Week 10 Overview

What I did

  • Got feedback from Cassie Yates of Knots Arts to make sure that people not familiar with typography understand the activities
  • Designed an advert for marketing
  • Went to a fascinating lecture hosted by St Brides

What I plan to do

  • Design a map using QGIS
  • Plan more local marketing

Week 10: Literature Review

I went to a fascinating lecture by Dr Maryam Ahmed in memorial of Beatrice Ward, a founder of St Bride’s foundation, Here are the notes I made at the time:

There were so many interesting points. One of them was that even though we don’t realise it, we all learn typography when we learn to write. We then forget we ever learnt it and it becomes invisible. I’d like my project to make typography more visible to the people in the community, because I think that is the first hurdle in getting people engaged and eager to consider their typographic environment.

Her students have undertaken a project called Wander Type where they undertook a project similar to the GeoType Wall project we did in the first week of GDE720. Her students could travel the world using Google Maps Street View, which is a fascinating way to consider new areas. Will her students miss vital context, or are fresh eyes vital to evaluating an area in this way? I think it is a bit of both.

This will be similar to my Area Survey workshop, but mine will be based in the area of E17. Like the WanderType project, I pick out typography that people living in the area for a long time might be a bit blind to what they see. On the other hand, they will know the history and be able to contextualise what is there. I will come in and not know the history, but will be able to see in a different way.

online lectures

Gerry Leonidas is a very well-respected typography lecturer at the university of Reading, and he gave a talk in 2017 about how to make a career in typography last.

Anyone can knock out good enough typefaces and typesetting, or programmes to do so. The role of the typographer is now to find the context around the type being created through practice-based research and to facilitate encouragement and discourse around type. Food for thought!

Week 10: Marketing

Over the first lockdown, I found a local magazine designed by Locus of Walthamstow to share community news and keep people entertained. I thought that this would be a good way to market the project.

One of my activities is for people to decorate a letter with things that make Walthamstow home for them. This is a big activity to launch on people, so I decided to decorate a letter myself so that people could colour it in and if they were interested to follow the project.

First letter

I designed a page around it, and this was my first attempt:

And received good feedback:

Final, and see the magazine here (Issue 4)!

Week 10: Process

Action Plan

Something I need to create …


I’ve got my workshops to a point, and now I would like to get some feedback so that I know how to progress. My flatmate facilitates workshops like this and has said that she will help me. Here’s the point I got up to beforehand:

and her feedback is …


I want to have a good map of the E17 area so that people can mark their photos on it. I am going to experiment with GQIS to get a good quality version.

See the progress of the above here.


I’ve set up my instragram account for Stowe Framework and have been building a following in the area using hashtags. Since I created it, I have gained 56 followers. Here are my insights this far:

For my website I’ve tried to get things going, I think it will be easier to know what to put when I have the workshops together.

To get connected to the community, I have asked if I can promote the project in the local Social Distance mag that has been publishing over the past eight months or so. It publishes about quarterly so I need to get my piece in the next one publishing in January, else it will be too late.

Social Distance

I don’t want just an advert: I want the readers to get something out of it too and to draw them in. One of my activities is going to be for people to draw in letters what Walthamstow means to them. This is in the vein of Louis John Pouchée:


Of course, William Morris and Kelmscott Press did a lot of illuminated letters, like this:

William Morris

But I think that Pouchée’s letters give more scope for people to create a drawing about Walthamstow for themselves. Pouchée’s letterforms are heaver than Morris’s and show a more diverse range of subject rather than Morris’s natural twining flowers and leaves. Of course, Walthamstow is still very green, but I want to persuade participants to show their parts of Walthamstow instead, and thus Pouchée makes a better example. I’m taking a part of Walthamstow history, but changing it to make it fit today.

So, in a W, I am going to draw main highlights of Walthamstow in black and white so that people can colour it in. It gives something to them, and if they are interested in drawing their own letter they can participate in the project.

A bit like this:


25th November
After feedback from coworker

I am much happier with this poster because it explains why I am putting advert up and draws people in more!

