Letter Forms

Its just the third week of my sophomore year and the letters don’t look like it anymore; or maybe, the letters were never letters in the first place! I have been seeing them wrongly for the past 18 years of my life! I learnt to investigate them for their basic shapes and forms and discovered that when two letters come together, they create interesting combinations.

It seemed easy in the beginning, but whats fun without some rules? And in walked in three short and sweet(NOT!) rules; use one white and one black letter inside a square, each letter taking 50% of the area of the square to create a aesthetically pleasing shape. Also, the letters need to be combinations of arabic-arabic, latin-latin and both arabic and latin.

The happy moments in the process of experimentation were to discover two letters fit perfectly into each other after hopelessly staring at the screen for a long time! The letters started to feel more like puzzle pieces that have been waiting for us to discover their other half.


However, it was challenging to get all three rules in one square. Sometimes it looked aesthetically beautiful, but it was not in a 50-50 ratio so I had to change it and no matter how much I tried, it wouldn’t look as good again. This really slowed down the process and it was in some of those moments that  I felt as if all the work I was putting into the project was going to waste because though I spend a long time on the project, I could hardly finish more than 1 or 2 in a day. There was a lot of work to be done and time was certainly in no mood to cooperate with me.


50/50 not working! hard to recognise the letter at the back as well.

One such time, I thought of trying other techniques rather than just putting the letters next to each other and experimenting. I drew basic shapes all around a letter and drew an enclosing box. I inspected the surrounding shapes to see if it resembled any letter form and it did! Below is the result from this experimentation:
Artboard 1Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 8.52.20 PM

In the one where the ج is taken out, you can see an H shape among the shapes. Inspired from this, I tried to combine the two  letters and I got a beautiful result.

Unfortunately, this technique didn’t work out very well for most other letters and it was time consuming so I dropped the technique. Anyway, I do realise that creating these particular rules made it more challenging and interesting for us, and that I was learning a lot of new skills through the project. Overall, its been a good first project of the semester and I’ll be posting the final pieces soon!



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