Modular typography

The modular typography is a typeface created from a limited number of shapes. This was a group task brief of which we had to create a typeface based on a graph system.

Before we started we have been shown some examples of what other artists did that would give us a good structure on how to get on with it.

We had to come up with the best system for our typeface. In order to do that, our group has been given the hexagon, based on that each of us had to create a few examples. So here are a few of my sketches in upper and lower case letters.

Here is a mixture of upper case examples of thin and thick strokes, serif and non-serif letterforms. It is, however, almost impossible to avoid serifs on this graphing system.


So here, I have designed an improved version of the above letters and tried to duplicate the same letter in order to create others. For example; lower case letter “b” has been used for the letter “d” and it could also be used for “p”, maybe “q” by rotating the letters. From the letter “n” I have designed, the letter “m,h” and by adding an ascender , it could also be the transformed into the letter “h”.

Once we’ve finished we had a little group presentation in front of the class where we had to talk about our process and about our system. We also had some feedback from our lecturer and the rest of the class, where we talked about individual designs and decided which one we like the most. That would then be our system on which we’re assigned to work throughout the development of the digital final pieces.

With this outcome, I got inspired by the original “Rockwell” typeface, but I have put a weight stroke from to the left hairline and sliced down the serifs. I think this outcome works better because is much clearer and eye-catching.  The left positioned serifs are sitting right on the baseline which I think works quite well and the thick strokes make it look unique. Overall, I am quite happy with this outcome.
Portrait Grid
Rockwell Font

I learned that with the hexagon graph the shapes are changing orientation depending on the way that you have the paper. If the graph is orientated landscape, it is impossible to draw the letter “a” to a portrait orientation and still get a duplicate version. In other words, whatever I draw on a landscape, it can not be re-drawn exactly the same in portrait as the hexagon changes edge with its orientation.

In the above landscape example the tip of the letter “A,a” creates sharp edges, Although, note the top of “A,a” becomes flat in the portrait example.

Portrait Grid
In this outcome, I really like the closed counters within the letters and the thickness of the hairline on the upper case “A”. I think it works well for a typeface too but not as strong as the above version. On the other hand, I didn’t like that the serif wasn’t sitting on the baseline but rather sticking out making the letter look abstract and uneven.

The reason why I have got two digital outcomes rather than just one as required is because I thought it was interesting to try different experiments with it.

I think this was a quite interesting brief, I learned different ways of creating the typeface based on random shapes or systems, and is been good to work together as a team to come up with a system.




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