Aug 092016
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I would like to combine an interest in type face with my photography. For years I have had this project on my mind but I have not been able to advance on it.
Lack of progress is due to a lack of clarity on why I want to do it (my mantra – always start with WHY). Once I get the why, then the how and what will fall into place.
I have not got that clarity yet but maybe I have had a glimpse or two recently. When I worked on the weathered posters project I noticed how some letters had become almost abstract as part had been removed by weathering – see my post dated 4 June. Then, when we visited the Christchurch Art Gallery there was a sign in cutout lettering with a brushed aluminium surface. I noticed that as I walked along close to it that the light caught just one letter or part of it at a time.
Maybe my ‘why’ is that I like the shape of a particular letter in a particular font (or even just part of a letter) without it being a full word.
In this post I liked how the light caught half of the letter W. It emphasised one of the three Vs in the letter – two of them being much more subtle in the shadow. I also liked that it is a physical thing and not a letter typed into a Photoshop image. At the bottom of the V there are the remnants of a round hole left from when the letter was cut out. There is also some minor damage to the bottom of the letter. These make it ‘real’.
Bit weird I know – let me work though this line of thought a bit more.

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  4 Responses to “The shape of letters that are ‘real’”

  1. Don’t let a mantra become a manacle.

  2. Good things take time John, as we all know. When it is ready to come out it will.

  3. I think Pauline has a good point.

    For me thinking “why” makes good sense at the final production stage but can just get in the way when Im collecting images.

    If it captures my eye then grab it. Later on ask why do I like it and what am I going to do with it.

  4. Type faces are interesting, John. I remember you talking about this project back in 2012/2013.
    I’m with you on starting with ‘why’ – presumably you know of Simon Sinek? However, while I agree, it doesn’t mean I consciously do it! Could your ‘why’ be something to do with your original reason for an interest in type faces? My interest is probably because my Dad was a cold type compositor, so he talked sometimes about type faces. I was attracted by their perfection – their curves, their lines, the way they sat with each other. As a teenager I loved drawing them with my set of ink nibs. But are you always seeking the imperfections? The abstract shapes? Was there a trigger for your interest? I’m not expecting you to answer my questions – I’m just thinking out loud, and regurgitating some of the things you’ve said in your post.

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