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workshops, Helsinki Lahti 10 2002, 04

basic info
time, place, basic info
themes, the groups
daily impression

the workshop-themes
01 layered type
02 screentype
03 bible type
04 shop lettering

05 carplate type
06 the fatter the better
07 the publication
order publication

shop lettering  basic info : thoughts and ideas : presentation half way : final presentation

Take an existing shop in Helsinki and in Lahti and make a new lettering for these shops. For the window, or for a plate outside. Maybe he even needs a new text to promote his company? Make him sell more with your type.

Our groups assignment was a bit different from the others since we had to do two projects during the two weeks where the others were working on only one. In Helsinki the project was some what a learning experience, we went to several shops that were ugly and found out that the people in the stores werenÍt interested in getting a free design suggestion for their window. In Helsinki we spent the first three days contemplating on which place we should choose and that turned out to be a mistake. We ended up re-designing the Cafe Visual, where we found a shopkeeper that spoke only vietnamese. We finished in the next two days, after fiddling around with pens and papers. Next week in Lahti started with the expectation that we can probably do the thing better. We decided not to spend so much time on walking around in the coldness but just start working, anyway, we had to be finished by Wednesday. This time we were happy to find Maustemesta spiceshop where the owner was polite and interested. So, Monday and Tuesday were the days of pens and a lot of paper. On Wednesday, a quick scanning then working on the letterforms and finishing. On Thursday we went back to the shop where the owner judged our work. He didnÍt have too much to say, just that it was all nice. His wife preferred Jan's work saying that it was the spiciest and most effective.

Final solution
Our group managed to finish the assigned two shopwindows, each in about two days but not without problems. Actually, the problems built up so that one person in the group decided to quit. We found out that making a handmade logotype as a group can be very hard, especially when there's only two days for it. As a result, everyone ended up making their own propositions since just doing the sketches does take more than few hours. The biggest problem was that the people in the group had very differing ideas of the assignment and the course. Some had an idea that the handmade logo could be rather free in form, others thought that the letters could look more like existing typefaces. Some had expected the course to be more basic typography, some more experimental. Also the way the shopkeepers reacted to our proposition of free design in Helsinki was suprising to us. Their lame interest and negative attitude wasn't exactly encouraging. Maybe we chose a bit too undesigned and careless places in the first place. In Lahti we succeeded in this task much better which made the whole process easier. As a conclusion the group feels that we learned not only things about handmade typo but also about working as a group. Of course the handmade, fine-tuned typography can be seen now with a new pair of eyes and maybe there is more respect for it from now on!

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4 comments so far: read comments , please do comment
Tamye | SOTA -- Friday, October 25 2002, 08:48 am
This shopkeepers don't deserve all your efforts! Their taste is all in their mouths. Taru's #2 for Visual Heaven is very whimsical, but doesn't seem to fit in with this type of shop. It's the halo that kills it... Jan's #1 - the word cafe looks very nice. The letterforms have a nice flow. Perhaps the word visual should be more distinctive, however. For the spice shop! I like Jing's design the best for this purpose, because the letterforms are large and have a great personality, and high-contrast color. Very funky and cool. Jan's design for this, letters are nice, but please, no chili peppers to signify hot or spicy, it's such an overused visual gimmick. But every single one of these designs is far superior to the original. Congratulations on producing such fine work with such a tough subject, and such a short deadline. Future clients will also have these bad attitudes, so don't be discouraged.

Jan Middendorp -- Friday, October 25 2002, 03:59 pm
I'm not going to comment on the results -- they all have some interesting aspect, and none of them convinces me totally. Mause Mesta 1 by Taru is a good logo, but it shouldn't be on a whitewhashed window. What's most interesting about this work is the way you clashed with all the aspects of the process: the "clients" (who did not even want to be clients), the disagreements within the group, the lack of time. Probably this project was closer to real life than all the other projects!

hugo@visionandfactory.com -- Friday, October 25 2002, 04:10 pm
I agree with Jan. It must have been so interesting to do a job like these. Without any discussion with the owner, but with so much discussing between each other. I do like Jing's design because it is doing what it should do: "hiding". And in some way or another also "exposing". Very intelligent. I also like the hand made aspect of all the designs. Sometimes it OK to get rid of too much technology ad just breathe. Great job. Hugo Puttaert http://www.visionandfactory.com

ed -- Wednesday, October 30 2002, 10:18 pm
Yes! The clean-cut computerized lettering is wisely thrown out of the window, so to speak. This is what I believe is decent work for interesting the (potential) costumer and the incidental tourist alike. I feel that (larger) companies and the concerning city-councils would be smart to take a look at this kind of lettering to improve the aesthetics and comfort of the public zone.

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