Position through contextualising – Week 01

Line of enquiry

Through my previous written response (Position through iterating), I got the line of enquiry as ‘How can I expand the possibility to express human complexity of emotions/sensations through typefaces?’. Visually speaking, I would like to fill the gap between verbal expression and real emotion, like the diagram above.

Gathering References

Regarding my references, I set three categories to develop my line of enquiry: emotion, design and typeface. In addition, I put a direction for each category to keep the narrative.
As for typeface, its role differs depending on whether the writer who created the text is the solely the medium of the text (objectivity) or the central figure of the text (subjectivity). In terms of a relationship between emotions/sensations and textual communications, the latter case seems to show ‘emotions’ intentionally. Therefore, I decided to focus on the subjective use of typefaces in this research.
Concerned about emotional complexity through visual language, the flexibility of design or adjustable format could be one of the solutions, so I started learning about visual systems.
Lastly, I should learn more about emotion academically since it is an intangible and subconscious topic. Learning about the cognition process of emotions could be helpful in prioritising typefaces, colours and a layout.

Printing experiments

Alongside my research, I did small experiments this week to try new printing methods: Riso printing and foil printing. The purpose of investigations in graphic communication design was to explore colour combinations and a mixture of typefaces.

In the first stage, I created two gradient colour circles with different variations: cold and warm, by Riso printing. 
Regarding a cold-colour gradient circle, I adopted the blue-greenish gradients, which idea comes from the colour of the universe in the book Design and Emotion: The Experience of everyday things (2004) Wilson and Challis, (p. 179). In this book, the researchers note that ‘the colour of the universe revealed by two American researchers, Dr Karl Glazebook and Dr Ivan Baldry, that the average colour of the universe is a greenish hue halfway between aquamarine and turquoise. However, when young stars dominated the universe, the average colour was blue.’ This could be why people can feel calm. Additionally, it is the colour of the Virgin Mary. 
In contrast, I created a warm-colour gradient circle with pink-yellowish colours to make it different from the cold version. In comparison, the cold-colour circle looks more neutral than the warm-colour circle if I use them as a metaphor for emotion.

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I continued to do foil printing with a typeface experiment. I created two types of ‘emotion’ designs with seven different fonts to express the diversity of emotion. In this experiment, I avoid using Sans-serif fonts because in the book Modern Typography (1992) by Kinross (p. 158-182), the author introduces Sans-serif fonts as a part of modernism, machinery and mass productive creation, which does not suit the complexity of human emotion.
Regarding the printing process, I attempted to print letters on the circle (Riso printing) with silver foil and on the paper directly with black foil. The quality of the outcome between the two experiments is almost the same. However, silver foil on Riso printing made more emotional texture since the rough paper was unsuitable for foiling and unexpectedly showed the complex surface, which is like emotion.

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