Primary Tools & Materials:

Additional Tools & Materials: Paper, scanner, ruler, Adobe Photoshop

This letter study is a result of combining digital printing (laser) with cutting tools (xacto knife). The process was quite similar to the process for Day 19, in which I drew over black laser printed letters with a white paint pen. The difference here is that rather than adding to the letter with the semi-opaque paint marker, here I was removing toner from the paper using a sharp craft knife, which exposed pure white beneath.

As before, I tried to strike a balance between simply adding decoration or texture to the typefaces and actually making marks that would change the letterform completely. I used different techniques to create shading and cross-hatching, and used varying pressure combined with the angle of the blade to create a range of line weight and quality. These techniques allowed me to convey movement, angles, curves, texture, and artificial lighting. The image I chose to represent this series, number 1, is an example of using marks created by the blade to exaggerate and enhance the existing shape and movement of the original letterform. To rip off a line from Casablanca, it feels like the same typeface, only more so. In later examples I used the blade to suggest a different materiality, such as the wood in image 2 or the shattered glass in image 7. I used the blade to shave away parts of the letter to create a new form, as in image 5. Image 8 and 9 are the best representation of the degree of variation I was able to create with the knife. There are thin lines and thick, smooth and dotted, and all of them (to some degree) gouge the paper and create small fuzzy burrs that spring from the stroke. It reminded me a bit of a runny ink pen. 

To expand this study into a full type set, the main theme I would want to capture is the idea of revealing a new letter within an existing letterform. Maybe, for example, in image 1 - this is the result of providing lighting in front of the letter, rather than the back. It would make sense to start with a thick, solid letter in order to have ample material to carve away.