Dialog or Dialogue

Fluid Typography

Living Surfaces

Living Surfaces: Digital Typography

Robert Motherwell Paintings

Artist/Designers

  • David Carson
  • April Greiman
  • Wolfgang Weingart

 

di·a·logue

  • conversation between two or more persons.
  • the conversation between characters in a novel, drama, etc.
  • an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.
  • a literary work in the form of a conversation: a dialogue of Plato.
  • verb (used without object) to dialogue
  • to carry on a dialogue; converse.
  • to discuss areas of disagreement frankly in order to resolve them.
David Carson

David Carson

Compared with the Word Painting assignment, this is an assignment that is meant to challenge your ability to typographically communicate in a more experimental manner. Your primary focus is to visually depict the concept of dialog, or more loosely, an exchange between two people. (In other words, this is not a literal illustration or picture with words.) That real-life exchange or dialog takes many forms, ie. conversation, argument, command, whisper/secret, brainstorming, planning, plotting, etc. We find representations of those exchanges in poems, stories, songs, letters/correspondence, etc. So, the resulting arrangement of letters and words should capture the tone or feelings being expressed by that conversation.

In this assignment you are to find ways of interpreting 4 different instances of dialog;

  1. IT Tango
  2. Father and Son
  3. a recipe of your choice
  4. open dialog of your choice

The words that comprise two of those are listed below, IT Tango and Father and Son. The remaining two are for you to choose on your own. One of those choices must be a recipe and the other one is totally up to you but must also be some form of dialog. Examples of this might be song lyrics, a poem, a story, etc.

This is an experiment in visual form and is meant to be more abstract in its interpretation. In other words, don’t try to literally make pictures of two people talking to one another. Instead use typographic variables (listed below) to create varying degrees of emphasis, focal point, direction and rhythm. Also, make use of Gestalt grouping, in particular figure and ground relationships, continuation with interruption and similarity. Utilize implied line, layering and opposite forms of typographic emphasis for achieving more unique solutions. White space is extremely important in helping you to create dynamic shape contrasts and compositional rhythm.

Although the emphasis here is on creating an “Optical Event”, the resulting piece should still be readable. A strength of your final solution should be that your arrangement and treatment of the letters and words should enhance, compliment and increase the meaning of the words themselves—form influences content.


Typography

D I  sc  ussio          N

Explore the arrangement of words so that they visually enhance/illustrate the idea of verbal discussion/dialog. The process involves developing four stages or versions which are, in the final version combined in some manner.

Use the typographic variables of

  • Leading
  • Kerning
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Posture
  • Style
  • Tracking
  • Position
  • Direction
  • Color
  • Alignment
  • Word Spacing

We will be doing this assignment in a series of steps or versions. You must complete each version before moving to the next.

1st version—Using all 4 of the texts below, treat the layout with an emphasis on illustrating the concept of discussion/dialog by how you treat letters, words and space. No images are allowed. 8 1/2 x 11, vertical orientation (portrait) no color.

  • Laurie Anderson‘s IT Tango (He Said, She Said)
  • Cat Stevens song (Father and Son)
  • Recipe of your choosing
  • A “paragraph” selection of your choice

2nd version—same four texts, push the ideas of discussion/dialog further, plus the concept of depth. Pay attention to Visual Grouping and Hierarchy and how space is shaped within the composition. No images are allowed. 8 1/2 x 11, vertical orientation (portrait) no color.

3rd version— same four texts, push the ideas of discussion/dialog further, the concept of depth, add contrasting graphic elements of rectangles and/or ovals shapes or curves. Refine concepts of Grouping and Hierarchy as they influence composition, focal point, rhythm and overall balance. No images are allowed. 8 1/2 x 11, vertical or horizontal orientation, you may choose to add color.

4th version— same four texts, push the ideas of discussion/dialog further, the concept of depth, and graphic elements. Revisit all previous versions and adjust and combine if necessary to create an overall composition. We will be printing to 24″ wide roll paper so the maximum size of your final poster of 16 individual 8 1/2 x 11 panels will result in a 17″ x 33″ or 22″ x  25 1/2″ final composition. You may alternatively choose to create a series of four separate 13″  x 19″ panels. Use grid alignment, and continuation with interruption to unify edge relationships and visual connections between elements (invisible glue). Identify activation points along the edges of panel/pages where might they might be shared with an adjoining panel creating a common line of direction or shape continuation if choosing the series of four option. You may add minor images and color if you wish at this
final stage.

Two main groups of opposing forces are at work in this design problem. You must find a way to control them in a way which results in a balance. If you find yourself with a design that appears too rigid, blocky, predictable or just plain “lined up” then you need to insert some degree of movement, unpredictability or “freshness” by consciously working with some of the concepts listed in the Dynamics group below. On the other hand, if your design appears too random, chaotic or a “mess” then you need to organize it more. Do so by consciously manipulating the items listed in the Organizational Concepts group below.

Organizational Concepts

  • Grid
  • Axis
  • Continuation
  • Repetition
  • Grouping
  • Hierarchy
  • Similarity
  • Focal Point
  • Postion

Dynamics:

  • Variation
  • Implied Edge
  • Shared Contour
  • Interruption
  • Visual Tension
  • Activated edge
  • Shaped White Space
  • Contrast
  • Juxtaposition/Context
  • Rhythm
  • Complexity vs. Simplicity
  • Density vs. Openness

Other artist/designer references for you are:

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 5.39.29 PM

__________________________________________________

IT Tango, by Laurie Anderson

She said:          It looks. Don’t you think it looks a lot like rain?

He said:           Isn’t it. Isn’t it just. Isn’t it just like a woman?

She said:          It’s hard. It’s just hard. It’s just kind of hard to say.

He said:           Isn’t it. Isn’t it just. Isn’t it just like a woman?

She said:          It goes. That’s the way it goes. It goes that way.

He said:           Isn’t it. Isn’t it just like a woman?

She said:          It takes. It takes one. It takes one to. It take one to know one.

He said:           Isn’t it. Isn’t it just like a woman?

She said:          She said it. She said it to know. She said it to no one

Isn’t it. Isn’t it just. Isn’t it just like a woman?

Your eyes:        It’s a days work to look into them.

Your eyes:        It’s a days work just looking into them.

Father and Son, by Cat Stevens:

It’s not time to make a change,

Just relax, take it easy.

You’re still young, that’s your fault,

There’s so much you have to know.

Find a girl, settle down,

If you want you can marry.

Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.

I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy,

To be calm when you’ve found something going on.

But take your time, think a lot,

Why, think of everything you’ve got.

For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.

How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.

It’s always been the same, same old story.

From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.

Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.

I know I have to go.

It’s not time to make a change,

Just sit down, take it slowly.

You’re still young, that’s your fault,

There’s so much you have to go through.

Find a girl, settle down,

if you want you can marry.

Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.

All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,

It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.

If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them you know not me.

Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.

I know I have to go.

Cat Stevens – Father And Son by fredozydeco

One thought on “Dialog or Dialogue

  1. Pingback: Figure / Ground and Framing- Andrew Sears | Composition & Design at WSU

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