Typography Poster



Project #3: Poster


Start with Process Book and develop ideas. Always include the following:

  • 3 very rough sketches (you may work at half size, 5 x 7″)
  • Type Studies
  • Color Studies
  • 3 High-end Digital Drafts
  • Analysis
  • Final


Final execution will be in InDesign. All graphics and imagery will be created in Photoshop.

You will produce a poster for a Design Exhibition called: “Century: 100 Years of Type Design”

You must be able to combine imagery with type to clearly communicate both the subject and the information details to a wide-ranging audience.

  • Size 10″ x 14,” Portrait (vertical)
  • Resolution is 300 ppi
  • Color Mode: Full color, CMYK (choose colors that are going to best represent your poster)
  • Consider all the design principles you have learned: Emphasis, contrast and flow…etc.
  • Use all the text below (you will decide what the best order should be and which text should stand out)
  • Use or combine at least two high quality images that will grab attention
    • DO NOT download random images from the web (No JPEGS, GIFS, or PNGS… TIFFS only)
    • Copyright-free imagery is okay (you may take your own photos)
    • Use only two typefaces (this includes all weights, italics, upper and lower case, etc.)

Poster Text:

You must use all of this copy!

Century: 100 Years of Type Design

May 1 — July 31, 2015
At the GOODY National Design Center

500 Fifth Avenue, New York City


Gallery hours:
Monday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.

GOODY (NOTE: use “GOODY” as the word-mark logo. You decide the typeface, style and size)

Print the poster and mount it on a 12” x 16” black board
Project Dimensions


Produce and submit three rough ideas for the critique discussion.


Add flap. You must have at least three drafts included with your final project.

Century: 100 Years of Type Design


My research began, naturally, with an investigation into the event itself which was hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Other areas of interest revolved around the actual history of typography.

Some initial ideas included images of vehicles from the early 1900’s to present, sleek designs that would indicate not only progress but movement and transportation of communication. An outline of a classic typewriter was explored to literally reference typography and offer opportunities to illustrate the early days of movable type into current type designs. Images of women, or at least their silhouette’s, were considered to simply display a century of change in style and progress while utilizing type itself as the form structure.


My original sketches were done in graphite but then overlaid each with black marker to accentuate the designs most prominent features. Most of the subtext is simply in placeholder position. No design definiteness exists in anything but the event title.

Marker-Sketch-1 Marker-Sketch-2 Marker-Sketch-3

Type Studies:

The first typeface that interested me was Century. Its classic style and clean lines lent itself perfectly to the event in question; however, in the interest of thoroughness, I explored several additional fonts, one of which I hoped would serve as my secondary type.

Type Studies

After experimenting with several, I chose Gill Sans MT as my supporting typeface.

Color Studies:

I wanted to keep my color palette simple and by using black type, a white background and red accents, I was able to create eye catching compositions without complicating the design or distracting from the intended message.

Red-Sketch-1 Red-Sketch-2 Red-Sketch-3

Black: #000000

White: #FFFFFF

Red: #ED1F24


Each design went through several experimental phases and then I added the supporting information one section at a time.

On the typewriter design, I moved my background images around and rearranged the main graphic position along with the poster title which began with a large, red “C”. Next, the dates and location of the event were given a secondary station in the hierarchy of font size and positioning atop a lightened version of the typewriter keyboard. The gallery name was uniquely stylized to indicate a proprietary typeface. The description tag-line separated the top third of the composition from the middle and bottom while continuing the flow of eye movement. The bottom third of the poster contained the address and hours of operation, the former in white space and the latter on top of another copy of the typewriter, this time, the top half which paper appeared to contain the events name, accented in red. The website was positioned below the main graphic in red, as well. The hours were cluttered with distracting white space in the graphic, so I chose to fill that image with red to create a smooth background for the text. Lastly, a light gray typewriter was added to the top of the design to balance the black and red images and include enhance repetition.

Rough-A1 Rough-A2 Rough-A3
Rough-A4 Rough-A5 Rough-A6
Rough-A7 Rough-A8

My second design, based on a silhouette of a woman in a 1914 outfit and a modern, high-heeled sexy silhouette was designed primarily for its eye-catching images filled with text. One version displayed free-floating red text on a white background, a second included an outline and a third experimented with red fonts with a black stroke. I finally settled on a black graphic with overlaid red text. I accented the composition with a red tag-line description under the event title of which the main name “Century” was positioned vertically on the left. The dates and gallery name were located in the upper right-hand corner with the branded text in red. The hours the event would be open, along with the address and phone number, were centered between the images and functioned as funnel movement back to the bottom of the design. The website was added, at a ninety degree angle, in the upper left-hand corner, subtlety aligned with the text on the right. One last version was attempted, with the event title enlarged, lightened and slanted across the background.

Rough-B1 Rough-B2 Rough-B3
Rough-B4 Rough-B5 Rough-B6
Rough-B7 Rough-B8 Rough-B9

My last design would work better in a landscape format, but due to the requirements of the project I wanted to attempt a portrait version.

The title was sandwiched between the rear end of an old classic car and a front end new, sleek sports car. The dates and gallery were positioned in the top left-hand corner and the address and phone number were placed on a lightened graphic of the modern car. The website was colored red and attached to the roof of the classic car in the lower right-hand corner and the gallery hours were placed on the side of the image. The description of the event was centered across the bottom of the poster.

In a second version, the dates were changed from black to red along with the “Century” between the car images. A watermark of the front of the classic car was placed in the upper right-hand corner of the composition and a similar graphic was placed in the lower left-hand corner of the modern car. The word “free” was also colored red.

In the third version, the title and subtitle of the event were added as a watermark with “Century” in black and “100 Years of Type Design” in red.

