Story Line™ Typography and test set up

4 letter word prototype

Various simple digital photo frames were used for experimentation with basic geometric letter shapes generated in Flash that consecutively formed four letter words.

Story Line™ Typography.

Basic restriction for typography and type design for the Story Line™ multiple screen text display is the aspect ratio of the LCD screen, the unit. There are two popular variations in the aspect ratio: the new 9:16 and the old 3:4.

The primairy starting point for font design is a fixed width, mono spaced alpabet or script. Secondairy to use as much real estate of the available space to shape each glyph.

These first experiments use a crude and very basic geometric typeface design, in a grid of 7 x 7 rectangles. It results in white rectangular shapes in the black rectangle of the screen surface. Interestingly enough the distribution of white over black in a single glyph appears slightly abstract, yet the consecutive appearance of glyphs into a word creates a context of (written) language. There is a reasonable balance between the white and black, and abstract and legiblility.

Sometimes the impression is made that the glyph is constructed out of the black, sometimes it is the white space (or shape) that defines the glyph shape. Here, my 'theory' that objects are co-defined by the space that surrounds them, comes in mind (words are letters AND letter space).

Using transition (and animation) to chance glyphs might be a powerful tool to develop our concept and add a new approach on duality in our typedesign.

Assume the Latin glyphs are defined and signified by white rectangles on the black surface of the screen. Moving, or adding or subtracting the white shapes, creates other glyphs. This is what the transition illustrates in the prototype.

Now, what if we use the white shapes as lines to 'write' the Arabic glyphs on the black surface. Then the black surface will define and signify the Arabic glyph.
From the geometric construction of Lating glyphs (in a word or a sentence), which is black background and distributed white rectangles, the Arabic will appear (or animated as geometric writing – not nessecarily smooth) within and using the black space as background. Within the overall grid, the Arabic will use it more refined and approriate to its needs.

Simply said, in my example Latin is black and Arabic is white. We use consequently two values (black and white), two properties (shape and hole, solid and hollow), territories (whole and part, total and element), descripions (fill and line), that each in their own way signifies the concept of duality. Latin is signified by elements that themselves will signify the Arabic and vice versa. Both in a equally visual (geometric abstract) and legible (letter form) language (or script) construct the overall visual and content quality of Story Line™.

This idea is based on looking at the prototype with the four small 3.5" screens (3:4 aspect ration) and could be explored further in our typographic exercise.

Max, 13 May 2009

This is a small Quicktime Movie of four small digital photo frames with each a sequence of jpeg images of letters that form four letter words.

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