Workshop: Vernacular Typography

Vernacular typography is typography found captured in an urban environment or created using objects and materials.

We were given the word ‘captive’ and told to create the word in an expressive way in our environment, portraying an interpretation of the word. We first looked at typical connotations of the word, playing with ideas of light and dark and a dark, scary side of captivity. Despite our ideas that we agreed would accurately express ‘captive’, we didn’t want our work to look predictable and simple, and so we explored alternative interpretations of the word.

We wanted to look into a more innocent understanding of the word, and consider everyday items that are captive and contained within a small space. We began to think about eggs, and their captivity within an egg shell until they are able to break out. We also considered the truth of battery chickens and their lives in captivity until death.

We laid out silver foil and cracked six eggs. Using the cracked shells, we created the letters, which proved very fiddly, messy and time consuming. A few of the yolks split, which was not the intention, however upon reflection, we all agreed that we liked the effect they created and that they added to the illusion of breaking out of captivity.


During our class presentation, it was drawn to our attention that we may have slightly misinterpret the meaning of the word, being blinded by our excitement of the idea and presenting a piece more resonant with ‘containment’ than ‘captive’.

I would agree, however I like how this piece turned out, the colours and the appearance of the type using the broken egg shells.


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