Experimental: Meta-type

Orginally tasked with extracting a theme to create a type specimen based from real-world environments, we saw interest in exploring the multi-coloured and multi-textured world of soft drinks and the type that is used to promote the promises behind them.

 

We worked to express the context of typorgaphy as a reflection of the physical and the metaphysical, extending towards a comment on mass marketing, commerce, and consumerism, and in the end, resulting in a satircal voice on these issues using typography as the vehicle to carry meaning.

 

There were two outcomes to this project, one physical, and one digital, all using existing typefaces found from soft drinks.

Exploration

Once getting the category down to soft drinks, we explore the category further to see what free associations come up. Liking the syzygy between fun and waste, we had something to move toward with the initial explorations and experiments.

It was obvious, given the breif, that having multiple typefaces on display at once could lead to slightly chaotic and contentious composition. To counter this, we wanted to be able to show each typeface as a seperate identity yet additionally communicate something else as a whole.

Researching the way this industry communicates its own values to see if we could play on any of them ourselves, we found the gimmick of ‘foil-fresh’ interesting to play with, especially as the shadow of waste seems is direct.

 

I started to experiment with spraymount as a way to temporarily stick things with the purpose of them being removed or peeled away later upon audience interaction.

Finalising The Physical Outcome

Printing litho black on peregrina majestic silver paper stock, we could achieve the restriction of one colour without moving toward a strong identity of a true colour. Silver, for obvious reasons, was a choice made to refelect the shiny promises of everyday products as they stare out at you from their respective shelves.

Finalising The Digital Outcome

Jotting some quick ideas for building an interactive system for exploring the piece. Like the physical manifestation, we wanted to highlight and encapsulate ideas of repetition, mass marketing, and brand promises into one cohearent satirical voice using typography as the vehicle. This time, using the screen, we injected animation and movement into the piece.

Having more space to articulate the meaning further, we made each glyph interactive, giving the audience an individual view of the glyph next to some marketing “power words” commonly used to sell soft drinks on top of the cheap, cheap recommended retail price.

 

Further, each glyph has the same marketing spiel adjacent, just in a different order, hopefully highlighting the transitory promises of what is, at the end of the day, flavoured fizzy water.

Starting out on this project we were concerned about how to find consistency among a category of ‘found type’ and have it not look like a punk album cover or a serial killer’s ransom note. One influence that helped me through this was looking at Zuzana Licko’s work when displaying multiple typefaces on one plane.

 

What was evident was that our main goal for this project was seeing if we were able to hold together the wide differences among each glyph yet communicate a message as a whole extending outside typography and looking at something more conceptual.

 

Originally coming from a perspective of utility “how is this going to be of use?” and moving on toward a perspective of “how can it express an idea”, we overcame many of our initial thoughts on what a final outcome should be and came to an output which works as something else entirely.