This week, for my Advanced Typography class, our first assignment required us to look for letters in our everyday life and the environment around us, and collect photographs of all twenty-six letters in the alphabet from all different sources. At first, I wondered how I was going to get twenty-six different letters from signs, carvings, etc. and wasn’t sure how the project was going to help me with my typography skills in any way.
I started out on a sunny Sunday morning and drove around for a bit, stopping at signs here and there and taking photos of the various letters I could find. It was during this short road trip that I realized I was having a lot of fun. Seeking letters was not hard because they surround us even when we’re not paying attention to them. The fat D in a Dunkin Donuts sign, classic black letter type on the sign of a church, and decorative graffiti letters in so many different styles were beginning to make sense to me. They weren’t just letters—they all conveyed a mood, a style, and represented the building, business, or message that they stood for. It was a real eye opener and I now find myself noticing letters and type in places I never would have thought to before.
I think that just by noticing so many forms of type and putting them all together I will expand my horizons and begin thinking outside the box when I do my own hand lettering and typographic work. It has really helped me to gain more of an interest in typography too. I can’t wait to practice!