Displaying Type in a Gallery Setting.

Eric_West's picture

As stated. Whoever can offer advice, what is the best way of displaying type in a gallery setting. I've got a 20 foot span_(10 more than I asked for) , 10 ft high, dead center of senior show, surrounded by fine art. I'd like to emphasize my process.

Thx

bojev's picture

Check out http://www.theconnection.org/shows/2003/09/20030904_b_main.asp and look at View display panels. Also think about matting and framing a few specimens just like a drawing or print. Mat or mount with plenty of space around your work so it is isolated and can be looked at without distractions. If you use 32x40 inch panels five or six in a 20 foot area are enough with space between.

timd's picture

You could also look at using your designs in a practical way, maybe making your space a catalogue or wayfinding system for the rest of the exhibition, I'm thinking of distinguishing the craft from the art.

Is there an opportunity for an interactive work, a projector, a computer and a keyboard inviting the audience to contribute (criticism, rambling thoughts, probably obscenity etc)?

Alternatively you could create words/letters on a magnetic medium – kind of huge fridge poetry.

I'm not entirely sure that this gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your process (in fact I'm not clear what you mean by that).

Tim

dan_reynolds's picture

Somewhere on his site, Erik van Blockland has photos from last years Type [ Media master's degree student exhibition. Maybe that could give you some ideas? They seem to all plot out large, tall banners showing off their type in various sizes.

I know someone in Offenbach who filled a room with his thesis typeface. He had a foot high banner running around the room, black, with white type on it. I think it was a continuous text about typography. Then made three foot high blocks, sort like the chips in scrabble. These were all black, each with a white letter on them. They stood in the middle of the room, and spelled out the typeface's name. Lastly, he had a podium behind these blocks. On that was a book, which described the process behind the typeface's design.

I have made posters in the past myself. 6 x DIN A0 (I think). Each was framed, and they hung in two rows of three.

And then there is this project of mine. Better photos from the exhibition are in this Typophile thread (scroll down a little).

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Tim and Dan.

I'm still working on it and hope it's in good enough shape to display that large when it comes time. I'm also trying to integrate a time-based information design into my display, for another class.

Tim
I guess process is just this, I spent about 7-8mo's on something else, which wasn't well received here, so I started over. I'd like to find some way to integrate that (I have a ton of process on that one) and what I have on this one.

I was thinking I could split my process/results into a month by month progression or something.

Dan or Tim,

If you've got any ideas for a progression type thing, share please!

Thanks guys.

hrant's picture

> large, tall banners

Sounds anti-type, even anti-human.
Portrait format is fine for... portraits, but for
type especially I suspect the main reason it's
prominent is that you don't (sometimes) have
to go to two columns to make things readable.

Horizontality is much better. Like picture a continuous thick line going around the room, at a gentle incline, so that it wraps around repeatedly without a break: people can follow the spiral, sort of becoming part of the motif even.

hhp

timd's picture

I was thinking I could split my process/results into a month by month progression or something.
That sounds good, some kind of calendar or almanac with an image of that month's problem overcome (or not) with days & dates and any special type events set in the type as it existed at the time (if that is a possibility, month one could use sketches, month two more finished etc). There was another thread which came to a similar conclusion. You could print up some copies as giveaways. Alternatively some kind of morphing animation from sketch to finish.

Tim

Eric_West's picture

I'm getting some polished stainless letters laser-cut to mount on my space above my work, and was wondering if anyone had a solid method of keeping everything staight, since all the letters have to be applied individually. and especially the italic, which not of it rests on baseline.

Thanks

hrant's picture

Here's an idea: print out the stuff on paper, precisely cut out the black parts, attach the sheets to the wall exactly straight, then stick your physical letters through the holes onto the wall, and remove the sheets at the end.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

Hey, that's cool! (Both Eric's design and Hrant's idea…)

timd's picture

Instead of cutting out you could create a cartoon like Michaelangelo, if you print out the paper version and make pinholes around each letter and use chalk or something similar to make a light mark through the pinholes on the wall to position your letters in. Or print out a mirror of the type to paper and tack the lasercuts to the printed paper and then apply the whole lot painstakingly to the wall. Get a longish spirit-level and plumbline. Sounds a good idea, let us know how it looks.
Tim

Eric_West's picture

Thanks everybody. If it looks half as good as I see it in my head, I'll post photos.

hrant's picture

Were your beziers "clean"?

hhp

Eric_West's picture

My italic passes fontlab's fontaudit with flying colors ( if that's what you mean by clean) . Maybe that doesn't mean anything. I wish I had a screenshot of what is looked like. 36,000 points. It had even converted straight length's into points.

