Font of in­spi­ra­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MARY BAINES

De­sign­ing a new way of us­ing old type­faces has taken a Tawa stu­dent to the top of her field.

Massey Univer­sity bach­e­lor of de­sign hon­ours stu­dent Sarah Har­mon has won a merit award from the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Ty­po­graphic De­sign­ers.

The award was recog­nised at a func­tion at Massey Univer­sity on March 12.

Ms Har­mon’s award-win­ning sub­mis­sion was in­spired by the walled lit­er­ary gar­dens de­scribed in clas­sics such as The Song of Solomon, Par­adise Lost and The Se­cret Gar­den.

She used tra­di­tional mar­bled cov­ers, borders, or­na­ments and type­faces from the dif­fer­ent times the orig­i­nal books were pub­lished, along­side mod­ern ty­po­graphic tech­niques, page lay­outs, and some con­tem­po­rary fonts.

‘‘I was re­ally at­tracted to the idea of do­ing some­thing a lit­tle less ob­vi­ous and more ab­stract,’’ she said.

‘‘ I chose lit­er­ary gar­dens be­cause they are imag­ined spa­ces, per­haps based on re­al­ity, but never phys­i­cally cre­ated.

‘‘I love the con­nec­tion be­tween spa­ces made by words and us­ing the let­ter forms that make up those words to evoke a sense of each lit­er­ary gar­den.

‘‘ Type­faces have their own char­ac­ter and form: they are cul­ti­vated and cre­ated, just like gar­dens.

‘‘I’m in­ter­ested in see­ing how el­e­ments like these old type­faces and borders and old ty­po­graphic con­ven­tions can be mod­ernised and made into some­thing un­der­stand­able and use­ful to­day.’’

Ms Har­mon, 21, said she was sur­prised to re­ceive the award, let alone with a merit com­men­da­tion.

‘‘ I thought

be­cause my ap­proach was more tra­di­tional, it wouldn’t be as in­ter­est­ing for those as­sess­ing our work.’’

Massey Univer­sity se­nior lec­turer in ty­pog­ra­phy An­nette O’sul­li­van said recog­ni­tion by the so­ci­ety was a high hon­our.

‘‘It is a so­ci­ety that is highly re­garded world­wide and it is quite an ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment,’’ she said.

‘‘ Sarah clearly un­der­stands the rigour of ty­pog­ra­phy and works in very high de­tail.’’

THE RIGHT TYPE: Massey De­sign stu­dent Sarah Har­mon, of Tawa, shows her win­ning designs.

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