Week 10: Designer, Author, Maker


  • Research, analyse and comment on the role of designer as author and as maker.
  • Imagine and communicate 10 initial ideas for a series of outputs you could make as an author.


One) Building a typeface for Walthamstow, created by the community in workshops.


Two) Creating books and film props based on the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. It would involve writing substantial amounts of content and devising ingenious ways of displaying it


Three) An anthropological look at the village pantomime and community, based on my own childhood


Grandfather, father, brother

Four) Profiling makers of the Robinette and Turner family, the birth of the Al-Turner-tive Prize and the history of Huguenots


Five) Cee Em Wye and Kay – an extension of a project for History and Applications last module. A children’s story about the CMYK printing process and half-tones


Six) Building a typeface based on knitting stitches. Why? Because it came to me in a dream one night


Seven) Mapping my runs of London and significant places to me for different reasons. Done in a Street View setting so you can see significant routes


Eight) Investigating how to make an ideal exhibition for people on the Autistic Spectrum, with an example virtual exhibition to display the findings


Nine) Going back to maps… using contour lines to map out and define what is important to you. There are a few peaks, ie friends, family work. The most important things in those categories go in the highest contour line, and gradually radiate out and merge.


Ten) Hidden in plain si(gh)te. An augmented reality game based on trade craft and ciphers hidden out in the open for people to discover and solve in their local streets.

Week 10: Research and Reveal


This week we want you to identify a theme or issue that relates to your locality and present your findings on the Ideas Wall, prior to the design phase.

  • Research and discover issues that relate to your locality and post them on the Ideas Wall. Direct engagement and potential collaboration is encouraged to engage with relevant local communities to identify issues.
  • Distil your research to identify one issue you would like to resolve and reveal through a visual outcome.
  • Write a short 200-word project brief that reports on the issue to be solved.
  • Design and produce a visual summary to contextualise your issue and project brief. Your summary can be a digital, print or moving image, but it must be succinct, to enable third-party viewers to quickly understand the requirements, needs and challenges.


Research and discover issues that relate to your locality and post them on the Ideas Wall. Direct engagement and potential collaboration is encouraged to engage with relevant local communities to identify issues.

Right now, we’re in the middle of social lockdown for the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a new way of living where we are restricted from our usual spaces of work and play and our house/flats/rooms fulfil the purposes that whole cities previously did. We won’t see friends and family for months, and yet, we’re never more connected. Conferencing programmes such as Zoom have seen huge growth from companies and social groups alike, social media is awash with lockdown challenges, and thank god for companies that can deliver essentials to vulnerable people.

screen-shot-2019-05-31-at-14.33.17Artillery CIC, based in Walthamstow, was set up in 2003 by the founders of the E17 Art Trail and “has been creating, curating and commissioning projects and festivals that celebrate and engage with the Waltham Forest’s diverse and dynamic artistic and creative community.” Over the lockdown, Laura and Morag from Artillery have been organising meetings online to engage local people with their programme and to support artists, many of whom might not have any other income, through this time.

I went to one of these Zoom meetings to meet with people and to hear their stories. It was very informal, and most of the meeting we were talking about who we were and in what position we were in. From a choirmaster, to circus skills teacher, to organisers of Amdram, to art teachers now teaching online, there was a wide range of people involved in the arts in different ways.

Some people were trying to make a living, and questioning how was it possible to teach circus skills remotely, one teacher was reeling from the full-on-ness of teaching online, whilst the choirmaster was trying to keep their community together.

Distill your research to identify one issue you would like to resolve and reveal through a visual outcome.

Everyone is exploring technology to keep their communities together and we informally swapped ideas about different platforms that worked well for us. What was apparent that we all had a wealth of experience in our own sectors and reminded me of a project that I set up at work where people shared their skills to teach one another about the publishing business and printing.

I would like to add a bit of formality to this and suggest that the local community can come together to teach other simple skills at first online, and then in person that

There’s an issue of pay, which was brought up by Richard in one of our tutorials: people in the arts are often asked to do things for free and are taken for granted. How could a project take this into account and teach people skills in a way that is non-exploitative?

