Six Word Story Project – Process & Development

After our hybography and adobe illustrator workshops we were set a one week project to create an A3 black and white poster which contain six words to capture the essence of a story written by one of the following authors; Roald Dahl, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charle Dicken or Harper Lee.

I decided to choose a book written by Roald Dahl because these were the books that I grew up reading but as an author he is also known for his playful and creative plots which I thought would allow me more room to be expressive with the typography. Also, I thought that I would have the ability to be more playful with each word, to create more hybrids.

To start off the process I thought that I would begin by researching several of his books to gain an essence and understanding of underlying plot lines and characters. I did this in a form of a mind map as I was able to see visual the research I had collected. After looking at all the potential books I could do, I decided that I would do James and the Giant Peach as this was a book I grew up reading but also I found that it was one of the most playful books in terms of language. I went on to produce a smaller mind map with six word sentences ideas to capture the book.

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After this initial research and development of ideas I decided to move forward with the phrase “hopes, dreams and a giant peach’ which I did through developing sketches of potential layouts and how I could express the message that I am trying to convey. Through doing this the main word I decided to experiment with is ‘giant’ because I feel that I have the opportunity to make this word centre of the poster and show it’s ‘giant’ presence on the page.  In all of my ideas I had the word ‘giant’ huge on the page overshadowing the other words on the poster.

As part of the brief was to use hybrids which I experimented with through cutting up typeface to see which would work best for the poster. I wanted the words to be playful and move from thin to thick, almost like the peach in the novel did overnight. Therefore moving from a serif typeface to a san -serif typeface. I then moved into illustrator where I began to create variations of the poster. This was the useful process for me personally as I was able to see which one worked well and which doesn’t look correct together.

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By looking at the posters I found that I preferred it with the black on white type as the novel is quite light in terms of reading apart from the dark part at the beginning where he is orphaned but I didn’t think that this required a completely dark background. I feel that throughout my experimentation I still preferred the simplicity of one of my earlier designs, when I had a combination of hybrids I felt that it was too busy and distracted the eye. Therefore I felt that it was best to finalise with the poster below. I think that it’s simple but also conveys the word ‘giant’ really well but also uses a combination of hybrids throughout which is what the brief required.

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