This week I have finished the critical report. The critical report is really my analysis and then an explanation at the end on how I aim to leap into practice. I designed it using the typeface (Lapture) I have for this project and did an eyecatching cover with the purple paper and the merged m’s.
The inside of the critical report has served as a catalyst for the design of my 160x260mm booklet.
This is how the Critical report looked. The report was in A5 format, this just because I always print and read everything, and if anyone printed this for assessment–it would still look nice.
However, the booklet is a much taller format and I have been looking into how that can be utilised to create tension through active negative space. This is visible on the first spread of the 160x260mm booklet:
The diagonal composition further highlights the negative space.
I am using my grid that I set a while back, that is based on the module measurements from a Fibonacci grid.
I wanted to work with a bit more articulated typographic hierarchy in the booklet than it was in the report. I have been trying back and forth what sizes may be appropriate an I am currently working with the following typographic roles:
A main heading in the upper left corner, whenever a new section is introduced, this is the heading I am using. It is Lapture, Semibold 17pts, small caps +50 tracking.
An intro text, for introducing the first paragraph of new sections. Lapture, Italic 13/16pt.
The body of text is Lapture, Regular 10/13pt.
The runners are Lapture, semibold, 8pts, small caps with +100 tracking.
Page numbers: Lapture, Regular, 8pts
In the lists I am using arrows that are included inte Lapture’s glyphs. A small typographic detail that gave a little more energy.
The purpose of the largest format has changed throughout this module. I have intentionally left it open to see where the research goes. For a long while it was intended to become some kind of complex map that showed development and spread of the Roman over time and space. Since there is an interesting relation between language, typography and geography and especially between northern and southern Europe. However, this is not directly discussed in depth the analysis. It would most likely not makes sense to the audience and the map would be complex without something that could explain it.
When the research developed I considered making giant letters where the characteristics from different influences were laid on top of each other. Similar to this:
This approach would allow me to highlight the range of influences in the outcome of the Subiaco’s letters. But the Subiaco’s letters are complex and not as ‘clean cut’ as the example above. It was har to fit this approach with the set out visual expression.
When I had started on the ‘established’ visual direction and photographed all the letters, it occurred to me that the Subiaco type was not visible in full in any component. I decided to put it on the 260×420 format as a poster.
I used the Gotico Antiqua, proto-roman, hybrid, 15th-century types between gothic and roman to ensure I got the right letters. This book has been central to my work. This image is from their website, I have it myself, and it looks like it is dressed in a garland with all the notes thats stuck into it. I had to find all the letters from the source, this may not sound like a very time consuming activity, but it is. Some letters are quite rare in Latin and there is no way (for me at least, who doesn’t know Latin) to navigate the words. I began with finding pages from the computer that I saw had the letters I needed and then put them all in a document and printed. Like this:
I noted each print with the zoom I had printed the letters in and the zoom value I had photographed them in. And checked off each letter in my ‘key’:
It’s good to know that the 15th century Latin alphabet did not have the same amount of letters as today. In the Subiaco, the K was only available as. The u only in lowercase. I distributed the letters, the main part of this design development was about finding a good balance between format, type size and negative space. I wanted generous margins, but also let the letters take space and be visible.
The first attempts were not balanced enough. I needed a really generous margin to make these letters come to their right.
I had left empty gaps where one letter was missing its lowercase friend. I thought that was a nice visual effect that gave a little bit of tension to this composition.
I have been looking at covers for the components that are an extension of the research. How they can ‘establish’ the lens through their first impression. I want the bundle to look nice when its all laid out. The massive M is one of the merged letters, I really like its character, the hybridity between script, gothic and type.
This look like a nice trio, but the booklet looked at bit passive. I thought that maybe an image could increase the tension of the composition. I applied the image from my ‘influences’ collection, the one that is visualising classical ideals. It seemed appropriate since it signifies some kind of origin to the influences and ideologies generally discussed in this project, and to humanism in particular.
I sent this to my friend who’s a designer, she said that she really liked it and that the image looks like a stamp from the past. That was a great response. I kept the image.
Things are really starting to come together. I feel like I have a really good sense about what the bundle’s visual identity is now and thanks to that it is much easier to approach the components. I really want them to look good together, to be super coherent, yet dynamic. Despite this being quite a restrained visual expression I want it to be active. I am trying to activate my compositions using mainly active negative space and typography. Next week I have to finish developing the ‘challenging’ components and make them contrasting, yet also get them to fit into the bundle.
KNEBUSCH, Jerome, 2021. ed ‘Gotico-Antiqua, proto-roman, hybrid: 15th-century types between gothic and roman. Atelier National de Recherche Typographique [anrt], ensad / Poem, Nancy / Frankfurt am Main.