At the end of 2016 I decided to undertake a year-long typography project to document the upcoming year in an illustrative 2017 diary. The reason for doing this was two fold; I wanted to document and present the news in an alternative manner (Trump had just been elected so 2017 was bound to be a rollercoaster). I also wanted to push myself to experiment with new artistic styles to develop my own work. When you are producing artwork for a commercial purpose it’s very hard to create something without constraints. You become known for a particular style so it’s very easy to play it safe and get stuck in rut creatively. The purpose of this typography project was to produce something daily without the thought of pleasing a client or customer. I would experiment with different styles and media without the fear of failure. The only constraint that I placed upon myself was that I would only spend around 30minutes per-day on the project so that it didn’t take over my life.
Each day I posted my designs onto my social media channels along with the news story that inspired my design that day. I’m not going to go through the year and explain the reasoning behind each design, as that would be madness, but I have attached images of a select few of my designs.
Throughout the year I did try to incorporate happy stories or funny stories into the mix as I was getting a bit bogged down with some more hard-hitting news stories. To be honest the whole year could have been dedicated to Donald Trump…but I didn’t want to give him any more publicity… I think my design on Day 195 summed up my feelings towards Mr Trump.
In conclusion the 2017 Type of Year typography project was at times frustrating and was very tying. I couldn’t read a news story without thinking how I’d depict it in a typographical format (to be honest, I still can’t!). I always had to factor in the time to complete my design, no matter where I was or how I was feeling. This lead me to producing designs on whilst holiday in Italy, in Croatia, up a mountain in the Lake District, drunk (see day 195!) and when suffering with Australian Flu. But however frustrating it was, it was 10 times more rewarding when I actually completed the project.
I had no end game when I started the typography project and during the year I considered having an exhibition or producing a series of final prints inspired by the project. However when reflecting on the Type of Year project I decided that with the final design it had reached a natural conclusion. I had set out to document the year, experiment with different styles and media and develop my own work. I felt that this had all been achieved and it was time to put what I had learned into practice.
You can view the whole project on Instagram.