Assignment 4: Exercise – Playing with words pt.1

This exercise began in my sketchbook, cutting and arranging a series of words all in the same size and type of font – Helvetica Bold 48pt. The exercise involved cutting out the words and arranging them on a piece of A4 paper to try and capture visually the meaning of the word…

I found this exercise more challenging than I first imagined it would be. It’s easier for me to think about use of colour or type of font to convey meaning rather than the composition/interaction of the text with it’s context.

I found some words easier to depict than others, namely words that had an action or movement associated with them, for example ‘sinking’ & ‘shattered’ :

first arrangement of cut out words.

first arrangement of cut out words.

For the words above I already had a visual of what they depicted, as in objects descend as the sink, a shattered glass spreads out into the area it’s broken in.

Words like supine or sardonic were much harder to arrange according to their meaning. Supine means ‘ a person lying face upwards or failing to act as a result of moral weakness or indolence’. Whilst Sardonic means ‘grimly mocking or cynical’. You can see what I came up with in the photo’s below:

Supine & Sweet

Supine & Sweet

With the word Supine I tried to make it appear like the word was leaning backwards to try and allude to the meaning ‘lying face upwards.’ I think it’s semi successful but word work better if the word was 3D in nature.

Sardonic

Sardonic

I found Sardonic much harder to work with, I tried to create a shape that looked like a glass for the word to fit in. I guess the thought behind is trying to create a visual of the glass being ‘half empty’ and therefore linking to the idea that if someone see’s life as a ‘half empty glass’ then they’re always looking at things negatively or cynically. Not too sure it works!

Some more successful arrangements:

Scholarly, Style, Squeeze, Skimpy, Short, Sodden, Stodgy

Scholarly, Style, Squeeze, Skimpy, Short, Sodden, Stodgy

I’m not sure if it’s allowed to use shapes to sit the words in, but there’s nothing in the description of the exercise to say not to. So I started to try and use shapes to create a context for the text to sit in and that would help with the meaning. This seems to help convey meaning but is this cheating? For example the word scholarly is sat inside a shape like the graduation hats but if you removed that shape I’m not sure the arrangement of the letters would make you think ‘scholarly’. I do however like the arrangement of ‘skimpy’ the words being closer together I think emphasises there being little to it.

Stoned, soothing, snowy.

Stoned, soothing, snowy.

I think I like the words ‘soothing’ & ‘snowy’ best. The letters of soothing look like they’re moving in a smooth flow and the word snowy in the snow globe shape just reminds me of snow.

Here’s some images of remaining arrangements:

Shadow, sordid, saucy, sleek, speed.

Shadow, sordid, saucy, sleek, speed.

Shy, silly, sad, sophisticated.

Shy, silly, sad, sophisticated.

Stiff, swagger, safe, smart.

Stiff, swagger, safe, smart.

 

 

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