Typographic Expression – Invictus

Experiential Graphics- Small Scale (features or elements)

Project Narrative

I am serious about the work that I showcase to represent me as a creative. This is one of my most recent and strongest works that I am satisfied with representing me. It pushes range, shows strength of consistency through design and has an overall process that held a significant lesson for me as a designer – this is a more well-rounded piece.

This project was created in my ‘Typography I’ course. It is one of the few projects that was intended to be a more personal piece and could express emotion. It was based completely on the meaning and expression of text. The goal was to create a poster including an important piece of text that holds some sort of significance to me (as a person). Then use any type of media to create a well-crafted and expressive piece that reflects how I react or connect with the piece of text.

I chose the 1875 poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It is a significant piece of text because of the weight it holds not just to me but to many young African and African American peoples. It is the poem Nelson Mandela recited over the course of his 27 years of being imprisoned for his anti-apartheid activism in South Africa. I wanted to create something that symbolized the sense of isolation and hope that could coincide with the context I was thinking of – unjust imprisonment met with patience and grace. Thus came the subtly glowing circle, emitting light through the recitation of this literary work that embodies the idea of keeping up a slow and steady radiation of hope and light in the face of injustice.

Logistically, I started with a series of general ideas based on my reaction to this poem and what I attach to it. The final product is actually one of the first sketches I came up with, which is a rarity in my workflow process. The fact that one of my first sketches (my initial, raw reaction to the poem) ended up being the final piece speaks volumes to how intimate of a piece this project is. It did not need so much deliberation and exploration, it was really about how I felt and how I could express those feelings.

I spent quite a bit of time working on different variations that were more complex and “action” filled, perhaps even more impactful to the eye. But there was a lack of connection to me – which is something that this final piece had all along. This is a significant project to me that holds a different weight than many other projects: it is more subjective, it leaves room for a personal “fingerprint”, and it helped me learn more about the design process and how to identify a solution that works, rather than leaning on complex ideas that rely on visual effects more than representation and intent. Sometimes the simplest answer is the most correct: Occam's razor.


Project Details

Submission Category

Experiential Graphics- Small Scale (features or elements)

Date of Completion

October, 2022