Creative Lockdown Project: Everyday display letter
In the 1820s Louis John Pouchée created decoratively extravagant letters which were based on a fat-face style typeface. The letters featured imagery of things that were popular at the time like flowers, farmyard scenes, musical instruments and Masonic symbols.
Challenge To create your own modern-day version of an ornamented letter that illustrates your everyday life while we’re in lockdown. Please share this project with your family and friends so you can all compare your letters.
Fontosaur: When dinosaur fonts roamed the Earth
A colouring book written and illustrated by Sarah Hyndman
Buy the book here www.typetasting.com/books
This is the first in a new series of books that combine dinosaurs with fonts. It began when Sarah’s 12-year-old nephew Eddie had the brilliant idea to make the faces of animals like cat, dog, cow, pig and T-Rex out of the letters of their name. Sarah and Eddie are now working on a collaborative sequel together.
Typographic animal sketches by Eddie Shelton (dog, cat, T-Rex and pig).
The idea to make a typographic book just about dinosaurs came about when a friend’s three-year-old son Blake unwrapped Sarah’s The Night the Fonts… books at Christmas and was disappointed because he really, really wanted a book about dinosaurs. Sarah says “I felt very sad that he was disappointed by the books even though they were full of farting and burping fonts and so I took up the challenge to make a book that he would love”.
Creative Lockdown Project: Type Safari in your home
The combinations of type found on street signs reveal a great deal about a city, town or specific area. They reflect the social, economic and historical development of the area and create their own, unique typographic DNA.
For a number of years, I took people on Type Safaris through Dalston in East London. These are guided walks exploring the signage with a photography challenge to create a phrase using letters from Dalston signs, as shown above. We often ended the tour by going for drinks in a quintessentially Dalston-style bar with a chequered lino floor (from its previous life as a furniture shop), a glitter ball and lampshades made from plastic vegetable colanders.
I’ll be inviting you to join me on a virtual Dalston Type Safari, dates to be announced soon. In our lockdown lives, we’re instead finding ourselves navigating our way around the rooms in our homes. This is the inspiration for this week’s Creative Lockdown Challenge.
Creative Lockdown Project: Type Safari in your home
This week’s challenge is to create a typographic composition to reflect your lockdown life at home.
This is my wonderful studio in an old Victorian chocolate factory in East London. This is where I create Type Tasting workshops, talks, meetups and events. I do a lot of work with students and spend a large proportion of my time on self-initiated and self-funded research. However, all paid work for the next few months has been cancelled due to Coronavirus. In order to pay the rent, I’ll be inviting you to join me here for virtual events in return for a small donation that will go towards paying the studio rent, all from the comfort of your home.
Supporting me through this difficult time will be entertaining and educational. You’ll also be playing a vital role in ensuring that the studio rent is paid so that I can run workshops, research and events again once we’re out the other side. Click here to make a donation.
This is the third creative lockdown challenge. These challenges are designed to be a bit of fun and to document our time collectively spent in lockdown. Please share this creative challenge with your friends and post your final results on social media.
Challenge Use the food you have in your home to create an edible alphabet. Think about a word you would like to spell out and work out how to make the letters. Will you arrange the food you’re about to eat or would you like to bake something from scratch?
Don’t go out shopping to buy any extra ingredients, the challenge is to use what you can find in your kitchen. It would be great to see photos of the process as you bake or create your letters.
This is the second creative lockdown challenge designed to be a bit of fun and to document our time collectively spent in lockdown. Please share it with friends and post your final results on social media with #CreativeLockdownProject. If you also tag #TypeTasting I’ll be sharing some of the results.
For you and a friend to create an alphabet using the human body and a video chat app. You need at least one other self-isolating person to take part, but feel free to turn it into an alphabet challenge party with a large group of friends!
These are strange and unsettling times as around a quarter of the world’s population is now living under lockdown. We’re all readjusting to the new situation and contemplating the future, but the most important thing we can do is listen to the scientists and to stay at home.
Every week I’m going to post a creative project you can do at home that will be a bit of fun and will also document our time collectively spent in lockdown. This is the first creative challenge, please share it with friends and post your final results on social media with #CreativeLockdownProject. If you also tag #TypeTasting I’ll be sharing some of the results.
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.
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.
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’.