How easy is it to generate a PC font in fonlab from OSX that they'd be able to use. Might make a difference. Might not. How do you install fonts on a PC ?

hrant's picture

Why not make a converted-to-outlines EPS
(or PDF) on your end and give them that?

hhp

Eric_West's picture

well, I asked them what they could use, and they told me they could only use a .dxf or .dwg. So I CTO'd and sent a .dwg. From my visit they seem like very basic operation.

hrant's picture

It sounds like your bezier-to-DWG converter is flawed.
If you can't find one that works, try converting your
design into all-straight-lines (instead of curves).

Alternatively, you might actually be able to install
the font into their computer (or any computer that's
running any CAD software that can outout DXF/DWG)
and set your text directly in there. One thing though:
if you do that (or come to think of it, even if you do
format-conversion on your end) mind the PS versus TT
situation, since they use different types of bezier curves,
and a converter (whether external or internal) might
have problems with one.

BTW, you said your Roman font worked out, right?
Try to figure out what's different about the Italic.

hhp

Jill Bell's picture

About installing individual 3D letters: Tim has it right. Signpainters and installers, and mural painters make patterns. Here's a long version.

To make a pattern and transfer it on to the wall you'll need: paper for the pattern, pounce wheel, fine sand paper, pounce in a pounce bag, tape, rulers, tape measures.

Make the pattern. If you had your letters made from computerized patterns, then you might be able to print all the copy out at size to use as paper pattern.

But if not get a big roll of butcher block or kraft paper. Draw a baseline on the paper and any other guides you might need, and place the letters on the paper exactly as you would have them spaced on the wall. When you have them in place, weigh each letter down to help keep them in place as you carefully trace around each letter. Put the pattern drawing up on wall to evaluate and adjust if needed before perforating.

You can get a pounce wheel, which is a handle with a wheel that has little protruding spikes of varying sizes and spacing around it, at a sign supply store (some art stores) for about $4 or from Dick Blick online. The surface you will be applying the pattern to and the size of the letters will determine the size of the wheel you need: the coarser the wall texture and/or larger the letters, the bigger and coarser the pattern holes should be. I also had an electro pouncer that burnt holes in the paper pattern, but it's a sizable investment and often literally a shocking experience.

Put the paper on a slightly padded surface (a rug will do if you aren't heavy handed) and carefully run the wheel around the outline of the letters punching a line of little holes through the paper. If a letter tears along the perforation, tape it back in place and go over it punching through the tape if possible. After perforating, gently sand (fine paper) the back of the paper pattern to open the holes. Tape to wall in place with masking or other tape that won't leave a residue or pull off paint. You can measure from floor or ceiling to baseline and/or eyeball the placement (not many walls are really square).

You can buy a ready-made pounce bag for about $15. Or you can make one yourself by filling an old sock with chalk dust (if surface you are applying letters to is dark) or charcoal dust (if surface is light) and tie it shut. 20 ounces of either chalk or charcoal pounce is only about $6 (Dick Blick again). Gently tap over the holes in the outline to transfer a dotted line of powder to the wall. Check to see if the pattern is transferring when you start, and that it's all there before removing. After applying letters, an old towel will probably remove 99% of any overblow on the wall.

Installers frequently use two sided foam tape and Liquid Nails for a quick fix.

Hope this is helpful, clear and not too long winded.

hrant's picture

Hi Jill! Nice to see you gracing the pages of Typophile once again.

Don't you think the method you describe (in such great
detail - thank you) involves a lot of extraneous effort in
cases where the font is available digitally and my idea
can be used instead?

hhp

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Jill and Hrant.