Write a short 200-word project brief that reports on the issue to be solved. Design and produce a visual summary to contextualise your issue and project brief. Your summary can be a digital, print or moving image, but it must be succinct, to enable third party viewers to quickly understand the requirements, needs and challenges.

Ideas Wall

Made with Padlet

Week 10: Design development Part I

The tasks

  • Design your selected project concept. Post visual developments on the Ideas Wall and use your blog to elaborate on these experiments.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather feedback and ensure that your project aligns with your target audience. Post any feedback on your blog and analyse how it can inform the delivery of your final outcome.
  • Make prototypes and user test your design developments. Post images of these tests on the Ideas Wall, to gain student and staff feedback, and use your blog to rationalise the results.
  • Collaborate with peers and staff on the Ideas Wall and engage with relevant research groups, industry professionals or key stakeholders to refine the visual direction of your chosen project brief. Use your blog to elaborate on your discussions.

Design your selected project concept. Post visual developments on the Ideas Wall and use your blog to elaborate on these experiments.

Make prototypes and user test your design developments. Post images of these tests on the Ideas Wall, to gain student and staff feedback, and use your blog to rationalise the results.

Here are images of my concept. It is a game that manoeuvres between objects in the Science Museum collection to display links and context, and would be designed to run in a web browser (mobile, tablet or desktop):


This is the start of the ‘game’ with an introduction to the concept behind it. I’ve used a similar typeface to the Science Museum typeface, with a serif font for my comments.6degrees2

I think the easiest way to explain how a player navigates through the programme is a map! This is a sample challenge I built from the actual objects in the Science Museum collection, and hopefully, I could use AI to make more in a real-world context.6degrees3

This is one ‘start’ object, that shows the meta-data from the Science Museum collection. The description for the object is drop-down, so that the player can easily read about the object, but the main data to contextualise the object is the ‘Details’ section.

At any point, the player can navigate directly to the object page in the main collection so that they can learn more about it.6degrees4

With this start object, the three possible routes are displayed to the right of the image in a circular rather than rectangular box, with an image and the connecting data item. The image can navigate to that route and takes you to the next page.6degrees5

This is a mid-challenge object, showing the route behind and ahead. The route could be infinite, but the aim would be to connect objects in six links or less.

Personal feedback

As I write this, I can see that this just looks like a linking archive. To make it into a game, I need to build a section into the UI to show the target object and details, and how many clicks the player has left.

Levels of difficulty

The player would start on an easy level, and build up to hard and harder, which might require them to hit the target object in an exact number of steps, or use just one metadata category, or a certain number of these.

Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather feedback and ensure that your project aligns with your target audience. Post any feedback on your blog and analyse how it can inform the delivery of your final outcome.

The key stakeholder, John Stack, gave a really good feedback session on Monday and I learnt from listening to his feedback to all the projects. He made these points for Jay, and I feel they can be applied to all of us:

  • When crowdsourcing, a few people will contribute a lot and most people a little, because they already have a deep level of engagement with the collections. Is the best way to introduce new people to the collection.
  • What does the project do in its resting state? For example, a fruit machine in a pub lights up whilst it isn’t being used to pull more people in.
  • Is it fulfilling for other people to use if they are not the primary user? My project was originally centred around intergenerational learning, so this is an integral question to me?
  • How do you hook in more users, particularly of school age, perhaps by using the curriculum?
  • Things need to be simple when they launch, and additional features can be added later.

For me, John really wanted to push the idea further than the metadata. He gave the example of the Science Museum’s Rugged Rover game, where players build a Mars rover and navigate it over rocky terrain. It’s build using actual Mars game physics and the players race against vehicles build by Mars engineers. The game logic used like this makes it constantly satisfying by having difficulty rating that is constantly learning from the players.

Innovation comes from applying one object in a different context, and John gave the example that drones have become cheap because one of the essential components, the gyroscope, has become readily available because it has been developed to such an extent that it is a cheap component of mobile phones. Rather than using the metadata to connect objects, John suggested I try to reach for more interesting connections like this.

