Joshua Stocker

Inspired Typography – Lawrence Weiner

Our latest brief set us the task of creating a short animated film containing Kinetic Typography (Typography which appears in time to speech). First we researched to find a short speech by a creative practitioner whose words we found inspiring. For me this was Lawrence Weiner, and what he talks about during an interview with Debbie Millman. Not only am I a massive fan of his work, but felt it fell perfectly to my vision of words appearing in footage.

His Work:

So I took his style of typography, and gave it life. I spent a weekend shooting footage, and a day and a half editing the film and sound, before finally creating the animation. I’ve been without a laptop for a week and a half which is why it was slightly rushed but I’m quite pleased with the outcome.


I shut my eyes in order to see – Snow Design
January 11, 2010, 12:37 am
Filed under: 3D, Photography, Typography, University Work | Tags: , , ,

Update: Won the competition!

Along with the heavy snow falling this week came a brief from my teacher. It asked us to create a typographic design from snow. Of course a million ideas fill your head as you imagine the incredible sculptures you will now create, but when you get out into the cold wet snow, you realise its not as easy as you expected. In fact it turns out that sculpting anything from snow requires far more skill than I have. Feeling the disappointment along with my housemate Jon, we decide the best thing to do is work together. Going into the snow with a mate means you don’t give up so easily. In fact today, we spent the entire day creating our work. Last night was spent brainstorming, deciding on what we wanted to write with the snow, and the different ways we could do this. We came across a quote by Paul Gauguin which read “I shut my eyes in order to see”. We both loved it, and found that creating a series of images would allow us creation of more ideas.

The sentence was split into I shut / my eyes / in order / to see


Once the sun had gone down we set about creating “I Shut”. The first words of the sentence. We used the tops off our coffee and tea holders which are shaped like domes, using them to create perfectly rounded Hemispheres. We made dozens of these which were placed to created italic typography. This was perhaps the most beautiful thing we created all day, but the photo we got here simply doesn’t do it justice.


This piece was created by scraping snow off the ground. I didn’t want us to just get a stick and draw in the snow though, I wanted it on a different scale altogether. To begin with we used a trolley to draw the guidelines with. We then used the lid of a box to scrap the snow away. This technique took a huge amount of time, and was extremely hard work. With such little time to get the whole thing finished, I thought about what we could do to speed the process up. Turning the trolley upside down, I found the weight meant I could simply pull it along, and the snow would come with it.

This sped the process up massively. It was still hard work, but after an hour or two we were finished.


The idea here was, to create the lettering using blocks. Almost like bricks of snow. We gathered up a bucket full of snow, and took it to the path where the snow had faded. The best thing about creating this piece was how so many people walking past asked about what we were creating. Many of them went off to see the other typography we had created around the common, a few even asking where they would be able to find the finished images. I loved creating work which was then left for anyone walking by to have a look at.


This was very simple, and the easiest of the 4 to make. We decided to create the letters on a pile of logs. Scraping the snow off two parts, then putting snow back to create each letter. I really love this setting, these were probably the most successful photographs of the day.


Manifesto Part 2
December 6, 2009, 10:10 am
Filed under: Typography, University Work | Tags: , ,

The last two days I have both proved, and disproved my Manifesto on last minute design. The self designed piece, I felt came out well, I managed to write it, sketch out a design, photograph, edit, and finish the piece in the space of a day, Proving last minute design can work wonders! Last night was a different story though. I had no idea what to do with my redesigned manifesto, no ideas, I hadn’t even decided what movement to redesign. I sat at my desk from 7 in the evening, until 4am this morning, getting more and more frustrated, wasting time, watching 4od, and eating a total of 5 donuts. Finally at about 4:10 I got started on the redesign of my manifesto, and had it finished an hour later in time for an hours sleep. Its better than nothing, but for me, this really proves leaving your work till the last minute is in fact a terrible idea, its the pressure to perform which helps me achieve good work.

So with an hour of sleep, I got the stuff printed and cut, and got into class just a few minutes late. The crit left me feeling slightly frustrated though, I have no idea if what I did was right or wrong, what they were looking for, if its actually any good… nothing! Other than that it was good to see everyones work up on the walls of one room together, really loved some of the ideas people had for their manifesto’s especially “21st superhero”, “nerdism”, and “but they taste f****** awesome”

These are my finished manifestos below. The first, my own manifesto, the second, the Dada manifesto

December 2, 2009, 2:12 am
Filed under: Photography, Typography, University Work | Tags: , ,

So heres my manifesto, stating just a few of the many points why its a good idea to leave everything to the last minute.

