The second installment of Bina Vivien Santos' exploration, Not Your Average Ordinary.
BY BINA VIVIEN SANTOS
I am a firm believer that handwriting communicates a lot about a person. The curls of the g’s, the loops of the o’s can be as expressive as the actual words that are written. I can see the excitement in little quakes in my sister’s penmanship when she gives me good news. I can remember stress in my own cramped journals from college around final exams. I read love in birthday cards, and sometimes the rush of I-almost-forgot-but-I-didn’t. Handwriting is so unique to each person and can be affected so much by circumstance and situations. It’s fun to play detective to find these secret messages hidden in the lines and curves.
Just as fun as it is to play detective, it is equally fun to intentionally create meaning through design. As a graphic designer, I work with composition and typography, finding creative ways to marry the two into something significant. The same applies to my calligraphy cutouts, however without the convenient font library at my disposal. Instead, it falls to me to imagine and to create the perfect font. I spend a lot of time sketching out the word or quotation over and over and over, testing out serifs, weights, cursive, shapes, etc. I have in a sense created my own internal font library of styles that I frequently use, but I do try my best to branch out to the new and different, especially if it better complements the words. Is the quotation a proud statement meant for serifed capital letters, or is it delicate and dreamily flows in cursive loops? Or is it passionate and emotional like thickly, messily painted lines with imperfections? I weigh such questions whenever I start a cutout, or even when I come across an interesting bit of text. It’s a great creative exercise for crowded subway rides.