Font of inspiration
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.