Rough-C1 Rough-C2 Rough-C3

Rough-C4One more version was attempted, this time with the classic car at the top of the design combined with the title, gallery hours, address and phone number. At the bottom of the composition, the subtitle and sport’s car silhouette were features with the dates of the event. Between the two elements resided the full title, subtitle and gallery name followed by the website’s URL.


After evaluating each design with a panel of my peers, the typewriter composition was chosen as the poster I would develop further.

The first change was to include a modern image to balance the old fashioned typewriter. Where my antiquated machine represented the early days of typography, a modern laptop was exhibited to signify current type design.

Final-A1The small gray typewriter was removed from the upper right-had corner and an additional element was introduced by way of including another color, thus, increasing interest and contrast.

Blue: #333399

This new color was first utilized in the large laptop containing the subtitle of the event and reduced to 75% opacity.

Next, I experimented with background patterns and settled on a lightened stone image. The first version was still too dark; so, I increased the transparency of the background for each subsequent composition. I also edited the dates of the event to the new royal blue hue to add repetition which prompted me to slide the keyboard from the left to the right. At the bottom of the poster, I included a smaller version of the laptop to frame the address and phone number of the affair. By experimenting with the text color of the supporting information, I was able to visualize both black and white copy and measure its effect.

Final-A2 Final-A3 Final-A4

I decided the background was too busy, so I removed it from the design and focused on the positive elements, starting with changing the gallery hour’s text back to black.

I then moved the keyboard back to the left side of the poster and changed the gallery name to blue. I also added the small, light-gray typewriter image back to the upper right-hand corner of the design.

In an attempt to envision color variations, I changed the keyboard to a transparent blue and the color of the small typewriter to a transparent red. This alteration compelled me to change the small typewriter to red for balance and experiment with its size and position.

Continuing to primarily work in the top half of the composition, I experimented with the color of the gallery’s name by changing it to red; consequently, increasing contrast and prominently displaying important information. During this change, I altered the small typewriter back to gray.

Final-A5 Final-A6 Final-A7
Final-A8 Final-A9

Final-A10In another version, I returned the left keyboard to its original red while adjusting the size, scale and baseline of the date’s font. I reduced the small typewriter so the entire image fit within the margins of the composition. Moving to the bottom of the poster, I adjusted the leading and horizontal scale of the address and phone number, as well as the positioning of the text and small laptop image.

My last variation was to include a background color: #E0E0E0 – otherwise known as Gray88.


To prepare for my final execution, I documented my font details and removed the supporting text from my images.

Dates:  Gill Sans MT, Bold, 25 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 200% vertical scale, 120% horizontal scale, 12 pt baseline shift
@: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 23 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale
the: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 30 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, left aligned
Gallery: Trashed, Regular, 30 pt, Smooth, #ff3333, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, left aligned
~sub-font: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 30 pt, Smooth, #ff3333, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, left aligned
Tag-line: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 20 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 175% horizontal scale, centered
FREE: Gill Sans MT, Bold, 20 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 175% horizontal scale, left aligned
Century: Century, Regular, 100 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, left aligned (“C” = #ff3333)
100 Years: Century, Regular, 50 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, centered
of Type: Century, Regular, 50 pt, Smooth, #000000, 50 pt leading, 160% horizontal scale, centered (“Type” = #ff3333)
Design: Century, Regular, 70 pt, Smooth, #ff3333, 70 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, centered
URL: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 20 pt, Smooth, #ff3333, 30 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, left aligned
Street: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 25 pt, Sharp, #000000, 30 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, centered
City: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 25 pt, Sharp, #000000, 30 pt leading, 132% horizontal scale, centered
Telephone: Gill Sans MT, Regular, 20 pt, Sharp, #000000, 30 pt leading, 148% horizontal scale, centered
Hours: Gill Sans MT, Bold, 30 pt, Smooth, #000000, 30 pt leading, 120% horizontal scale, centered
~details: Gill Sans MT, Bold, 25 pt, Smooth, #000000, 30 pt leading, 111% horizontal scale, centered

Removed Text

Last minute editsSome last minute edits included lightening the two laptop images from 50% transparency to 75% and changing the text of the gallery hours, address and phone number to white again. A final TIF was exported to allow the poster to be completed with InDesign. Adding the address and phone number with a different application required some adjustments to the characters and paragraphs: obviously, the font color was adjusted to #ffffff and the entire textbox was justified, to mimic its original configuration with the exception of the phone number. “New York City” was given a 2 point baseline shift to properly position the line of text within the font space.

Presentation BoardOnce the poster was ready to be printed on a large sheet of paper, the black presentation board was trimmed to 12” x 16” and the excess paper was removed from the poster so the final dimensions measured 10” x 14”.

Supplies and full print Poster trimmed to size

Secured with Rubber CementI utilized rubber cement to secure my print on its backboard and smoothed the design by placing a protective piece of paper over the poster and rubbing a drafting triangle across its surface, starting from the center and systematically moving to the edges.

The last feature to include was the protective flap of tracing paper, attached from the back of the presentation board by tape and trimmed at the edges on a 45 degree angle.

Flapped Project Clean Backing Project Mounted

Final Poster

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State Stamp


Project #2: State Stamp


Start with Process Book and develop ideas. Always include the following:

  • Find examples of at least 20 stamps
  • Create at least 15 sketches
  • Color Studies (Explore color for tone, mood and focal point creation)
  • Create 2 high-end drafts of three most promising sketches
  • Refine best stamp idea for final
  • Analysis
  • Final

Save as a Portable Document File (PDF) and submit with final project.


The project will be executed in Adobe Illustrator

  • Instructor will assign you a state
  • Required Elements:
    • Numerals “49” or the word “Forever” and “USA”
    • Title (optional)
    • Year
  • Color mode – CMYK for Print
  • SIZE: 6.5″ X 4” (horizontal only)
  • Copy the stamp, reduce to 1.625″ x 1,” then make 2 more copies
  • When designing consider:
    • Composition
    • Typography
    • Color
    • Visual Image & Slogan
  • Develop the sketches into vector images with color
  • Finalize your most promising idea
  • Both large and reduced stamp will be mounted on 10 x 12” black board with tracing paper flap

Project Dimensions


Produce and submit two rough ideas for the critique discussion.


