Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exploring text as image

Life's been full and as ever, challenging since my last post. I attended an orientation to the facilities at Impress Printmaker's Studio and am now eligible to book time there to use the equipment. It's the same studio I mentioned in previous posts, and they have a UV box for exposing solarplates and a number of presses. I'm quite excited about the possibilities this opens up for me, and the convenience of the studio, being only 10 minutes away from my home is wonderful. I've heard on the grapevine that they are thinking of re-locating to larger premises, which would be good for them but I hope it doesn't happen too soon.

In preparation for my first session at Impress, I am working on images to expose for a book. I've been using Photoshop to experiment with ordering and layout - ah, what a wonderful tool PS can be! Here's a peek at two possible pages - it's just a rough "sketch" .

As well as pages based on imagery, I've been exploring some text-based pages. I love constructivist, dada and futurist art with their use of typography as a graphic element, and of course artists in these movements were the first in the 20th century to produce artists books. This is one of my favourite examples of this type of work.

Ruth Laxson is a book artist who is a great source of inspiration to me. She began her press, Press 63 Plus, at age 63 and established herself as much respected in the field. Her books expressed a real playfulness with text and are reminiscent of concrete poetry.

Playing around with text in Photoshop (which, by the way, makes exploring that kind of artwork so much easier) I have decided that I really want to develop my own style with text. The beauty of the constructivists is that their artwork looks deceptively simple, but that is the way of all good design. Of course, it never is that simple to achieve the dynamism and perfect composition required. Like Ruth Laxson, I hope to make the visual impression of the text echo the sense of the words. I came up with a number of alternatives - the one below is the one I find most satisfying.


  1. I'm enjoying reading about (and seeing) the new directions in your work. I, too, have always been interested in type as a design element, so I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what happens next in your explorations.


  2. Amanda, so glad you joined Impress (I'm a member) - have fun with the presses and love your work with the typography!

  3. Hi Clara and Jay Dee, Thanks to both of you for your interest and comments.
    Jay Dee: How nice to meet another Impress member! It's a wonderful facility. I'm so happy I found it.

  4. Amanda, another very interesting post and so much to think about. I'm very interested in your exploration of typography and photoshop.

  5. Your text piece is interesting - the words look like they are shadows thrown from something that floats in a breeze. I'm at the moment thinking about if/how I could 'materialise' some of my shorter poems, you've inspired me to look at Dada now.

  6. Thanks Marjojo for visiting my blog and especially for your comments. I love the way you have described my text piece. I was thinking of words floating away so you have captured my intention perfectly.

    And I'm glad that the post has struck a chord and given you a direction to investigate. I'll wait with anticipation to see what "materialises".