I'll probably go with Hrant on this one. I've allready got a ton to do in the next week.

Hrant,

I exported a pc.tt and tested it on a pc, and it worked, so I sent it to them. Hopefully they can use that. Hope so. Cross your fingers.

timd's picture

My concern with Hrant's method would be that by cutting out the letters the paper can distort* when sticking it on the wall, either way it is going to take a lot longer than you think.
*or would be easier to distort
Tim

hrant's picture

> I’ve allready got a ton to do in the next week.

As I like to append to Franklin's "necessity is the mother of invention":
"And its father is laziness!" :-)

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Eric, Jill's method will I suspect be not only better but quicker. The lady knows what she is talking about.

http://www.art.net/Studios/Visual/Jillbell/Intro.html

Eric_West's picture

Ok,

I'll look into the pounce wheel method. The more I think about it, the more I see Tim's point.

hrant's picture

BTW, I just thought of -another- shortcut: instead of cutting
out all the letters from the paper (yeah, use thick stock) all
you might need to do is to mark the wall through the printout
at some key locations for each glyph (think of bezier extrema),
then remove the printouts and line up the hardware with the
residual references.

hhp

negativespace's picture

http://www.e-a-t.org/

The photos from the various locations the E-A-T (experiment and typography) show has been to may give you some ideas.

kris's picture

Bad luck with the laser-cutting-out! I recently did something similar, and the chaps requested a .dxf file to laser cut. Luckily, Illustrator outputs those easily, so I am surprised that your files corrupted. I have attached a sample of what I got done (200 x 900 mm)

—K

Eric_West's picture

Thanks Kris,

I sent a .dwg before, maybe if the PC TTF doesn't work for them, ( if they know what .zip file is to get it out ) I'll send them a .dxf.

That is quite beautiful, what was it for?

kris's picture

I converted the type to paths, I'm not sure if that is what you are doing as well. It saves the possibility of one more thing to go wrong!

The thing above is the last of 5 plates that I made for my sister's 21st, it is a typographic interpretation of a local poem. I am wary of showing the rest, as I didn't really get permission from the poet. Apparently private use / viewing is ok, but not public!

—K

Eric_West's picture

Yeah, all paths the first time around!

Eric_West's picture

I was trying to post a pdf for better detail, but the file upload is Fatal-erroring right not. This is a 24" x 30" spec sheet I'll have as the final thing in my space, I'd like it to show the individual letters as well as text settings. Ideas welcome. My thoughts were just below what I have here, I'll have 4 or 5 short columns across in 10 and 12 pt, and below that to show text larger with and without ligature to show the necessity.

Eric_West's picture

Just FYI for everybody, we seemed to have gotten my problem solved. Sending them the font did the trick.

crossgrove's picture

Maybe too little too late: Sign companies (good ones) prepare for installations with a perforated paper cartoon cut from your outline file on their plotter. They switch from a blade (for cutting vinyl) to a pin wheel. You draw baseline and cap or x-height lines on it and on the wall to make it level, tape it down, then pounce. If a sign company would be willing to sell you a plotter-pierced cartoon, it would be sweet and easy.

Needless to say, lots of signs have been installed with letter spacing destroyed, bad angles (especially italics) and upside-down letters. If you get the layout translated into a long roll of paper and do the installation yourself, it would probably prevent all that.

Please do document this project!

Eric_West's picture

Check this sh•t out.

MY outline is the orange overlay.

Eric_West's picture

Never again. I'm going to have to scan all these letters in. Kern them manually and then get a printout. I really can't believe how screwy these turned out. Remember this name and NEVER order. MAINSTREAM WATERJET.

dave bailey's picture

That's horrible work on their part. Sorry that didn't work out for you...you'd think that technology like that could reproduce a simple glyph. I see the guys from OCC use the waterjet machines to make all sorts of complicated motorcycle parts, no problem. :-/

Eric_West's picture

I just double checked the TT file i sent them. It's dead on my working version.

dave bailey's picture

Did you have to end up paying for this poor workmanship? Definitely an error on somebody else's part.

Eric_West's picture

Yeah, but I don't have much choice, I need something for my show.

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