Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York, USA  
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Project. Transforming letterforms into pictorial signs.

Purpose. Letterforms offer many possibilities for creative design. Through modifications a letter can be transformed into a sign representing an object, a trademark, an alternate letterform, a number, or symbolize an action, or a process, etc.

Assignment. To explore letterforms as departure points for pictorial signs. In the following steps.

1. Set the 26 letters of the alphabet in all upper case, 96 point Univers 55 regular. Print five copies on white paper.

2. Study each of the 26 letterforms and in your mind develop a visual idea that can be realized by cutting, moving or removing parts of a particular letterform. Select one or more letters and work with the actual letterform only; do not add other elements to transform the letters.

3. Start testing your ideas by tracing from the selected letterform.
You may also experiment by cutting and pasting the laser prints.

4. Create at least five different designs using the same, or various letterforms.

5. Finalize your designs in Adobe Illustrator.

6. Print each design with the original letterform next to it in two sizes: 1 inch and0.375 inches high (to see how they may or may not work in small size). Arrangethe 1 inch letters vertically, starting 2 inches from the top of the page and4 inches apart, centered left to right, on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper.

Format. 8.5 X 11 inches.

Time. Two weeks (3 hours per week)


Willi Kunz practices graphic design in New York. He is the author of
"Typography: Macro- and Microaesthetics" (1998, 2000, 2002) available in English, German, Spanish, and Chinese editions; and "Typography: Formation and Transformation" (2003). Willi Kunz is a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).

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