Collaborate with peers and staff on the Ideas Wall and engage with relevant research groups, industry professionals or key stakeholders to refine the visual direction of your chosen project brief. Use your blog to elaborate on your discussions.

Feedback from my Art Director:

    • Unsure at first about what connects the object because the links seem very random and to jump all over the place
    • [When I explained about the connections being the metadata] The connections need to be interesting, because “made in France” is too vague
    • Look at a TV show called Connections by James Burke, because he took an object such as lightbulb and explored what technologies needed to be in place, or borrowed from other disciplines, for the invention to take place when it did.
    • By choosing one area per challenge, for example, Telecommunications, the connections would be less random and there would be more opportunity to build a narrative
    • The A to B concept is fine, but it could be more by building in a treasure hunt or players to find, and objects such as “Wally’s phone” [we work at the Where’s Wally? publisher] to add interest.
    • Ensure clear game start- and end-points
    • Build in rewards, like objects, and display them after finishing the game along with a map of the collection network that maps where you have gone on your journey.

Feedback from games designer (edited for clarity):

If you wanted to keep things relatively light and simple, you could look at an engine like Pixi or Melon:

For extra, extra, whizziness you could also consider something like Unity.

If it were me, I’d definitely build it in Unity. Aside from the fact I’ve already built a game in Unity, It will probably be the easiest of the three in the long term. Because it’s so widely supported, there’s all kinds of free/cheap third party plugins that will handle things like camera movement and particle effects etc, so you might actually find that unity is the slightly less intensive code option (Unity pros go for coding in C#, but it has its own version of Javascript that works well enough too)

Feedback from Android app developer and games designer:


Feedback from an educational and pastoral expert (my mum…)(edited for clarity)

    1.  For education:  in planning and getting ready to visit the museum, by using the app/website teacher will be able to link students everyday experiences/knowledge of something back to the exhibition they are going to visit ie why are we going to see stuffed animals, why knowledge about collections from the past had increased knowledge and understanding & affected development/progress and how we live today.
    2. Parents/carers taking children to museum – using website will suggest a ‘route’ through the museum, using perhaps less visited exhibits, linking items together. A ‘route’ taking 1 hour or 2 hours (the website would allow a choice of length of visit) would help to focus in on a few things rather than an aimless wander through glass cases. Do you remember going to one London museum and looking at just one section but with notes really being able to study things and making up a story?
    3. Adults – as advertising. “Do you know what links A with B” and having pop-ups to showcase current and upcoming special exhibitions.
    4. Fun! Multi-choice answers, each linked to a different route through the 6
      items. Scores? Leader board as in computer games? Quiz night questions?

Feedback from a systems designer (my dad…) (edited for clarity)

    • I like the fact that I can see where I’ve come from and where I’m going
    • Being a bit slow, it took me a while to realise that you’re using the meta-values to pick any next-hop.
    • In your start-to-end view, I was wondering if displaying the linking category against the connecting line rather than the target picture would make it clearer?
    • How would you filter the next-hop items to just 3 where at least 1 is part of the 6-degrees trail? But I expect this is straying into the technical solution rather than the concept!

I will carry on developing my concept in my next blog post.

Ideas Wall

Made with Padlet

Week 10: Critical Reflective Journal

To start with

Typography is the backbone of what I do here at Walker Book, but this week is a departure from the typography I usually do. For the most part, I work on long-form books and concentrate on making my work ‘disappear’. What I do is supposed to allow the reader to dive as easily as possible into the text without any distractions of awkward line breaks and inconsistent spacing. To make a typographic piece that is to stand for itself is different.


A lot of what was covered in the lecture and additional reading was familiar to me because I’ve studied type design and history in the past. However, I got a lot of context from “A smile in the mind: witty thinking in graphic design” (McAlhone, Stuart and Quinton, 2015) because it puts into words what I think most designers try to do: make people smile. This is a reading text from Week 9, and I feel like it fits into this week too.

