RISD Design Studio 3, Unit 11: The Archive (under the direction of Paul Soulellis & Nancy Skolos)
Prompted to create our own collection from digital archives, I chose to focus on handwriting found on the internet. I collected handwritten samples from various internet archives such as the New York Public Library Digital Collections, the Internet Archive, Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit. Samples come from both historical documents, to postings from today.
In trying to make sense of the samples that had no other relation than being handwritten, I chose to narrow my focus to single letters.
Asked to create an informative publication about our collection, and a poetic publication using our collection, I did more research into the area of handwriting analysis as well as the impact of handwriting in a now almost completely digital world.
I chose to use the individual letters from my collection to create a new form of visual imagery to accompany the writings I typeset.
Above: Informative publication on the subject of handwriting analysis. Below: Poetic publication using a personal account about the impact of handwriting on a woman's life.
We were then asked to translate our collection to a screen-based media. I created a series of 4 GIFs.
Becoming interested with the visual quality of transitions between single letterforms, I decided to further investigate the infinite variations between the handwritten letter "A." The result is a flip book including 84 handwritten versions of the letter, including where it was found, the author, and the date.
The introduction reads: "This publication is a collection of the handwritten letter A, compiled to highlight the individuality of human handwriting, but ordered to show a fluidity between differing hands. The letterforms were selected from a range of materials—letters, notes, menus, and samples—and were written by hands from both the past to present day. Curated from archives across the internet such as the New York Public Library Digital Collections, the Internet Archive, Twitter, and Reddit, this publication emphasized the beauty of a handwritten letterform, and the timeless quality of handwriting."