Sean Parker
BA (Hons) Illustration
London College of Communication
(+44) 07985 773109



The start of our new typography brief saw us dive into a hands-on workshop where we had to create an alphabet in pairs from one of several silhouettes tacked to the wall. Naturally, Franny was my other half, and after hovering over the hexagon for some time, in what can only be described as a sporadic flash of absent-mindedness, I shotgunned the Octopus. Perhaps a little irrational, we thought as we sat down with the monochrome cephalopod, but within a matter of seconds, entire letterforms began surfacing.

Franny and I gave ourselves the stipulations that we could not add any external material or collage the tentacles to create the characters. We had to take the forms as we saw them, rendering the process more reliant on intuition and therefore making it more cohesive. The decision to keep a "long and jibbly" look throughout the font was partly due to the mesmerising tentacles and partly a subjective thing.

Having finished a first draft, scaling the dimensions up and down to experiment with legibility, we ground to a halt when it came to coining a name and spelling it out in the font. I was adamant I didn't want a pun put anywhere near or typeface, as I felt this would have ridiculed, what turned out to be a strong collaboration. We looked at biological names; Latin derivations and such (thanks Kirsten for wiki-ing 'octopus' on your iPhone) but came to the conclusion that when the word was long and polysyllabic, legibilty was shit and, due to the utterly non-uniform dimensions of the characters, it would kind of look like a 'joke' font, (see Billo or Hobo). LOL

"Sushi" briefly thought it had won, having been cut up and stuck next to the font. Unfortunately, it looked fuggin' awful. A mixture of upper and lower case sent the eye everywhich way, and more to the point, it didn't involve any of the best letters. Moreover, it just didn't suit the alternative nature of the finished font. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

We're still working on the name, and have agreed that it is lovely font to look at on the wall, possibly in a decorative frame, but it's going to struggle
when finding a suitable context for hypothetical publication. I can just see it looking so shit as a heading because the letters don't tesselate or justify well. I am just hoping we get a breakthrough with the name soon.

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