Madeline M., Dayana L., Max W., Molly M.
(Day 1) July 8, 2019
Today in class we had to figure out the basis of our project. We found that the initial steps were very hard to figure out. The initial idea was established by sitting together and discussing words that could be used. We had to collaborate intensely in order to figure out what we wanted to do. We reviewed song lyrics and random words going through words like “wiggle worm” and “monster”.
In Figure A, we began to sketch out what we thought would have been the most interesting, revolving around the word “monster”. We settled on the word “monster” and tried to use the letters to create a face but the initial idea to create a face out of words wasn’t working out. In terms of practicality we realized this might not be too reasonable so we then started to think of different ways to present this word. Dani then sketched out an idea of a small sized print with a shadow leading up to a monstrous sized print. The smaller type face will act as a person who looks normal and the bigger type face will act as a monstrous thing hiding underneath. We finished up our initial sketches and then we moved onto what we thought would be more collaborative and cater to the wants and needs of the entire group. We all agreed on this idea because we thought it was creative and a cool way to show to the word “Monster”. During this planning process we also decided on the typeface we wanted. The typeface we all agreed on was the Grotesque type.
We then moved onto a new constructed idea. This idea was to put the word “monster” vertically, followed with a shadow falling behind it, and then a smaller “monster” after the shadow. This idea comes from the word “monster” itself because monsters tend to have an ominous presence, which we are trying to accomplish. After all this brainstorming we brought that idea into action. We began to construct the layout of where we wanted placement, color, etc (As seen in Figure B & C). For the group project we had run into the problem of being out of sorts (not having enough type of one letter or the other) and solved this by mixing the minuscule and majuscule and then another problem occurred. We then ran into the problem of having the shadow link the smaller and bigger word. We came up with several solutions to this. The first solution was to use the letter “v” and have a more abstract look. The next was to draw the lines with a sharpie but doing this on multiple prints would take more time than necessary. The last solution would be to wood rules (wooden lines type high that would print) that would be able to connect but would still give that abstract look.
All in all, today was very productive and I was proud because we were able to come up with a super unique idea from nothing.
(Day 2) July 9, 2019
We had to do various things in our schedule for setting and printing. Because we are simultaneously working on two projects we were down a few people today. We decided to split our group, which consists of four people, into groups of two. One group would work on their individual projects and the other would work together on “Monster”. However, we began to make a lot of progress involving setting the type in place in order for it to be ready to be printed. As we made more progress we ran into a few challenges. The main challenge included setting the type. As seen in Figure D & E there was progress made, however not as much that can be done in 90 minutes. This is because there were roadblocks in trying to figure out which pieces to put between the type itself. We felt that this challenge occurred because of gaps in different places in which the furniture and pieces of type metal would not fit. We understand that this challenge is ultimately inevitable, however we had to recognize it. We also decided on what color the prints would be. The color for the shadow will be black and the color for the smaller “Monster” will be red.
Overall, today was very successful and we realized that not everything goes as planned. We are slowly but surely making more and more progress as the days go.
(Day 3) July 10, 2019
As a group, w e began working on the smaller “Monster”. Arranging this was much easier than the shadow as the word was smaller and the organization was much more rational without many gaps or odd spaces to fill. Dani and Max were working on typesetting and printing their individual prints so Molly and I used our time to work on this piece of print. We made a lot of progress, finishing it in the same class period as we started it. It might also help that we’ve been using our study hall hours to work in the Letterpress lab. Doing so has given us a big advantage and we’ve made strides in the amount of work we’ve completed and put in extra efforts.
The group project is almost complete and we’re all excited to run our first print and see how things turn out and what we might need to change or rethink.
This project has been really fun and we’ve all enjoyed working on it. It’ll be even more exciting to print this out and see the final product as we’ve all worked hard to come up with the design and set the type.
(Day 4) July 11, 2019
Today we set out to begin printing our “Monster” print. Because we wanted the bigger “monster” letters to show in black ink and the smaller letters to show in red ink, we originally thought we’d be doing two passes on the press. However, after having done an earlier print for an expressive typography with a similar color scheme, we thought it’d be easier to just roll the black ink over everything, then wipe off the smaller letters and hand ink them in red, reinking the black letters when they lost their luster. During print-making, we also got the idea to dab some red ink over the larger letters to create a sort of blood splatter pattern over the more ominous “monster” letters. We really wanted to push the scary, underlying “monster” message while saving time. We started printing and were really happy with the results, making small changes here and there to make sure we had the look we wanted but still having some variety. We’ve gotten most of our prints finished and I’m really happy with how the piece came out in the end.
(Day 5) July 12, 2019
All in all this process was very successful and we learned a lot of new things as a group. Initially we had struggled trying to a consensus, however collectively overcame our struggle. During our process, we had somewhat taken a contemporary approach. We had not used the press like Johannes Gutenburg. We knew we wanted to use the press in an artistic expressive manner. Before being introduced to this project, we did not know that the printing press was used in an artistic way.
It started with the idea “monster”. We worked with the word in various ways. We wanted to make it into an actual “monster”, however we decided we wanted an ominous presence within the words. This was somewhat a struggle because we had a lot of different and conflicting ideas. Some of out conflicting ideas were about the words or how to present the information. Not everyone was able to agree on one idea right out of the gate but eventually we found a consensus. But we had worked diligently in order to figure out what the group really wanted. We brought our monster idea into a reality. The technical aspects of the printing came into play when we began arranging the letters and typesetting and figuring out where everything should go and where it would fit and bringing the idea and design to life. Because of our rich discussions and experimenting with the actual word “monster” we got a pretty awesome design and outcome with the final product. We experimented with making into an actual “monster” and observed the uniqueness of the word.
We felt that the next steps were the hardest. We had a lot of free flowing type that was hard to set and get ready for printing. There were various steps we had to take in order to finally get the type set. One of the biggest issues we had was moving the smaller monster text onto the press next to the bigger”monster” text after a change in the way the ink would be applied. We worked diligently reset and lock the texts together. This was the main challenge we ran into when we had to create this print. The rest was fairly simple because all we had to do was run the prints through the press.
All in all, we learned a lot from this process. Not only did we gain more knowledge and experience on how to create prints, but we actually learned how to create an idea from nothing and bring it to a reality. As a group we overcame various obstacles and helped one another in various ways. This experience was very unique and allowed all of us to practice our printmaking skills as a whole unit.