Design, technology and more

Major Project Drafting #11

Cutting out all of these shapes is slow going, especially the letters that have lots of small sections. For example, here is a progress shot of eliminating the background on the letter ‘C’, which has a lot of detail:


In terms of composition, I’ve realised that the alphabet doesn’t fit very neatly into even rows and columns when arranging them on a piece of paper. As is with my 5 across set up, the ‘Z’ is on its own. I could have punctuation at the end to alleviate this, or I could change the layout so the ‘Z’ is not alone (critical incident). I looked up some other examples of font posters and how they have dealt with the odd number in their composition, some of which are shown below.

Sergey Kolesov “Retro Type“: Uses a square composition and the name of the type to fill the blank corner.


Alessia Avventuroso “Coldi“: Keeps the ‘Z’ orphaned but tries to tie it together to the others through the use of line and the text next to it.


Gary Head “Modular Typeface“: Adds a bonus letter in the second line to make it appear rectangular and even.


Nigel Bents, Paul Oakley and Jonny Holmes “Decorative Bodoni“: Adds text in the blank space and only does 4 across so the ‘Z’ is not alone.


Luc Devroye “Psychadelic-Fillmore West“: All very uneven and landscape as opposed to portrait.


Onionastudio “Hand Drawn Font“: Adds in numbers and symbols to fill the space.

ALOHA SUMER HAND DRAWN FONT - green background

At this stage I’m leaning towards 4 across in an A1 portrait format.


Major Project Drafting #10

I finished off my letter making, and this time the ‘Q’ gave me a lot of trouble. I was initially using a rounded thistle head as shown in the image below, but it would not scan well because it wasn’t flat. I tried cutting it in half to make it thinner to fit in the scanner, but that only broke it into ¬†unusable pieces. I ended up using a couple of pieces of ivy for the round shape of the ‘Q’ ¬†instead.

Initial mock-up with thistle ‘Q’:


Final scans:



My current progress on cutting out the letters (and some punctuation) is below:



Major Project Drafting #9

I made some more letters and punctuation (I’m not sure how much punctuation I should make but so far I have a full stop, apostrophe, and hyphen) to form my alphabet. I’ve also gotten rid of duplicate letters from my first two scans. The results of the new scans are below:




The ‘O’ was quite difficult to figure out what to do with, but I ended up settling on a rounded flower. It doesn’t look too much like an ‘O’ on its own, but in conjunction with other letters it was readable (tested on my family members). Because it will be displayed with other letters at all times, I’m happy to leave it like that for now unless I find too many people are struggling to read it.

In terms of research this week I found a a book cover made from backyard plants which I really like and is relevant to what I intend to do with these letters:


Source: Tigerette 2016, Out Backward Novel, Image, Pinterest, accessed 9/10/2016,

Major Project Feedback #3

  • Think about having a pale serif letter form behind the organic shapes to help legibility (suggested colour: lemon)
  • Make 3 alphabets: Organic, vector, and something else (drawing or a combination of the former styles? Critical incident)
  • Make a version of the cover using all 3 created alphabets.
  • Do not worry about collateral or publisher, just make the alphabet and the covers.
  • Both the alphabets and covers would be displayed in the final graduation show as a demonstration of process and application.

I think the biggest issue right now is time, it’s taken me so long to get to this stage that I’ve left very little room for creation and refinement.

Major Project Drafting #8

It was suggested that I look at making the letters in illustrated and vector form, so I made some quick mock-ups on the word “mid” to get a basic idea of how it would look. With the vector one in particular, I feel like this is getting a little too far away from my original concept – though I don’t mind the look of either, even in this quick mock-up form. I think I will stick with my plant-based lettering for now, I am working on cutting out scan #2.



Major Project Drafting #7

These are the cut outs of the letters in first scan that I made. The first image shows just the letters, the second image shows what letters are missing with simple type (which I will not be using, I just wanted to show what was missing):



I’m not sure if I want to make ornate pattering around the edges, I think I’ll see how cluttered it looks when I get all the letters done. Because “midsummer” is a very long word and I need to fit it into a portrait composition, I cut the word into “mid-” and “summer” to fit the orientation better.

For the back cover, I’m thinking I’ll make a border out of found natural objects with the type in the centre. Though I am doing handmade, I feel like the typography will need to be digital because the type will be very small and it needs to be easily legible – but I’ll see how I go.

Major Project Drafting #6

I made another set of letters in the scanner (-, A, U, ‘, E, R):


Cutting the letters out has been quite a bit more time-consuming than I thought it would be, each letter takes around 2 hours to complete (more for the more complex shapes and paler colours, as Photoshop does not do a good job of picking up the outlines on these so I have to create these myself). I’m still working on cutting out the first scan, I’d like to use the shadows but I don’t like the way the shadows turned out so I think it’s best to cut them out completely.

I’ve had some more thoughts about the format, and I’ve decided that I’m going to go back to book covers instead of theatre posters. In consultation with theatre students, they said that they’d expect photos from the rehearsals as the poster image; and while Bell Shakespeare does use typographic posters, they don’t tend to focus on the environment of the play so this typography wouldn’t make as much sense as it would for a book cover. There is also a lot more background and theory on book cover design than there is on theatre poster design, and the connection between books and the handmade is stronger (critical incident).

In terms of collateral I thought I could potentially make a poster, bookmarks, a mock-up of the book, or even brand a publisher for it – but I have very little time to do all of this. I could use a pre-existing publisher, but I can’t find one that makes books about Shakespeare in a modern Australian context so I think I’d really have to make a new fictional one for this idea to conceptually make sense.

Major Project Drafting #5

I decided to start making the title of the play. The reason I didn’t go with a quote this time is because I’m wondering if I should go back to book covers, and this would work for that (critical incident). The length of “Midsummer” is going to be a little tricky to deal with but I could always break the word up into “mid” and “summer”.

Taking plants from my garden at home, I formed a few letters on a white background:

photo1359I’m thinking I will make multiple variations of different letters, then mix and match them when I assemble the words together to make the nicest-looking composition.

In order to get a high quality image, I put these onto an A3 scanning bed and made a couple of scans. Some letters were backwards but I can flip those digitally, and some letters broke up a little in the scanner (N and M) but again those can be fixed later. I made two scans because some letters didn’t work properly in the first scan (A and N in particular).


As shown, some shadows do occur when scanning but these will be Photoshopped out to create a clean white background.

I will make more letters, then experiment with what they look like illustrated or vector form – but personally I like the idea of keeping them realistic.

Major Project Feedback #2

  • What is the theme of the play? The poster should reflect the theme.
  • Try and research and/or contact more theatre companies on their take on it. Be mindful of context.
  • If I’m basing it on an existing production, I should go see it.
  • Often theatre posters use images from the rehearsals as their poster. Why do I think using a handmade effect would be better? (critical incident – I may need to rethink my entire project)

Basically I definitely need to research this more and narrow down my idea, I keep changing my mind and this project is going all over the place and not finding a direction as a result.

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