The final design will be mounted black board with tracing paper flap sheet. You must have at least three drafts included with your final project.

North Carolina Stamp


First in FlightMy investigation into the Tar Heel State, or Old North State, began with some generalizations and stereotypes of the state. It’s official motto is “Esse quam videri: “To be, rather than to seem” but most know North Carolina as the “First in Flight” state, thanks to the Wright brothers famous first powered flight at Kitty Hawk.

CardinalThe state bird of North Carolina is the cardinal, which it shares with Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia; similarly, the state flower -the American Dogwood- is shared with Virginia. The state wildflower, however, is the Carolina lily.

American DogwoodThe North Carolina flag is red, white and blue with gilt (yellow) letters and banners. The official salute to the flag reads: “I salute the flag of North Carolina and pledge to the Old North State love, loyalty, and faith.”

State Flag


My next research step included collecting samples of previous stamps featuring North Carolina along with an example of the state seal.

Sample 1 Sample 2
Sample 3 Sample 4 State Seal

Included in my research were some stamps from other states and even other countries.

More Samples


My initial thumbnails focused on the Wright brothers’ first aircraft designs that actually flew. The state bird and flower were scattered across some of these designs to add variety and balance. Alternative designs included varying depictions of lighthouses, the state flag, the Smoky Mountains, the North Carolina Tar Heels logo and even an outline of the states’ borders. Examples of a stamp with only the dogwood flowers and only a cardinal in flight were also included as possibilities.


Type Studies:

My typeface research started with a couple common fonts such as Garamond and Times New Roman. I also decided to experiment with some special fonts such as Viper Nora, Sidewalk and Trashed. I examined each font in a large sample and one-quarter the test size to mimic actual stamp proportions.

Type Studies

Color Studies:

The colors I experimented with varied between each rough draft based on the subject matter of the images incorporated.


My first rough draft originated from the Smoky Mountains sketch. Beginning from the farthest element, the sky, my color palette ranged from a light yellow and pink to a multitude of grays.

  • #F9F9DF – Sky
  • #E6D2D3 – Clouds
  • #F3F3F4 – Mountain One
  • #E7E8E9 – Mountain Two
  • #BDBEC0 – Mountain Three
  • #939598 – Mountains Four & Five
  • #6D6E71 – Mountain Six
  • #3A3A3C – Mountain Seven

The font type utilized for this first sample was Viper Nora by pOPdOG fONTS . The title, stamp value, state abbreviation and USA were sized to 36 points while the year was reduced to 14 points. The title was rendered as light gray (#E6E7E8) and the year slightly darker (#A7A9AC). The rest of the text on the stamp was a very dark gray (#231F20), almost black.

Rough 1

My second version of the Smoky Mountains used more colors from my inspirational image.

  • #F8F5AB – Sky
  • #FCC597 – Cloud One
  • #C99A95 – Cloud Two
  • #FCC695 – Cloud Three
  • #F6B097 – Cloud Four
  • #A59096 – Mountain One
  • #65637B – Mountain Two
  • #494A67 – Mountain Three
  • #5B5B76 – Mountains Four & Five
  • #1F283F – Mountain Six
  • #09090A – Mountain Seven

The font type utilized for this sample was Trashed by Gyom Seguin. The title, stamp value, state abbreviation and USA were still sized to 36 points and the year was again reduced to 14 points. All of the text in this version was black (#000000) and white (#FFFFFF).

Rough 2

My second rough draft consisted of a combination of two previous sketches. It included an outline of the state’s borders with a background of the state flag general design. Beginning with pastel versions of the flag’s red and blue, I offset the white with pure black text.

  • #DC8E7F – Powder Red
  • #7E7C9E – Powder Blue
  • #FFFFFF – White
  • #000000 – Black

The font type utilized for this example was Sidewalk by Segments Design. The state name was sized to 24 points and the class, value and USA were sized to 12 points. Finally, the year was reduced to 8 points and rotated 90 degrees.

Rough 3

My second version of the flag utilized a bold red and blue as well as the gilt, or yellow, which is also present in the state flag.

  • #C02033 – Bold Red
  • #202F64 – Bold Blue
  • #FFF200 – Gilt Yellow
  • #FFFFFF – White
  • #000000 – Black

Rough 4

The font size and style remained the same as the first version – Sidewalk by Segments Design – but this time the state name was white with black accents; the class and USA were red with a white border and the stamp value was blue with a white border. The year remained unchanged.

My third rough draft was another combination of previous sketches. This time I incorporated a lighthouse scene with a beach foot-bridge with North Carolina’s state flower: the dogwood. This model encompassed many more colors and effects than the previous two attempts including a flare of light.

  • #FBB040 – Sky Gradient Right
  • #FCF9D2 – Sky Gradient Center
  • #FFDE17 – Sky Gradient Left
  • #27AAE1 – Water Gradient Right
  • #2E3192 – Water Gradient Left
  • #FAE5B2 – Beach
  • #F7ECD9 – Bridge One
  • #E5D5BE – Bridge Two
  • #D6C2AD – Bridge Three
  • #C7B29D – Bridge Four
  • #B29C88 – Bridge Five
  • #937962 – Bridge Six
  • #000000 – Bridge Seven
  • #9B9057 – Flower One
  • #737145 – Flower Two
  • #847722 – Flower Three
  • #746F44 – Flower Four
  • #CAAD68 – Flower Five
  • #BCA465 – Flower Six
  • #C8B56F – Flower Seven
  • #996632 – Flower Eight
  • #A0A1A3 – Flower Nine
  • #FFFFFF – Flower Ten

The font type chosen for this specimen was Garamond Bold in pure black (#000000). The class and value of the stamp were sized to 36 points with a white (#FFFFFF) border while the USA and year were reduced to 20 points with no border with the year rotated 90 degrees.

