This piece is a bit of a throwback, completed as a Typography project during my first semester in the graphic design curriculum. We were challenged to create a 3D design featuring type. As soon as I saw examples of student work from previous years, I knew I wanted to do a project using light in some way. It also so happened that I had encountered this anonymous mantra in my independent studies online around the same time. I thought long and hard about the words and what they meant to me and how they could apply to my project. After all, this project was considered a Final and I would be spending a fair amount of time on said project so I wanted to make it worthwhile.
Being for a typography class, I first started by researching fonts to choose an appropriate typeface and layout. Ultimately, I chose Umbra as my font for its relief effect to repeat the theme of light and darkness surrounded by braces. While the use of braces has grown increasingly popular simply as a design motif, I was reaching back to their uses in classical poetry as a mark to represent repetition. In other words, suggesting the viewer refer back to this mantra as many times as needed in order to remind themselves (myself) to continue to see a bright future for themselves. This also is may have been a bit introspective as I was thinking on my own bright future ahead of me as a student looking forward to the opportunities that learning provides.
To me, the phrase also implies working with what you already have to build something new and brighter for the future. So I represented this by repurposing materials already available. I found a black wicker frame I had squirreled away earlier and glued my printed paper to the interior rim of the frame. The paper I printed on was actually some from my late grandfather that he used as tracing paper, unlike any store brand I have found yet, this paper has a subtle ripple-like texture that, when printed upon, I found produced a pleasant faded effect with ink. Finally I lined the outer rim of the inside of the frame with old christmas lights, wrapped the end of those lights in black electrical tape (to prevent those lights from shining when turned on) and secured a removable backing to the lamp. The end result being what you see below:
Now that I have more exposure to typography, design, and general experience constructing projects I can recognize many rookie mistakes but I learned so much in the process of this project’s construction. Until entering into college, most of my designs had been mostly theoretical and my art mostly digital so forcing myself to take my work into the physical world and actually build things that have my own aesthetic to them has been a big eye-opener. It’s one thing to draw a seemingly “simple” design like this, but another to have actually go out and build it! Overall, I was pleased to create work I could be proud to turn in to my instructor and to this day, my lamp lives in my bedroom reminding me to continue looking forward and see the light of every situation (pun possibly intended, haha).