Creative Lockdown Project: Object alphabet

Creative Lockdown alphabet ideas

Creative Lockdown Project: Object alphabet

Challenge

Look around your home and find an object that you would like to turn into an alphabet. It’s fun if this is clearly a household object so that it represents your time spent in lockdown. For example you could use your glasses, a pair of scissors, a coathanger, kitchen utensils or a child’s toy.

Process

1. Think about how you can reproduce its shape. You could photograph it, trace around it, print with it, put paper over it and take rubbings, draw or paint it.

2. Create each letter of the alphabet. You can rotate, dissect and repeat its shape to make the letters. For an extra challenge add in glyphs like &, !, ?, @ and numbers.

Results

Share your finished project on social media with #CreativeLockdownProject. If you also tag #TypeTasting I’ll be sharing some of the results.

Examples

Elastic band alphabet by Catherine Nippe

Bottle opener alphabet by Hannah Clark

Leggo alphabet by Marcos Arruda

Typography workshops for school students

I had the privilege of running workshops at the Design Museum last week for the next generation of talented designers. The museum runs an annual competition for schools to design a product to be sold in the Design Museum shop. I had a brilliant day running one-hour workshops for the ten schools shortlisted in this Design Ventura competition.

The students from years 9, 10 and 11 took part in activities including personality name badges, supermarket sweep, what’s the product? and ended with typography karaoke, which they designed and performed. They were all fantastic and I hope a few went away with a newfound love of typography.

The surprising story of the ampersand & its multiple personalities

An ampersand is an invitation to imagine what will come next. It is a continuation of a conversation or story, but without the context of knowing what went before you can choose where you would like it to go. When the symbol stands alone it is still communicating a huge amount of information from its form and its shapes; is it hand-written, is it old-fashioned and traditional, is it minimalist and modern? Every typeface tells a story independently of the words it spells out.

The ampersand is sometimes considered to be the 27th letter of the Latin alphabet. It comes from the letters ‘et’, Latin for ‘and’. It’s a character that there is wide affection for and it gives a glimpse of the personality of a typeface without committing to be a particular letter. The ampersand takes a wide range of shapes and forms, and it is the skill of the human brain that enables us to recognise that each of these still says ‘and’.

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Mood at MAX multisensory installation

Type Tasting installation at Adobe MAX in Los Angeles

Type Tasting created a large-scale multisensory installation for Adobe Fonts at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles from 2nd to 6th November 2019.

“F*!*ing genius!”

Visitors were immersed in the mood of different typefaces through all of their senses. At each station they were invited to put on headphones, to smell a scent in a jar or by flipping the pages of a book, to eat a small taster and to feel a texture. Each set of stimuli was designed to bring a mood to life in the participant’s imagination. There was curiosity and intrigue as the first visitors arrived and they were soon returning with groups of friends saying “you have to try this”.

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How Punk changed Graphic Design and is history repeating itself?

Punk emerged as a reaction to the rigid restrictions of Modernism and its style ripped up the rules of Swiss minimalism and neutral sans serif typography. As traditional attitudes came to be considered outdated, society rebelled against the mainstream and demanded change. It feels like we are at a similar turning point today, both culturally and typographically. Can we look to history for parallels in how graphic design and cultural attitudes are changing today?

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How designing for all the senses has more impact on mood

We absorb information through all of our senses simultaneously. This speeds up our ability to judge situations and react quickly and is fundamental to our ability to recognise signals and communicate. This played a vital role in human survival when our ancestors needed to respond to danger quickly, often relying on sound or smell when it was dark and a large proportion of our genes are still devoted to detecting odours.

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