Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Elizabeth Kenney
Charlie
Elizabeth Kenney
Charlie

Working in the visual space of typography design, I am interested in creating organic forms and imagery. I am passionate about the process of developing and visualizing through typographic characters. My interest in the formal aspects of type as they relate to an alternative space arose from a place of personal unrest. On August 20, 2012 my older brother, Charles Frederick Kenney, unexpectedly died at age 25. His death set the stage for a tumultuous year. Charlie was not just my brother but also my teacher. Even apart, he gave me a sense of stability and safety. In death, he teaches me to grieve and adapt to the flux of life that all humans are subject to. That ephemeral moment of realization when informed of Charlie’s death was the catalyst for creating a space where he could otherwise live and retain a voice. How do you visualize the memory and voice of an individual? I achieved this through the design of a typeface, which represents Charlie’s approachability and the relationships he shared with me as well as others. Through linguistic and semiotic representation, Charlie maintains a voice. In seeking to create a font that embodies Charlie’s character, I designed a transitional typeface, defined by pronounced contrast between thick and thin lines. The typographic representation of Charlie’s voice in the visual space represents his memory as well as the flux and ephemeral nature of life.

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