top of page

Mapping the World: R&D Mini Evaluation

Taking the brief for our Mapping the World for our Typography Module, we interrogated and condensed it down to 20,10 and then 5 words, culminating in a sentence to encapsulate the essence of what it is that we are trying to achieve with this project.

"Using typography, conduct a rigorous exploration of mapping, communicate this in a unique and creative way to a selected audience."


Who is this for?

Who are the stakeholders? Who are the target audience?


Myself | Peers | Tutors | Examiners | ISTD | IP3/Reach (AKA the Hooper Troopers)

Target Audience:

Is this different to the stakeholders. This is something I need to identify and define. Possible audiences: 

Children | Gen Z | Mid age lefty libs | Baby Boomers | Lower Socio-economic groups | Anyone, everyone | Intellectual Elite | Wealthy art buyers.

I do know that I want to engage people who are curious, that want to get beyond what is reported in the mainstream news and generally accepted as the truth with regards to news and history, getting beyond the propaganda.

What do they want?

To understand what I am communicating. So I need to have a clear and concise message. Any woolliness will result in confusion for the viewer.

What is the context of this brief?

While the brief has been set to fulfil the HNC Graphic Design module brief for Unit 13, it has been taken from an ISTD competition brief to assess the capability of student designers around their understanding and handling of typography. ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) is a professional body run by and for typographers, designers and educators. Their objective is to help establish, maintain and promote typographic standards through the forum of debate and design practice. 

What are the objectives?

To achieve:

1. Investigate the application of typographic practice in print and digital workflows 

2. Explore typographic technologies and processes in specific contexts
3. Apply typographic principles and processes in meeting a brief
4. Present finished typographic outputs, for print and digital workflows.

By producing:

A final outcome (print or digital) of choosing but relevant. Strategy report, which is a bit like the brand guidelines for the final outcome but also a breakdown of reasoning behind all design decisions. A research report, to summarise the major cultural and technological developments in the evolution of typography. A presentation on my research and outcome. Finally all Development work documented on the blog.

What are the constraints?

In addition to adhering to the brief the constraints are self imposed through decisions made from research. For example choosing a typeface or font family and sticking to it. The same with regards to setting up a grid, defining a colour palette and choosing the format of the outcome. All need to be research led and then used to further creativity by limiting options.

Where is the work likely to be seen/displayed/consumed?

In assessment, at the end of year show, potentially submitted to ISTD and possibly added to my portfolio.

What existing design and culture is relevant to this project and 

what research have you done (according to that/those contexts)?

Everything! Specifically though, I have researched typographic design from the mid 20th century up to contemporary design, looking closely at Paula Scher, I have also spent some time looking at contemporary editorial design for my project as that is my intended outcome. Suzie Eland and Alastair Myers have both done projects that are relevant to what I hope to achieve.

Ordnance Survey Maps are very pertinent to my project, sizing, typography and iconography are key to what I hope to achieve. In addition older cartography and cartographic conventions will help my project to read as a map.

I have been researching artists that use maps and mapping within their work, some pieces are purely aesthitic commercial craft and others have much more inherent depth and applied meaning. I got in touch with Artist Sula Rubens, who was kind enough to give me an hour of her time to talk through her work. Her work is studies displaced people and uses maps as her canvas, allowing some of the map to show through. 

Kin-Charcoal-watercolour-pigment-on-paper-map-74-x-45-cm_Sula Rubens.jpg

Kin - Sula Rubens

Charcoal/watercolour pigment on paper map 74-x-45-cm

What are the areas you have investigated?

I feel I have done a lot more research than is probably necessary for this project as I overwhelmed myself with potential content, looking initially at places that will be under the sea in 50 years time, but also I was curious about medieval maps, Mappa Mundi. Mansa Musa and the notion around 'Here be dragons' at theedge of maps where the geography was uncharted by western/Christian people. Another avenue I was keen to include was the idea of silliness, inspired by Lewis Bush, Shadows of the state, I started looking at Google street view maps gone 'wrong', people dressing up for the event or something strange captured by the cameras. My particular favourite was that of a cow who's face had been blurred by the algorithm put in place to protect privacy. I'd like to include a little of that ridiculous with in my own project.

I have also been reading Atlas of Vanishing places and Atlas of Improbable places by Travis Elborough and Off the Map by Alastair Bonnett. I have also bought Editorial Design by Yolanda Zappaterra and have Just My Type by Simon Garfield ready to read. 

For a more extensive idea on what i have been researching see my section on Mapping the World Mood boards.

Why is research in that area important?

If I don't look at relevant design and other cultural information around my subject to inform my own work than it may lack context and depth. The work will be frivolous, without meaningful research there will be nothing holding it together. I would be making arbitrary decisions around style, font and placement. These subtle visual cues that I will include from my research will help the viewer understand what i am trying to communicate. 

Are there any areas you need to look at more of?

I don't think I have done as much investigation in to type as image or idea, as i would have liked and i do feel more research around innovative editorial layout would be useful.

bottom of page