Typography and language.

Today we moved away from our symbols and onto typography. Our task, in conjunction with this lesson, is to create a ‘whakapapa of design’ in letterforms. Whakapapa means family, so I guess this means to generate a series of pages that all tie together somehow through the use of typography. Therefore, I have decided to use my 5 A3 pages to express something about me that I love and is a part of me: the sea.

I also noticed that we were told to consider the history of type also. So my idea is to explore that of Trajan Pro. on each page, this font will appear somehow, either big or small. On the last page, the individual letters of my name will be traced in this font then collaged  using different hues of blue to represent the sea. the lighter and darker hues, as well as placement on the page, will demonstrate the tone of how to pronounce my name. This will go onto an A3 in the centre, with various fonts saying “my name is” around it. On the other pages, I want to use many fonts to explore the words “The big wide ocean”. I thought this would be a fun and more interactive, personalised way of exploring into typography. The idea of having a theme of my name and a sentence about the sea ties in personal interests and makes the text all relate to one another. I used pencil, Letraset Pro Markers, Unipin pens, colour pens, colour ink felts and calligraphy markers to fill in my traced fonts.

I also wanted to further explore typography through mark making, so I used various household tools (sponges, spatulas etc) to create my own letters that say “Big Ocean”. For this I used Indian ink and a medium.


A brief history of the Trajan typeface. I chose to explore this serif because I was interested in the story of the types origin. The structural curvature and thickness of this Roman letterform derives from the inspiration of ancient Italian architecture- pretty neat! I just enjoy that the type is a reflection of the world from which it came; that it echoes other forms of art within itself.

This font was originally believed to have been brushed onto stone surfaces, then carved in. The Trajan column in Rome is an example of classic Roman letterforms, which reached their peak of refinement in the first century A.D. It is believed that the letters were first written with a brush, then carved into the stone. The Roman Trajan Column is a great demonstration of this (It was made in honour of Emperor Trajan and the great victory acquired through the Dacian Wars). This font was later made into a typeface for Adobe by Carole Twombly in 1989.




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