Layout wise, I did start laying it out on the computer, but it feels too designed. I want this to look last minute, so I am going to photograph my notepad with this manifesto scribbled down. And things placed around the edge of the notepad which refer to what I’ve written, like a coffee mug, scientologist booklet, images of me scuba diving etc.

A last Minute Manifesto

This manifesto was produced in much the same way almost every piece of work I’ve created over the last few years was. Last minute, early hours and high on caffeine.

1. Ideas.
Waiting all that time before starting your designs gives you the best possible chance of having a brain wave and coming out with something crazy no one else thought of. Or, take your mates idea and do it better. Either way, starting early makes you a guaranteed loser. It’s like showing your cards first.

2. Spare time.
Go to Argentina, learn Italian, become a scientologist, form a cult, make a table, go scuba diving… Think of all the things you could do with the time you didn’t spend working. You could be Elvis Presley, but instead you’re stuck at your desk stressing about leading, kerning, tracking, and justification.

3. Efficiency
If you’ve got two weeks to get a design piece out the door, your bound to be sat around, eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, and other time wasting activity’s. If you’ve got ten minutes, you won’t be taking any breaks, you will work till the work is done.

4. Satisfaction
Boost your ego by proving you can do stuff in five minutes, then think “I did that in five minutes, just imagine what I could do with a whole day”.

5. Dedication
Giving yourself a few minutes to do what should have been produced over a week shows your willing to push yourself. Show them you don’t take the easy road, you challenge yourself. For you, getting work done is a race against the clock.

6. Excuses
If everyone you know shuns your work, it won’t matter. You can hold your head high in the knowledge that you spent a tenth of the time they did getting it finished. Top that by telling yourself you could of made something better than anyone else had you decided to put a bit more time in, and that really, it was only time holding you back.

Couldn’t do a whole post without any images, so heres a gorgeous picture I took of Jon looking miserable for his manifesto.

Comic Sans Destroyed: Part 3b
December 1, 2009, 2:05 am
Filed under: Photography, Typography, University Work | Tags: , , ,

Taking the letter we did not create to destroy I decided I’d give it ago anyway. Fact is that painted MDF does not want to be destroyed, so I spent a while burning it, without much result. I liked how it looked though, so thought I may as well put them online. Jon helped me out with some damn good fire spraying, see more of him and his work here.

November 29, 2009, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Photography, Typography, University Work | Tags: ,

So today I finally got round to painting my letter pure white ready for the “day out” tomorrow at uni. It’s come out alright, just wish I could get a finish on the letter which didn’t show the brush strokes. Still not sure how to destroy my letter though!

November 27, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Typography, University Work | Tags: , , , ,

Hoxton Letterpress Day
Thursday I finally got the chance to use and create with a letterpress. It was an incredible experience which helped me gain a far better understanding of type and how letterforms work together. The place itself was full of beautiful type, hundreds of draws filled with differently sized typefaces, each with their own characteristics. I was quite taken back by how much work used to go into printing. The fact newspapers were ever created this way is quite unbelievable as the process is so time consuming.
We were given a few hours to decide the theme of our poster, which ended up being “Design envy”. As a group we then came up with ten lines which we felt reflected design envy.

10 Lines

1.Tear the damn thing apart / Put it back together
2. Fearless & Fierce
3. Make them Believe
4. Break the rules BUT Stick to the brief
5. Stop
6. Pimp it up & Strip it back
7. Own the Idea
8. Try something you can’t do
9. Create the Spectacular
10. Tempt and Provoke

Printing the Poster

Once everyone had created their phrase, Graham (Owner of the letterpress workshop) moved everyones work to a central block. They were positioned perfectly in a vertical line, before being inked up and printed onto crisp white paper.


I found the whole day a great, fascinating experience. I now feel I have a far greater understand of the way type fits together. The points system, and old methods of print are still so relevant today. Digital lets you go far beyond what can be done in a place like this, but there is still something about the quality you get which is simply unachievable in any other way. The fact it is also such a time consuming and limited process adds far more worth to the designs. I would love at some point to go back and experiment further. I found the day massively inspiring, although I must say, the look of the actual printing blocks is what I found most interesting.