#2 Exercises in style

Letters make words and words have a meaning. Scale, tone, texture and composition are important for the recognition and meaning of words, this must be taken into account when designing text. Reading and understanding copy is vital for the decisions about ordering the information. It is important for a designer to distinguish between main issues and side issues and to play or to draw attention to text or words, for example quotes or highlighting words or pieces of text. This with the aim to get in touch with the reader or viewer and attract attention. In order to achieve this, you have to look as a designer with the reader’s gaze and interpret the hierarchy in texts as a reader would.

‘Exercices the style’ of Raymond Queneau appeared in 1947 is not a real novel but the same story told in 99 different ways, some subtly different abstract but all with its own narrative form.
http://www.altx.com/remix/exercises.pdf Here you find all 99 variations starting on page 5

A Parisian bus passenger sees how a man with a long neck and a strange hat argues with a fellow passenger. Later in the day he comes across the quarrel again; this time he is accompanied by a friend who advises him to put an extra knot on his coat.

Assignment

Take the time to read well and understand what the style entails. Some texts are ‘loud’ or ‘silent’ Some will immediately raise an idea others are more difficult to solve. The challenge lies in making an interesting composition and not in making the text readable. Use only Helvetica and / or Garamond and make the layout appropriate to the style. This can mean that you rotate letters or words, work with enlargement and reduction, bring strong contrasts, everything is allowed for the style as long as possible. Do not be too careful!

Format A3 portrait, black / white, no illustrations,
Typeface: Helvetica and / or Garamond

Use the following three variants:

1_
Dream
I had the impression that everything was misty and nacreous around me, with multifarious and indistinct apparitions, amongst whom however was one figure that stood out fairly clearly which was that of a young man whose too-long neck in itself seemed to proclaim the character at once cowardly and quarrelsome of the individual.
The ribbon of his hat had been replaced by a piece of plaited string. Later he was having an argument with a person whom I couldn’t see and then, as if suddenly afraid, he threw himself into the shadow of a corridor.
Another part of the dream showed him walking in bright sunshine in front of the gare Saint-Lazare. He was with a companion who was saying: “You ought to have another button put on your overcoat.”
Whereupon I woke up.

2_
Telegraphic

BUS CROWDED STOP YNGMAN LONGNECK PLAITENCIRCLED HAT APOSTROPHISES UNKOWN PASSENGER UNAPPARENT REASON STOP QUERY FINGERS FEET HURT CONTACT HELL ALLEGED PURPOSELY STOP YNGMAN ABANDONS DISCUSSION PROVACANT SEAT STOP 1400 HOURS PLACE ROME YNGMAN LISTENS SARTORIAL ADVICE FRIEND STOP MOVE BUTTON STOP SIGNED ARCTURUS

3_
Comedy

ACT ONE Scene 1
On the back platform of an S bus, one day, round about 12 noon.THE CONDUCTOR: Fez pliz. (Some passengers hand him their fares.)
Scene 2
(The bus stops)
THE CONDUCTOR): Let ’em off first. Any priorities? One priority! Full up. Dring dring dring.
(Same set)
ACT TWO Scene 1
FIRST PASSENGER: (young, long neck, a plait round his hat) It seems, sir, that you make a point of treading on my toes every time anyone goes by.
SECOND PASSENGER: (shrugs his shoulders) Scene 2
(A third passenger gets off)FIRST PASSENGER: (to the audience) Whacko! a free seat! I’ll get it before anyone else does. (He precipitates himself on to it and occupies it)
ACT THREE Scene 1
(The Cour de Rome)A YOUNG DANDY: (to the first passenger, now a pedestrian) The opening of your overcoat is too wide. You ought to make it a bit narrower by having the top button raised.
Scene 2
On the S bus, passing the Cour de Rome.
FOURTH PASSENGER: Huh, the chap who was in the bus with me earwlier on and who was having a row with another chap. Odd encounter. I’ll make it into a comedy in three acts and in prose.

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