From the book, I resonated with a few different phrases. From Michael Bierut, I like the idea that “if you show people a completed picture it doesn’t engage them as much as when they connect the last few dots, and have the moment of discovery”. I like having Easter eggs in my book work, like one hundred fish images in an author’s one-hundredth book, and want to learn how to do that graphically too.

From Aziz Cami, “What is great about wit is that it triggers questions in people’s minds. They start imagining – what would a person be like who has a van like this? … Curiosity must be satisfied”. How can I use my graphic design to represent myself and others that only makes people more curious about us?

I most see myself in the wisdom from Alan Fletcher:

  • I see wit as cerebral acrobatics
  • Other times I go to bed without an idea in my head, and I wake up to find it’s all there – and I’ve written the caption too.
  • If an idea is not coming as quickly as it should, my mind takes off somewhere else… I actually have to discipline myself.
  •  I have to set up my own boundaries, and fence myself in

I think I could learn from this, especially the confidence to give myself the boundaries and produce something within that, rather than keeping my approach too open and not committing to anything!

One of the magic moments where an idea presents itself was the tetrahedron approach to the Week 1 challenge. I was making my bed early on the Tuesday morning when the realisation that a tetrahedron fitted my goal of an arrangement of four equally even (size and hierarchy-wise) panels.


The company work for, Walker Books, published a great book about the joys of reading as a child called A Child of Books that was illustrated by Sam Winston, a guest lecturer on this course. I was inspired by his use of type to create images:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I dug a little further and found that all his typography is amazing, my favourite pieces being:

I also went back to the D&AD archives for this year for inspiration on words and form as they have a specific category. These are the entries that spoke to me most:


It occurred to me that we are designing from text already set (although we had free range) and that some of the examples we’ve been given have been written and designed in parallel.

Kinetic type

Stuart posted up the Dia Studio on Instagram, and it’s a whole new level of moveable type. This is another area I would love to explore and develop my skills in.


Most of my work is black ink (and shades of grey) on white paper, and I want to play with colour! I’ve been restricting myself because mono is what I know, but colour can bringing type to life… everywhere … even if it’s just a different colour to black:


Karina Yazylyan

And can’t you just hear this poster by Alan Kitching?


This poster was created by Mike Clayton (the typesetter from below ) and Catherine Dixon, showing the lost vocabulary used in the Fleet Street area from its printing heyday, and their meanings.


St Bride’s Letterpress Workshop

I’ve known about St Bride’s for a few years now, and I’ve been on a tour of a workshop previously. When this week’s theme was typography and there was a letterpress course this Wednesday I decided to “Just Do It” and sign onto a course.

Mick Clayton took me and my fellow participant, Emma, through letterpress printing on an Adana press, a fairly compact (as letterpress printers go) set-up that you can bike from Bristol to Germany. Mick came into typesetting as an apprentice, and when he completed his apprenticeship six years later, spent years working as line compositor for newspapers based in the Fleet Street area. The stories he had to tell! The number of words he had to set!

I had hoped to work on my project a little, but the task of the workshop was to set by hand a short piece of text about printing in England. Even though the type pieces are tiny and light individually (a composite of tin, lead and antinomy), the weight adds up.

It made me aware of how lucky I am to work in the age of desk-top publishing. Picking the individual letters didn’t take me too long, but adjusting the spaces between the words by trial and error took me twice as long.

My galley proof (the quick proof you do before properly printing) had two mistakes, but as I picked up my block I did not, I repeat I DID NOT drop half my letters. Spoiler: I totally did. Mick helped me sort it all out though, and then I got to use the Adana! We had to do everything, from inking up, to the registration of the sheets, to adjusting the pressure of the press on the paper.

In the end, I have lots of sheets with the first four lines of the text on, with one missing comma and one slipped ‘l’. That’s good enough for me.

My main aim was to learn about the sheer volume of text the compositors had to set and how letterpress has shaped our understanding of typesetting today. If you have a chance, go!


