After the first critique, I began making both letters about a similar size, so that it would be less of this tiny letter hanging around within this huge other letter.
I first put all the possible fonts together, so I could see for example which g was a g that was double storied, or one that wasn’t, or whether the bowls or counters were small or big. It helped to have them spread out.
At this point, we also tried drawing out by hand, some letters. It helped to see or personally feel by hand, the shapes of the letters. It helped us to acknowledge even further, or rather more evidentially what parts were crucial in a letter.
I didn’t realise it at this point, that the F wasn’t shown enough to be an F – it could be another E, because it wasn’t evident if it finished or not. I didn’t realise this fully until much later.
Here, I believe I started to have a small breakdown, because of the idea that I had to show, for example, the difference between the E and the F, i and the j, or the n and the m, and the most difficult, the d,b,p, and q. I was also getting very confused with the fact that there had to be enough space in an Arabic letter on the top, whether there was or wasn’t a dot, to show that there wasn’t a dot. This made our job infinitely harder.
I was very frustrated with the Arabic, just because I felt that I didn’t know the letters. Of course, I understood why – the fact that we’re living in an Arab country, as well as the mention of the professors that Arabic type – or an unusual type to another graphic designer is very intriguing – especially when getting a job. I believe it would help loads, but in the beginning I found it harder to identify them and use them, which made me avoid trying Arabic.
This is the way I was working, putting letters together, just to see how they worked with each other, and repeating this process, until I found one that worked:
Here I began to almost hate what I was doing. Which is not understandable, it wasn’t that I didn’t like the work or anything, I just felt very stressed, that it took over the whole experience of learning or being happy doing the making. I shouldn’t have, now that I think about it, but I kept trying to just push my way through this block, which was something I should’ve let rest. Pushing my way through something is something I had never done, so I felt that I should try to, but I think this was somewhat stupid, because I have a way of working that doesn’t work this way.
After the critique, which was kind of a very different experience this time, because I felt that at this stage, my work was very different to those of others. Other people had done it in very intertwining ways, whereas mine was super zoomed in – to the extent that the letter recognition got very difficult. This was also a direct criticism on my work, which made me think that I had to go to a mixture of other people’s work and mine.
Up to this critique, I was thinking of it as too much of exact puzzle pieces, which is why I was finding it so hard. I for some reason had this idea that the solution had to be perfectly fit together like they were meant for each other as a puzzle – as in the letters had to be perfectly in tune with each other – without any kind of interception between them.
So the idea of using one letter, and making the white space be the shape of the other letter and only this letter. This was making my job very difficult. And I even think this perfect clarification came to me a lot later too.
Now that I look at my work, I find this set very somewhat boring. It did not activate any interesting shapes. This is one thing I learned during this critique – forming letters against each other has to be done in interesting ways that make interesting other new shapes. This comment helped a lot for me to improve, especially talking with other students’ examples that were somewhat successful was very effective.