Saturday, October 31, 2009

Word Play

In Graphic Design History, we watched the film Helvetica. I'd seen it before but that was way before the idea of pursuing Graphic Design had even entered my head. Even with so little formal training under my belt, I got a lot more from this viewing. I'm really hungry to learn so many things. So...after class yesterday, I came home and did all kinds of web searches with the names of designers that were interviewed -- Spiekermann (love this guy -- snarky and cynical), Bierut, Carson. And that's barely scratching the surface!

In these explorations, I found so many interesting web sites. I wish there were more time to explore them all and play. One I'll share with you now is Wordle. At this site, you can enter any text or blog content or your tags in and the site will translate your text into a "word cloud." I can't tell you how much fun I had.

Wordle has features for changing color combos, font, and text orientation. It was interesting to notice which fonts, colors and orientation felt "right" for each piece I entered. I'll share three word clouds I created.

These tags clearly show what I've been focused on! The font is called Gunplay:

The word cloud below was created with a story I use sometimes when I do diversity training. It's a great story from Fatheralong: A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and Society by John Edgar Wideman. It's about creating a world among us by hearing each other's stories and what happens when some stories aren't heard or are cut off. The font here is called Berylium.

For this last one, I put in three of my favorite poems: The Journey and Wild Geese by Mary Oliver and The Avowal by Denise Levertov. The font is Gnuolane Free.

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