• Shyam Patel

Short & Tweet - Workshop 2

In this workshop, I experimented with typographic layouts to create 3 distinctive spread designs along with a front and back cover. In the beginning, I found it quite difficult to design the spreads and know what to actually design. This project heavily involves typography as opposed to digital illustration and so I had to really think about how I could somehow put those two together. The process started off with experimenting and gathering references that would help me. These references were then used to get a better idea of what the potential spread could look like. Most of the references started off with just illustration so I was constantly trying to make the typography in the shape or size or composition as the references.


I started off with the intention of using Cinema4D as my primary software for creating type considering that I want to specialise in that software. I tried something out which did not work the way I had anticipated and I, therefore, decided that Cinema4d was going to be rather time-consuming. I, therefore, continued to work in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop learning different ways of presenting my typographic layouts. I really liked the idea of overprint, going back to Mike's workshop on using the Riso printer, the colours, textures, and roughness that was presented on the page after each print seemed interesting and made me feel as though I needed to feel the texture.

On the left here is the sketch and on the right is the pen tool I used to go over the sketch. I used Adobe Illustrator as a base file and saved it as a spline so that when I imported it into Cinema4D I could simply extrude or sweep it making it 3D type within seconds. This below here is the Cinema4D experiments that I did. One thing I learned was that it is quite time consuming and so I left the experiments sitting and carried forward my design work using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop

On this page, I used different effects to recreate overprint amongst exploring other effects to gain a better sense of what it could look like and how I can make it look.

I tried to use 3D typography using the Extrude and Bevel technique I learned in Alex's Adobe Illustrator 101 workshop, however, I was not satisfied with the result. I also tried a technique I used in the summer of last year where it had looked like a paper cut out was made but it popped out of the paper rather than just a full cut through the paper, similar to a typographic pop-up card. The use of negative space can sometimes be intriguing and so I attempted to do so using quotation marks and cutting into the blue background of the left-hand page (2nd to the bottom) to try and make the page more interesting, however, it seemed quite heavy on the page and I was once again not that satisfied with the outcome.

The reason I used Helvetica Neue is that it is currently Twitter’s typeface. They use it throughout their social media platform and I wanted to replicate that to make it seem more realistic, however, using Didot and offsetting the text boxes informed my decision to break the grid as well as breaking Twitter. The reason I used Didot was that I really liked the classy atmosphere it brought to the page in comparison to a very geometric based typeface. Which I think works nicely because whilst Didot was used not for the quotes/tweets themselves, I picked out words that I wanted to use in Didot. The GREP styles allowed for individual letters and numbers to have more character. It really stood out and because of that, it seemed to be more eye-catching.

Amongst Helvetica and Didot, I also used Zeitung Micro Pro typeface. This typeface was geometric similarly to Helvetica, but when I used it for specific parts of the design, for example, the hashtag in the first spread, there were a minimal amount of curves if any and I liked how the baseline of the g, for example, had a slant towards the end rather than just a straight line.

I really wanted to dive into the "seeking validation through likes" element through this project because I thought it would be a subjective but interesting contradiction between quotes and validation. Although there are always two sides to an argument, I will dive deeper into that subject in the final part of this 'Short & Tweet' blog series.

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