At Glasgow Zine Fest, graphic design agency O Street held a workshop which offered an introduction to typography. Open to new ideas and perspectives we gladly took part.
The first half of the workshop focused on theory. Covering a brief history of type, we discussed Roman stone carvings, Johannes Gutenberg's first printing press in 1400, German Black Letter and ease of today's digital publishing tools.
Leading the workshop, O Street designers Josh and Tess, provided an overview of the anatomy of type: technical names for parts of the letters, classic do's and don'ts and illustrated examples of different styles of lettering being used in contemporary graphic design today.
The second half of the workshop was practical. Josh provided examples of zines he mad designed and created recently and encouraged us to take inspiration form the source material and produce our own in the short time we had left.
Given the workshop was focused on typography, it was only natural to produce a zine which focused on typography. A lot of our work is produced digitally and most of the typography we interact with is purely on screen. Producing a hand-made zine was the perfect opportunity to reverse the process and look at lettering physically and with my hands.
Using helvetica characters on the table, I examined the letter forms as abstract shapes, rotating them and attempting to see them in a new light.
With printed references, and an opportunity to create something physical without the use of a computer I began cutting up the printed letters. In an attempt to make new connections in my mind and reconsider how I read and interpret the shapes, I rearranged the forms quickly and instinctively to create a new alphabet. An A-Z of mutant letters.