Project 2: Letterform Analysis

In project 2, we were asked to create a ligature in Illustrator then transfer it to illustration board by inking it. When I first started with my thumbnails of ligatures, I was putting together the obvious. As with most of my thumbnails the first 10 to 20 seem to be just getting the obvious out on paper before I can get to the creative solutions. I reread our instructions and realized we “may make some minor alterations to one or the other letterforms to unite the two.” This opened a much wider scope of design solutions by being able to cut off a serif or foot here and there.

 We all had the same 26 characters to work with and while I assumed we would have many similar ligatures, it was interesting to see the solutions our class came up with as a whole. There were a few that had repeats throughout the class, but I was really surprised at how many other combinations I didn’t think to put together that my classmates did. Their creativity will keep me on my toes. 

 The hardest part of this project was the inking. It seems minor; essentially we were tracing the letterforms we created in Illustrator. That was my line of thought until I actually began the inking process. It was much more tedious and precise than I thought it would be. In the middle of inking, I had to stop and laugh at myself and what I must look like: hovered over my dining room table, my face about 5 inches from the illustration board and taking giant sighs of concentration every third breath. This is a project that I feel each artist will be more proud of than a viewer may appreciate. The viewer will probably not know the time each of us put into inking our ligatures.  

The inking was tedious, yet calming at the same time. Focusing so much on making precise marks forced me to concentrate only on the task at hand. As graphic designers, we are often at a computer and work more with a mouse and keyboard than brushes and ink. It was a nice marriage to combine the more fine art side using materials, while still using the more graphic side in creating an exact mark.


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