FMP: Developing a Visual Language

I started developing an initial visual language by going back to this idea of having a letter form that changes shape in a seamless motion. I just started off by drawing characters with this in my mind. I also started to think about the fluid, graceful motion of the movements which in turn also influenced a typeface that I sketched out. Furthermore, I thought about the characteristics of the sport and how they could be shown through type. I paid attention to the details at the top and bottom of the letterforms – as the feet and hands are supposed to be beautifully detailed when performing the sport. As I started to develop the letterforms so that they could be animated to look like they transition seamlessly into one another.

I also started to think about the symbols within the sport already and existing language and how I could potentially use these within my work. This was after the chat me and David had on Friday about glyphs and the iconography for the olympics. At the moment the symbols within rhythmic gymnastics don’t reflect the nature of the sport they are intended for quick notation for coaches and judges yet there is something so unique about the way they used to be use. A rhythmic gymnastic sheet entered for competitions use to showcase a visual system in themselves. I thought that they could also influence the way they the projects works in a print context.

I began by sketching out the icons in order to see all the symbols together, and get a general idea about what it looks like as I hadn’t seen these symbols in the few years I’ve been out of the sport. I want to bring the nature of the sport to these icons as they could be used within a typeface to create something with a sense of purpose. I started to sketch out the shapes with this fluid line – relating to the seamless motion that rhythmic gymnasts have to do when performing a routine. I stylised these to become graphic icons that could be used to create a kinetic typeface and a typeface that could be developed in this style.

Tutorial Feedback

When I spoke to Carol and my group I received really positive feedback, which I was really pleased with. My peers feedback was really insightful and positive they thought that it was a really interesting project and they were excited to see how it might develop further. It was suggested maybe seeing these over footage and what a gymnast might be thinking when completing that movement – it will also allow the viewer to see a correlation between the symbol and sport movement. Also they could become interchangeable within the typeface as some of the symbols could be used as characters as well.

Carol was also happy with the way I progressing and talked to me about dance notation, a project that she had worked on in the past. I thought that this was interesting as I hadn’t considered this as an area of research but is one I am going to pursue now. Also we spoke about music choice and if there was any particular music that is used in the sport. Obviously the music is chosen depending on the gymnast and apparatus therefore isn’t specific to the sport. This is another area that I need to consider – as well as copyright. She also suggested if there was the possibility for me to get custom music made to create like a sensory typeface. This is something that I will have to think about in more detail.

Overall I feel as though I am on the right track with this project and just need to keep pushing it in this direction over the next few weeks.

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