On Wednesday of last week I took my initial sketches and created three initial drafts of what can become the final plates. In the coming week I will decide which of these three to go with as my final design and begin the editing touch-ups that will be required to get the images into a state I will consider final and complete (a process that by then won't take more than 3 hours maximum, and may be very little time). At the time I choose which design to go with I will probably put it up here again and discuss why I chose it. For now, let me walk you through each of these designs and what strengths and weaknesses they each have.
Fundemental Question. This is the real design of the sketch with just "Question" on one plate. In laying the words out it just seemed to look as though it would be better to split the words a bit more evenly, yet use color to designate important words. I have an idea of how to improve this further that would render a 7-1 word split, but may or may not draft that out depending on time and how I feel about what I already have. In these images I use not just color, but also font, to separate the words of less importance from those that deserve emphasis. What words get the emphasis is lots of where I, as the artist, lay a path for interpretation, but in all these images the viewer remains responsible for their own interpretation. The primary strength of this design is its use of color and font to establish some sense of emphasis, but at the same time its main weakness is in the relative lack of creativity that using such a method and nothing else leaves the plates with. The overall layout and idea is a great one, but in the next two designs I explored ways of emphasizing words that use a bit more creativity in achieving that goal.
Nonviolence. In these plates I use color to draw out the answer that pervades the wider work this phrase comes from and Gene Sharp's contributions to the field as a whole. Nonviolence is that answer, as the means by which to achieving your goals, and as the way to sustainably get what you want while not dehumanizing whomever your opponent is. We aren't allowed to draw the words on anything that doesn't resemble the letters being laid out on an invisible grid, so to see "Nonviolence" takes some imagination and a closer look at what is emphasized. In the first plate you will see the "N" of "Nonviolence" by connecting the dots of what is colored differently. The second plate contains the dots to connect that lead one to draw out the "v" in "Nonviolence". I still use font as well, but may in the final plates use that instead to achieve the emphasis that color and font together do of the first design. Throughout my time as a Peace Studies major I've always ended up abbreviating "Nonviolence" to "NV", which is where drawing out those letters comes from. The strength of these plates is in the need for the viewer to use their imagination to uncover the emphasis' meaning. You must step out of the box a bit to understand these images. I see a weakness in the continued pairing of both color and font, which I will probably change for whatever final plates I create, and in the straight line version of giving the citation for this quote. In the final plates I will abstract that element a bit further, or at least lay it out in a more creative fashion.
Question Mark. These plates emphasize the word "Questions" in an entirely different way. The entire (still on a grid, technically) layout of the words draws out a somewhat abstracted question mark. I then use color on the first plate purely in coloring every other word, and on the second plate as my way of emphasizing "fundamental", since I see the whole pair "fundamental questions" to be truly deserving of emphasis in these plates. I did play with, and like the outcome of, fitting the citation elements into the negative space below "fundamental" and above "questions". This way they are there but the eye won't be drawn to them as explicitly as in my previous two designs. A weakness of this design may be in just the use of the words to, on a grid, draw out an image. But beyond the citation that very fact also remains its major strength.
If I were to draw these three designs together into my final plates I would probably disconnect the dual use of color and font to let me attempt at drawing the "NV" in the first plate of the question mark, while still using color to emphasize words. The placement of "many" above "fund" in the question mark image also can be taken into account for incorporation into the first design. I will have to let it sit until class time on Wednesday to have me determine what exactly I draw from each of these into whichever of these I use as the base for my final plates.
So, the creative process on this project continues to twirl around in my head even when doing very different things throughout the days. What input might you all have for me seeing the current state of this project, thinking back to my initial sketches, as I move forward? Please let me know in the comments here.