Lesson Task – Expressing Meaning

Create a new word; one which has no dictionary definition and a meaning that only you know.

Now choose two extra words from the list. Create three different compositions, showcasing your three words, one word per composition. In each composition, arrange each individual word to express its meaning, using only the colors black and white. Consider all and any means at your disposal: dramatic scale contrasts, cutting, repetition, letter spacing, etc.

Each composition should fit onto an A4 format. You can play with the size, spacing, placement and orientation of letters while being cognizant of how the word(s) interact with the entire format.

You will need to supply all your preliminary sketches and ideas along with the final layouts – the foundational process of drawing by hand is important.

This Lesson task we were supposed to create a new word with a meaning only I know. Then we had to choose two more words from a list. I chose Sailing and Accelerate from that list. After that we had to sketch and play with the words expressing the meaning of that word and then make a composition fit onto a A4 paper using Illustrator or InDesign.

I started out sketching and trying out different words and how to express the meaning of the word only using text. I had to think about this for a little bit before I started, how do you express a word only using text. Then I started putting together different words in my head, and as I sat there by the kitchen table I saw my to year-old step, jump, step, jump, step, jump over the floor and the word stepjump was born.

Here are my first sketches of different words.

Then I decided to use Illustrator for this lesson task and started out trying to make my sketches come to life. I tried making most of the words I had sketch just for the practice. I didn’t know if I was allowed to make my own typeface so I decided in the end to only use the existing typefaces in Illustrator. My designs are simple but I think the are good examples showing the meaning of the words.


Here I chose the typeface OCR A Extended – Regular – VA 30 – 100 pt – A4 Landscape. Then I added the lines to make it look like it was moving at high speed.


Here I chose the typeface Baskerville Old Face – Regular – VA 495 – 72 pt – A4 Landscape. I chose to make the S with the curvature tool making the S look like a wild ocean with the rest of the letters riding on the wave.


Here I chose the typeface Casteller – Regular – Vertical Scale 300% on (JUMP) – 72pt – A4 Portrait. The smaller letters (step) is A step in a stair followed by the big jump on you’re way up to the top.

Hope you like it!

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