Week 10: Challenge


Take an excerpt from a national poet or writer and translate into a new typographic form.

  • Take the first line – draw it, typeset it, build it;
  • Then take the body of the text and typeset it.
  • How does leading, positioning, stresses on particular words and detailing affect the power of the piece?
  • How is meaning affected by interpretation in a tangible way?
  • What is the relationship of the page?

Ideas that I considered

One of my favourite passages of all time is this passage from The Tempest, by Shakespeare:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Prospero, The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

and it would be lovely to create a stage of type to demonstrate this, but I felt this was overly ambitious for a week-long project.

Another favourite is The Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, which revolves around Foundling children at the Coram Hospital in London and Handel’s performance of Messiah in London in the 1750s. I wanted to set a passage on a musical stave to reflect the words, but I struggled to find a passage that would enable me to do this. This seemed a backward way of working, and I don’t want to shoe-horn a passage into a form: I want the form to be led by the passage.

My flatmate works with children and young adults on the autism spectrum, and we chat about the characteristics of the people she works with and how they react to language and the environment around them. She passed me a few books: The Reason Why I Jump, The Autistic Brain, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, all of which are written either from the perspective of a person with autism. Synesthesia and sensory overload are two very common experiences of people with autism, and I thought that it would be fascinating to create a piece that would introduce a neuro-typical reader to these experiences. This passage from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close interested me:

“Then, out of nowhere, a flock of birds flew by the window, extremely fast and incredibly close.  Maybe twenty of them.  Maybe more.  But they also seemed like just one bird, because somehow they all knew exactly what to do.”

The protagonist, Oskar, goes on a quest around New York managing his fears and phobias and so I could use the passage and his journey around a grid-based city.

Chosen passage

Finally, I have settled on this passage from a very meta book that will allow me to play around:

The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph. In the odor of the station there is a passing whiff of station cafe odor. There is someone looking through the befogged glass, he opens the glass door of the bar, everything is misty, inside, too, as if seen by nearsighted eyes, or eyes irritated by coal dust. The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests of the sentences. It is a rainy evening; the man enters the bar; he unbuttons his damp overcoat; a cloud of steam enfolds him; a whistle dies away long tracks that are glistening with rain, as far as the eye can see.

Calvino, I. (2007). If on a winter’s night a traveller. London: Vintage, p.10.

Methods and Experimentation

Letraset has fascinated me, especially the grungy look, and the ability that it would give me to position letters however I wanted them, and control the

Things I want to try:

  • The Letraset typeface will be san serif, and so I will choose a serif font to typeset the passage to create contrast
  • Using tracing paper as a medium to create layers and tones of black
  • Using different utensils to press the letters from the transfer paper to create different textures

I’ve also booked on a one-day letterpress course at St Bride’s Foundation. In all likelihood, I will not be able to set the passage in this day, but I’ll consider the day as a building block in my skills.

First thoughts and planning


My next stage was to typeset the first paragraph, which I did as the words formed sleepers under railway lines disappearing into the distance, based on an internet image I distorted. The eye follows away into the distance, but the words come from the distance into the foreground, as railway lines are two-directional. I typeset them in Jenson, an old-style serif, growing in size with leading about 110% of the point size to create a block, but adjusted so that ascenders and descenders do not cross over. As awesome as it would have been to letterpress this, I did a digital option in case I couldn’t use my own text (which I couldn’t).

The text is set on an A4 page so I can print it to size earlier, but at this point, I aim to alter the size.

I’m also using tracing paper to create misty layers with charcoal drawings and Letraset to contrast. Train timetables are precise and sharp, but the text specifically mentions steam (which I have drawn using ‘C’s) and a cafe sign and a fuzzy overall disposition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My aim overall is to layer these pages together to create one final piece.

I’ve kept it monotone, and part of this is because this is how I am used to doing typography, and suddenly I want to splash bright colours all over the piece. However, I don’t think it fits the text quote right. Maybe a sepia tone, to embody a type of nostalgia, against a cold coloured background for the chilly outside.

Final piece