Saving Lives at Sea – A Typography Project

As promised here’s the other project I’ve been working on for the past semester. This was broken up into 3 parts: a poster, a catalogue and a typographic installation. There are some issues with ‘of’s in Bell MT italic, I’m not sure why but they randomly shift to the right when exporting (annoyingly because they all needed kerning individually!!) so I’m aware these can look bad in places!

I’ve shown a few bits of these projects along the way but these are my final outcomes. The three sections didn’t have to have a link but they could have a similar style or connecting features if we wanted.

My poster is probably the weakest part of the project, you can see the evolution of it starting with this post and carrying on in this post. I’m happy with the hierarchy and the general attention to detail but I think it lacks impact:

saving lives at sea typographic poster

This uses the same colour scheme as my catalogue. I was generally pleased with the outcome of my catalogue., you can read more about the grid and typefaces I used as well as various other features in my earlier post here. I changed a lot of the photography for my final catalogue as I felt the images were stronger. There are hundreds of tiny changes and tweaks throughout! One thing I liked but didn’t mention in my earlier post is the use of catchwords throughout the extract pages, they’re used on the bottom of a page to tell you the first word(s) of the next page, sadly they’re no longer used in books but I’d love to see them back.

Click for larger images:

Saving lives at sea catalogueFinalbookletspreads_Page_02Finalbookletspreads_Page_03Finalbookletspreads_Page_04Finalbookletspreads_Page_05Finalbookletspreads_Page_06Finalbookletspreads_Page_07Finalbookletspreads_Page_08Finalbookletspreads_Page_09Finalbookletspreads_Page_10Finalbookletspreads_Page_11Finalbookletspreads_Page_12Finalbookletspreads_Page_13Finalbookletspreads_Page_14Finalbookletspreads_Page_15Finalbookletspreads_Page_16Finalbookletspreads_Page_17Finalbookletspreads_Page_18The final part of the project was Type in the Environment. For this we had to take a story or text that we wanted to show typographically and put it in a place that helped tell the story. The materials we used and the typography also had to be considered to best reflect the story or the feel we were trying to create.

I decided that I wanted my typographic piece to serve some sort of purpose and to do more than just look pretty so I settled on a quote from the founder of the RNLI that was all about the dangers of the sea. I wanted this to act as a warning but also to celebrate the heroism of the members of the RNLI. One of the biggest RNLI disasters was the Penlee Disaster so I decided to situated the quote there to remind villagers of Mousehole (the place many of the RNLI members were from) of the bravery and to keep the story alive through the generations.

The installation was also there to promote the Saving Lives at Sea exhibition so I used a typeface that I liked from a plaque outside the National Maritime Museum (where the exhibition will be held.) I couldn’t find the right typeface so I wrote the quote out by hand and then used illustrator to neaten it up!

The quote before:

Hand rendered type


The quote after:

Hand rendered typeYou might have noticed that I used this as the endpages for my catalogue, this was an attempt to link the two together but also just because I thought it looked nice! I had a few problems with rivers and I tried lots of things to avoid them but more kept appearing so this was the best I could get it!

The typographic inspiration came from this plaque:

plaqueThe problem with the condensed typography is that it’s quite difficult to read so I decided that this should stay as a plaque:

typographic plaqueTo make the text come to life I decided to take the most emotive words and place them along the pier in Mousehole, reflecting the plaque. To make them serve their purpose as a warning and not an eyesore I found a medium called rust oleum, which only shows up when wet. This means that the message would only be displayed in bad weather, when it is actually relevant.

The words I picked out:

letteringIn context:

typographic installation


If you missed my post on my consumerism work you can find that here, if not, you’re fully up to date with my life / work! I hope you like what I’ve been up to and I’d love to hear your feedback!







2 thoughts on “Saving Lives at Sea – A Typography Project

  1. Excellent piece of work, outstanding photography, very good typography!! I think that you right that the poster doesn’t stand up as well as the brochure, perhaps you could revisit the poster for the good of your portfolio? I think that you could still leave it typographic but perhaps introduce some element that reminds people of the sea, such as a wavy line rather than a straight one under the word sea? In addition it would be nice to see a poster using your fantastic photography and/or the lovely hand rendered type?
    It would also be good to see the brochure mocked-up professionally, perhaps you get your Dad to pay for this?

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments on both this and the p!e work! I will revisit the poster but I think I might be better to start afresh rather than trying to change this one, I did some versions using photos but the type was lost quite quickly, it’s difficult trying to link the quiet typography in the catalogue with a poster that needs impact so perhaps using the hand rendered type would be a good way to go, thanks!
      Cracking plan – I’ll run that one by him!!

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