Today we are going to text-only compositions to highlight a new Experimental Media and Design program in the Art Department here at Lehman College. Above you will see an example of a poster I designed. The great thing about this project is that we're trying to convey to our audience the spirit of an Experimental Media and Design Program. Therefore, we're free to break many of the established graphic design composition conventions that we've come to rely upon. In other words,
You May (Cautiously):
ignore any kind of grid
break type and type spacing
pay no respect to the bounds of the page or composition
use colors that conflict with each other
Before we begin, let's just go over a couple ground rules:
You may only use type in your compositions, a.k.a. letterforms
You can use any typeface or blend of typefaces
You may not use found images, but you can certainly derive images from letterforms
You may not directly introduce points, line, or shapes with the pen, pencil, line, or shape tools found in your software, but you can derive these items from letterforms
You're strongly encouraged to use color, negative space, grid or no grid, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, deconstruction of letterforms, etc to create your composistions.
Though you're free to visually convey the Experimental Media and Design program in any way you choose, you must incorporate the following copy
(in bold and red)in your design:
The Art Department of Lehman College Experimental Media and Design Program
Just as you would with any design, you're encouraged to employ the principles of graphic design by making use of your design elements. Above are some examples I how one might implement certain design principles using just letterforms.
Let's look at a few compositions that use only letterforms to tell a vusual story, paying close attention to what's working and what isn't.
Franz Ehrlich, 1929
Bauhaus exhibition poster
Joost Schmidt 1923
Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, 1919
Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919–1923
Walter Gropius 1923
poster for Foire de Paris, 1956
A M Cassandre
November Twenty Six Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three, 1964, Ben Shahn
We're almost ready to begin, but first just take a moment to consider format. Format refers to the dimensions, proportions, and shape of your composition. Design software normally limits you to a rectilinear canvas or artboard. However, you're encouraged to think creatively in terms of format for this project.
To help get your creative juices flowing, feel free to look the following resources:
- Type Only – Great examples of designs made predominantly, or completely, wth letterforms: http://typeonly.tumblr.com/
- Dafont – An excellent resource for creative fonts: http://www.dafont.com/
- LetterformArchive – really more a archive of the historical use of type and letterforms: http://letterformarchive.org/gallery/
- Slanted.de – The Germans pretty much perfected typography...and they're still talking about it! Look here for some inspiration:: http://www.slanted.de/portfolio
- I Love Typography – an excellent blog on the subject of typography and the beauty of letterforms: http://ilovetypography.com/
This is the collective work of my Art 325-Intro to Motion Graphics students at Lehman College, from Spring 2010 to Spring 2011. Good job, everyone!