Following my extensive investigations into the subject of typography for my SAT1 assessment I wanted to include a typographic element to my design for the practical assignment. I therefore begun to investigate the amalgamation of typography and geometry both currently and throughout the history of typographic design.

Wete – Roke 1984

In the below piece, Wete constructs the characters of his Roke 1984 by allocating geometric transformations to letter forms.

Wete., 2010. Roke 1984. [electronic print] Available at: <http://www.behance.net/gallery/ROKE1984/762721> [Accessed 30th October 2011].

I find the utilisation of geometric transformations to form characters an interesting approach, however those used appear almost arbitrary and it does not seem that a strict set of rules were followed to create a logical typeface. The overall effect I believe is visually pleasing, however I would be interested to investigate the process undertaken to achieve the letterforms or if Wete chose their transformations simply for aesthetic value? I would be interested to see how literally this project could be taken, is it possible to create the letterforms from the transformations illustrated from starting geometric shapes?

I find it difficult to respond to the typeface provided by Wete further, as there is limited information regarding its composition. It appears the geometric transformations listed on the letter forms are ornamentation alone, as someone who likes to implement regimented forms and structures around my work I would prefer if the transformations listed were relevant to the letter forms.

Urs Lehni, Juerg Lehni and Rafael Kock – Lego am and Lego pm

Lego am and Lego pm was developed originally as part of a student project at the Schule für Gestaltung.1 The construction of letters solely through individual lego units, responding to post-modern principles and an anarchy against ‘slick computer aesthetics’.2 The isometric projection used in the final piece responds well with the simple ‘lego’ shapes used.

Lehni, U., Lehni, J., and Kock, R., 1999. Lego am and Lego pm. [electronic print] Available at: <http://lineto.com/1.0/content_55.html> [Accessed 16th November 2011].

I enjoy this simple piece, by limiting the design to a simple set of units to construct the letters an interesting, engaging post-modernist piece is produced.

Further development of this work resulted in an exhibition poster. The title, in the typeface, is not instantly understandable, the audience is required to engage more in order to decipher the meaning.

The typeface itself was released in a ‘cut-n-paster’ manner to allow users to ‘construct’ their own letter forms from the individual ‘lego’ blocks.

I appreciate the rigour in which the typeface was approached, by adhering to a strict set of principles to create the letterforms. By taking the modular and alignment ideas from International Style and applying them to a childlike form before applying geometric transformations the piece becomes distinctly post-modern.

By looking at these current examples of the use of geometry in relation to typography I have established several points which I wish to bring into my own work;

  • Any geometric transformations utilised must be for a purpose or adhere to a strict set of instructions. I find it difficult to appreciate Roke 1984 any further than as an aesthetic piece as the geometry does not relate to the letter forms.
  • Attempt to follow strict guidelines and principles as utilised with the Lego am and Lego pm to experiment with the possible outcomes from following such rigorous procedures to the end.

References

1. Triggs, T., 2003. The Typographic Experiment: Radical Innovation in Contemporary Type Design. London: Thames and Hudson. p.108.

2. Triggs, T., 2003. The Typographic Experiment: Radical Innovation in Contemporary Type Design. London: Thames and Hudson. p.109.

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