When we first got the project brief, I was excited about starting the project. Even though 90 sketches sounded challenging, I thought that when I started to make them, more ideas would come to mind as I was working on it. Similar to a project we had last year in Surface were we had to find sixty ways to connect random dots on squares. Before I started I was overwhelmed with the amount of squares I had to finish, but as I started making, I found more creative solutions and I enjoyed the project. However in the beginning of this project one of the first obstacles I faced was not having all the typefaces that we were asked to use, so we were limited to three to four typefaces for Latin and Arabic.
I started with using letters from my name, and moved on from there. The second obstacle I faced was trying to fulfill the fifty fifty requirement, I found it hard to create a lot of sketches, because the more I zoomed into the letterform, the main pointers of the letter would get lost, so I fit the whole letter into the square, then I tried to fit the other letter inside the first letter. So my first sketches were very off the fifty fifty requirement. Then as we got critique back on our work, I understood the project a lot more. Because I was focusing on making the letters unrecognizable at first, so that when you pay closer attention to it, you can start to read the letters. I think I was trying to do this because the only example we got for the project was one that was hard to identify at first, but after I rotated it, I was able to see the A and the I. So after hearing the critique and feedback on all our work, and all the mistakes that we should avoid, the project was a lot more clearer. I was then able to experiment and create a lot more sketches, especially since we were given a lot more typefaces to work with, which meant we had more letterforms to work with.
I found myself creating a lot of Latin Latin sketches, since it was more challenging to make the Arabic Arabic fit the fifty fifty requirement. Because most of the Arabic letters are thin and horizontal and there weren’t many bold font options. So I used the Sana typeface the most, because it was the most compact and bold typeface available. I also tried to use the bold Al Bayan and Geeza Pro in some of the sketches, because I found that their letterforms of some letters fit better and curved well with the other letter.
When I started to notice that I was making a lot of Latin Latin, and not as much of the other two pairings. I took some of my Latin Latin pairings, and swapped one of the letters to an Arabic letter. When I felt stuck on which letters to use I used the same letter, but one in Arabic and the other in Latin. Whenever I thought of any two letters that can work well formally and that could fit into each other throughout my day, or when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a typeface of a letter, then I noticed how another letter can fit into that letter’s negative space really well, I wrote them down in my notes on my phone so that I could refer back to them when I was working.
I also noticed that using the bold fonts help in reaching the fifty fifty requirement. That trying to fit the largest scale of a letter without losing recognition, then trying to see what letterform would work the best in that negative space, helps create the best forms. That limiting my angles to 90 and 45 degrees, or following the angle or curve of the other letter really works well in merging and connecting the letters, and creating harmony in the final form.
Process of some of the sketches:
I learnt through this process that nothing is actually impossible. That if you work hard on something and just keep trying, you can always find a solution to the problem. That taking a break when you work on something for too long can actually benefit you, because when you step away from it and then come back to it, you can look at it in a different way, and when you took that time away, a good idea could pop into your head.