Interactive & Motion Research Typography & Print

Nature as a Mediator for Making: Data Visualizations of the Wind Recordings of Horn Island, Transformed and Reinterpreted Across Media

The natural environment encompasses all living and nonliving parts and systems that occur naturally in the world around us. As an observer and participant of the natural environment, I wonder how I might observe, participate, and collaborate with the environment and the natural systems occurring around me.

Exploring nature as a sort of mediator for making, I consider how systems of the natural environment might interact, overlap, and contribute to designed processes, introducing a certain unfamiliar or unknown variable into the making experience. This variable captures moments of movement, gesture, and pattern in nature, from the tangible to the intangible systems working all around us.

The results of this collaboration with nature are process-driven recordings of the natural forms and systems occurring at defined locations and times.

I view my recordings of nature as data visualizations or graphical interpretations of the landscapes and ecosystems of diverse and distinct places; they are the recordings of the experiences that take place and the interactions and exchanges that happen in-between, curated in such a way that we are able to observe and discern these natural systems through different mediums. With the primary investigation to explore form and artistic practice as a means for making unexpected solutions, these data visualizations are recorded, transformed, and reinterpreted across media and processes.

This series visualizes the movements, gestures, and patterns of the wind on Horn Island, Mississippi. Thinking about how the wind can be recorded visually as data using analog methods, I designed a drawing tool that recorded the wind onto a drawing surface over a duration of five days. This making experience, a collaboration with the natural environment, resulted in a series of 2-dimensional data visualizations; the data being the recordings of the wind on the island of Horn Island. The artifacts are captured moments of wind across location and time. The wind represents a function of time, the longer the duration of time on the drawing surface, the darker, and more saturated the marks become.

The next inquiry considered how creative technologies could be used to reimagine these 2D abstract data visualizations in other formats. After experiments of trial and error, working through design processes to critique, refine, edit solutions, I created multiple digital processes that resulted in 3D and 4D formats to transform and reinterpret the wind recordings.

The 3D formats explored static, analog solutions to reimagine the wind’s movements, gestures, and patterns. Working with 3D modeling software and 3D printers, the result was a series of object visualizations that extruded points of the 2D drawings into a 3D topographical representation. The object visualizations were rendered with the highest points representing the darkest areas of the original drawings, while the lowest points represented the lightest areas.

The 4D formats explored time-based, digital solutions to reimagine the wind’s movements, gestures, and patterns. Working with the open-source coding language, processing, the result was a series of dynamic visualizations that animated the points of the 2D drawings into a 3D orbital sequence. The dynamic visualizations were rendered with the largest variation in the z-axis, using a range of noise/randomness, to represent the lightest areas of the original drawings, while the smallest variation in the z-axis represented the darkest areas.

final thoughts
This body of work explores how nature can be a collaborator and mediator in making processes and artifacts to visualize and record natural ecosystems of diverse and distinct places. Each recording, transformation, and reinterpretation offer a different visual perspective of what we see and comprehend of these natural systems that operate all around us.

Horn Island series
Monday, May 21, 2018 — Friday, May 25, 2018
36 recordings total, wind drawings, marker on canvas
72 transformation and reinterpretations total, topographical 3D prints and digital animations

Typography & Print

Elements of Typography on the Letterpress

This summer I was excited to take a letterpress class. The course was taught by colleague, Eszter Augustine-Sziksz, printmaker and book arts professor at MCA. We focused on four primary techniques for printing with letterpress; pressure plates, polymer plates, movable type (wood and metal) and linotype blocks.

My focus for this class was to examine elements of typography on the press. I experimented with expressive typography, working with methods of repetition, pattern and reflection using letterforms from the typeface, Bodoni.

Bodoni is a 18th century Italian typeface designed by Giambattista Bodoni. The typeface can be classified as a modern style and is influenced by the art movement of Romanticism. Some characteristics of this typeface include rationally consistent forms and axis, abrupt, thin serifs (hairline serifs), round terminals, small apertures, and even stress.

Pressure Plate Prints

Pressure Plates can be made by laminating paper onto paper. In the examples below, I used yupo paper and PVA bookbinding glue to create my pressure plates. The results of this technique are “soft”.

Polymer Plates

Polymer plates can be made a few different ways. One way is to create a digital print on transparency paper. Another is to paint black acrylic on mylar paper. For either option, the pre-plate will be exposed to UV light where the negative space (where the UV light can pass through) will result in a “hard” polymer plate for the press. The result will be the reverse print. The plate below was created with black acrylic and mylar paper.

Linotype Block

The linotype block can be carved with wood carving tools. Like the polymer plate, your image should be the reversed for the letterpress.

Movable Type

You can set large type directly on the press or you can set small type in a composing stick and then set it on the press. Remember to face the knick up and away.

