Week 1 – Brief Intro & Type Anatomy

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory – Dr. Seuss

Silo Park

For the past 3 years whilst I have been living in Auckland, Silo Park has become a significant place to me as it is somewhere within walking distance to my home. Silo Park has become somewhere I go to with family and friends to embrace the outdoor surroundings and simply release stress.

Mind Map

I constructed a mind map to collect my thoughts and feelings I have towards my chosen location. The ones that resonated the most to me are listed below.

  • Restraint/ Limitation
  • Movement
  • Growth/ Development
  • Disconnect
  • Reflect

Anatomy of Type

The ‘Anatomy of Type’ refers to the terms used to describe the characteristics of a typeface. Just like human anatomy these characteristics all have different functions and have an effect on how the typeface is perceived by viewers. A lot of research has been done in this area to establish optimal typefaces for accessibility and legibility, getting a perfect balance of these characteristics results in a very effective and legible font. Having a solid understanding of these characteristics will allow you identify issues with applied typefaces and help identify effective typefaces for your application.

The two typefaces I chose to compare were ‘Gill Sans’ and ‘Baskerville’, the most obvious difference between these two typefaces is the use of serifs. The decorative small strokes added to the end of longer strokes, these small touches add to the quality and elegance of the typeface. These can be seen in ‘Baskerville’ typeface in the form of ‘Foot Serif’ at the bottom of the letter ‘P’, on the terminal of the letter ‘F’ and on the ‘ear’ of the letter ‘G’. Other differences I noticed was the use of hairlines, parts of letter forms which are of smaller weight as can be seen outlined in the ‘Baskerville’ letter ‘W’. Comparing this to Gill Sans which keeps a consistent weight throughout. Something else I noticed was even though Gill Sans has no serifs it still makes use of ‘spurs’ which can be seen on the lowercase ‘a’ as a decorative flick.

I have always liked the ‘Cooper Black’ typeface mostly due to its heavy weight and ability to stand out yet the curves in the letter forms make it easy on the viewers eyes. I like the varying weights throughout the letters for examples the shape of the counters in the letter ‘G’ creates varying lines of thickness surrounding them. The chunkiness of the serifs gives the type a bit of a fun look without jeopardising the quality of the type.

Cooper Black is a fun and welcoming heavy typeface due to its small counters and chunky serifs. These characteristics also aid in the typefaces legibility and make it ideal for viewers with impaired vision. Its legibility and Art Nouvea influence were some of the reasons it was such a popular typeface in the 70’s.

Typeface Comparison

While researching I stumbled upon a cool tool which allows you to compare different typefaces either side-by-side or overlapping to easily distinguish their differing characteristics. Unfortunately the fonts I chose to compare were not available for selection in this tool. I think the over lapping view is effective for identifying differing weights and sizes between letters which when small can be hard to notice in a side-by-side view.

Roboto

PT Serif

Photographic Exploration

Above shows a series of photographs I have taken over the last 12 weeks during the process of this assignment. I have done various shoots at different times of the day and have fully immersed myself in this location. Doing a number of different shoots allowed me capture the location in different lights and with varying amounts of people, sometimes there were events on with lots of people around and some of my morning shoots I was able to capture the park completely empty.

Retrospective

My initial feelings that I had when thinking about my chosen place was the feeling of happiness but after thinking more deeply about what Silo Park truely means to me, I discovered more emotions beyond the surface. The feeling of restraint became a strong emotion attached to my place and I realised how different it is visiting a park when you’re no longer a child. I have found myself to now be more of an ‘observer’, I go to simply walk around the playground, activities or sit on a park bench. The nostalgic feelings are strong watching young children without a care in the world enjoying the playground. I have noticed with age the feeling of limitation and lack of freedom has also become a big factor in the emotions I feel towards this place. As a child a playground is somewhere I felt limitless and could do whatever I wanted, but as I grew up I quickly faced the harsh reality.

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