Week 1: Process

My starting point is the Stowe Framework that I created for my Authorial Artefact for GDE730. Here is the PDF that I handed in:

It was inspired by several things. First, Cymru Sans, a project we encountered in GDE720, that was designed for the Welsh Tourism board.

I went around my area to capture hundreds of pieces of typography: not just of the highly designed examples but historic ghost signs and casual signs in shop windows.

A following project we did for that module taught me to draw on my strengths as a typographer by designing a type piece for Walthamstow, that took inspiration from the many languages spoken in Waltham Forest.

For the Studio and Entrepreneurship module, I had a small idea that I wrote on a post-it note:

I originally wanted to use this as a project to build a business plan on, but thought that it could be a much stronger authorial artefact submission.

That’s where I’m starting from. This week the course asks me to think about:

  • What is your research question?
  • How might I…?
  • Who is this for?

Let’s go back to basics.

What is your research question?

I devised this project to delve into how people in my area see, discover and interpret the typography all around them and to build together a new typeface that shows our combined experiences in the area. It extends to showcase the typeface with a publication of writings from people about the area. From there, I can package a framework that I can sell to companies and communities in other locations.

How might I … ?

Find out about people’s views on typography?

Last module I conducted a survey for people about their view on typography and it was a good start but I could go deeper. My best bet would be to run workshops, either online or in person.

Engage them in a discussion about typography?

See below …

Get them creating their own glyphs?

I think these three questions can be answered by running workshops with structured exercises. One could be to ask them to bring along examples of typography that they like about in the area and use it to draw a new glyph that I take in.

Who is IT for?

Narrowly, people in Walthamstow. Widely, everyone in Walthamstow. I want to engage people from different cultures, religious, backgrounds and ages in this project. There will be no right or wrong. The Black Lives Matter movement has shown us that we need to make the effort to encourage and enable everyone to see that design and publishing is for them. There are initiatives to involve people into workplaces, and I aim to encourage design discussion in a more grassroots way.

Typography is everywhere. As a visual species, we interact with typography constantly and we should be able to contribute to its design so that it suits the communities that it serves. By engaging the people of Walthamstow from school age to retired I can communicate with a wide range of people.


Aims

The goals for this project are community-based: 

  • Engage the community in typeface design
  • Run workshops for people to create glyphs
    of a typeface together
  • Facilitate conversations about how typography can shape how we view our space
  • Foster communications between community and creative spaces
  • Safeguard visual history
  • Showcase the community’s experiences in a piece of written work.
  • Explore how typography is used in the Walthamstow area

Objectives

  • Latin-script body typeface and display typeface, based on workshops, for use by the community
  • Publication of writings on the local area, set at a local letterpress studios
  •  Online tool where people can select display characters from the workshops to write “Walthamstow” and share online
  • Framework to transfer to other communities
  • Website that collates the project and framework.

Audience

The project will take place in Walthamstow, East London, and its borough has one of the most diverse populations in the country, with 48% from a minority ethnic background. 

The graphs show that the borough has a much younger population than other London boroughs and the rest of England and Wales, and that a wide range of languages, other than English, are spoken.


Resources I want to tap

  • Cassie Yates – Drama and Arts Facilitator: Meeting arrange for coming Wednesday evening
  • Type Archive
  • Paekakariki Press: Visit arranged for 3rd October
  • Artillery Arts – Local Arts company: Emailed them to ask for advice
  • St Bride’s Foundation: emailed Becky Chilcott to reach out
  • Dalton Maag

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