Thursday, 3 February 2011

Radio Types

I've really enjoyed reading Simon Garfield's "Just My Type" recently. A geeky book for font enthusiasts, it does what you'd expect - tells interesting stories about various typefaces, type designers and the like. It has, however, added an irritating geekiness to my latest project.

The book speaks of little tips for recognising fonts when you see them, comparing not being able to place a font with not being able to name a song that's stuck in your head. So, when completing a task like the one below, I frustrated myself by examining every serif, every counter, every tail, in order to better ascertain which fonts I was dealing with.

Anyway, you must be in suspense by now, so here you go (apologies again for poor images, they were too large to scan and the lighting in my room is poor):

The work consists of sections of different type cut out from the Radio Times, and arranged in sets of three so that they get steadily more complex, and still look as though they belong to one another. We were provided with the titles "The Long Road", "Flight Delays Today" and "Journey to the Moon", and the numerals, along with series of dots. The rest of the text isn't meant to make sense, and the areas of texture and colour are there to represent imagery or photographs.

As tedious as this exercise sounds, I've actually found it enjoyable - far more so than if we were given sensical type to use. It allowed me to be creative with shape and layout, and to explore how type can be used as image.

The titles we were given were set in Futura, and several adverts I cut out from were in Helvetica, Avant Garde and Frutiger, but I admit defeat in identifying the typeface used for the main articles - I'll have to polish up on my serif typefaces.

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