SOPHIA J. HOOPER

THE NASTY WOMAN ALPHABET

The Nasty Woman Alphabet was the result of a prompt to create a new alphabet utilizing found objects, altering an existing typeface, or starting completely from scratch. This assignment from my Typography course was a challenge to design 26 unique glyphs and create one cohesive alphabet.
ROLE  Design
DATE  October 2016
MEDIUM  Print
TOOLS  Illustrator, Photoshop

INITIAL BRAINSTORM

I began by sketching into four different concepts, which I presented at a class critique. My first two ideas revolved around altering an existing typeface. In the first, I would use a needle and threat to sew various sections of each glyph. In the second, I assigned adjectives to each letter – blurry for B, crooked for C – and modified each character to represent its new personality. My third and fourth concepts utilized found objects, including arranging theatrical feathers and manipulating 26 paperclips.

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

After the critique, it was clear that my most compelling concept was to personify each letter of the alphabet. As I made digital sketches, I considered a growing range of adjectives and found myself favorite somewhat disruptive or negative words, as my cartoon-like sketches imbued them with a sense of humor and dulled their edge. As a young woman, I saw an opportunity to comment on offensive language towards women and began honing in on a "crazy bitch" alphabet.

FINAL DESIGN

As my Typography course coincided with the 2016 Presidential Election, I eventually landed on The Nasty Woman Alphabet. This posters was not meant to insult women but rather point out the abundance of negative terms that are used to describe them. With this in mind, my references to the 2016 Election do not necessarily demonstrate my personal or political beliefs but are simply meant to contextualize my larger message. Furthermore, the incorporation of positive word – all rendered as American flats – is meant to celebrate the strength of women in the midst of a controversial election. The final print measured 10.75" x 16".