Primary Tools & Materials:
INKJET PRINTER, LIGHT TABLE
Additional Tools & Materials: Adobe Illustrator, scissors, glass pane, camera
This matchup began with a pre-existing font called Fontleroy Brown - and became a sort of type collage experiment. The matchup was printing + light. After adding some extra (and a little silly-looking) ball terminals to Fontleroy Brown's lowercase z, I broke the letter into individual shapes and printed them individually on a grid. Then I cut them apart and placed them on my light table to arrange them in different layers and configurations to create new letterforms. In some cases (as in image 1 and 5) - the layers blend together, and in others the individual parts are still discernible. When I began stacking the layers, at first I lined up the layers where they had been in the original letter, to see what effect the shadowing between layers would provide. Then I started arranging the components more freely, looking for unexpected combinations. In image 6, I placed the ball terminal in a position that makes no sense from a traditional type design standpoint, which felt odd but strangely liberating. Ball terminals usually appear where the pen would touch the paper first, last, or both - while writing a letter with a calligraphy pen. Placing the ball terminal where the strokes change direction, therefore, makes no sense, but it did create a unique, experimental letterform.
This process allowed me to compose infinite letterform combinations in rapid-fire succession. It was easy to make mistakes, learn from them, and readjust to create something that worked better. There were opportunities to create or disregard balance. There were opportunities to purposefully make letters that didn't make sense at all. For the parameters of this study, I was using individual shapes from an existing letterform, but I could see this study proving far more diverse if I used a larger bank of shapes, perhaps from multiple letter styles, or even geometric and organic shapes drawn or selected randomly - not necessarily pieces of existing letterforms.