Primary Tools & Materials:
XACTO BLADE, SCANNER
Additional Tools & Materials: paper, tape, tracing paper, double-sided tape, ruler
This letter is a tribute to April Greiman's New Wave design prior to the introduction of the Macintosh computer. What's fascinating about April Greiman is that her work pre-computer was just as celebrated as her pioneering digital work. Since my craft-based letter studies yield two letters for each of my ten profiled designers, I was able to make a letter that paid tribute to both the physical and digital aspects of Greiman's craft.
This letter is composed of bits of paper I found on my desk. The background is part of a beautiful envelope I found in my junk mail pile, obscured by tracing paper. The main X strokes are made of the tiny patterned sticky notes I've been using to mark pages in my thesis research, and the dark blue is the back side of the same patterned junk mail. Greiman's work is known for being dense, heavily layered, and often composed of geometric shapes. I felt that combining patterns with a letter that was deceptively asymmetrical would be a fitting study of Greiman's New Wave work outside of the computer.
The hardest part of creating this letter was ensuring that elements remained flat, and finding ways to adhere the bits of paper that wouldn't be visible or change the quality of the letter. I used mostly double-sided tape, a bit of washi tape outside of the frame, as well as the adhesive backing of the sticky notes. Once I was satisfied with my composition, I placed it face down on my scanner bed, weighted by a textbook to flatten the image as much as possible against the scanner glass. Previous studies requiring scanning have taught me that placing any object onto the scanner bed that isn't completely flat results in an image that is at least partially (if not completely) out of focus. Placing something heavy on the lid of the scanner helps flatten layered compositions such as this X, reducing the amount of blur.
I felt as though this letter study was a success because I created my letter with nearly all of the same materials Greiman would have used, unlike some of my other craft theory letters, which have included today's technological version of the tools designers used in the past. The only difference in my process and Greiman's is that her final product would have been photographed, and this one was scanned.