Visual Grammar for Gardeners

I kept reworking these based on my first photos, sketches and prints of flowers but spent far too much time on this project although I enjoyed it very much. The title of my project is ‘Visual grammar for gardeners’ – I was interested in stripping of all illustrative elements from my initial flower sketches and geometrically deconstructing these to basic shapes and forms, keeping it very minimalistic….

covers_vis grammar-blog

orchid friend


Making sense of the visual world…

visual grammar exercise 2

1. visual grammar exercise- visual depiction of emotions with the use of dots and lines

I played around with the visual grammar exercises we started with last week. 

I kept thinking about what was mentioned on the session that certain abstract lines and dots in their minimalist sense can evoke certain feelings and emotions just by their arrangement on a paper/screen or in a space (Inspired by the book Stop Stealing Sheep by Erik Spiekermann and E.M. Ginger I tried to visually depict three emotions- anger, confusion and joy. You can probably guess which one is which….)

This also reminded me of  an article I read some time ago about nonverbal means of communication across cultures through sounds/music.  (I am not sure it was this one but oh well, something along these lines, you get the idea.). Anyway, this got me thinking….To once again link this with the visual grammar and communication–  Why is it so that we perceive or read certain images the way we do… What if the image is very abstract…. Is there some sort of universal archetype, common denominator in visual communication and our perception that can communicate emotions or ideas visually  across cultures independently of  the cultural background we all carry….Or are we just reading and seeing what we are used to see ??? How do we make sense of the world visually. It always interested me…. Not to get too wordy and essay-lengthy, although I probably already did. I got intrigued by the principles of Gestalt theory  and tried to link some of the exercises  to my research as well as looking at golden ratio and sacred geometry used in graphic design and design in particular.

golden ratio

2. golden ratio used in design (photo of interior of Gallery of Slovak Modern Art Nedbalka)

visual grammar exercise1

3. visual grammar exercise- visual de-construction of a space (ceiling structure)

visual grammar_gestalt theory exercise

4. visual grammar exercise- exploring principles of Gestalt theory on paper (similarity, closure, proximity)

And just one more thought  on how the brain makes sense of the world  and how perception is grounded in our experience by Beau Lotto, neuroscientist and artist , that I thought link nicely to gestalt theory, from his  TED talk:

“The brain takes meaningless information and makes meaning out of it, which means we never see what’s there, we never see information,we only ever see what was useful to see in the past.”







Encouraged by last year students visit this Friday that was great and exciting ! 🙂 I would like to post the very first pages of my sketchbook.

I also tried to play with spacing a bit.

With Futura Book I tried tracing and spacing my name with both upper and lowercase letters first optically and then tried leaving the width of an “i” between each letter as this should be the ideal gap between the letters. Then I tried leaving a very little space between the letters to see how this would affect the legibility… To be honest I do not think this affected the legibility much probably due to Futura’s fine geometric features and neatness…But still interesting exercise.

I also tried to optically adjust letterspacing when using all caps of a serif font Hoefler Text Roman. I realised just as I finished that writing the word Hamburgefons  was not really necessary as I used all caps. 😀 (*  word hamburgefons or handgloves as Spiekermann and Ginger suggest in the book Stop Stealing Sheep are often used by typographers to illustrate the variety of lower and uppercase letters in one word to test a font)

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Graphic Dialogue poster

Workshop session on poster and type hierarchy was really inspiring and helpful last week so I started working on my ideas and versions in more depth…

It feels as if I have been looking at  it for too long, though so I thought I would share it if anyone has any suggestions and comments, feel free to post.

In one of the versions I tried to use enlarged letters G as they reminded me of a speech bubble in a certain angle, to visually depict the dialogue bit…. I quite like the idea and would like to develop it further but am not sure it is working  just yet. It is still a work in progress so any comments welcomed…

Graphic Dialogue-bubbles_v4



More typing about the type….

A friend of mine has recently showed me a book by Agathe Jacquillat and Tomi Vollauschek from design studio FL@33 called The 3D Type  Book which I highly recommend if you are interested in this. (full reference for the book can be found below)

I absolutely loved some of the ideas there and would like to experiment with 3D type in my own projects somehow. So today, after I started feeling frustrated about my (non-existent) drawing or even tracing skills when attempting to work on the sketchbooks for Research and Development unit, I decided to move onto my newly discovered passion for collecting random things and visually documenting this as encouraged by Ben on our first session  And although collecting photographs of people’s various tights has nothing to do with visual communication I attempted to do rather simple and not very complex 3D type of my started collection myself…(sorry about the quality of the photographs in advance :-))

The actual type I was trying to use as a basis for this is called  Lighthouse font and was designed by Måns Grebäck . (for more information please see his website:  The before mentioned book’s full reference is: Jacquillat, A. & Vollauschek , T. (2011) The 3D Type Book. London: Laurence King.

collect 3D type tights