Type I: Project 4 Syntax/Semantics

For this project I had to choose four words from a list of select words, and create four designs that used the letters in the words to communicate the word’s meanings.

I chose the words:

  1. quick
  2. distant
  3. joyful
  4. turbulent

I started by looking up the definitions of the words. I thought it was interesting that the words have common definitions that are obvious to us, but also lesser known definitions that we often don’t think of. For example, people often associate the word “distant” with physical distance, when the word can also be used to describe a distant relationship or distancing oneself from another, not physically but maybe emotionally or socially. I also searched up images of the words and the words’ latin roots and origins.

After looking of the words’ definitions I proceeded to sketch and draw thumbnails! I found it difficult to sketch a lot of thumbnails for some words. I had trouble with turbulent and joyful, because I wanted to create designs that were able to communicate the words in the simplest way I could. Because I had difficulty with some of the sketches, i decided to move onto collaging the designs, I thought that maybe moving the type around on the canvas would help me think more.

Thumbnail Sketches:



IMG_9430 copy

IMG_9431 copy      IMG_9432 copy IMG_9434 copy      IMG_9437

After I started collaging, I got a better idea of how I wanted to communicate the words.

For quick, my concept was to show the different of something being quick relative to something that was still, so I placed to “quick”s on the plane, the “quick” that was supposed to communicate movement and speed was in bold and italicized. To make it look more active, I tilted the letters by hand and had the “k” running off the page. The composition could be better.

For the word “distant” my concept was to communicate distance in a relationship. I wanted to characterize the “d” and tried to make it look like it was walking away from the group of other letters. I have a tendency to knowingly distance myself from certain group of people sometimes, so this meaning of “distant” might be a personal one that some people may not be able to relate to.

For the word “joyful” my concept was to communicate the emotion of joy. When I think “joy” I think overflowing, elation, bright, vibrancy. Sometimes when someone feels so much joy, they may not be able to contain themselves and have to scream or jump, or wave their hands in the air! That was what I was trying to communicate, so I thought it would be appropriate to use expressive type that was larger and bold. I wanted to communicate the overflowing nature of the emotion, joy by collaging the “joy” portion of the word so that it took up almost all of the canvas, like it was overflowing or exploding out of it.

For the word “turbulent” I wanted to communicate disorder, disturbance, and chaos. However, I wanted to communicate it without using the word too many times, and without making the canvas look too crazy. I also did not want to use different sized letters and different fonts. I looked up the latin root of the word turbulent and found that the word is derived from the latin word “turba” which means disorder. I thought that using the lain root as the concept for the design would be interesting, so decided to adopt the idea and proceed with it.

My Final Collages:

IMG_9529 copy      IMG_9528 copy IMG_9527 copy      IMG_9526 copy

My Final Designs:

semantics-01      semantics-02  semantics-03     semantics-04

This project was fun. It was fun using the letters of the words as the only means of communicating the words’ meanings. My designs are still rough and can definitely be refined further, but I am pleased with the variety of concepts and approaches I think I was able to use.


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