Position through contextualising – Week 02

A quick review of previous week

In the first week, I categorised my reference list into three (typeface, design and emotion) and put a direction for each research to keep narrative analysis.

Afterwards, I created a publication containing some small experiments and a mockup of the visual system based on the reference material.

Making the third publication

The third publication introduces my trip to Santorini island from 27th to 30th August 2021. The content of the publication starts on the first day of planning and ends on the last day of the trip. On each page, I expressed how my emotions changed during the journey using typeface, colours and layout instead of directive verbal explanation about emotion. Regarding the composition, every page contains a symbolic typeface motif, a date, a small brief, and the sun as a symbol of time processing. I focused on the subjective typeface design and the relevancy of each element by practical layout.

I adopted the harmonic division of the root-2 rectangle, introduced by the book Balance in Design (2005) Elam (p. 37). The rectangle was divided vertically and horizontally into thirds, then vertically and horizontally into squares. It became the standard regulation of the whole publication and enabled intuitively beautiful layouts.

Tschichold, J. (1937) Konstruktivisten. Balance in Design: Bnn inc.

In terms of the Sun motif, I followed the idea from the elegant poster by Jan Tschichold from an exhibition of constructivist art in 1937. Jan Tschichold describes it is possible to achieve the purpose of graphic communication through the rhythm and proportion of the minimum necessary elements themselves rather than additional decoration or decorative typefaces. (Asymmetric Typography p.26)

Tschichold, J. (1937) Konstruktivisten. Balance in Design: Bnn inc.

Regarding the composition, the circle’s diameter is one-third of the width of the poster, and it is also used as a scale for arranging the elements. This circle is a focal point and eye-catching effect that successfully emphasises the exhibition title and exhibitor list. In addition, the date and time of the exhibition are equal to the distance between the circle and the distance between the exhibition title and the horizontal line, and the exhibition title is placed in the centre of the circle. (Elam, 2005)

Additionally, the author mentions the proportion of the format(left) and the square for the composition(right) (Elam p.91). The rectangular structure is based on the pentagon, and the top of the pentagon becomes the rectangle’s width. Moreover, the square for the composition makes the design more gripping.

Subsequently, I continued to research fonts. This time, I decided to use Sans-serif fonts, assuming subjective usage. I picked up four typefaces from the book The field guide to Typography (2013) and compared their legibility and features: Fedra Sans, Rotis Sans Serif, Kade Letter Fabriek and Neutraface.
In the beginning, I printed sample texts to confirm the legibility of the paper, and Fedra Sans or Kade Letter Fabriek would be suitable for the theme of a trip to Santorini. Then I compared the background of each typeface design and chose Fedra Sans as the primary typeface for the publication because the concept of Fedra Sans font is a ‘human presentation style’ (p. 165, 2013).

In the publication, each process of my trip explains six emotions through small typographic experimental works, including the same method in previous iterations.
Consequently, the understanding between typefaces and emotions has taken a step forward in exploring complex emotions through visual language rather than direct words.
For further experiments, I would like to pursue even more precise output and explore how accurately my intended emotions can be conveyed through graphic communication, learning about emotional complexity and cognition process. In addition, I also want to explore the connection with visual systems to express emotional flexibility.

Mockup of a block style calendar for creating a visual system

In my research about the flexibility of the visual system, I created a simple mockup of a block-shaped calendar in which people can express their emotions through the tone of each number. It succeeds in the way of graphic communication design through the system. I plan to make the second mockup specifically for communication in typography design.

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