Frankenstein

For this brief, I had to take the word Frankenstein and create something inspired by the word.

The mindmap below is the starting idea board to launch my research. It is a brain dump of everything I connected to the original word “Frankenstein.” These range from obvious options to more far-reaching ideas.

One of the early concepts that I had was around the doctor aspect, creating a medical information poster in the style of a digital infographic.

Rough Concepts:

Mindmap of ideas
Concept infographic layout
Rough sketch of info layout

After looking at the infographic idea, I felt it was not where I wanted to explore and wanted to play with something more experimental, even if the end design had limited usage.

Typeface:

Another concept I considered was things being merged imperfectly. I was interested in using typefaces joined together, so I researched different styles that would create unique merges. I came up with a corresponding name for the project, “Mod Prom.”

Mod Prom Letters

The story of Prometheus is a greek myth that inspired Mary Shelley’s writing. I played with the idea of mixing modern and dated typeface, much like the idea of an ancient myth and a modern story, whilst also exploring the idea of imperfectly stitching the fonts together visually like the actual character of Frankenstein.

I had four main styles of typefaces I explored:

  • Art Deco
  • Blackletter
  • Serif fonts
  • Display fonts

To the right is a little concept sketch of a spliced letterform and a list of fonts that I looked at that could pair together uniquely. I liked the pairing of Lobster and Pacifico and Playfair Display and a type of Blackletter.

Below are the first attempts at pairing letterforms. The left image holds prints of the letter M in different fonts that have then been stuck side by side. The right image is hand-drawn letters with two or more fonts being used. I created these using tracing techniques and explored a variety of letters rather than a single one.

Print Letter splices
Hand drawn splices

From here, I moved to larger-scale letters and incorporated some concepts of the use of colour or lines to show connecting points of the form.

Then explored the digital conversion of the right hand M. These variations play with a softer round approach and a more rigid letter structure for the other. The letter created was made using blackletter and art deco fonts as inspiration.

I also took a look at the merge of a more modern merge of letterforms but felt that style was perhaps too clean for the approach I wanted. It gave off a corporate branding feel even when adding rudimentary stitch marks.

One direction I looked at is making the full title out of spliced fonts – The fonts below are Lobster and Pacifico.

Here are the results of Lobster and Pacifico. The second set is Pacifico and blackletter form. I decided to use the second typeface as a watermark of sorts. The digital version of Blackletter and Playfair Display is to the right, from which I use the M as the focal point for the main piece of work.

Experiments with the Blackletter and Playfair display mix were underway. I tried using charcoal for a rougher effect and created a backdrop for the letter out of torn colour paper with a soft texture to them. I took the piece further by ripping the original artwork up and restitching it together.

After having a tutorial, the general thought was that if comfortable, I could push this concept into using leather or a mimic of skin to create a discomforting piece. This could elevate the concept further into realism. I ultimately decided that I didn’t have the time or comfort to explore that far at the time, so I decided to come to a midway point instead by using actual imagery of skin and stitches both for the letterform and the backdrop. I elevated the letter above the background to get a shadow effect from scanning it later. I also used cotton thread to stitch the letter to the backdrop.

Warning!
As explained above, the next images are of collaged photos of skin and stitches in various stages of healing. Some may find this distressing so users caution is advised.

I am interested in exploring splicing further letterforms and remaking this piece with leather as the backdrop. My idea for usage around this piece of design could be:

  • A book cover
  • Advertisement in the form of a poster
  • Funky business card
  • An exhibition piece that explores the human condition.
  • An informational campaign.

These ideas would require tweaking the artwork to fit the usage.