Rough 5

My second version of the lighthouse stamp simply changed the font from Garamond to Times New Roman and darkened all the hues of the design.

Rough 6


I needed to narrow my design choices down to a final draft, so I chose to investigate a couple strong designs further.

My first choice was to utilize the second version of the second design: the bold flag composition with the state outline. I needed to choose an alternative font, however, since the first experiments were illegible after being reduced to the size of a postage stamp.

I started with changing the Sidewalk font to a more traditional Times New Roman, as this was the font I liked most on my lighthouse design. For the value and class of the stamp, I adjusted the size to 26 points, bold, with a yellow fill and a half point stroke and centered the line of text across the top of the image. USA was also yellow with a black border, but at a bold 16 points. The year was a solid black, bold, 12 point font and the state name was a mixture of 48 point first letters and 24 point text in a bold, black font.

Final 1

Just to be thorough, I wanted to experiment with Garamond, as well. For the value and class of the stamp, I adjusted the size to 28 points, bold, and kept the yellow fill and half point stroke. The line of text remained centered across the top of the image. USA stayed yellow with a black border, but at a bold 18 points. The year stayed a solid bold, black, 12 point font and the state name was still a mixture of 48 points for the first letters and 24 point text in a bold, black font.

Final 2

Interestingly enough, I ended up liking the Garamond version better than the Times New Roman.

One last experiment was due: a lighthouse version that focused solely on the lighthouse. Not only did I enlarge and add details to the lighthouse itself, I removed and rearranged other elements such as the dogwood flowers and foot-bridge. The skyline banner was enlarged along with the abstract beach and the water was extended completely off the edges of the image and manipulated to flow organically within the piece.

The lighthouse was changed from a generic, small, unrecognizable object in the background to the main focus of the composition based on Cape Hatteras Light: a lighthouse located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks in the town of Buxton, North Carolina which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The font family remained Times New, bold and in pure black (#000000) with a thin white (#FFFFFF) stroke. The class and value of the stamp were sized to 26 points in white and moved to the bottom, left-hand corner. The USA and year were reduced to a bold 12 points. The stamp title was added to the top, right-hand corner in a bold 48 point black font with a 1 point white stroke. The light flare was also repositioned and enlarged.

Final 3


Final DraftBased on the lighthouse version I redesigned as a final draft, I tweaked the image a little more before printing a master copy. I enlarged the year and USA to 18 points, removed the stroke from the title and added “NC” to the title, along with a comma. The comma, however, was reduced to 26 points to eliminate the distracting qualities it comprised when it was at a full 48 point font.

I printed the final composition on glossy premium inkjet photo paper and trimmed them with extra border for mounting. The large image included a quarter-inch border and the small images incorporated an eighth of an inch border. My black presentation board was carefully cut to 10” x 12” with a utility knife in a three-stroke process against a metal ruler.

Printed and Trimmed Mounted

Once mounted with rubber cement, a rubber cement eraser was used to clean up the edges of the images and a white Mars Plastic eraser was utilized to clean smudges from the glossy paper. The flap was attached a half of an inch to the back of the presentation board and measured to reach the bottom of the composition, neat and square.

Flap Attachment Flapped


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Animal Icon Set


Project #1: Animal Icon Set


Start with Process Book and develop ideas. Always include the following:

  • Find examples of simple icons
  • Complete at least 6 thumbnail sketches of each icon for a total of 36 sketches
  • Refinement of icons
  • Multiple design studies using positive and negative space
  • 3 Digital Drafts of each icon
  • Analysis and Refinements
  • Final

Save as a Portable Document File (PDF) and submit with final project.


The project will be executed in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Create 6 icons which represent different animals
  2. Use just one color
  3. Each icon needs to use both negative and positive space effectively
  4. Keep the designs simple, stylized and refine your sketches into a polished vector file
  5. Each icon should be housed in a square, circle, or other shape with approximate proportions
  6. Use good craftsmanship in the presentation of your work
  7. The icons should be arranged on 8″x 10″ document with trim marks added
  8. Each final icon should be 2” x 2” with .25” space between each
  9. The document should printed on 8.5″x 11 paper and trimmed to 8” x 10”
  10. The page should be mounted centered on a 10” x 12” black board

Project Dimensions


Produce and submit three rough ideas for the critique discussion.


Add a flap to the black board. You must have at least three drafts included with your final project.

Mythical Icons


I began my research based on the broad category of mythical and fantasy creatures and created a simple list of possible subjects:

  • Unicorn
  • Cyclops
  • Centaur
  • Pegasus
  • Dragon
  • Hydra
  • Phoenix
  • Loch Ness Monster
  • Griffin
  • Minotaur

The Cyclops and centaur seemed too human and not enough animal, so they were removed from further investigation. I then found classic images of the remaining selections that depicted typical characteristics of each creature.

Loch Ness MonsterGriffinMinatour


Each thumbnail sketch needed to be comprised of the most recognizable characteristics of each animal; so, I listed each feature that would allow the creature in question to be instantly identifiable.

  • Unicorn: Horse with horn
  • Dragon: Lizard with wings
  • Pegasus: Horse with wings
  • Hydra: Multi-headed lizard
  • Phoenix: Bird on fire
  • Loch Ness Monster: Sea-serpent
  • Griffin: Head of an eagle, body of a lion, wings
  • Minotaur: Humanoid with head of a bull

Once again, I decided to eliminate the creature that seemed a little too human-like: the Minotaur. I still had more than the 6 required animals but I wanted to sketch each of the remaining 7 creatures to get an idea of which 6 would lend themselves best to my final icon sets.

