Primary Tools & Materials:
Cutting tools, computer applications
Additional Tools & Materials: scissors, xacto knife, scrapbooking scissors, single hole punch, corner punch, double sided tape, tweezers, die cutting machine, die cutting software, Adobe Photoshop
There have been many letters in this series so far involving cut paper, so today I wanted to try some new techniques. This letter is made from the combination of hand cutting tools and computer applications. I used one existing typeface - ChunkFive - and used my die cutting software and cutter to first cut out a half dozen or so identical letter Fs from yellow card stock. Then I wanted to use the different cutting tools to modify the letter in new ways. This first letter, image 1 and 2 - is meant to mimic the scales of a fish. I used my xacto blade to cut freehand this half moon pattern across the letter, then used tweezers to carefully bend and fold each flap up so it would remain open. I knew this would react well with changing light situations and give this letter a very tactile sense.
The next intervention - image 3 - is very subtle in comparison. I simply took a corner punch and curved the edge of the two top serifs. This immediately made it look like another of my favorite fonts - Museo. It's amazing how such a small, simple change can affect the read of this letter. It instantly feels more casual and playful to me.
In the third letter (image 4) I took a single hole punch and starting at the bottom gradually dispersed the holes in the letter until they fade off at the top. I wanted the punches to feel random, but at the same time I didn't want to accidentally detach a whole part of the letter if my punches were too close. It was hard to keep them as close as they are near the bottom - the paper often bent around the hole if there wasn't enough paper to steady it. This letter reminds me of swiss cheese or a party - I can imagine this letter was sacrificed to make some last minute confetti.
Images 5 and 6 use a similar tactic of trimming with scapbook scissors that leave behind a repeating pattern. In number 5 I simply trimmed all the horizontal lines (at least the ones I could reach), and in number 6 I used the scissors to create channels of negative space on the top and bottom bars. Each feel festive - but I think number 6 feels most festive; the combination of the color and the playful pattern along the edge gives it a more exciting feel than number 5, which feels almost formal in comparison.
Number 7 uses the most cuts, made from a simple straight pair of scissors. This creates a kind of fringe, giving this letter the look of a parade float or a hula skirt.
In each of these studies, cutting away part of the letter made it feel more informal, more casual, or even silly. The very act of taking a blade to an already existing font gives the resulting letter a sense of personalization; as the product of an open source concept.