When it came to the final experiments, I remade my grids. Instead of splitting my pages into quadrants, I focused on making a grid (and added gutters) that I could follow for most of my paragraphs. I also experimented with the baseline grid, even though I thought that it would restrict the way I compose using the grid.
Despite using the grid, areas like these ones continued to happen: Where it wasn’t clear how to use the grid.
And then there were areas where getting the same type of interlocking shape (from last time) was turning impossible because of the grid (and because I had changed my typefaces to match more). A friend recommended that I change my arabic type too, from a kufic, modern and informal looking one to a more poetic looking one, because apparently the content didn’t look very flattering at all in the other type.
I also finally figured out how to properly use the baseline grid. before I hadn’t set my preferences to match the leadings, so the lines always snapped together weirdly:
^ I started to get somewhere using the grid properly, but then rivers started to form in the english type. Arabic rivers were a bit easier to disguise using kashidas. But even then, i couldn’t go too extreme without it looking stupid. I tried changing the composition so that I could avoid rivers. Tracking lines just ended up looking really odd and unnatural in an ugly way. A5 was killing me.
At the end of it it was choosing between these 2. Again, last minute friend critiques helped. One mini experiment I did happened by accident. While cutting my A5s I accidentally chopped the paper in half (middle). I Tried a few things, like slightly shifting the top half of a line to look like a physically crafted ‘italic’. noted this as a possible end for something. It was a cool concept… I ended with the one on the right.
I started working on A3 and realised things like the leading was too big or the font size was too big. I was surprised at this, because the font size was much smaller than the size of my sentences. I realised here that of course it would be different, paragraphs and sentences work differently (the paragraph couldn’t be too big, it would look silly. The sentences were like callouts).
I really looked at my fonts at this point. Comparing the details and serifs to the arabic type that I wanted to use.
I also began to make grids that matched one of my key paragraphs (top right, the arabic chunk of text that I wanted to emphasise – it was an uber poetic part of the poem and sounded extra poetic in arabic). So instead of just splitting my page into squares equally, I began to change the way the grid looked:
So I landed on a design I liked (img67), but friends suggested that the i adjust the justification of the key paragraph, since it’s in the centre of all the perfect edges. They had to guide me through where putting Kashidas would look the best, it depended on each letter and line (img68).
Next I tried to arrange my boxes in a more ‘dynamic’ way (img69). The first image (67) looked to central. Which was a problem I had last time too. But doing that was proving to be more difficult. There were points where I was completely avoiding the centre and points where it just didn’t look very nice anymore. With the one on the (bottom right), it looked very interesting, but again, I wasn’t sure about the tension and I knew I wanted to ‘extrude’ that paragraph, So I had to have a gap between two chunks of text and couldn’t have it that close.
Throughout my work process I had to keep in mind that the order in which the reader reads should be comprehensible, and there shouldn’t be a competition between two chunks of text.
Making the block. I need a square/rectangle cutter. It took me several tries to get right angled edges (the first few times I didn’t use a board).
Next I tried to use some kind of interval, to judge the height of the block:
Didn’t halve the interval or use the interval of the text right next to the chunk, because that would be too short.
^ After I was done, I felt like the interval I had used was slightly taller than it should have been. It stuck out too far? But if it didn’t stick out a lot then it would not produce tall/strong shadows. I will never know what’s right.
For A4, ……
I was fiddling and decided to try outdenting. a specific sentence. I thought that this could be the sentence that I slice and physically italicise. Instead, outdenting created a huge impact. I had picked a line that was meant to sound very poetic (english this time) and realised that outdenting also matches the concept of that line. The line talks about carving. Outdenting looks a bit like what the line talks about
A lot of people found it annoying that there was one line sticking out. The one on the right was a lesser annoyance from most (I went around asking a lot of people). To be honest I liked it better too, it fit the horizontal flow better. gestalt?
I thought that having two outdents could reduce the annoyance, but it ended up not looking good:
I still felt like it was an option, since I outdented specific lines that complemented each other, but to someone, it looked like two buildings, with a bridge and a balcony. Someone else gave a more sane critique saying that the way to read it is disturbed. With the first outdent, it’s clear that it’s a part of the paragraph and the order in which it is read. But the second one is confusing, because it looks like it’s growing out of the latin type, or leading on from it.
So the horizontal flow/gestalt one it was.