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UAL Research Online

Visual Grammar poster

McNeil, Paul and Muir, Hamish (2012) Visual Grammar poster. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: McNeil, Paul and Muir, Hamish
Description:

The visual grammar poster was designed and produced at the invitation of Modern Theory in 2012 as part of an international show of work from 20 design groups. The Visual Grammar show took place at MAD Brussels in September 2012. A specific briefing was provided and a fixed body of text was supplied to all participants who were asked to visually describe or define 'visual grammar' in the form of a poster.

We took advantage of the project to prototype two new typeface designs. The intention for the poster was to use only the text provided in a way that distilled the words to visual forms without linguistic content. It was anticipated that separating form from meaning would speak about visual grammar in a direct and immediate way.

Having undertaken a design development process involving around 50 alternative iterations, the final poster is a completely typeset composition where the boundary between what can and what can't be read is blurred.

The body text is set in a single weight and size of ThreeTwo 00, an extensive modular type system which is currently in development. Here, letterforms are composed from dot grids at fixed increments. As type sizes become smaller, resolution decreases within the dot pitch, which remains constant. Although bodies of text appear to retain typographic features, characters are unrecognisable individually, testing the limits of legibility in context.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

MuirMcNeil Design Systems is a project based collaboration between Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil. The Visual Grammar poster by MuirMcNeil was commissioned by Matthieu Regout and Edouard Pecher of Modern Theory in 2012 as a contribution to an international exhibition of work by 20 design groups. The exhibition took place at MAD (Maison de la Mode et du Design), Brussels, throughout September 2012. A briefing was provided by the curators and participants were invited to define 'visual grammar', using a mandatory text supplied, in the form of a two colour silkscreened poster. The intention for MuirMcNeil’s poster was to use only the text provided by the curators in a way that distilled it to purely asemic form. It was anticipated that attempting to divorce form from language would emphasise the concept of visual grammar in a direct way. In the final typeset composition there is a blurred boundary between what can and what can’t be read; between what’s an image and what’s a word. The Visual Grammar poster is the product of extensive research processes, both in terms of its production, which involved around 50 collaborative alternative iterations and in the design of the typefaces used in its implementation. The body text is set in a single weight and size of FourEight 00, part of an extensive modular type system which is currently in development. In this system, letterforms are composed from dot grids at fixed increments. There are four analagous scales, each featuring nineteen weights. As type sizes become smaller, resolution decreases within the dot pitch, which remains constant throughout. In FourEight 00 characters are undecipherable individually, although bodies of text appear to retain typographic features, narrowly exceeding the limits of legibility and readability.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: poster design; fonts; visual communication
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2012
Related Websites: http://www.counter-print.co.uk/book_tags/featured-products/?page=1&book=6003, http://www.muirmcneil.com
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Modern Theory Visual Grammar exhibition, MAD Brussels, Belgium6 September 201218 September 2012
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 10:50
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2014 17:00
Item ID: 6087
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6087

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