Type.

Warning: The following entry is quite wanky and self-indulgent. If you can’t stand to read people talking about their work on a personal level and using phrases like “take stock of who I am as a person” then I suggest you skip over what’s written below.

Above is the result of several hours’ work in Photoshop and my first real stab at anything to do with typographical design. In the past I’ve played around with different typefaces, designed posters, logos and album art and I’ve been pleased with the results for the most part. I’ve even received compliments on my work which is always lovely.

However I felt that my problem was that I’d always stick to maybe one or two typefaces and not really explore colour, placement and text manipulation. It was as if I were restricting myself by sticking to what I knew and trusted. While this most recent project may not be anything too adventurous, it was still quite a step forward for me; not only in terms of pushing what I can do with visual design, but also in terms of trying to compress myself into the space of two 500 pt letters.

I’ve always maintained that I’m rubbish when it comes to expressing myself visually. I’ve been writing music since I was ten and I have no trouble putting what I have in my head into a program like Acid and writing a piece of music. However when I try this on paper, in Photoshop or Illustrator it’s as if I hit some kind of mental block. I would desperately love to be even half as good as some of the visual artists I know, but when I actually try to apply myself it just doesn’t want to come out.

Maybe I just need to practice, practice, practice.

The letters C and n are the first and last letters of ‘Cohaagen’, a moniker I picked up a couple of years ago and a name I tend to use when I’m dealing with music I’ve written; an artist name, if you will. I was going to use M and L (my initials) but I didn’t like how the letters sat together; they seemed too angular and harsh. The typeface used for this is Meta, a humanist sans-serif typeface designed in 1991 by Erik Spiekermann, a personal hero of mine. It’s one of my favourite typefaces and I think I might even prefer it to Helvetica. It’s a close call, but just look at it. It’s great.

I decided that I wanted to fill the letters with words that mean something to me, thus bringing my moniker and I closer together. I’m not a fan of artists proclaiming to have an ‘alter-ego’; see Beyoncé and her alter-ego “Sasha Fierce“. I tried to balance material and immaterial aspects as best I could because, as much as I would love to shun my materialistic side, we’re all defined by the things we use and own as well as the things we say, think or do, so it was important for me to mention my love for gadgets and calculator watches as well as my love for science and music.

I also used it as an opportunity to take stock of who I am as a person and publicly admit flaws in my person; arrogance and laziness, for example. At first I felt a little reticent about adding some of my flaws, but when I thought about it I realised that they’re just as important to who I am as a person as my rationality and my excitability.

After placing the text I finished up with a couple of special effects and the colouring. I chose green and blue because they’re my two favourite colours and because they blend so well together, no other reasons.

I’m happy with the result.

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