Greeked Text, Part 2.

One day I was playing around with some text in Adobe InDesign, zoomed out and found myself look at greeked text. It suddenly came to me that I could use greeked text as a design element – they are a pattern in their own right, and they are so modular in structure they have this architectural rhythm (El Lissitzky, Max Bill are both architects). I repeatedly overlayed the same block of text around and captured a screen shot of the resulting pattern. Eventually it was used in a poster design.

So this is a case where greeked text gave me a creative opportunity by accident. The point of greeked text was to give the designer a sense of typographic rhythm on a layout without having the text to distract him – I want to try bringing it further, or, onto another platform, more in an image sense rather than a typographic sense.

As a starting point, I decided to refer to the master himself, Jan Tschichold. What if I simulate one of his most prominent page layouts and greeked the text? I chose his prospectus for 'Die Neue Tyopgraphie' to start work on. I first scanned in an image of the layout, corrected the problems you get from scanning it from a thick book, and simulated his layout in InDesign, using Lorem Ipsum for body text (forgive me German is hard for me to type). It's rather unfortunate that I couldn't get hold of a font that's closer to the original, and I have to resort to Helvetica, which has the closest resemblance to the original in my list of fonts. Here's what I got:

Then by setting the greek text preference in InDesign, it came out with this:

Looking at the grey bars trying to imagine an overlay reminds me of the moiré experiments I have carried out earlier.

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© Edmund Fung |