Coalescence, revisited

A couple of years ago, I finally completed my thesis project for grad school. It started with a font I created. I really liked the design, and the meaning I had ascribed to it. But all I had time for were the lowercase letters – and being so new to type design, I had not the slightest idea how to create complementing capitals. Even months later I was still at a loss. But I knew that one day I hoped to finish the design and release it.

This is where I left the design two years ago, with a half-hearted attempt at some uppercase letters.

Since leaving grad school I’ve learned a good deal about designing type, especially text faces (vs display faces). I’ve learned how to harmonize a regular face with an italic face, and that capitals don’t have to mimic the lowercase exactly, as they began life as two entirely different alphabets anyway.

So with all that in mind, a couple of months ago inspiration struck and I spent a weekend re-sketching the Coalescence design, smoothing out the rough places and bringing a little more consistency.

Coalescence is far from finished…but I like the direction it’s going so much more now. And once the design for the capitals, numbers, and punctuation is decided, I intend to work on the two more complex versions of it as well.


So stick around for a completed version of Coalescence! Oh, and if you’re curious about my full thesis, you can find the published version here. If you want to pay basically $1 per page…

thesis show reception 4.15.2011

It’s done! It’s finally over! The show is actually going to be up for another week, but the reception is finished and all I have to do now is take it down. Which is a somewhat daunting thought but I’ll worry about it in a week. I apologize for the picture quality; I really needed a better camera and a tripod for such low light shots.

This is the face of great relief…

It’s not really red/pink, I promise! I actually got pictures of it looking blue and green too…

People finally get to see what the heck I’ve been talking about for the past six months!

Resonance…the projection.

I’ve been testing and retesting and re-retesting, trying to make sure that my ideas for the METHOD of presenting my thesis show actually work–but not really doing much for the actual design of it–mainly because I’ve had to accept limitations of technology and that it will be necessary to work around them. I got stuck. I’ve been kicking at the ‘block’ for a while now, but I think it might be beginning to budge. I started compiling the slides for the projection, experimenting with the appearance and disappearance of elements on each ‘panel’.

To view this properly you need to have Adobe Reader installed; if you do, then when you open the file, click ‘yes’ to the window that pops up, and let the slides run. Be aware that they are set to loop.

Resonance Projection Test

Resonance Projection Test take 2
(with shadows and crease added to show where the pages will be divided…to be removed before the final)

metaphor #2, simplified

A stereotype is an image, often incorrect, that is sustained without change. Immersion into a sea of faces unlike your own requires a shift in perspective, a strain to understand the new ‘normal.’ Contradictions in what you see and experience begin to reconcile when you change your point of view to comprehend the situation. Concepts like community and hospitality take shape into an unexpectedly living form that causes changes in yourself and how you affect the world around you.

….I don’t like it as much now. It’s clunkier….

a stab at metaphor #2

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.” –Oliver Wendell Homes Sr

A stereotype is an image perpetuated without change. Immersion into a sea of faces unlike your own necessitates a perspective shift – a strain to understand the new ‘normal.’ Incongruencies in what is observed and experienced begin to resolve into a situation that requires a changed point of view to comprehend. Concepts like community and hospitality take shape into an unexpected living form that effects change in yourself and your sphere of influence.

a metaphor: 1st try

Plainsong is a single, unaccompanied melodic line. The vocalists sing in unison, none diverging from the shared idea. An antiphon is a song in which the two independent choirs interact by singing alternate musical phrases. If one choir asks a question, the other will answer. Eventually the voices blend into harmony. A canon is a composition in which a series of repetitions develop into a single melody. But the individual voices may interpret the melody in contrasting ways: it might be inverted, or in reverse, or in a different pitch. The combination results in a rich and dense swirl of sound.