Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Narrative letterforms

This week's workshop was on narrative letterforms - basically, things like illuminated letters and the like. We went through several different forms such as letters made out of pictures, letter shapes filled with pictures, letters with lots of decoration around it, letters formed by the negative space, etc. Several of the examples were from the "Alphabet" exhibition.

We were then given a brief - which is also a competition. "Island 2000", an Isle of Wight organisation are doing a building project for which our brief was to make an "illuminated letter" on the theme of the Isle of Wight (or basically seaside/nautical). We each pulled a letter out of a hat, and I got the letter "N". All the finished illustrated letters were then going to get scanned/photographed and then sent off to this organisation for an exhibition; and also the two best entries (as chosen by them) would then get taken out there and be allowed to re-create their letter on the wall of a building.

The obvious N words were 'nautical' and 'naval' and variations on those so I decided to do a bit more research into my 'client' -
Island 2000 turns out to be a a community, conservation, arts and tourism trust; so I started to think about the environment of the Isle of Wight. I've been there once before and I remember it being quite cliff-y. That got me on to the idea of making the shape of the letter N out of the cliff sides.

As I was looking up pictures of the cliffs there, I came across a place called 'The Needles', on the western coast of the Isle of Wight. Perfect! A cliffside picture with the letter N! That's how I eventually ended up with my entry which is above. I kept it quite bold and simple as I was aware that it might have to go on a wall - so I wanted a design that would work on a large flat surface. Can you see the letter 'N' in the 'negative' shape of the water? I was concerned that it was too subtle - so thats why I've added the 'THE' and '-EEDLE' in the same colour as the water to make it a bit more obvious ...

Fingers crossed I get to go to the Isle of Wight for a painting holiday!

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