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Graphic Design

Ziting Hong

Ziting Hong is a visual communicator and designer based in London. Before studying MA Visual Communication at the RCA, Ziting completed her BA in Graphic and Media Design at the London College of Communication. 

Ziting is working in the fields of visual systems and creative direction. Her process-driven practice often centres on typography, which she is keen to explore as a format of communication in itself. She views typography as tool of engagement that can enhance the narrative of a project, creating designs that are both visually appealing and meaningful.

My work exploring ‘physical vs digital’ has roots in my year one studies. It sparked my interest in observing the everyday and guided me in questioning the formation, existence, and perception of materiality in the digital age. 

My interest in this subject was later consolidated by the national lockdown. Instead of physical engagements, communication was predominantly channeled through the digital medium. Since then, I stayed at home and stared at screens for most of the time. This is the first time that I felt we are experiencing a collective dematerialisation – we are gradually getting used to experiencing a subject through a screen.

There is a saying that ‘seeing is believing’, but is seeing through a screen considered ‘seeing’? I believe messages carried through a screen are filtered or even mutated when the subject moves from physical to digital forms. As such, I am keen to explore how subjects behave in both worlds and how these mutations happen. How should I act as response? Could I create an alternative existence?  

My interest in typography naturally led me to consider it as the potential agent of this project. Not to mention it is aptly associated with both the physical and digital formats. The final body of work presented here ranges from typographic experiments, employing various digital processes, to a set of typefaces, fused with the digital behaviour of the pixels and the physical behaviour of handwriting.

My process-driven practice celebrates experimentation by pushing each letterform through multiple digital processes. Every step of the experiments has inspired my next stage. Archiving every stage of the design process from initial experiments to final design iterations is key to understanding the concept behind my body of work.

Diglot website — View on desktop for best result.
Styles
Styles — Diglot consists of two styles: digital and physical

Diglot is an experimental fusion of dot matrix and handwritten brush lettering. It was created to reveal the nature of digital imagery and the screen, while acknowledging the experience of physical behaviours, thus blurring the boundary between the physical and the digital. It employs the mechanism of dot matrix and reflects a digital aesthetic of the unsympathetic straight lines. It also mimics handwriting, creating a human connection with its variation of width and form. By fusing these contrasting aesthetics in letterforms, Diglot is breaking free of the constraints of how it ‘should’ look, to communicate on a level beyond the words conveyed. Diglot crosses the line between physical and digital to become less functional and more conceptual. 


Medium:

Digital
Diglot display (2021)
Diglot display (2021)
Glyph transition
Glyph transition
S
S
Transform — Diglot Display in use

Diglot display is derived from Diglot digital and strikes a visual balance between artistic feature and legibility. It consists of two styles: pixel and round.

Diglot display is best used for oversized headlines. It would also work well as a primary artistic element.

Medium:

Digital
Dot matrix experiments
Dot matrix experiments
Dot matrix experiments — Archiving every letterform
Selective letterform with variables
Selective letterform with variables — dot arrangement | size | shapes | transparency
Mimicking handwriting style
Mimicking handwriting style — Overlaid - small smudges & heavy strokes | Tiny dots - light strokes & minor gaps
Outcome
Outcome — Dot matrix letter vs Pixel style letter vs Handwriting style letter

To create a typeface that fused the contradictory styles of dot matrix and handwriting, I created a series of dot matrix lettering experiments. It was tested with variables including dot arrangement, size, shape and transparency. By generating an extensive archive of the letterforms, these experiment directly informed the final typeface.

Medium:

Digital
Set 01. Digital imagery
Set 01. Digital imagery — Compress an image from 100px to 1px
Set 01. Digital imagery
Set 01. Digital imagery — Apply letterform to the pixel | change the shape of pixels
Set 02. Digital imagery
Set 02. Digital imagery — Compress a letterform | transparency and overlay
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering — size and arrangement of dot | transparency
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering — size of dot | transparency
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering
Set 03. Dot matrix lettering — shape: square | square in 45°

This experiment series aims to explore the nature of the pixel and digital imagery, and how the letterform behaves in the language of the pixel.

The outcome reminds me of the behaviour of hand drawn brush strokes commonly seen in ink-written calligraphy. The thick and thin elements of the experiment outcomes and the transparency and overlying effect have mimicked some of the brushstroke forms but retain the sharp edges of pixel fonts.

Medium:

Digital
Digital language exploration
T.Y.P.O

This experimental typography series aims to explore digital behaviours through letterforms. The experiments follow two routes – the first route seeks to reveal the construction of the letterforms by making evident what usually only the designer would see. The second route aims to reveal the nature of digital imagery and the screen by inviting the audience to see through the computer.


Medium:

Digital