Found Alphabet Explorations


Initial Stages
I started out working with the photographs of my found letters. Cropping them down, some were much better quality than others which raised a few issues visually. I decided to try and focus in on particular elements of each letterform that I found interesting, whilst it still being clear what each letter was. The grid I set up is pretty simple. On evaluation I think the overall image looks quite flat and there could be more white space around each of the letterforms.


Just my type
As I was trying out some of these ideas I was reading the brilliant book ‘Just My Type’ by Simon Garfield. I was really inspired by the cover design which was created by James Alexander for Jade Design. I love the complimentary colours of blue and orange and how the letterforms were reduced to black and white. Taking this idea I applied it to my found alphabet in a couple of different ways. I used the image trace function in illustrator to take the letterform out of its context and then using Indesign tried a few different layouts. I much prefer these to the initial design.



At one point I miscounted the spaces on my grid and ended up one short for the Z. Instead of starting again I decided to play around with sizing. Earlier on that week I’d been in the LCC library looking over typographic journals from the 1960s and 70s. I loved how playful some of the designs were and how body text would be placed over large, bold letters.

IMG_2584_2 IMG_2582large_z_alphabet

So in the end this was my attempt at bringing in a bit of fun to the design but I’m not sure if it’s really sticking to the original brief!

Thinking more about the grid structure I decided to see if I could find grids around my flat which could act as a base. Below were the examples I found and how I added in my alphabet.

Bathroom wall
bathroom_alphabet bathroom_tile_alphabet

Living room floor

Wardrobe doors
wardrobewardrobe alphabet
For this particular one I again drew on some ideas from the typographic journals, turning individual letters on their sides to balance out the image. I found these quite fun to create.

One thought on “Found Alphabet Explorations

  1. Hi Danielle,
    Really like how you’ve developed your ideas here. Definitely inspiring me to try and think more outside the box and it’s making me think — blimey, my first attempt is shockingly dry. Absolutely love the design where the letters are over the letter “z”. Makes the other letters appear more dynamic. It looks like the front cover of a typography book. Surely the brief doesn’t constrain our designs to be too dull??..


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