Type I // Paragraph / Week 2

I started working on my second experiments, by refining my best paragraphs from my first compositions. I started by removing the justification from all my compositions, because we were supposed to try and make good rags. I also changed them all to black and white, so that I can achieve the fifty percent grey. I kept it in the back of my mind that at the end my composition should achieve the fifty percent grey. So as I was working, I focused on making informed decisions on my compositions, and trying to create good rags.

I first tried creating good rags by making hard returns, but there was always one line that was coming out a lot further than the rest. So I tried to control the length and shape of the rags by adding kashida. I created sort of a system for using the kashida, to try and make them consistent throughout the paragraph. So before a certain letter, like (و) I added almost three or four units of kashida. However I then changed some of the words, so that they can create a better rag.

After finishing twenty, I got stuck. So I decided to make a system to work with. I made four compositions for each of these elements:

  • Typeface
  • Scale/Bold
  • Typesize
  • Layout
  • Combination of above

Second Paragraph Compositions

The feedback I got from my classmates helped me notice that I didn’t pull out the em dash for the poet’s name. They also pointed out that the rags needed some work.  I agreed with them because some were creating shapes, or they didn’t have enough of a difference between the length of the lines to create a good rag, and it ended up looking close to being justified, but not quite justified yet.

Classmates’ Feedback


I then showed my best rags from my experiments to the professors, and they said these were almost there, and that some lines just needed to come out a bit.


I then choose my two best compositions for A4 and A3. I choose the ones with the most informed decisions, and started refining and making iterations of them.

For the A4 composition, the natural rag that happened because of the line breaks was good. However after I scaled the important words, the rag was gone. So I made a copy of the original rag, and used kashida to mimic the natural rag of the original version. I also tried different fonts. However after I printed it out, the Kufic typeface ended up being too dark, and the Helvetica font achieved the fifty percent grey at that type size.

For the A3 composition, I played with different typefaces. I noticed that each typeface slightly changed the shape of the rag. So I choose the one that created the best rag, and had the form that worked best with the meaning of the poem.

Third Paragraph Compositions


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