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project 1 - creative typography

by JuliannaKunstler.com

A primary objective of this project is to achieve a harmonious synthesis between type and image, and in the process create a new visual configuration. It is essential in the process of creating this hybrid form that the recognizability of both the letterform and flower be preserved. Another fundamental concern is to explore the dynamic relationship between positive and negative space.

Design your own font that is unique and uses black-and-white graphics only.


In the example above:

Selected letters of the alphabet were combined with images of flowers that have been reduced into visually simplified forms.

Each letter is coupled with a flower whose generic name begins with the chosen letter.

This is what you do:

  • Pick a six-letter word (six unique letters)
    Example: flower, animals, athlete. artist, travel, etc...
  • Choose a base font that is bold enough to add graphics to it.
  • Convert the type into shapes
  • Create vector graphics for the images you want to use for your graphics that would associate with the word you chose.

Step 1

Image hunt

Find images that would work as symbols to support the meaning of the word you chose.

They should be very contrasted images, if possible.

If you find some clip art - that would work too

We are looking for silhouettes here

Save the images in a folder.

step 2

Prep images in Photoshop

  • Open each image in Photoshop
  • Duplicate the layer.
  • Make it black-and white: Image > Adjustment > Desaturate
  • Make sure default colors are set in the tool box.
  • Increase the contrast (try the option that would work for your particular image (Image > Adjustment > Levels or Threshold or Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch : Stamp or Photocopy - adjust the settings in the right pane)
  • The image should be Black and White only (no Grey)
  • Select All (Ctrl/Command A)
  • Copy

step 3


  • New document
  • Paste your image
  • Object > Image Trace > Make & Expand
  • Now this is a vector image
  • Remove all white backgrounds: Use Magic Wand tool
  • Click on a white area of the image group. Delete

Choose a base font that is bold enough to add graphics to it.

Type your word. Choose a big font size.

Convert the type into shapes (Type>Create Outlines)

The letters will be BLACK

The images will be WHITE


Your typeface should use similar elements and approaches for each letter.

You can simplify the base font by eliminating the "eyes" or filling in other negative shapes.

Spend 45 min. per letter.

The assignment is due in 6 days.

Use positive (black) shape of a letterform and negative (white) shape of the graphics to create a typeface.

Crop! Consider cropping for your design!


The letters should look like they belong together - use similar visual elements and concepts.
Use positive/negative shapes principle.
You can fill in the "eyes" of the letters and simplify them.
The letters should be readable.
Use cropping technique for the images.
Do not repeat the same image in more that one letter.