Typographic Chaos research
Category : Design, Typography

Typographic Chaos emphasizes the importance of experimentation, and finding new approaches beyond various typographic systems, to solve design problems. It pushes the limits of communication by examining how an audience perceives and reacts to the subject matter. It utilizes three-dimensional space in order to achieve more variations of design. As a result, Typographic Chaos will not only promote creativity but will also help to form a better visual communication with an audience.

Brief.

A poster is a “printed announcement or advertisement that is exhibited publicly.”1 Posters may include both textual and graphic information, and are meant to be eye-catching while communicating a specific message. In poster design, textual information is usually arranged according to a set of typographic rules, which display information in a simple and organized matter. These rules include the choice of a typeface, the hierarchy of design elements, the application of a grid system, and the degree of legibility.

Although there are a large number of available typefaces, most designers limit themselves to use only a few common typefaces such as Helvetica, Futura, Gill Sans, Univers, Franklyn Gothic among sans-serifs and Caslon, Bodoni, Garamond, Baskerville, Bembo among serifs. The hierarchy of elements in poster design refers to the various techniques used to emphasize textual or graphic information in the order of importance. Grid systems are set of geometric rules for arranging information on a page. They were created by typographers to simplify their designs and deliver information efficiently. Legibility refers to font selection, kerning, leading and spacing on a page. All these rules help the design process but, in my opinion, they also limit creative freedom and can produce generic design solutions.

Typographic Chaos is a project that aims to manipulate text as a typographic image in order to convey an idea through poster design. I intend to break the typography rules described above in order to examine the relationship between text-based information and the graphic component of a poster. The first stage of this project will be constructing sculpture-like objects that take the form of lettering by using different materials, such as metal, wood, and paper. My final product will be a set of printed posters created by photographing these tri-dimensional installations.

Typographic Chaos emphasizes the importance of experimentation, and finding new approaches beyond various typographic systems, to solve design problems. It pushes the limits of communication by examining how an audience perceives and reacts to the subject matter. It utilizes three-dimensional space in order to achieve more variations of design. As a result, Typographic Chaos will not only promote creativity but will also help to form a better visual communication with an audience.

In order to understand how to break the rules, one must first know the rules and effective ways to use them. Therefore, the research for this project includes looking back at different designers such as Jan Tschichold, Armin Hofmann, Josef Muller-Brockmann, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, and David Carson. In addition, this research includes a comparison and analysis of various styles and approaches by these designers and their solutions to problems of creativity and communication. For example, Jan Tschichold, who started as a minimalist designer, favored a few select typefaces for all of his works.2 He was one of the first designers to address grid systems and create a set of typographic rules in order to quickly and easily convey information. Studying Tschichold and his contemporaries helped me to understand why such strict typographic rules were created and whether it is possible to break them and still create meaningful designs. Alternatively, the works of David Carson are very expressive and challenge standard typographic rules in order to produce more creative and unique designs.3 When designing, Carson sacrifices legibility, hierarchy, and grid systems to allow more freedom for the visual composition. David Carson, Paula Scher, and Stefan Sagmeister inspired me to experiment with typography and to look for solutions beyond the accepted rules.