Unicorn SketchesDragon Sketches
Phoenix SketchesLoch Ness SketchesPegasus Sketches
Hydra SketchesGriffin Sketches

Next, I sketched each creature with the intent of simplifying the designs into logo-like compositions. Some symbols resembled the earlier sketches and some were new variations.

Unicorn Logos     Dragon Logos
Phoenix Logos     Loch Ness Logos     Pegasus Logos
Hydra Logos     Griffin Logos


Before creating digital rough drafts, I dropped one last subject: the griffin. Then I took each of my remaining creatures and picked two or three to digitize. On my last set, I chose to depict both a dark version and a light version.

Unicorn 1 Dragon 1 Pegasus 1 Hydra 1
Phoenix 1 Loch Ness 1 Unicorn 2 Dragon 2
Pegasus 2 Hydra 2 Phoenix 2 Loch Ness 2
Unicorn 3 Dragon 3 Pegasus 3 Hydra 3
Phoenix 3 Loch Ness 3 Unicorn 4 Dragon 4
Pegasus 4 Hydra 4 Phoenix 4 Loch Ness 4

Since the final would be complied in two inch squares, I designed the template and utilized it for each draft by adding one version of each animal to each grid.

Rough Group 1       Rough Group 2
Rough Group 3       Rough Group 4


As the final piece was to be comprised of one version of each creature, not only would the best design of each be chosen but each icon would need to contribute to the overall gestalt of the composition. To that end I started by choosing my favorite symbols and arranged them accordingly.

Final 1       Final 2
Final 3       Final 4

In the first set, the symbol was not obvious enough to represent the Pegasus and in the second set the mix between dark and light icons was unbalanced. The third set attempted to utilize all dark, bold symbols but lacked variety and the fourth set included images that didn’t live up to the professionalism of their counterparts.

Final SetFinally, I settled on lighter icons that would complement each other in the completed project. By rearranging the phoenix and hydra’s positions, a unity was developed between the center images within the grid. Similarly, by reflecting the dragon, Pegasus, hydra and Loch Ness icons, harmony was created and the composition created movement between each animal. Lastly, the hydra was lightened from its original dark icon.


To complete my project, I printed my final composition on 8.5”x11” glossy premium inkjet photo paper and then trimmed it down to 8”x10” with an X-acto knife. I cut a 10”x12” piece of black presentation board with a utility knife and fastened the photo paper to the presentation board with rubber cement.

Project SuppliesProject MountedOnce dry, I cleaned the edges of the piece with a rubber cement eraser. A flap of tracing paper was attached behind the board with a half-inch, tapered overlap along the top edge of the project to protect and display the final work.Project Flap

Mythical Icons

Mythical Icons

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April Greiman: A New Realm of Dynamic Space

At the time of this writing, April Greiman is sixty-five years old and has been designing for over thirty-seven years. She has been recognized as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool and with popularizing the New Wave approach to typography in the United States originally fathered by Wolfgang Weingart.

April GreimanGreiman was born in New York City in 1948 and raised in a domestic atmosphere that encouraged her originality, challenged her to question everything and stimulated her aspiration for exploration. She was raised to have a questioning and curious attitude and find adventure in life. Neighbors called her family, “The Flying Greimans” because they were always looking up, searching for interesting phenomena and traveling by air. It is no doubt that young April took a lot from her parents as a young child into adulthood and applied this learned attitude into her work and life (Lutz).

Greiman began her college studies at the Rhode Island School of Design but quickly moved to Missouri in 1966 where she studied graphic design at the Kansas City Art Institute and earned her undergraduate degree in 1970. April continued her studies at the Allgemeine Künstgewerberschule Basel, now known as the Basel School of Design, in Basel, Switzerland between 1970 and 1971 (McCoy).

Visual CommunicationsIn 1976, Greiman moved to Los Angeles and established her approach of rejecting the belief that computers and digitalization would compromise the International Style by exploiting pixilation and other digital errors as integral parts of digital art. By 1982, she became head of the design department at the California Institute of the Arts and in 1984 Greiman lobbied successfully to change the department name to Visual Communications, as she felt the term “graphic design” would prove too limiting to future designers (AIGA).

Graphic Design Talk said it best when they summarized some of Greiman’s work by saying:

Together with her studio “Made in Space”, she founded ”Gremanski Labs”, which is considered in her own words,” a laboratory dedicated to experiment and exploration.”   Starting with her 1987 Design Quarterly #133 magazine to today public art commissions for the city of Los Angeles, Greiman hasn’t stop searching new ways to present her art. Her work expanded beyond works on paper to a combination of graphic design, video, computer graphics, architecture and environment.

Made in SpaceIn the early 1970s, Wolfgang Weingart commented, “April Greiman took the ideas developed at Basel in a new direction, particularly in her use of color and photography. All things are possible in America!” (Meggs). Inspired by the New Wave typography which started in the early 1960s, Greiman advanced the application of new and intriguing layout principles while simultaneously creating a bridge to the retro and vernacular designs of the 1980s.

While Greiman made groundbreaking advances to the periodical format by introducing a fold-out layout for posters with her issue #133 of the influential Design Quarterly magazine, her outstanding poster for the California Institute of the Arts truly epitomizes her concept of merging graphic design with photography.

In collaboration with photographer Jayme Odgers in 1979, Greiman revolutionized design by introducing graphic elements within a photographic space; thus, creating a dynamic image with extreme depth and width, allowing objects to occupy peripheral space by the use of wide-angle photography. Typography plays a minimal part in this particular piece, although the readable text is important: the name of the institution and an abbreviation of the same – each placed on the far edges of the design, essentially containing the talent depicted between.

Color is scattered across the image in several primary forms. Flesh tones represent warm reds and yellows while several instances of cool blue appear in sky images. Orange is the only real secondary color that appears on a regular basis. Most of the composition is black, white and shades of gray. The lightest areas almost washout in the white while stark, dark blacks and deep grays make smaller objects stand out and move forward, even from the background of the design. Objects overlap in unrealistic ways, allowing the eye to continuously move from within the image to the border and outside of the composition.


