Using only an image of the figure plus the words ‘The Figure’, create different designs using thumbnail sketches – as in the duckling designs shown on the previous page. Introduce a block of colour of your choice to add to the design, making three elements for you to play with: the image, text and colour block.
Use the watercolour image below, Man by Mark Adlington, downloaded from Bridgeman Art Library. Download the image or copy it from below and work on paper.
Begin by using the words ‘The Figure’ set in 24pt Arial (or similar) upper case (capital letters), so that the type is a consistent size for the first twelve thumbnails, with only the image of the figure changing scale. Then go on to explore different typefaces and sizes, both upper case and lower case, in relation to the image.
Experiment with each element of type, image and colour at different weights and scales to create different spatial arrangements and compositions within the frame. Crop the image and try a variety of typefaces and arrangements.
Explore the breadth of designs you can achieve using just these few elements. Be inventive within the set rules.
Photos of the permutations and annotations from my original logbook.
Looking back on this at the end of the course many other more exciting possibilities exist that would increase the contrast – eg just putting a very small figure in one of the corners. With very large text (the figure could even balance precariously on the top) or very small text and lots of whitespace to show isolation. But what needs to inform the design is an in-depth knowledge of the content of the book.