Week 13: activity development

A lot of my feedback from December focussed around the activities, as this was the most significant part of what I passed by the tutors. I’ve gone back and worked on them several times, run them by people in the community and who run local workshops, and I have also passed it by Cassie Yates of Knots Arts CIC who regularly engages people in participatory arts projects. Here is where they are:

Most of the changes focus on the language that I use: although I had attempted to make it suitable for a non-design audience, Cassie Yates suggested that I make some changes. Typography has become lettering: even though the words are not technically interchangeable, people are more likely to recognise what lettering is and the word sounds less intimidating. Sentences are broken down and relevant information more visible by cutting out extraneous details. It is a hard balance: to give the reader enough information in order to complete the task and not leave them confused but not overwhelm them with detail. However, with feedback from Cassie I feel like the balance has been reached.


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 6: Workshop Test

As part of my research, I’d like to send people out to conduct an area survey of sorts where they take photos of typography in the E17 postcode that interest them. As a break from the screen, I decided to conduct an area survey to address the tasks I would ask participants to do and what questions might come up.

In the E17 postcode there are three commercial hubs: the famous high street that is the longest in Europe, Wood Street and the Village. On a run last night, I ran along Wood Street and would like to go back, but decided to go to the Village today. For an Area Survey, I don’t expect participants to cover these areas, but thought that people would be drawn to those areas and where the typography would be intended to lure people/customers in.

I set myself a few rules:

  • The walk would take about an hour
  • I would take photos on my phone to get the location
  • I would track my walk on Strava to get a map of where I went
  • I would take photos as I would like my participants to do so
  • I would have an open mind
  • I would stay in public access areas
  • I would cover Walthamstow Village and the streets around, as my feet took me.


Map of Walk



At first I wanted to take photos of everything, to record every piece of type. This was not possible, and with lots of people around I felt self-conscious and intrusive. I started to edit, and pick what I thought was interesting, thus following my own bias. On my own, I can never portray a nuanced account of typography in Walthamstow and participants from other backgrounds are essential to see what I overlook.

An hour is about right to capture a wide range of typography in about two miles without being too physically taxing or time-consuming. The area and demographics change significantly between streets and this can be captured in this hour.

I’d like the participants to take as many photos as they can, before choosing their favourite five, like our geo-type challenge. This means that they are exerting their insight and curatorial bias and many things can be told from that.

Although I can’t read other scripts apart from Latin, I’d like participants to feel free to record all and any scripts they find.

Once they have submitted photos, I would like them to answer some questions, some of which I have drafted below:

Questions for After

Looking at your photos, did you start to favour certain types of typography? Can you guess why that might have been?

Did you stick to a rough route, or did you let yourself wander?

What drew you off your expected route?

Did you find the typography you were expecting?

What surprised you?

What do you think the typography tells you about the area you surveyed?

What would you like to see more of?

Week 1: Workshop Ideas

My flatmate is the co-founder of Knots Arts, a non-for-profit that runs arts programmes for children and people with autistic spectrum condition. She is uniquely positioned to help me create sessions that will engage with people. Here are my thoughts of what I need to consider before my meeting with her.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Area Survey

Participants walk around Walthamstow and are given a set of tasks. For example, take a picture of a shop sign, of a non-latin alphabet, of a way-finding sign. They are asked to mark down where they saw them. They are asked to pick one or two other examples of typography they see that interest them. They are given a toolbox of words to help describe the typeface and why they have chosen it. They submit their images and where they walked.

For each category (i.e. shop sign) participants pick the ones we like the most and why we like them – use sticky dots

Covid-19/ethics safe

  • Groups are 5 or less (6 including guide) led by DBS facilitator
  • Participants download worksheets and do this on their own or small groups
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Glyph generation

From the photos they took on the above exercise, or others, they start to identify shapes and patterns they can use to draw a glyph. On worksheets they create a single glyph which is saved and add to the bank

Covid-19/ethics safe

  • Groups are 5 or less (6 including guide) led by DBS facilitator in a public Covid-safe space
  • Participants download worksheets and do this on their own or small groups at home
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Discussions about typography

Participants can learn more about typography and the history of Walthamstow to inform them about local history

  • Groups are 5 or less (6 including guide) led by DBS facilitator in a public Covid-safe space
  • Participants watch online talks filmed for the project
Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah on Pexels.com

For Kids – 5 years +

Physical activity using type – how does this type make you feel? Is it spiky, scary, safe, soft, fun?

What does Walthamstow mean to you? (or a more kid-friendly question)

What do you see a lot of around Walthamstow?

Can you daw a letter that reminds you of Walthamstow?


How do I gather data that will be Covid safe and fit tech-savvy people and people less-so?