Friday, 19 October 2012

Alphabet Soup - J'Nae Typeface

Once put into partners we were given a questionnaire to get to know the other person. Here are the answers J’Nae gave to the questions:

Favourite colour – red & green

Earliest memory – S Club 7 concert

The living designer you most admire and why – Stina Persson: innovative and good use of multimedia

Most treasured possession – Phone

Super power – Flying

Invite to dream dinner party – Jimmy Car

Unhappy – being hungry

Fancy dress costume of choice – Ronald McDonald

Most overused phrases – ‘I can’t deal’ ‘it’s not about that life’

Whilst getting to know her I also learnt that: she has 5 brothers, 3 sisters, she’s a Leo, her favourite food is chicken, she comes from Moss Side in Manchester, she likes comedy, she used to work at Hollister, her favourite music is house, she likes to party, is a bit hyperactive and a bit of a joker.
In terms of physical appearance, she is tall, skinny and has big, crazy dark hair.
I put all this information down on paper so I could use it visually. From that I picked out and highlighted the elements that I thought I had the most potential to produce a typeface from.

After writing down the ideas I wanted to explore, I started to research and sketch out ideas. I started with the thin, skinny and tall elements. I sketched out rough ideas, creating an entirely new typeface from scratch, whilst at the same time looking into existing tall and thin fonts. To me there appeared too simple and plain to be a typeface to represent J’Nae.

I then proceeded to look into her favourite designer, Stina Persson. Looking into her methods of producing her work and whether I could use a similar technique to produce a typeface to represent J’Nae.
The possible ideas i got from looking into her work were taken from the roughness of her work. Mainly looking at where there were drips and splatters.

I also looked into Stina Persson's typographical work to see if there was anything Icould take from here to represent J'Nae. In the work above there are not many gaps in the letters where there usually are.

In the two works above there are greater amounts of splatter and drips coming from the letters. There is also the effect created from using a brush - most visible in 'PINK PAINT' - where there has not been enough ink used and some of the letter-form is not there.

The final piece of typographical work I looked at by Stina Persson was the one above. The reason i looked into this one was because it was unlike her other typographical work, as it was more structured, there were no drips or splatters and it had a crack through the entire work.

I also looked into her work where she varies the line depth and intensity. Again this was done to see if i could use a similar technique to create a typeface that would represent J'Nae. After looking into Stina Persson's work for some time I realised I was more focused on emulating element of her work rather than creating a typeface that represented J'Nae.
Moving away from that idea, I focused on her hair and its craziness. I looked at different ways to represent her hair in a typeface. The first concept was just scribbles and lines however this lacked structure and did not fundamentally work as a typeface. I then tried to give it more structure, using a very thin skeleton to work around. I also made the scribbles less dense so they were more distinguishable. Here, I also experimented with inking in the outline, all the scribbled lines and the whole of the letter form. The letter with only the outline did not visualise the idea well enough and neither did the letter that was fully filled in. Although I really liked the way the inked in scribbles looked I didn’t think I represented J’Nae’s personality, it was only taken from her hair.

Still not liking what I had produced, I asked a few peers on their opinion. From those conversations I wanted to make it more fun and crazier. To do this I used an existing, thin, tall typeface as a skeleton, keeping the physical ideas I started with, I created a type face that looked like bubbles. I also produced another two typefaces in the same manner; one was the bubble typeface filled with scribbles and the other was the tall thin typeface filled with scribbles. I had mixed feelings about all of the typefaces, I ruled out the tall thin typeface full of scribbles straight away as it was just a more structured form of what I had previously done. Choosing between the other two, however, I found more difficult. Aesthetically the bubbles on their own work better, but I think the bubbles filled with scribbles represent J’Nae better. In and out of the crit. I got mixed responses to both typefaces. In the crit. most people preferred the typeface with the scribbles, so this is the style I have decided to take forward and produce all 26 letter, 6 glyphs and a name badge from.

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