Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Day 307, on which John looks at some ideograms [2.11.10]

Dag tre hundrede og syv. Welcome to November, lads. After the wait-is-it-November-it's-too-early-to-tell feeling of the 1st, we've now moved swiftly onto the 2nd and I can safely say it's November. Also, I have some more grammar Nazism to amuse you with. Well, not really grammar Nazism, but something about grammar. Whilst reading The Catcher in the Rye, I picked up the term I'd've, and I kinda like it. Why say 'I'd have' when you can combine the three words (I, would, have) into I'd've? You can apply it to the other persons: you'd've, he'd've, they'd've, we'd've, etc. The only one it doesn't work on is it'd've, but no one uses that anyway so we won't need to worry about that. Well, that's how we say it, right? Hmm, may need a bit more thought.

OK, I was just browsing the Behance network and came across this cute little graphics set on Typography Served, by Design has no Name. It's inspired me to try some 'ideograms', ie. graphical logo-like pictures which are meant to represent things. The great thing about ideograms is that you make them in a set like fonts, so they've got to be related to each other yet still individual. So, they are really like characters in a font.

Better yet, you're trying to apply not just shapes but a visual style across the ideogram set. For example, here is a small set of tree ideograms from the set I mentioned above:

I really like these, they're bold and simplistic but with a hint of detail and a bti of a retro feel to them as well. I also like how the background is slightly textured, so give it that old-fashioned feel. I have a couple of textured backgrounds I could try on my own ideograms. It's not really the functional side of ideograms, but I don't think I'd want to make something that was functional (eg. a road signage system with park and museum ideograms etc), I just like the idea of making a stylised system of graphics.

I also like the use of overlayed shapes which bring out a darker shade of that colour. It'd be hard to keep consistent, because I'd want to keep a strict colour palette. So, would I have the main colours then tones a touch lighter or a touch darker than them? That'd mean twice as many colours in the palette. Which means it'd get complicated. My original experiments have left me with seven main colours for this first ideogram set: black, white, a light grey, and a bleached blue, red, orange (kinda tan when bleached) and green. It's a very light colour set, not bold at all, but that's what I going for.

Hmm, ideograms may be my next best thing. Who knows?


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