Graphic elements within a photographic space

Repeated patterns also establish movement as do the repeated colors. Some individual objects are vertical while others float or are diagonally situated within the image. Square elements balance with round objects and curved lines while jagged edges are tempered by organic features.

Design Quarterly

Greiman furthered the New Wave movement and continues to influence the perception of typography, graphic design and photography while feeding from past movements and inspiring new styles. Psychedelia was symbolic of the 1960s in America and particularly in California. The form mirrored the anti-establishment attitudes of the age of “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Psychedelic design found its true format in the Day-Glo poster as it rejected any formal structure. Psychedelia inspired the spirit of many of the New Wave design basics and could be considered a loose predecessor of the movement. Pop Art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist’s use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is parallel with fine art. Pop removes the material from its original context and isolates the object, or combines it with other objects. Pop art often took as its imagery whatever was currently in use in advertising. Product logos and labels were prominent in the imagery chosen by pop artists such as Andy Warhol. Pop Art and Minimalism are considered to be the precursors to Postmodernism which began as New Wave and is contradictory to the structure of Modernism but, interestingly enough, began with the designers of the Swiss International Style. Post-modernism and New Wave challenged and departed from what was perceived as too much of an emphasis on pure formalism and functionalism. In a postmodern design, typography was pushed beyond its traditional norms of legibility. In the 1980s, Punk was an American graphic style that represented a youthful attempt at rebellion. New Wave AprilIt was a manifestation of Postmodernism in which imagery often emulated comic book art (RIT).

April Greiman continuously asks herself some basic questions, such as: “Am I taking enough risk?”, “Do I explore the unknown?” and “Can people learn and grow from what I make?” While the answer to all three seems to be a resounding “yes”, the answer could be different if she wasn’t always wondering those exact queries. April said it best herself by stating, “I’ll always be designing. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am!”

Works Cited

Lutz, Rebecca. Designer Spotlight: April Greiman, The Queen of Chance. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2014. <http://rebeccalutz.com/april-greiman/>.

McCoy, Katherine, High Ground Design. American Graphic Design Expression: The Evolution of American Typography, Design Quarterly 149, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1990, pp. 3-22. Print.

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts). Medalists: April Greiman. 2 January 2011. Web. 28 June 2014. <http://www.aiga.org/medalist-aprilgreiman/>.

Graphic Design Talk. April Greiman. Does it Make Sense? N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2014. <http://alechagraphicdesigntalk.wordpress.com/history_of_graphic_desigh/april-greiman-does-it-make-sense/>.

Meggs, Philip B., and Alston W. Purvis. “Graphic Design and the Industrial Revolution”. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. 5th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, 2012. . Print.

RIT Graphic Design Archive. Movements. N.p, n.d. Web. 28 June 2014. <http://library.rit.edu/gda/movements>.

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The Last Tree

Visual TitleI designed a poster in the Futurist typography style around the lyrics of an original poem: The Last Tree. First, I drew the focus point of the poster, the title, in the form of a typical tree silhouette in Adobe Flash with a VisTablet. I then transferred the image to a black background in Photoshop where I began adding the stanzas of the prose. The first stanza I arched with a left alignment and a fifty percent bend and placed it in the upper, left-hand corner of the poster. The second stanza was placed below and to the right of the first and was also configured with a left alignment but consisted of a negative fifty percent bend. Both stanzas were rotated to the left so that they would complement each other and add movement to the composition. It could be interpreted as whipping wind or the physical manifestation of a toxic storm generated by a nuclear war. Some may even infer a symbolic rain of destruction and desolation based on the social commentary of the poem. The third and final stanza was placed below the illustrated title, given a negative fifty percent bend and center aligned.

Black Background First Stanza Second Stanza

Third Stanza Background Image Negative Text

Additional elements were added in the spirit of DaDa beginning with a larger, colorized tree image at twenty-five percent opacity. This effect enhances interest and creates further movement to the design, allowing the eye to wonder, before or after reading the text. Another component included to occupy large negative space involved the recurrence of all three stanzas in black font with an outer glow and reduced to twenty-five percent opacity. Each was adjusted by bend and/or alignment to fit its new space and placed within the composition in such a way that some of the script ran off the edges of the poster. This writing is not meant to be read but to increase repetition and balance the overall image. Lastly, a light glow of a border was included to delicately frame the piece.

The Last Tree: A Dada Project

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The Last Tree

Art Nouveau

WireframeTree of Life

I started my Art Nouveau Tree of Life by drawing the trunk in an organic, flowing style. Next, I added branches, progressively thinning the width of each as they extend beyond the tree trunk. By inserting the ground in the same flowing manner, I effectively produced a limited depth perspective without drifting from my original style. To complete my initial design, I decorated my tree branches with curving, round leaves and fruits nearly indistinguishable from each other but identifiable by their placement within the composition.


Organic, flowing trunk Progressively thinning branches Limited depth perspective ground Curving, round leaves & fruits

Elements with unique colors

By giving each element a unique color, I visually separated the components of my design and could concentrate on the background. My first choice was a natural gradient of sky-blue and a pastel green (which, when seen with the maroon ground lines create an illusion of an earthy brown). My second and third versions modified my organic elements to create partially solid portions within the composition. The third style took advantage of a split background pattern divided between the imaginary horizon to further define the sky and ground.

Sky-blue and pastel-green background         Partially solid organic elements

Split background pattern

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Futurism: the Birth of Modern Art

Filippo Tommaso MarinettiIn the early 20th century, a social movement began that changed the perception of the world, art, technology and modern life. It emphasized and glorified speed, the automobile, the airplane and the industrialized metropolis. Youth, violence and revolution were major themes and its founder, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, promised destruction, war and injustice.

