This was a personal project created for a Skillshare course in which the task was to design a typographic identity for a fictitious contemporary art exhibit called UncommonWealth based on the idea that beauty can be discovered in uncommon ways or unexpected places. UncommonWealth is also a play on words in that if you change the way you see things, you may find unconventional wisdom. This project explores the concept of combining text and imagery in a simplistic but meaningful format to create visual impact and leave lasting impressions.
Design Approach
I wanted to delve into the idea that beauty can be perceived in everyday objects, such as in colored pencil shavings that are typically discarded in the waste bin. But when observed through artistic lens or from a unique perspective in contrast to what is normally seen at a glance, even the most common objects we use or dispose of in our daily lives can appear aesthetically pleasing. Such objects, for instance, can be creatively arranged, presented, or modified for a decorative effect.
With that in mind, I developed a few variations below illustrating this concept.
Revealing an underlying image through overlapping text (aka the "knockout" effect in Photoshop terms) was a stylistic choice to focus the viewer's attention on the fine details — the textures, contours, and colors — of the pencil debris as shown abstractly through the letterforms. Scattered debris on its own is not a very interesting sight. However, beauty is often in the details that we tend to overlook, and we start to perceive the colorful variety of distinct shapes and ridged textures through a more filtered perspective, allowing us to see these familiar objects in a new light.
Like the 1st variation, the 2nd sign displays an accompanying image, but this one features a neatly stacked pile of colored pencil shavings to the left of the text.
Outdoor exhibition sign on a vinyl banner
Indoor exhibition sign mounted on wall
Initial Versions (prior to redesign)
The designs above were done for the purpose of revisiting an older project I worked on from the early to mid-2010s and improving upon the initial set I created.
The following drafts were the precursor to the final versions and played an integral part in the overall design process. The fundamental concept of the knockout effect (image embedded within text) stemmed from these earlier designs and evolved into a more elaborate presentation that swapped out the original background image for a more vibrant and colorful one. The font weight of all accompanying text to the main title was also increased for enhanced legibility at a distance. These were the most prominent changes, among a few others.

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