Be Creative! Projects : Word Type Typography Design Exercise
Reinforcing Type Design with Non-Verbal Meaning
By Chris Dunmire
Have you ever seen a word on some printed or electronic media designed in such a way that it looked like the message it conveyed? If so, then you experienced its nonverbal meaning.
This technique is often used in advertising, as a graphic designer reinforces a message through the choice of typeface, arrangement of letters, and coloring effect. In the two examples shown below in the Try It! section, you can easily see how much more impact the words Jumble and Elegant have with their unique design style and coloring than if they were displayed in a plain, unimaginative way.
Project Materials Needed:
Creativity Tips: Action and descriptive words (verbs and adjectives) work well for this activity. Get as creative as you want by using found objects or materials to add to the color and texture of your word. For example, tin foil for metal, or string for hair.
What You'll Learn:
This project will help you to think about the message and meaning of words used in advertising or other ways to get attention, gain interest, create desire, and motivate to action (AIDA).
The NEXT Creative Step...
If you enjoy this activity, try doing several variations of your word, or giving your word an opposite nonverbal meaning. For example, see how my "Elegant" above is displayed first in an elegant, script typeface, and then contrasted with a font more ugly and clunky (thus a non-elegant way).
If you liked this project and want to learn more about fonts and typography, see Creativity Portal's graphic design and typography section. •
© Chris Dunmire 2004, 2007. All rights reserved.
Chris Dunmire is the founder of the award-winning Creativity Portal community. She's studied creativity coaching with Eric Maisel, PhD, and Kaizen-Muse founder Jill Badonsky, MEd, and inspires artists, writers, and creatives at every level to find and express their unique voice. More »