There have been many elements that have come to light during this study and things seem to keep revealing as I push in different directions. For instance, as you will see in the work below, there is a dramatic difference in personality and appearance when working with geometric forms and hard angles versus more organic, curvilinear lines and shapes. It also seems that the more organic, curvilinear letterforms work much better and have more appeal that those of geometric shape. As before and here too I had a difficult time defining those purely geometric letters, and they proved to be even more difficult being at the start of a word or phrase. In regards to the more organic letterforms, they created a better flow in the piece and much like reading traditional type they guide the viewers eye from left to right through the word or phrase. I have had successful horizontal flow but once again working vertical has proven to be more difficult not only in definition but making it flow with the rest of the composition.
Throughout this process I have created foundation elements and have pushed them, maybe even too far, towards minimalism to make them as simplistic as possible and really pushing legibility (also shown below). Another highly noticed characteristic is the contrast in density in regard to the positive and negative forms. With this there is also somewhat of an illusion of off spacing that is created when letterforms are defined with less versus more. The exact opposite occurs when the letters are defined with more negative shapes as they appear heavier and much more bold. To add even more interest in the piece I have taken a couple approaches where I have broken the baseline, x-height, and vertical height of the ascenders. This give an interesting element and makes the discovery of the phrase and letters and bit more difficult because of the flourish the extended shapes give. In the first round of this idea, I worked strictly with letter contour and hard angles giving the finished piece a very rigid and geometric feel. This brought to light the personality and overall feel of the work as you will get an increasingly different feel when viewing a rigid, sharp composition versus a more round, organic piece. In terms of personality I have also learned after working strictly and breaking free from the foundation font I work with is that sticking to the foundation form give the composition a more composed, pre-determined feel with less personality.
My experimentation has come a long way but I feel there is much more to learn and many new areas to explore. One of interest, in contest with these exercises, is what effects will text breaking into several lines have? Could that solve the problem of vertical interaction? Could there be a vertical flow simultaneous with a horizontal one without creating too much definition and holding the minimalist approach?
organic/curvilinear VS. geometric/angular (above)
first development with an previous alphabetic experiment put into context (above)
an approach after analyzing the initial development (above)
working with unity between common forms in the letters and taking a stab at really pushing legibility