Emma Ralph (she/her)
Interested in graphic design as a means of exploring language.
A project exploring the varying vocabularies of the news by scraping text from the UK’s most visited news websites and arranging everything alphabetically. I was interested in how this could display difference, highlight change or draw attention to more sensationalist vocabularies.
A process based project, experiments created a variety of outcomes. When the text is put back into the fully justified typesetting of traditional newspapers, the large rivers create forms and patterns, emphasising words at random. The sensationalist vocabulary on the front page of The Daily Mail website printed out (at 10 point bold Times News Roman with 12 point line spacing and a column width the size of a tabloid page) becomes 4 meters long. A website updates live, comparing how differently the same day is reported, creating new patterns as news breaks.
(If you have experience in Python, know how to get websites that have been built with a Flask framework online and would be willing to offer advice – please get in touch!)
The outcome of a type workshop where we were asked to collect samples of type from vernacular and archival sources, adapting them into our own typeface. I found 11 characters from a slightly wonky piece of wood type from 1951, then used them to create my own digital version that tried to balance its wobbliness with something more cohesive.
The final type specimen uses phrases from self improvement websites.
For 4th year Graphic Design’s “Banned” exhibition and sale of letterpress posters on censorship, I looked into the temporary closure of Britain and Europe’s first underground newspaper. In 1969, The International Times was raided by police and charged with “conspiracy to corrupt public morals” for publishing a section for gay personal ads in its back pages. The newspaper was convicted in 1972 and then temporarily shut down.
The lower case type design for the poster is inspired by the newspaper’s logotype and a font found on the cover of the 1971 Gay Liberation Front manifesto.
Extended into a full type specimen, the vocabulary of the ads is contrasted with excerpts from an article published in The International Times after the police raid, detailing the resulting charges.