Category: Lettering in the environment (Eric’s project)

Lettering in the environment

My Journey with UOR Lettering

It was a sunny but windy day on Monday and our task for the day was to take pictures of letterings that fascinated us around the campus. After exploring the campus and taking pictures for 2 hours we were then asked to organise the images whatever way we like.

As I explored the campus I didn’t really have any theme in mind however, I found lettering on the grounds really interesting. I took them in interesting angles so the images would not be too flat.

I like the fading of the ground lettering and rusted look of the metal relief these are caused by environmental elements such as air and water and as a result, gives the lettering a more interesting and unique look.

Click the link for  My lettering Composition



Variety in our everyday life

Whilst doing this project, I realised how much of lettering is present in our day to day lives. The different signs, logos and numerals we see around us inform, educate or inspire us in one way or another whether it be through an instructing sign, a warning, or a form of merchandising. Although most of the time it is clear what a sign means, sometimes we need to see the scene around it (the context) in order for us to understand the true meaning. After photographing the pictures, I categorised all the images into 4 sets of groups through collages. Each group follows a set of rules to communicate the intended meaning effectively to the public.

I noticed that especially during this unprecedented time due to the virus, we have a large variety of signs and lettering instructing  us to behave in a certain way. To show this in my collage, if you see below, I have accentuated these specific images by editing the ordinary instructive signs we see in our day to day lives black and white. Nearly all these signs use imperative verbs to not only convey the message across, but to highlight the significance and importance. This is also done through the use of the vibrant, pigmented colours. The font used is predominantly sans serif which makes it easier for the public to read. This conveniency is vital as these signs would usually be placed in any fast-paced environment (e.g. shopping centre, restaurant) where people should be able to understand the message without any hesitation or confusion.

Below are some more of the collages I created with the category labelled.










Exploring Lettering Forms Found on Campus

For Eric’s Project, I captured the different forms of lettering found on the Whiteknights Campus. I aimed to photograph a variety of sign types, ranging from older and more worn signage to new and more pristine examples. On top of this, I wanted to capture different textures and surfaces of and around the signs. I used photographic techniques such as vantage point and depth of field and exploited the light and shadows to create intriguing images. Finally, I presented my selected outcomes on PowerPoint and categorised them into small groups. For example, metal surfaces and peeling vinyl stickers.


Lettering in the Environment – TY1DP1 (PDF)

Noticeable Type

For this project we were asked to capture images of typography across campus and then compile them in some kind of system. I chose to compile these images in a hierarchy from top to bottom in terms of which bits of type I was most attracted to at first glance. Once i had the final compilation of images I found it really interesting to see strong differences between the top and bottom images. The type that I found most appealing tended to be more colourful with bold large letters that made the words legible. I also thought it was interesting to see that certain typography that I placed very low on the list was sometimes portraying an important message such as social distancing. It was strange to see such an important message presented so badly through type.

This task reinforced to me how crucial typography is in portraying certain messages within our environment.

Things I often overlook

For this project, we were instructed to photograph lettering around the University. From what sounded quite a simple task, it was actually very interesting to see things I often overlook. We often don’t stop to thing why things look the way the do and what the impact that has on us.

In the 2 hours we had to photograph, I walked around campus collecting images of signs, posters and words in the environment. Once the time was up, we were then asked to edit and organise the photos into categories of our choice. I chose to organise them into ‘Instruct’, ‘Direct Information’ and ‘Advertisement’.

I found that the ‘Instruct’ category featured signs with bold colours to catch attention and provide a warning. They also featured verbs to act as strong instructions.



Lettering in the environment

For this task we were sent away with the motive of finding lettering in the environment and capturing it in a photo to later analyse. Every day we look and read 100s of different typefaces that we may not even take a moment to think about normally, so it was nice to slow down and really question things like why did the creators of something chose to do it in this particular way?
I tried to capture a wide variety of different letter forms, techniques and materials but this began proving slightly difficult with being restricted to campus where they have a distinctive typeface to help brand the university. Over coming this set-back i looked for inspiration in more creative ways like car window stickers and stone drains.

We were then asked to individually group out photos in-whatever way we please and it was really interesting to see the different and creative ways other people chose to group their work. i grouped mine into the different techniques and materials in which the letters were formed which included vinyl/stickers, stone casts, card/posters and carved metal. I feel i approached this challenge head on and to the best of my ability but if i was to do it again i would try harder to think outside the box and be more creative with my ideas.



From studying all kinds of fonts from safety signs to advertisements, our class was a task to compile a collection of fonts from around Reading University campus. After gathering said photos, I categorised the designs through contrast from high contrast to low contrast and also material contrast. From this, i found that most urgent and hazard information signs featured a more colour contrasted and bold design whilst low contrast designs represented directional and or general information.

Attention and caution

   typefaces around campus

This was my presentation which I did for Eric’s project, I have taken some pictures around the campus of typefaces. which looked really different from each other and how by changing the colour of something changes the hole meaning. Especially some of the signs calling for attention and caution such as the yellow danger sign.

I have colour coded the pictures into similar colours such was blue , green and yellow. One of my slide was about the lettering to the metal. However the metal on each picture is different than the other. The metal on the library looked like steel whereas the metal on manhole is diffrent maybe more stronger I guess.

The environment is everything that isn’t me.


The lettering in the environment project that I completed really gave me a clear understanding of how much detail there is to where we live and breathe every day. The brief was quite simple, as it said to explore and go around the campus to photograph as many sources of the environment as possible. There was quite a distinctive pattern to what I was taking pictures of, due to the fact I took quite a few pictures of letting on buildings, walls, and floors. Reading’s campus has a strong sense of vibrancy and colors to it. However, the pictures that I took, were quite the opposite of that.

Once I had all my photos, the next step was to categorize them. I displayed my photos into  different categories, that were quite simple but effective at distinguishing each photo to what type of photo is was and where it was taken.   The platform or software I used to display these categories and pictures that I took was on PowerPoint The categories that I mentioned are shown below, they include Colour and Materials.


The next part of the task wasn’t really difficult, as we just had to organise each picture into different categories. Once I did this, I then noticed after presenting these pictures on Powerpoint that whilst categorising them into colours and materials. The pictures weren’t very relevant to one another and didn’t really do the pictures justice. Which is why I do believe that in the future if I did this task again, I would just update and edit the pictures to black and white. this will hopefully let me maintain my attention and time on the letters of the pictures rather than the actual colours themselves.

The next category of the PowerPoint and pictures I took are below: