13. Playing with words

This exercise asked us to experiment with a variety of different words to replicate their meaning. The first part involved cutting out the words and experimenting with the placement of them on paper to capture the meaning of the word visually. To start with I wasn’t sure whether this should involve actually cutting up the letters in each word or if we should keep them all together but I figured that the latter would be pretty limiting. The thoughts I was having as I went along are below each of the examples. I decided to photograph my efforts allowing me to experiment more freely.

photoshop words 2.

Sad I was thinking colour blue, scribbly lettering as if you can’t be bothered.

Safe I thought liked bricks, locked in solid lettering

Serious – black to the point

Saucy made me think of red and like splatters to suggest sauce and the emphasis on the “c” looks like a tail or something

Sleek – italics smooth decorative

Scholarly – letters rising to reinforce achievement

Sardonic – orange lighhearted, playful, upside down lettering

Shadow – bold dark lettering with a shadow


Shattered I also tried this Photoshop effect which I think is quite effective although perhaps quite busy and would need to be used in the appropriate context. Shattered glass through text. Also opportunities to try actually breaking up the letters.

photoshop words 1

Sordid – almost like Harry Potter style lettering like a bad wizard – dark letters

Snowy – Christmas lettering with fairisle pattern through the text, pale blue to represent snow

Skimpy – tight lettering, pink – like seductive, also tried horizontal tight lettering

Speed – warped text upper case trying to show the letters speeding away with the perspective

Silly – very childlike silly font, different colour text

Smart – blue always strikes me as a clever colour – very neat lettering

Style – a modern font used , see a lot of fonts like this in fashion magazines , red dramatic stands out

Sinking – gradient effect , heavy lettering, letters stepped down to echo the word

Soothing – wavy text flowing letters to show calm – can imagine something like this on a beauty product like bubble bath!

Stoned – blur effect to represent not being able to see clearly

Sweet – handdrawn letters , sweet wrapper colours/ stripes

Sudden – yellow drop shadow and bold text to show immediate importance, yellow looks quite shocking

Squeeze – tight lettering almost loose hand writing not structured again echos the meaning of the word

Stiff – brick like effect in the background , brown is quite a straightlaced colour, strong like cardboard

Sophisticated – deco like font used to show class and sophistication

Swagger – warped text with pattern to show movement ie someone swaggering!

Stodgy – spaced out fat lettering to represent the word

Overall , I found this an enjoyable exercise making me really think about what fonts work in different circumstances and I’ve really become aware of fonts on a daily basis , noticing font choice in advertisements, editorials, POS, web design and more. Some of the examples above I think although appropriate to represent the word, I’m not sure they wouldn’t look a little too obvious and complicated for certain purposes. I think subtle elements and selections which portray the meaning are more effective than the more obvious ones. For example I think the Style font and colour work well above but I’m not so keen on the Silly one! Sophisticated and sinking also work quite well and I like the subtle use of the gradient to suggest a change.


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