FMP: Sketches and Experimentation

After writing my creative brief for the project I wanted to try doing some initial experiments for ideas and of my three different approaches. Although I have been thinking about designing a typeface that celebrates the essence of rhythmic gymnastics I have also thought that there could be other ways to visual interpret the sport through graphic design. However, at this current stage my experiments have been focused on body movement and type design.

In order to start looking at body shape and movement I thought it would be best to look at the code of points within the sport. This is the guide that tells gymnasts and coaches the worth of certain movements and what they can and cannot have in a routine. I went through each page looking for shapes which could inspire elements of type design. The code of points uses iconography to identify the movements and I thought that these could also inspire the shapes as well as the physical movement of the gymnast. This process prompted me to start looking at the physical movements and I did this through the use of found imagery for reference.

I completed an analysis of these images finding shapes that could become characters and was able to start finding smaller details of the sport that could also influence the project. When performing a routine the gymnast is told to keep toes pointed, straight legs and beautiful hands. All of these aspects are part of the sport and could be important if thinking of designing a serif typeface. I also started to take note of the apparatus and gymnasts movements together and how some of the reference imagery started to show letterforms using the two combined.

I then started to just to sketch letterforms that came into my mind and getting them out onto paper. This helped me to collect ideas that were stuck at the forefront of my mind and allow newer ideas to develop. I found this useful and is a part of my methodology for ideation which is key. While doing this it got me thinking about kinetic type and how could characters be given apparatus of move in a similar way that a rhythmic gymnast would. This is the start of an idea that could develop into an interesting project animating letterforms to give an essence of the sport. The movement I thought of at this initial stage was based on my own experience but also from watching videos that are available of the British Championships on YouTube.

Although I have based the title of the project on movement of the body, I had mentioned in my creative brief that I wanted to celebrate the unique sport. In terms of celebrating it I thought about the characteristics of the sport and how this could inspire visuals. Keywords like elegant, graceful and flexible were a few words which inspired my thoughts at this point. I started again to sketch the character ‘h’ using the words as inspiration.

These initial experiments about type design will help me to think about three strong approaches that I could take in this project but I wanted to get these initial sketches out onto paper in order to start seeming from these ideas and think about some different avenues to explore.

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