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Alphabetic Symmetry / Geometrical Typography

The ABC’s of Geometrical Symmetry

Hello all.

This is my very first attempt at creating a geometric collage on Photoshop. It is a result of an inadvertent trial-run-turned-actual-project, geometrical reimagination, playing around with shapes and colours, dealing with loads of layers, intermittent self-doubt, numerous cups of tea/coffee, and sweat (it's summer here). 

Experimental Beginnings - "I'll just try it out on Photoshop first"

What started out as a rough-cut experimental piece "just to see how it would look like" ended up being quite a feat of task. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am just a measly beginner, ignorant of the intricacies of Photoshop, but soon after I started, it became clear that I had set a rather ambitious task for myself.

I approached this assignment with a goal to try something a bit different from a normal copy-and-paste collage. One of the ideas I had was to create a geometrical interpretation of this brilliant piece depicting perfectly mirrored alphabets by artist Scott Kim.

And my, did it take up a large chunk of time and effort. It soon developed into a full-on project, and I was left with no extra time to try my hand at creating a geometrical portrait (the other idea I had in mind).

Visual Reimagination and Geometricising 

I started out by sketching drafts on paper to translate the original curves and gentle strokes into just angular and circular geometric shapes. This certainly took quite a lot of creative and visual reimagining, as well as a lot of experimentation and draft pieces. As someone who has spent the past 5 years in essay writing and academic reading, I had to change my thinking/working style from a “linear” and “cerebral" one which I am used to, into one that allows artistic space and freedom -- even if that meant haphazard trial-and-errors.

An Exercise in Shapes, Colours and Layering (lots and lots of layering)

Working with the lasso, marquee and shapes tools, I sought to create triangles, circles, semi-circles, crescents, rectangles and squares in order to create this geometrical list of symmetrical alphabets. 

It was a pretty challenging and time-consuming task as I had to work with layers upon layers upon layers upon layers. Talk about serious organisational craziness! As I was working with so many individual shapes, grouping was essential in order to create systematic categories as well as to maintain an efficient workspace. 

The project turned out to be a real exercise in the choice, creation and alterations of shapes, usage of colours, strategic adjustments in opacity levels, epic amounts of layering, alignment in order to maintain cohesion, lines, sizing, etc. 

Symmetrical Realisation

Instead of a simple mirroring of the left side of letters - which is what I had initially done - I decided to flip the many little individual shapes/layers horizontally with the Transform tool. This is to allow liberty for strategic colouring and adjustments to opacity levels, as I wanted to emphasise the different letters respectively through the density of each shape's translucence.

And Alas...

The end result is far from perfect, but it was a worthy first exercise in piecing simple geometrical shapes to compose a symmetrical list of alphabets.

Many cheers to Meg for running this class! Looking forward to learning more.

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