This typographic poster was created in the Letter Workshop class at the Maryland Institute College of Art under the guidance of Jason Mannix. The brief was to choose lines from any poem by one of the following poets:
William Carlos Williams
Once the lines were selected, the students had to make a digital composition which would then be used as the basis for material typography.
I chose the poem “Death Is a Dialogue Between” by Emily Dickinson. The lines I went for represent the idea of two contrasting forces of death and spirit competing with each other. The spirit’s determination and self-confidence in the poem when faced with death spoke to me on a personal level.
Because of the contrasting nature of the forces, I went for materials that wouldn’t really go well together—red pepper flakes and brown sugar. I thought the sweet taste and sticky nature of brown sugar was incongruent with the spicy flavour of the loosely-bound flakes. It worked out great both material and composition wise. I chose Sabon as the typeface for the composition.
I began cutting out paper stencils to see if the materials would hold up well. The result wasn’t too bad but there were inconsistencies in terms of stroke weight and the overall height of the letterforms. Therefore, I thought of an alternative. I picked a few 16in x 24in, 0.2in thick masonite sheets and made the stencils via laser cutting.
Here’s a short video of my process.