Ben Johnston Letterman!

To create my own type I’ve been trolling though the web, typography sketchbooks  and general art books looking for type that immediately caught my eye.

The letterman Ben Johnston instantly caught my eye! His large scale typography murals are exquisite and so in vogue right now within contemporary culture. My attention is instantly caught by the use of white and white black colour with type and his commission for a well to do sports brand was insane! His letters are beautifully rendered in large scale with thickness and clarity to each word. I can’t get enough of this guys work. I’ve found his style very inspiring for my own rendered type, wether it matches into my niche market in not sure as of yet but will find out after a few tryouts.


Dissertation Tutorial and research today

Today I had a my first tutorial with Lesley regarding my dissertation topic of gender performance in the parameters of bodybuilding with focus on female body builders. Through my current research I have been delving into the writings by Judith Butler who at first I found incredibly difficult to understand, but with persistence and use of similar texts I have been revising specific chapters over and over until it stuck. I have come to understand Butlers theories on the difference between gender performance and gender being performative. Butler articulates gender as a performance is the role we play, the role we act that is crucial to the way our chosen gender is perceived. Gender as performative is the effects that are created from our acting, the way we talk, our mannerisms and bodily gestures and behaviour consolidate the gender we are portraying and presenting ourselves as.  Since undertaking the topic of gender as performance I am applying this theory to the gym culture and I have since been observing the performances of gender in the gym.

I have observed the way in which the men behave during and after they have finished one set of several weight lifting exercises and have found it incredibly eye opening. I have observed every single man in the gym perform “the walk” which they will perform after finishing exhaustive resistance training. This performance consists of a pacing up and down around their equipment, huffing and puffing loudly ,  observing their reflection in the mirror as they pace.

I perceived this walk as a type of territorial marking, like a dog pissing up a tree the men make a dramatic act to display their power and dominance over the surrounding males training. Whilst observing this as I was also on a nearby piece of equipment, most of the men would often make eye contact with me for several seconds almost as if to make sure I was watching their display, not specific to me as a person but to me as a surveying female, which was quite resembling in behaviour to that of gorillas beating their chest or birds of paradise displaying their plumage to attract the attention of the nearby females.

I then made over view observations of the females training in the gym. What I observed was a polar difference in the mannerism and attitude in which the women conducted themselves as opposed to the men. Many of the women would grab a set of free weights and take them over to the matted area to train away from the prevailing male gaze that are on every woman in the gym. They were more often than not in groups of two to three and almost never alone, I noted only a handful of women training solo, those who did train alone did not venture into the free weight section and mainly stuck to the cardio or matted area. What was astounding to watch was that almsot every woman I observed seemed to conduct themselves in a timid and unsure fashion, as if they were only allowed in the gym by the grace of man or that they knew they were in a predominantly masculine domain.  This made them slightly timid and making effort to not encroach on the territory in the gym, to remain small and not take up a lot of physical and maybe mental space.

More importanly I noted the way in which a lot of the women seemed to come into the gym more concerned with looking attractive and presentable than actually concerned with the purpose to improve fitness. I watched serval girls come into the gym wearing Lycra shorts, sport crop tops and full head of makeup and begin a light abdominal and squatting workout. There was not one male eye that did not linger on these two girls and it was evident to me that they were aware of this. As articulated by Berger, these girls were viewing themselves through an internalised male gaze. Women are always aware of being gazed upon by the prevailing male and in turn they are constantly aware of the image the project.  Never more had this been blatant until I watched these two girls squat slowly almsot provocatively, sticking out their bottoms and watching themselves in the mirror as they did so. I even caught one of them pouting and tilting her head at a more flattering downward angle, almost suggesting a surrender to the surveyance of the surrounding men.

These obsevations are only skimming the surface of gender performance, but I feel the performance of gender is culturally engrained but more so in the gym it is in emphasised, and evidently in bodybuilding culture it is emphasised to a hyper real extent.  Tomorrow I will be training as my part of my usual routine and goal to become an amateur female bodybuilder, my personal insights into the culture make my dissertation take on a ethnographic approach which is incredibly illuminating about the culture of gender for it is never more so crucial and blatant than in the environment of a gym.

Breakfast unscrambled presentation review



Today we presented the work we have done so far for the Breakfast Unscrmabled brief. Emily gave us a checklist of thins to look for and to comment on through one another’s presentation.

  1. Empathy
  2. Inventiveness
  3. Creative Language
  4. Communication-clarity, focus, convictions
  5. Creative Graphic media
  6. Exploration, Iteration, and references at each stage


All the presentations were strong, all the ideas presented for this breakfast brief were great. Some were brilliant in how they managed to harness a niche market, an example would be the brand idea for Nordic Tea by Christopher which was a niche market I never even thought of or even knew about, his illustrations for his packaging were beautiful and wonderfully crafted. Another was a breakfast for children and young families called Pop eat by Marta, her use of a ball split in half for two separate foods for children was a lovely idea.  One of my favourite presentations was by Samir, his idea of bringing back the social interraction surroundig the ritual of breakfast was through reviving old vans that would come around local streets, with tables and food and would create a huge breakfast outside for the hole street to have breakfast together. The visuals he used were wonderful, there was not one logo he made that no one didn’t like. The vintage style was succinct throughout his presentation which sold the idea effectively!

These presentations made me nervous to preset my idea for the Diptea brand. None the less I presented and spoke about the journey I took throughout the brief in order to re invent a breakfast.  My presentation showed a lot of primary research  and secondary research into the afternoon tea market that my Diptea product was aimed at. I adore tea rooms and frequent them with my mother on many occasions. I adore the warm atmosphere, the socialising, the lovely ladies I end up making friends with and the overall aesthetic of the tea room. I spoke of my ideas surrounding my type which I admitted to being quite stuck on, also the packaging ideas I had began to conceptualise.

