When I walk downtown or when I drive on the highway, one thing I notice most is text. We are surrounded by it. Our lives depend on our ability to take small bent lines and translate them into a word or idea. We even design the shapes of letters to give them even more impact in our minds. Every typeface has an emotion, mood, or essence that speaks to our subconscious. Presenting these typefaces in a new light, I want to awaken the subconscious and bring the glamor and elegance typeface has to offer to the viewer.
I intend to explore the essence of typeface in our everyday lives through a series of photographs. As a designer and lover of typeface, I look outside and see the world differently than most. Where everyone sees just another sign for free checking at a local bank, I see a specific typeface chosen to grab attention or to give a feeling of security. The way we shape and form text changes its meaning. Without knowing we cast judgement of a business by their exterior sign. If its store bought letters nailed to a board we might not get the same impression as a custom designed font elegantly fashioned to the side of the building.
The project will be a combination of concept and form. The images themselves will be formally composed, but conceptually the goal is to analyze and emphasize how much we see and use typeface. The images will composed of scenes where the use of typeface is dominant. A street corner with directional signs, billboards, and businesses would have several different typefaces competing for your attention and all for different reasons. To emphasize the clutter and chaos of the fonts I intend to hand sketch the outlines of the fonts and provide a definition and my analysis of its purpose. The images will be in color to allow for separation of fonts and ideas that could be lost in black and white. I also intend to print these images large in order to make my analysis easy to read. I will most likely be shooting these on a digital camera.
I am directly influenced by what I see around me. The chaos of advertising and signs dictate our every decision. One of the main influences surrounding my project is the documentary Helvetica. Watching it gave me an appreciation for font and its true purpose and beauty. Throughout the semester I will be reading a number of books on typeface as well as researching historical influences such as William Eggleston, Robert Adams, Walker Evans, and Barbara Kruger.
My aim is get the attention of everyone. Designers should not be the only ones to have the knowledge of why we feel a certain way one font and differently for another. I want the viewer to stop and consider the every day use of typeface and possibly appreciate a successful use of typeface or realize when something does not fit. I want the viewer to see the world how I do.