Letters from Cardiff

Finally my heating has come on in my flat which means I can now manage to type out this post without my fingers freezing to the point of falling off.

Before my heating came on it was as freezing as the morning we met at Cardiff castle to start a typeface searching activity the class were required to take part in. We did not know the purpose of the activity until the afternoon of that day.

The previous day we had learnt about the history of typography and had been asked to research different typefaces in order to go searching the next day. The group I was placed in had been asked to search for Humanist, Geometric, and Gothic typefaces around the centre of Cardiff. This not only increased my understanding of typefaces, how to recognise them and how to conduct research for a project, but it made me question as to how type had developed so far through time; and how much further humans could possibly develop it, whether it be a new language or a different way of reading it. Type was first recognised through the Cuneiform Writing system by the Babylonians in 3000 B.C. The writing we now use today is the Roman alphabet which was formed from 50 B.C. to 500 A.D.

The most difficult typeface we could find was the Gothic typeface. Because it was such an illegible typeface, people nowadays rarely use it to attract people hence why it was so difficult to find. The most common typeface we found was Geometric. So many shops and banks used it because it was easy to read and clear from a far distance. Humanist on the other hand was interesting as it had been developed into so many fonts we see now.

After taking the photos we were asked to copy individual letters from the photos we had taken. We drew outlines of the letters onto coloured paper and cut them out in our groups of three. The letters were then displayed in the reception of the School of Art & Design, hung by fold-back clips on string. Only after hanging the letters on string did we discover the purpose of the research we had conducted that morning. The letters represented Cardiff and what culture and typefaces someone could find in Cardiff. This was of valuable importance to our project and future projects to come, and would therefore allow us to represent the client in the smallest and most discrete way possible. It was about finding meaning and presenting a challenge to the client as well as the designer.

J

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Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

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