Letterform Relationships project
Typography 1

Introduction
Typography is often used to create a memorable image in design. This project requires you to study 3 selected letters and develop a mark that clearly communicates the 3 letters in the proper order and cleverly acknowledges their letterform relationships. The simpler a mark is the more easily and efficiently it can be understood. A touch of wit or a unique image can help prolong its shelf life. Sometimes, it is good to provide a bit of controlled annoyance or discomfort to involve the viewer who must then participate to understand the mark.

Procedure
• Explore numerous design options to develop a great mark for the letters selected. Sketch numerous thumbnails. Analyze and explore thoroughly each letterform: what actually defines it, how is it recognized, what makes it unique, etc. See the letters as shapes made of different elements. Explore thoroughly each letter.
• Sketch the letters in many varieties of categories, families, and typefaces: weights, widths, caps, lower case, serifs, swashes, italics, etc. Look for unique counters, bars, arms, and thick and thins (all of these will differ with each face you explore). Look for coinciding angles, lines, and curves. Manipulate the letters in a variety of arrangements. Strive for some clever innovation. Draw concepts: exhaust all possibilities of arranging the letterforms (40-80 thumbnails).
• Develop the best sketches into roughs. Refine all design decisions: faces, relationships, negative space, weight, placement, spacing, etc.
• Ink a finished comp. It may be easier to ink it large and reduce it on a copy machine. Trim the copy or mount the comp neatly on a board in a well designed layout composition.

Criteria
1. All three letters must be correctly read in their proper order
2. The mark should cleverly exploit the unique relationship inherent in the 3 letterforms to aid memorability.

Evaluation
• Specs followed precisely.
• Finished comp turned in on time.
• Concept: memorable, intriguing, innovative, and witty interplay of letterforms.
• Communication: letters easy to understand.
• Execution: strong presentation composition of marks; crisp inked corners and curves, consistent line widths, etc.

Specs
• Size of mark: about 6"
• Image/ink color: black
• Color of background: white

Purpose
• Become more familiar with typefaces.
• Explore letterform relationships: see letters as shapes to be manipulated and not just as alphabetic letters to be read.
• Appreciate the complexity of fonts and alphabet letterforms.
• Clearly communicate the message with little confusion.
• Practice inking letterforms.
• Improve attention to detail.

Options to explore
ascenders
calligraphic
capitals
counters
curved lines
descenders
diagonals
dimensionality, 3D
geometric shapes
horizontal rows
horizontal strokes
letter impregnation
ligatures
lower case
mirror imaging
mixed families and faces
negative space
overlapping
perspective
positive space
repetitions
reverses
sequential
serif and sans serif
script
skewed
stairstep
stress and emphasis
stroke widths
swashes
thick & thins
variety of fonts
vertical strokes
vertical stack
weights
x-height

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/typogltrfrm.html