of these as "themes" or possible "portraits" of "experiences" and give it a name. For instance:
Water sports
Body Organs
Musical Instruments
Found in Nature
Hardware Store Items
A theme will assist you in staying within the parameters of your own concept.You may wish to merge commercial typography families (sampling) and thus creating a new “hybrid” type alphabet.

There is a Part II to this alphabet.
You should think about how you would introduce, advertise and sell the typeface.
It should include the name of House Industries (logo) and the name of your font and
how it might be used or engaged in some type of environment.  Remember it will be a product that will be used by other designers in some type of situation. It might be a Headline or even in a sentence. Think longevity of this new typeface your have created.

The final illustrative alphabet you design will be presented on your chosen board size (all 26 letterforms). You may wish to include numerals as well (it's optional.)
*Extra points for actually taking your new alphabet to an actual font.

NOTE: You may be asked to create a design using your own alphabet at the end of this project so be Prepared. Happy Hunting for your illustrative imagery.
Let it come from an authentic and creative place within you and your life experiences.

Start Date: Thursday, September 5th
Critique Date: Tuesday, September 24th. Part One
Part Two Critique: Tuesday September 30th.

Min Sun Kim created this water illustrative alphabet on glass.

Sandra Lo created several designs: One created from actual photographs around the downtown area/architectural and the other is created by using a fork with ink.

Shauna Perry created several ideas that were experimental..one is created by photographing images from her car and the other is created with a glue gun on acetate and then shot at angles.

Mario Segarra created this playful alphabet in the park with his favorite gal.

James Linehan created these glass letters in Blender 3D.

Chia Lin Wong Illustrative Typeface that she created outside in the forest with linen and some helpful trees.

Mario Segarra: Shadow Alphabet

Saeideh Jodaki: Blade Typeface

Michelle Villasenor:

Joe Buckel:

Nathan Linkous: Paper Bag Face Typeface

Zach Silverman: Halloween Typeface

Kari Lennox: Hashbrown Typeface

Jason Dooley:

Chrissy Culver:

Found on the web in various places like flickr.
Be creative and let these be clever, smart and applicable to design.

Also check this site out:

I was working on my own illustrative alphabet and I stumbled on one today that totally resembles what I was doing. DRATS! It always seems to happen and so I'm telling you now to get used to it. I blame the internet since I have no one else to blame.
Actually they aren't that close to what I've been doing but it's close. The ones on Flickr are more Illustration and the image is dedicated more to the content found in each state (which is pretty cool.) Mine are more close to the actual alphabet. That was my concept for this project. Alphabet State.
I'll still finish my 26 alphabetical states and post them when I'm done.

Anyway, check out this wonderful flickr site where my idea, I mean his idea, is located.
Seriously, a Big Shout out to Frank Sparrow. Wonderfully brilliant illustrations and designs.
Images courtesy of:

Also check this out below which is another inventive typeface derived from the states:

TO: Google Maps
FM: Stan
RE: Oh No You Didn't

and no less than this too:

Images from a previous Juniors Illustrative Typeface Project:

Jonathan Hart: Waffle Typeface

Jerad Hill

Morgan Sjoblom

Anna Masuzawa

Deborah Bush: Squid Typeface

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