confused1-00It seems a lifetime ago now that I was wandering around Norwich as student of art – Graphic Communications, to be precise, at NUCA. It’s a little scary to think it’s been six years since my first semester. While not a period I look back on with tremendous fondness – regrettably, much of that is my own fault – I met some unforgettable personalities and had great fun making stuff with them.

I delved quite heavily into typography and font design in my second year, when we were given much more freedom in our practice. I believe it was also around this time that my mother picked up her first smartphone. Besides the frightful interface, she was most perplexed by the ‘mispellings’ and the ‘weird little faces’ that were now peppering her friends’ correspondence. Granted, there was mischief to be had in deliberately sending messages loaded with as many ‘txt’ words and emoticons as possible, but I shared her pain, not so much with emoticons but the over-egged text speak. I’m fine with a casual LOL or OMG, and can make allowances for platforms with character limits, obviously. But when u c ppl rly strt pushin it 2 xtrmes it cn bcum a bt of-putn, ye? We’ve all been there. My entire brief was written around this; exploring text speak, its usage and impact – if any – on general parlance, and how, for the uninitiated, it can slash a romantic sentence into an ugly code puzzle. By this, I essentially mean I spent the research phase sourcing beautiful quotes and playing word games. Not bad!

confused1-01The entire face, naturally, spiralled from the ubiquitous :S emoticon. It was a purposely minimal, cold and trying construction. Application mainly came in jumbling words up, or taking quotes and cutting characters wherever possible.

confused0002These chaps was going to play a big part of my degree show – optical illusions and Jenga-esque towers of text speak dystopia were in discussion. In having to drop out of university, these frightening characters sadly never broke out of the screen. With Cinema 4D at my disposal, however, I had a quick punt and created some 3D impressions of that landscape.

confused-3_0003I’m reminded again how much I enjoy working with type. I should really make an effort to do more.

  1. Bill Fufkin said:

    I think you should do more, also…very clever. B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      We’ll see! Thanks very much, Bill.


  2. Great work, I don’t understand text speak, just about worked out your above sentence, but can’t work out ‘ Putin’ ? Help me out please, feeling impressed that I worked out the rest ****😀******

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, it can be quite a conundrum with the amount of cut-down phrases and initialisms, and new ones creeping in all the time. I cringe a little thinking I used to talk that way on beloved MSN Messenger, in a bid to look cool… It does seem a little less prevalent now, though, or perhaps I’m just no longer in the circles where it’s used.

      The answer to that conundrum was: off-putting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jmnowak said:

    Like a foreign language, inn’t?! Tho I do like your graphics…yes, do more. You could build whole cities. 🏛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Yes, it is a language unto itself, isn’t it. Thanks as ever, Janina – I’ll try my best!

      Liked by 1 person

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