Primary Tools & Materials:
Additional Tools & Materials: Adobe Photoshop, camera, poster board
This study is fibers (ribbon, in this case) plus light (my desk lamp). I wanted to see how shadows affected the visual weight of the letter. In order to make the changes in shadow most dramatic, I chose thick, white ribbon arranged on poster board. The thicker ribbon was a little easier to work with than some of the thinner kinds I tried, and the color maximized shadows and reflection of light.
The ribbon didn't behave quite as well as I had hoped. I tried to create more of a little serif tail on the right stroke of the lowercase d, but it just wouldn't stay that way. Since I didn't want to use anything but the ribbon - not glue or tape of any kind - I had to just go with the flow and let the ribbon do its thing. The light did have a dramatic effect on the weight and mood of the letterforms. In the first three, the same ribbon arrangement is first shot with two lights from two angles, then one light from the right, and then rotated under two light sources. The variation is so great that sometimes it was hard to tell when I had actually changed the ribbon's arrangement when I began sorting through the photos. The uppercase D was something I wanted to try, but I found it harder to get a nice round curve that large - it was much easier to achieve on the bowl of the lowercase d.
This study clearly demonstrated the power of a drop shadow on a letterform. Whenever I'm drawing a letter freehand and I want to suggest a shadow, I always have a hard time keeping track of the light source, how far the shadow should extend, and when you should and shouldn't see it. This was a fun exercise I can refer to when making type feel more three dimensional.