Overall ny presentation was received well by the class and Emily. To improve I am to play around with my type to make a more creative logo. My current Logo is quite American vintage in style and I intend to lean towards the vintage/romantic typography, but I was advised to create a more creative type like the digital type I made with Adrian in a previous workshop on the Language of Type. Also as my product is catered towards afternoon tea Emily asked how I could ring it back to the breakfast area, so the suggestion to make the Diptea cake in breakfast food flavours such as marmalade, butter on toast, eggs and bacon. Perhaps the shape of the actual cake would be different for breakfast flavours and possibly I would create a breakfast range of my Diptea, this would have different imagery and illustrations to the packaging comapred to the Afternoon Tea version.

Enily also illuminated that my product is more about the social environment provided by a tea room.  Instead of creating a product to be sold in retailers it would work as a pop up cafe itself as a tea room on its own. I hadn’t thought of this before but instantly this idea thrilled me, so my product reinvention has become a brand establishment like Betyys tea room.  Possibly I have thought to create a little pop up cafe in a DIY manor, perhaps in a rented out area or as an outside picnic area as a mock up, or to digitally visualise a Diptea Tea Room.

The compliments to my presentation and my work so far is the link I’ve made and research I have done into the Afternoon Tea market. I presented well and concisely, the research was in depth, the Idea was focused.

I think this presentation has aided in me being able to see what work I have done so far and seeing where I am currently with my project.  I am going to be working tonight on the type for my breakfast where I’ll be chopping out parts of the letters to convert the word ‘dip’ – the submerging of the cake into a drink. This I believe is more playful than the type I have done so far, but I do intend to keep the original type I made for it may have possibilities for improvement and if not it serves well for development.

Diptea type almost there

Had a breakthrough today with my type and finally created a typography style that is succinct in style completely through the entire word. Usually one letter or two doesn’t match well with the rest of the word but I’ve been working on the type all morning. I’ll be experimenting with the use of my pastel colour palette I’ve chosen for my brand later today but will also upload the type into illustrator to really play around and digitalise my logo. That’s also when I may add some little motifs into the logo aswell. I’ll also be researching onto blogs and books into lovely packaging design for ideas for my product.

I can’t get enough of Type!

What is a real problem with being in the world of design and art is that you find new things everyday that are so amazing you end up wanting to do it aswell. I had never really been a huge fan of typography due to my preconceptions of type being nothing more than Arial black or helvetica, which are still great types, but man I found it dry. I’ve been trolling through typography sites and books and every second I’m finding such beautiful type I’m finding a real passion for hand rendered typography and script writing.

Hand rendering my type

Today  am working on my type for my Diptea brand. I found from research that the afternoon tea market uses romantic, script style type. Such as Betty’s and triptee, I also found that the type has a hand made feel to it. The brands are usually not presented as very graphic which is why my first digital type will not work for my brand market.

I am still sketching out a type that I am happy with but will continue with copying and hand rendering for the rest of the day until I have created a type that I think fits with my brand.

Artist influence. Sister Corita Kent

Sister Corita Kent creates these beautiful juxtaposed prints incorporating spiritual, literary and pop cultural themes.  I wasn’t aware of her amazing work until our tutor Sara saw my quite industrious photocopy work scattered across the floor late one evening, she recommended her as reference to the prints I was making for my project. I see the resemblance in the aesthetic of my work with Kents. Her use of such vibrant bold colour with sprout all and biblical quotes of the bible make for impeccable pieces. Her story itself was incredibly engrossing. A nun who makes art..real contemporary art. I feel art and activism go hand in hand in amplifying the other, art amplifies activism, activism amplifies art. Kents work represnts her spiritual hope and beliefs but also a passion with creating visuals to communicate and educate to the masses. I have become a passionate fan of Kents work.  Although my current photocopy pieces are predominantly black and white I am excited to implement bold colour into them as final pieces for my look mum no hands brief.

Breakfast unscrambled work

As my first review lays ahead I have to make a presentation to showcase the development of my work on breakfast unscrmabled. I am to show the development of my product from initial sketches, to the finalised idea, brand name and product, brand type and initial ideas surrounding packaging design for my product.

I am currently at the stage where I am deciphering the style of type in accordaamce to my target market. With research I have found that most tea room Brands and brands with products catered for afternoon tea, the typography is of a handwriting , Victorian type with a lot of swirls. Also the colouring choices are predominantly red on white or of a simple two colour base. The initial colours for my type are pastel blue, pink and yellow.

For my presentation I have been photographing my sketchbook work in my branded breakfast product.

Project work. Look mum no hands

With my first submission looming next Tuesday I spent the day creating pieces for my look mum no hands brief. After creating a set of drawings onto acetate sheets, I then placed them onto a photocopier and started creating numerous visuals.  Each visual is ultimately unique in that each process maybe the same, but the captured image will always be different. Be it through different scrunched and creases it picks up in copying or the process of overlapping prints on top of each other. Overall with this brief I am trying to communicate the touch points of look mum no hands in a fitting medium that allows me to hit the brief specifications. I feel I am doing this to a better effect with these photocopy pieces than with the original illustration.

Project Revisit- look mum no hands

imageMy first design for the Look Mum No Hands brief.

After my review with my tutors on my first final idea for the Look Mum No Hands brief, I realised I had pigeon holed my ideas and limited my potential outcomes. So I took all of my design sketches and pieces I made of the look mum no hands cafe and took them to the old faithful photocopier. As before, I used the same process of reprinting onto prints and folding up my sketches to create abstract visuals. So far I’m liking the visuals I’m making as the first final piece I made didn’t really communicate the task of the brief which was to communicate the brand touch points I experienced in the cafe itself.