Below review the images from a student run letterpress workshop at MCA held earlier in the year. Currently, MCA is the only letterpress facility in Memphis – please contact continued education for information on adult letterpress classes.

Typography & Print

Silkscreen Lunar Calendars for sale on Etsy

Some colleagues and I thought it would be fun to create calendar designs for 2014. My design is a lunar calendar that diagrams the Earth and Moon’s orbit around the Sun.

Design Description

This lunar calendar diagrams the location and phases of the moon as it orbits the Earth and in conjunction, orbits the Sun in the year 2014. The plotting system is determined by days; starting on day 1 of 2014 and ending on day 365 of 2014. As the Earth rotates around the Sun each day, the moon rotates around the Earth, thus visualizing the phases of the Moon that we see here on Earth; New Moon (no sun reflection on the Moon), First Quarter (1/2 sun reflection on the Moon), Full Moon (whole sun reflection on the Moon), Third Quarter (1/2 sun reflection)

To purchase this design and others, visit Etsy.

For my friends and family, I produced some prints of my own with the great silkscreeners based out of Nashville TN, Grand Palace Silkscreamers.

Below are images photographed by Drew, from Grand Palace.


Typography & Print

Designing Weddings: A Case Study in Identity

Designing the identity of a wedding is not unlike designing identity for any brand, product or service.

You begin with research and determine the core values and spirit of your event. In our case, we established that our wedding would embody a fun and youthful destination wedding in New Orleans fit with all the ambiance of southern and french music, cuisine, tradition and culture. 

Creating identity requires a good understanding of the vision you wish to convey. As I began to dive into creative, I thought about a mark that would identify “us”. I also began to establish color schemes, typography and materials to capture the essence of our core values.

Print Collateral and Specialty Items
The images below showcase some of the touchpoints created for the wedding.

Wedding Photo-Montage (photo credit: Mathew Foster Photography)
Ceremony + Reception Hall: Rosy’s Jazz Hall
Brass Band: The Jazzmen Band
Flowers: Etsy
** The coasters, stickers and DIY centerpieces are all original pieces, created by me. For more details on how they were produced and / or materials list, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below **

Typography & Print

Welch School of Art & Design Gallery opens new exhibit, Repurposed

The Welch School of Art & Design Gallery at Georgia State is gearing up for a new exhibition in the fall featuring artists that repurpose materials in their work. Curator and gallery director, Cynthia Farnell explains, “The act of repurposing in art is currently in the foreground of many contemporary artists’ practices and can be discussed in the context of pressing global issues about environmental and economic sustainability.”

I have been brought on to build the exhibition’s identity through communication materials. My role has been to identify the commonalities of the featured artists’ work and create a visual  language that speaks to the exhibit’s purpose. In this process, I have created a visual look and feel inspired from the idea of found objects broken apart and pieced together again. This concept is seen throughout typography, brand mark, and print collateral (i.e., catalogs, promotional cards, etc.)

The project will continue through this month and be finalized by the opening, scheduled for October 6 – November 19. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10AM-7PM.

Typography & Print

Designing MFA / MA Advertisements for Print Publication

The Need

The Director of the School of Art and Design has asked for a new design to represent Georgia State University in the publications Art in America, Art Papers, and Artforum. The design should act as an advertisement for the fully funded MFA/MA Program at Georgia State. The ad will represent the school as part of its image and branding for 2011-2012 academic year. The overlaying message should communicate to a larger audience, making a significant impact on the public and raising awareness of the program among other colleges/universities.

In addition to the new design being a fresh idea to promote the school of art and design, the advertisement should communicate the program’s creative environment as well as its urban nature. The project brief states, “There is a need for any imagery to reflect the idea that GSU campus is an urban campus that stretches out among the corporate and downtown business community. The students and campus are an international community at large which is current and modern with a new President and Provost.”

The Design

The work reiterates the school’s need to highlight their creative environment as well as communicate the urban feel of the campus. Each solution adhered to the array of information that needed to be explained in a clear and concise manner. The use of typography, hierarchy, and composition were all considered strongly in the final design and production of the ads.

My design strategy uses images of the pavement, paint and cement of the city streets in order to achieve a sense of the urban environment in downtown Atlanta. The focus is on the abstract texture of downtown roads. In addition to this, I used photographs of stencils to create display type. This approach exemplifies the hands-on nature of an art department. The aspect of craft combined with urban textures makes my design concept.

The colors in my design are primarily grayscale by nature of the color scheme of downtown Atlanta. The concrete is gray; the paint is white. Because this is the case, the design could easily fit within a b&w print ad. Color should be used sparingly and for accent purposes only. The colors I’ve chosen to incorporate match the existing color scheme of Georgia State, red & blue.