Typography Studies

Type Design

Hand Lettering

Calligraphy

...

Typographic studies and experiments.

 

Analog calligraphy project.

The objective of this project was to study and mimic monk caligraphy writing techniques. This exercise set the foundation before starting type design.

Japanese bound sketchbook made for a series  of calligraphy studies. 

Lettering Project inspired by Japanese hanging scrolls. The Kakejiku was originally used to preserve Buddhist scriptures and images. The monks, who were influenced by Zennism, started using calligraphy on the Kakejiku. After this, the tea ceremony was born and different styles of the hanging scrolls emerged.  A mixture of poetic words were used to express the theme of the tea ceremony; giving the audience something to meditate on while drinking their tea. Over the centuries, the demands for the Kakejiku has declined, but can still be found as a decorative element in Japanese interior spaces. 

 

Japanese calligraphy is called shodō. Many practitioners feel that the "visible rhythm" of Japanese calligraphy embodies a "picture of the mind"--and calligraphers recognize that it discloses our spiritual state. 
 

“If your mind is correct, the brush will be correct."


It is also believed that the brush strokes reveal the state of the body and subconscious mind. Later, after Buddhism was introduced to Japan, shodō began to grow in popularity. During this period in Japan, Chinese characters were widely used to copy Buddhist sutras, and as a result, the earliest works of shodō are all related to Buddhism. It was not until the Heian Period (794 - 1185) that shodō finally began to deviate from Chinese calligraphy, a separation inspired by masters such as Ono-no-Michikaze (894 - 966) and Buddhist monk Kukai (774 - 835). At this time, Japanese-style calligraphy started becoming more cursive and rounded, giving rise to Japanese characters (kana), which eventually became the hiragana used today. Shodo inspired the development of Japanese characters.

Process Book

Typographic experiments for poster design.

Topic: French architecture walking tours.

Typographic coaster project. The objective of this assignment was to be critical and creative when collecting and evaluating typographic forms from a variety of sources. I studied the abstract formal qualities of letter forms and noted the differences from one letter to another, and one type family to another. In doing so, it increased my awareness of the cultural, historical or stereotypical associations connected to the forms. 

"Hello, Friends" is a collaborative experimental project conducted by all of the MFA Graphic Design candidates at the University of Houston. What makes our work space special is that we all come from distinctively different backgrounds and are a melting pot of cultures and ethnicity. Together we composed a typographic sculpture with phonetic lettering derived from each of our countries native languages. 

 

The languages represented are (in order): 

Spanish, Amharic, English, Persian, and Korean.

Amira Maruf © 2020