200 × 200 mm

I’ve always found it quite difficult to create pleasing compositions in square spaces. They, however, seem to be very popular stipulations for composition exercises for some reason….

Anyway, after talking about Gestalt Theory, we were tasked with experimenting with Point, Line and Form in our next exercise, the Basic Typography Composition Design Workshop. We were given sheets of pre-typeset headlines/subheads and bodycopy about the musical The Tender Land by Aaron Copland. We also had to use one circle per composition as a device to draw attention and focus, create form, or simply provide rhythm and flow. Here are some created by the class that I was particularly drawn to:

I quite like the playfulness of the one on the first row, right. It had a spirit about it, and I also appreciate how the designer thought about representing the time and date information similar to how 7:30pm would look on the clock hands. The bottom left one I life because the designer set the type at an angle and it really makes the composition look more dynamic. Many others also played with angles and skewing things but this one I feel is most successful applying that device. Somehow, the circle also adds balance to the composition, where in others the circle felt mostly ill-considered. The bottom right one I enjoy because the designer used a quadrant of the circle to frame the text nicely in a square, in the centre of the frame. Simple and elegant!

Here are those that I worked on:


For this one, I employed a 4-row 3-column grid system. I approached this with the purpose of trying to make all the information accessible quickly. By representing 4 key points of information as 4 equal portions of the frame, and having the point size correspond to the size of the circle’s segments, viewers immediately know what information to digest. The circle’s segments somehow act as bullet points for the information, and also reiterate the hierarchy of the text, where the title “The Tender Land” is most prominent. Perhaps it is not the best solution for this purpose, but I feel what Alistair said about this composition garners it certain merit: “You’ve somehow democratised the information and made them all relevant and important, yet tried to emphasise what is immediately more important with the type size”.


For this one, I was mainly interested in creating a flow using the text and the circle. I cut up the circle and used the segments to divide the page vertically into 2 sections, and information was set on each in a way that would give the frame balance. I found that this also was successful in creating a very obvious line of divide that was eye-catching.


My other 2 compositions with the bodycopy included are above. For the one on the left, I wanted to create a graphic imagery of the sun by slicing up the circle into even more segments. I approached this layout with editorial layout in mind, and it turned out rather boring. For the one on the right, I used a grid system again, but I aligned the x-heights and baselines of the text in hopes that the viewer would again see that there is 4 key chunks of information for them to digest.

We were tasked to conjure up 3 more compositions before the next Studio the coming Tuesday. Eager to see what everyone comes up with!



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