Visual Communication, the Sentence Portrait

Typography Portrait, PART TWO- The SENTENCE PORTRAIT: (adopted from “Design for Communication” by Elizabeth Resnick)

Assignment Brief: Your assignment is to create a second “Typography Portrait” in Photoshop. Traditionally, a Typography Portrait is a portrait that uses only typographic characters for its pallette.

In this portrait, you will be using WORDS, PHRASES and SENTENCES (all of which should be thought to represent you, your interests and your beliefs) to illustrate your face.

This is the typography portrait assignment in which the student is encouraged to be as CREATIVE as possible. Almost anything goes, as long as words are the predominant form of illustration on the piece!

SAMPLE PORTRAITS: Click this link to bring up a page of thumbnails of typography portraits. Click thumbnails to enlarge!

Please push yourself to try something beyond just the simple "outline of the shapes of your face with text" approach to your typographic portrait!

Tutorials for this Project: View these before you ask any questions about "How do I?"

PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT simply use a PHOTOGRAPH OVERLAY for your typography portrait. If you wish to complete this to see the effect that it has, that is fine, but you cannot have that be your ONLY Typography Portrait, it is too easy to complete and demonstrates no effort whatsoever.

Objectives: Where the first Typographic portrait was an exercise in using Letterforms as a design element, this exercise is more about allowing the words to represent you and your personality. Take care to locate sayings, lyrics and words that exemplify who you are as a person. You will still be using Typographic Design elements to make your portrait, but MEANING is a key element here.

Resources: Here is a link to the copies of the pictures taken in class of each student. Download your and save it to your network space..

1. You have already completed your Letter Portrait. This is your Sentence Portrait and you will have much more freedom to be creative in this work. If you simply hate the picture that you have available, see me, I might be able to take another. Remember, though, your FINAL PRODUCT will be completely of your creation, you can "modify" your picture in any way you wish!
2. Open the picture in Photoshop. Resize or Trim you picture as needed.
Your picture should be very large. Leave it this way, larger images are much easier to work with!
3. You will again create a New Layer and fill the background of this layer with WHITE (You can also use BLACK, if you are inclined to do your portrait in reverse or a COLOR, if you are attempting a portrait that includes the elements of Typography and Color.) Double-Click on the words LAYER 1 in the Layer Panel and change the name of your layer to BACKGROUND. CLICK THE LOCK ICON AT THE TOP OF THE LAYER PANEL TO LOCK YOUR LAYER SO THAT YOU DO NOT MERGE INTO IT BY ACCIDENT. Set this Layer above your photograph.
4. Use the EYEBALL icon to TURN OFF the BACKGROUND layer. You will be turning on and off the BACKGROUND Layer as you go to see the progress of your typography portrait.
5. Create a new layer, above your BACKGROUND layer and begin “drawing” your portrait. You will use your photograph layer as your guideline. You will be adding words and sentences in any fashion that appeals to you, with the goal being to represent the shapes and contours of your face with your words. I recommend the techniques below as a good starting point:

  • Attaching text (sentences and phrases) to paths to show facial outlines.
  • Creating word or sentence blocks, then erasing them to fit the contours of your face.
  • Creating word patterns and overlaying them on shapes that cover the contours of your face.
  • Using Text Warp and the Character Panel to fit words to the contours of your face.

6. When creating your portrait, please DO NOT recreate your first portrait. I would like you to use completely different techniques and tools to complete a work that looks absolutely UNIQUE!

7. When you have completed a section of your portrait that you like, MERGE YOUR LAYERS, but make sure you DO NOT MERGE THEM INTO THE BACKGROUND! SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN!

8. Due to the relative ease of the Photograph Overlay technique (see the portrait on the last row, left side), if you decide to complete this portrait style, I will require that you also complete a SECOND portrait of some sort (again, use your imagination), if you wish to claim full credit for this assignment!

Grading: This assignment will be worth a total of 150 points:

  • 75 points for proper inclusion of appropriate words and phrases, laid out as typographic forms, to create the portrait.
  • 75 points, based upon Mr. B.'s whims, regarding the overall look, creativity and artistic merit of the final product.