Marinetti (22 December 1876 – 2 December 1944), born in Alexandria, Egypt, was the bastard son of a lawyer, Enrico, and his lover, Amalia Grolli (Berghaus). His affection for literature was developed young and influenced greatly by his mother who was an enthusiastic poetry admirer. He studied in Egypt, Paris and Italy to become a lawyer, like his father, but decided instead to pursue a career in literature. He based his literary work out of France but traveled frequently to Italy and wrote in both languages for an Italian–French magazine in Milan.

Futurist ManifestoIn 1909 Marinetti wrote his Futurist Manifesto which established Futurism as a revolutionary movement which voiced enthusiasm for war, the machine age, speed and modern life. In addition, it shocked the public by proclaiming that they would “destroy museums, libraries, and fight against moralism, feminism, and all utilitarian cowardice.” (Meggs). What Marinetti described as the “first will and testament to all the living men on earth” was bulleted as the following:

  1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.
  2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt.
  3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist.
  4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath … a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
  5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.
  6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
  7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.
  8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed.
  9. We want to glorify war — the only cure for the world — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.
  10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.
  11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds. (Joll).

Fortunato DeperoWhile occupied on creating a collection of poems praising the wartime accomplishments of the Decima Flottiglia MAS (10th Assault Vehicle Flotilla) in Bellagio on December 2nd,1944, Marinetti died of cardiac arrest.

An influential contributor to the Futurism movement was Fortunato Depero (March 30, 1892 – November 29, 1960), an Italian painter, sculptor and writer. He is also well known for his work as a graphic designer and produced a dynamic body of work in poster, typographic and advertising design (Meggs).

Depero FuturistaDepero was born in the Italian Trentino region near Fondo and Malosco but grew up in Rovereto, to the south-west. It was in Rovereto that he first began displaying his work as a sculptor while working as an apprentice to a marble worker. Eventually, he made his way to New York and between September of 1928 and October 1930, Depero designed magazine covers for Vanity Fair, Movie Makers and Sparks, among others (Meggs).

Text formed into various shapesDepero attended Scuola Reale Elisabettina, a school that targeted the development of technical specialization and applied arts, along with other notable artists such as Luciano Baldessari, Fausto Melotti, Umberto Maganzini, Lionello Fiumi, Tullio Garbari and Carlo Belli. It was here that Depero created some of his finest artistic works (Stylepark).

In 1927, Depero published his Depero Futurista, a compilation of typographical experiments, advertisements and tapestry designs. This publication became the precursor of the modern artist’s book. Bound together with two bolts, this tome is considered a manifesto of the Machine Age. Within its pages, even more innovation was waiting to be discovered, such as the use of different typefaces, the text formed into various shapes, the use of different papers and colors, and several other typographic inventions (Colophon).

Use of different typefacesBoth Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Fortunato Depero changed the world of art and social perceptions of their time. Marinetti’s contribution being quite obvious: founding the movement of Futurism and, through his enthusiasm, leading its followers into the future. Despero invented the artist’s book, a creative expression publ shed by the artist independent of the publishing establishment (Meggs). These visionaries, along with many others, are responsible for such further movements including Art Deco, Surrealism, Dada and Constructivism. It is safe to say that Futurism was an influence on the modern art world and all of its decedents!

Works Cited

Berghaus, Günther. “F.T. Marinetti (1876-1944): A Life Between Art and Politics”. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006. Print.

Meggs, Philip B., and Alston W. Purvis. “Graphic Design and the Industrial Revolution”. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. 5th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, 2012. . Print.

Joll, James. Three Intellectuals in Politics. New York: Pantheon Books, 1961 / 1960. Print.

Stylepark, “Fortunato Depero (1892-1960).” Fortunato Depero. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.stylepark.com/en/designer/fortunato-depero>.

Colophon, “Italian Futurist Books.” Italian Futurist Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/1.html>.

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George Eastman

George Eastman“Eastman is known as the man who brought the joy of photography to millions around the world” (GEH). By introducing the general public to his Kodak camera in 1888, George Eastman gave ordinary citizens the ability to document their lives and experiences with fixed images of themselves and their loved ones. The personal, handheld Kodak camera was an invention without precedent and effectively etched his name in the history books as the father of modern photography. (Meggs)

Eastman was born in Waterville, New York on July 12th, 1854. His father worked two jobs to make ends meet: primarily teaching bookkeeping and penmanship, he also sold fruit trees and roses. By working so many hours and running between Waterville and Rochester, young George was raised mostly by his mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman. His father died in 1862 and his mother raised him and his sisters alone until 1870 when his older sister, Katie, died of polio. (Lindsay)

The Eastman Dry-Plate CompanyAs a young man, Eastman procured a camera for a trip he never took but the event started him on a lifelong love affair with photography. Initially, he found the cost, awkwardness and weight of the photographic outfit needed serious improvements. Eastman started experimented with simple ways to develop negatives involving gelatin emulsions and by 1880 he had invented and patented a dry-plate coating machine.

The Eastman Dry Plate Company was formed in 1881 with the financial backing of Henry Strong, Eastman and Strong. In 1884, they reincorporated as the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company as they produced and patented rollable film as an alternative to the long-standing, but clumsy, glass negative.

The Eastman Kodak CompanyEastman conceived the word “Kodak” as a distinguishing name that would be considered strong, short and unique. The word would also need to meet foreign trademark laws. In Elizabeth Brayer’s biography of George Eastman, she noted some quotes by Eastman himself describing why he chose the name Kodak for his portable camera:

He liked the letter “K” because it was “strong and incisive… firm and unyielding”. It was pronounced the same in every language, and it was the first letter of his mother’s family name. Registered as a trademark on 4 September 1888, Eastman later explained the word’s merits to the British Patent Office: “First: It is short. Second: It is not capable of mispronunciation. Third: It does not resemble anything in the art and cannot be associated with anything in the art except the Kodak.” (Brayer)

Philanthropist, Businessman, AdventurerThe Eastman Kodak Company was founded in 1892 by Eastman and was one of the first companies to mass-produce standardized cinematography equipment. The Brownie camera was introduced in 1900 and was a modest cardboard box that took small, 2 ¼-inch square pictures. By being so simple and inexpensive, the Brownie was a camera for the masses that anyone could use. Kodak adopted the slogan “You push the button, we do the rest.”, which essentially summed up the uncomplicatedness of its design in a catchy phrase that, in turn, described the process of returning the first cameras back to the company for their film development.

