An Immigrant's Story: Expressive Typography
An Immigrant’s Story: Expressive Typography
Fall 2018: Communications Studio
Using just black and white typography on a 3ft by 6ft piece of paper, I was challenged to tell an immigrant’s story. I chose to create my piece around a piece written by Jose Antonio Vargas, an immigrant to California from the Philippines. When reading this piece, I was struck by how much emotion was conveyed through the text and wanted to make sure I kept the author’s tone and voice in my visual style.
The entire piece is moving, but the part that stood out most to me was when Vargas went to the DMV to get a driver’s permit and found out that his Green card was fake. Those whispered words, “this is fake. Don’t come back here again” brought about a lifetime of hiding. Another aspect I wanted to highlight in my poster was Vargas’s bluntness about the difficult struggles he faced as an illegal immigrant. I eventually found that I wanted to contrast the softness of the whispering and the harshness of these struggles.
Here are iterations of my poster, tiled and marked up with suggestions from my peers:
The piece is very long (and well worth the read) but was too long for this poster, so I picked out 3 parts: a hook (an anecdote about how his mother gave him a jacket before leaving to America), whispering (the DMV story), and the harsh reality (statements about what it’s like to be an illegal immigrant).
I split the grid into 6 columns, with a 3 inch flow line at the top for introductory information and a 12 inch body text flow line. To represent the whispering, I chose to use a softer typeface, Caster, in grayscaled halftones and italics. I contained the whispering to the left 4 columns and used the right 2 for the harsher text, which I put in Univers.
For the showing, at the base of the poster, I placed a suitcase with a jacket inside, a nod to the beginning of the story, where Vargas’s mother hands him a jacket before he leaves for America. I also put another print of the poster in the suitcase because I wanted to show that the story continues to live within the author and travels everywhere with him.