Tag Archives: Alphabet

More Alphabet Soup Please With Luscious Leaves

30 Nov

A previous post that was done back in October, talks of the Alphabet Soup task we had to do. One of the tasks I done was to illustrate three lines from a poem by Seamus Heaney:

The letters of the alphabet were trees,

The capitals were orchards in full bloom.

The lines of script like briars coiled in ditches.

I mentioned of digitizing the drawings, and I have finally got around to do them.  I’m most proud of the first one personally :3

Heart Grenades & Alphabet Soup

20 Oct

Since I haven’t got much this week, thought I’d do a bit of posting. It has again been a little while since I’ve last posted with work taking over, but I’ve finished the first projects from both Typography and Research & Reference.

For Typography, as you know, we had to make a punkzine based on a contemporary punk band, and I chose a band I was into when I was a teenager (still am a bit to this day): Green Day. The punkzine has to be in black and white as when it was produced at a broad scale, production costs were taken into account. It was originally made using images, typography etc stuck or drawn on to the zine and then photocopied to unify it.

Anyways, I planned it out as being A5, folded and cut from A3-A4, and stapled together. It consists of 20 sheets, and I am quite proud of it. The typography for the title (which I called Heart Grenade based on a well-known image from the band), is from one of their albums, Kerplunk!, called Green Days. Another typography, used for one of the mini posters, is another one used in another album, American Idiot, called Dirty Headline. The rest of the typography is done by my hand, making my style of writing more angular and ‘rock/punk-ish/scratchy’. A lot of my research came from Green Day Authority and albums I have at home.

Below is a slideshow of the whole Heart Grenade Punkzine*, with the first slide showing a page from the original copy, and the last slide showing an A3 poster that is meant to advertise the punkzine:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*Note: I made up the telephone number and website address, and apologies for the use of one bit of foul language in the zine and poster. It was needed for the project due to it being a name from one of the band’s albums.

So that’s it for Typography for now. Onto Research & Reference.

For this it is, as you know, Alphabet Soup, where we had to pick a couple of exercises to do. In the end I did five:

1. How would you illustrate these lines from a poem by Seamus Heaney:

The letters of the alphabet were trees,

The capitals were in full bloom.

The lines of script like briars coiled in ditches.

I illustrated the images by hand, but I may develop them a bit more and digitise them using actual typography. Research was conducted and shown in previous blog.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2.  Many letters were once pictures. Chinese characters began as animals, landscapes, even facial expressions. Here is the symbol for ‘middle‘. How does it illustrate its meaning? Invent a symbol for the following words: Around; Above; Argument.

I first researched on Chinese characters and came up with this:

Chinese Characters are graphemes used in writing Chinese (hanzi), Japanese (kanji), Korean (hanja) and Vietnamese (called han tu), as well as other languages. It is the oldest and continuously used writing system in the world.

The Chinese character symbol for ‘middle’ illustrated its meaning by having a line go down the rectangular-box shape in the middle of it, making each side equal in half. 

I then looked up on the etymology of the three words:

  1. Around = Middle English from a- (Old English a- (“on, at”)) + Middle English round (“circle, round”).
  2. Above = Old English abufan.
  3. Argument = Middle English < Anglo – Norman < Old French < Latin ‘argumentum’.

These are the symbols I produced for the three words:

The first symbol, around, was done in this way as I wanted to combine circle, and the movement of going around, almost in a spiral state.

The second, above, reminds me somewhat of a nose and mouth. But it was done displaying an arrow-like shape on top of a curved line.

The last one, argument, I took into account facial expressions that are formed in cartoons when anger is shown. The teeth tend to be gritted together or show pointed teeth, representing when an argument is getting a bit heated and people tend to hold back or shout out what they feel, giving the sense of the claws coming out (or something like that).

3. Create an anagram by playing around with the order of the letters in a word. Find words whose meaning completely changes when you take away a single letter.

Research was done on anagrams: Anagrams were a type of word play and were popular in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Known as “Themuru”, or changing, it was used to find the hidden meaning(s) in names.


Cow ~  – C  ~ Ow                  Brother ~  – r  ~ Bother        Hair ~  – H  ~ Air

Thatch ~  – T  ~ Hatch        Three ~  – h  ~ Tree               Ward ~  – d  ~ War

Lion ~  – L  ~ Ion                  Table ~ – T  ~ Able                Link ~  – L  ~ Ink

Plate ~  – P  ~ Late               Box ~  – B  ~ Ox                     Glass ~  – G  ~ Lass

Gears ~  – G  ~ Ears             Cause ~  – u  ~ Case              Tablet ~  – t  ~ Table

Taxi ~  – i  ~ Tax                   Cup ~  – C  ~ Up                     Down ~  – d  ~ Own

Shop ~  – S  ~ Hop               Niece ~  – e (1st)  ~ Nice       Mother ~  – M  ~ Other

Switch ~  – S  ~ Witch         Face ~  –  F  ~ Ace                   Sword ~  – S  ~ Word

I noticed that most of the words I found tend to rhyme with each other if a letter is removed from it.

4. What does typeface communicate? Find examples of typefaces that appear political, romantic, comic, childish, scientific etc.

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5. Think about the surfaces that letters can appear on. Find examples of letters stitched onto fabric, tattoed onto skin, shaved into hair, carved into a tree, written on a bus window, printed on a poster, glowing in a neon sign, etc. What does each different material do to the letter’s form and associations?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So that’s about it for the assignments. Off to bed now, it’s past midnight and it took me quite a while to do all those slideshows and sort out problems with uploading. It’s finally all done and I’m going to talk about the new assignments next time.

Anyways, g’night! ^_^