Eastman was a great philanthropist, a successful businessman and an adventurer, at heart. His obvious achievements in the photographic arena and his influence on modern filmmaking and great strides at perfecting photo development would be enough to ensure his place in history; however, Eastman was also generous to a fault. He donated almost $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $625 thousand to the Mechanics Institute (the Rochester Institute of Technology) and roughly $2 million each to the Tuskegee Institute and the Hampton Institute. Near the end of his life, Eastman traveled extensively. Two notable trips were to Kenya in 1926, between March and October, and to Uganda in 1928.

By 1930, Eastman was in considerable pain from a condition diagnosed as a form of degenerative disease affecting his spine and he had trouble standing. Over the next two years, he grew progressively more depressed due to this intense discomfort and reduced capacity to function and on March 14, 1932, Eastman committed suicide with a single gunshot through the heart, leaving a note which read: “My work is done. Why wait?” Eastman was buried at Kodak Park in Rochester, New York on the grounds of the company he founded forty years earlier.

Father of modern photographyWhile Eastman considered his work done, his company lives on and has revolutionized the photograph, the negative development, modern filmmaking. From early 1880 when a young George leased the third floor of a building on State Street in Rochester, New York where he began manufacturing dry plates to his invention of roll film, the basis for the creation of motion picture film, five years later, Eastman was destined to change the world of photography. A mere three years later, the first model of the Kodak camera was introduced to the public and it only took Eastman a year to form the Eastman Company A driven visionary, George Eastman pushed the Eastman Kodak Company of New York into the 1990’s by producing the Brownie, color film, instant cameras and digital cameras. (Ackerman)

If it hadn’t been for George Eastman, our world could very well be a much less colorful and documented place to live. Today we enjoy truly instant image reproductions by way of the internet, digital cameras and applications that share our images around the globe in nanoseconds and all of this technology can be traced back to the “father of modern photography” who “brought the joy of photography to millions”.

Works Cited

Meggs, Philip B., and Alston W. Purvis. “Graphic Design and the Industrial Revolution”. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. 5th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, 2012. . Print.

Lindsay, David. The Wizard of Photography: The Story of George Eastman and How He Transformed Photography. People & Events. n.d. Web. 2 June, 2014. < http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eastman/peopleevents/pande02.html >.

Brayer, Elizabeth. “You Press the Button…” George Eastman: a Biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. . Print.

GEH. About George Eastman. George Eastman House Online. n.d. Web. 2 June, 2014. < http://www.eastmanhouse.org/collections/eastman/biography.php >.

Ackerman, Carl W.. George Eastman: founder of Kodak and the photography business. Washington, D.C.: BeardBooks, 20001930. Print.

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Butterfly Wallpaper

Barndt Butterflies

Raw ButterfliesMy butterfly pattern is in the style of the Arts and Crafts movement because it is an organic, simple design. I began with the butterfly, much like the repeated birds that frequent many of William Morris’ wallpaper textures. The added branches with their curving and flowing stems also depict a very natural and organic feeling, unlike the industrial numbness of alternative designs. By manipulating the edges of this base composition and mirroring the horizontal and vertical edges, a tiled pattern emerged. I experimented with several color combinations, beginning with a forest red and green and a brighter yellow, orange, pink on black then moving to a pure black and white version and ending with a lighter sky blue design on a pastel green background.

Forest red & green Yellow, orange, pink on black

Pure black & white Sky blue design on pastel green

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Illuminated Manuscript

An Illuminated Manuscript…

…is a document in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as ornamented initials, margins and miniature graphics. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript refers only to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver but, in both common usage and modern scholarship, the term is now used to refer to any decorated or illustrated manuscript.


I chose to illuminate a poem circa late 1980’s early 1990’s titled ‘Cross the Sky.

I began, as many of these documents do, with an elaborate, over-sized first letter and descending – yet still larger than the majority of the prose – text for the lines adjacent to said letter. I completed the first stanza with decreasing text dimensions until I reached the standard font size I would utilize for the remainder of the poem.

An elaborate, oversized first letter Descending text for the lines adjacent First stanza with decreasing text dimensions

Next, I added the second stanza but right-aligned it to produce a sense of movement within the piece. The third, and last, stanza was aligned back on the left, which balanced the text and centered the movement. Borders are a staple of the illuminated manuscript; so, I added stars around my poem.

Right-aligned second stanza Last stanza aligned back on the left Star border


To complete the decorative elements, I added a sun icon and fancy moon symbol to the white spaces next to the first two stanzas. I reserved the third white space for a field of tiny stars.

Sun Icon Moon SymbolField of tiny stars

This could be a finished product, however, color was a large part of the illumination process since all books, documents and manuscripts were already written in black ink. To include this effect, I started by simply adding color to the initial letter, some of the surrounding stars, the sun and even the last line of the poem.

Still, some decoration needed to be added to truly encompass the spirit of illumination; so, I replicated the moon, sun and stars and overlaid miniature versions on the initial letter to produce the ornamented embellishment well-known within classical illumination.

Adding color Replicated the moon, sun and stars Monogram

Finally, I added my initials to the star-field at the bottom of the work. This monogram is a principal element to fine art and the illuminated manuscript is no exception. In this case, the signature reveals not only the illuminator but also the author of the prose.

Illuminated Manuscript

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