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Skating Typography Book

The prompt for this typographic project was to pick any activity that I would like to do more, and to record elaborate notes and timestamps of each time I did the activity, for 10 weeks. I chose rollerskating for my data collecting activity because it was a hobby I had just got into, and I wanted to practice it more to improve my skills. This project profoundly changed my love for rollerskating, greatly improved my skills, and affected my outlook on how I viewed rollerskating.

Data Visualization

I created 5 data visualizations to summarize my data findings over the course of 10 weeks of rollerskating. During this time period, I recorded how I felt after skating, what tricks I practiced, how long I skated, what time I skated, and how many times I fell. Organizing this data into 5 different categories helped to visualize my findings, and to write a short reflection paper on my experience. This story was translated into my typography book.

Front and back cover

My book is 7×7 inches because I skated on a 7×7 foot carpet; I adapted a purple color scheme throughout because my rollerskates are purple. I had a lot of fun in this project, experimenting with analog + digital solutions, and learning the ways that typography can be utilized to create a visual story. In this project, I discovered how to use playful and distorted type to illustrate how rollerskating feels, mentally and physically.

I used 4 lenses in the medium of typography to examine my 10 weeks of rollerskating. Each page of my typography book has my entire written story on it, whether it is legible or not.

  1. Expository: follows a set of non random rules
  2. Representationally: type is doing what it says
  3. Ambiguously: open to more than one interpretation
  4. Antithetically: communicates the exact opposite of the meaning of the text
Table of Contents

Inside page spreads (4)

Expository: I took all of my positive words and displayed them in purple curled strips to form circle shapes, which creates positive association. I separated all of my negative words by placing them on top of my shoe laces, scattered in the center of the composition.
Representationally: I made each word look like it is doing what it says. For example, the word ‘safe’ is in bubble letters which I created with play dough. The word ‘skating’ is blurred and in movement. The word ‘new’ has bright colors and a fresh feeling. The entire composition displays movement which directly speaks to my 10 week experience of skating.
Ambiguously: Since this solution is ambiguous to the viewer, I leaned into my story of how midway through collecting my rollerskating data, my thrifted skates broke from underneath me! Many people can connect to the idea of either being broken, or being stitched back together. I created a stitched–together feel, merging digital and analog to represent how some things come back even stronger after they are broken.
Antithetically: For my antithetical typographic solution, I compared how much I thought I would skate, versus how much I actually skated. The center of the composition represents how much I expected to skate during the 10 weeks. The outside circles represent how much I actually did skate; Each circle loop stands for every time I skated during the 10 weeks. This shape is relevant to my story because I skated on a circular carpet for about 90% of my data collecting.
This is a fully crafted physical book, with a front & back cover, table of contents, and 4 spreads, all in the medium of typography.