Thursday, 18 November 2010

Of tramps and typography

As you may have spotted on Facebook, my latest type assignment is to do with "Wolverhampton personalities", and it would feel wrong to overlook one of the city's most famous persons (or ex-person, as he sadly died 3 years ago), when tackling an assignment such as this: Jozef "Fred" Stawinoga.

For those of you who don't know, this is a man who lived in a tent on the Wolverhampton ring road for nearly 40 years before he died (at the age of 86, no less) - a bit of an icon in these parts, and a man who has over 6,000 "likes" on Facebook.

Anyway, you get the picture. To begin our brief, we had to come up with a "cultural statement" about Wolverhampton, and Mr Stawinoga was my inspiration for this: "with only a tent to shield him from the circling pack" - it makes reference to his tent, the ring-road, and a cheeky reference to Wolverhampton locals (or a wolf-pack).

This particular project is a project given to us by Wolverhampton Art Gallery, to promote a series of work by Ed Ruscha, within the theme of "Artist Rooms". Ruscha's work often involves similar ideas - quotes and statements based on the culture of his native America. I'm too lazy to post some of his work, I'd much rather post my own.

So far it looks a little crowded, especially at the bottom, but I like how it's going. The yellow was put there to lift the piece and give it more prominence, and "circling pack" in capitals to give it an edge of menace. This may be a little false as Jozef Stawinoga was very much accepted by the locals, but in terms of this poster, it seems to work fairly well. The next steps are to continue hand-drawn experiments, with a view to producing the best one or two digitally.

Oh, a footnote on Mr Stawinoga - he was awarded an honorary degree by Wolverhampton Polytechnic... So, if this project doesn't go according to plan, you may see me pitching a tent on Saint Peters.

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