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Of course A would be chosen for the final letter! Coupled with the return of Geometric, more messing with shapes beckoned. Wanting to mark the finale in some way, I started off thinking about something suitably jubilant – a geometric firework display, perhaps, or game show glitter…

…but that rather quickly fell by the wayside, as it didn’t come together quick enough. Maybe an upward triangle with sunny colours could be seen as positive enough in its own right? Yes, let’s go with that.

Blending the above developments somehow resulted in this fierce eye creation. A for angry, I suppose! Perhaps he’s miffed that the series is coming to an end? Anyway, it’s something quite peculiar, and it’s geometric. That’s good enough for me.

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That’s it, then: twenty-six letters and more than 420 developments (!!) later, here we are with our rather repetitive alphabet. Generally, I think the wheel behaved itself. Some themes evaded the flipper, though; I would have liked Gothic and Speccy to come up. I’m alarmed to discover that my name is apparently no longer valid. We’ve skipped, among others, an E, N, and the beloved W. Let’s not joke about the lack of D.

Of course, that’s the very nature of the wheel. Chance. If I’m to do this again, I may only choose the theme at random; at least then there would actually be twenty-six spins! We shall see. But, whether you have a super-exciting wheel to spin or not, I cannot endorse the random element enough; it not only enabled me to create by eliminating the awkward dithering stage altogether, but often demanded fresh approaches or a reconsideration of old ones. Results vary, naturally, buy today’s concluding letterform is a prime example of an aesthetic which probably wouldn’t have happened outside of the series. Prospects abound with challenges like this. Give it a whirl and see how you fare.

Until next time, it’s been fun. Here are the fruits of the last few weeks’ labour:

AtoZ-Q-SQUARE4-09

We’ve somehow made it to the penultimate spin – last one tomorrow! If you’re as excited as I am, then I can only apologise; it’s nearly over. I am still holding out for that W, though.

I’m pleased that Q turned up though, I was beginning to think it might prove elusive. It’s everyone’s favourite letter, right? And it actually merged quite well with Square – at least once I got my head together  I feel like I’m saying that every day.

There was a subtle evolution here, from the very basic and uninteresting to pretty basic and vaguely interesting. Blending two letterforms in Illustrator and the exploration of negative space pushed the final form, which has a pleasantly modern (box) look. The outcome was stronger than the early developments suggested.

At the risk of jinxing it, let’s hope we don’t end on a damp squib tomorrow. That would be wheely frustrating.

AtoZ-GEOJ1-09

Geometric! Shapes! What better shape could there be than the hexagon – the naughty one? It is J for Jacob, after all – ahurhurhur!

It wasn’t originally going to be this way, as you can see. J for Jaws? There was all sorts of nothing going on here. Sensing a lack of reasonable focus and beginning to panic, I went back to basics and ended up paying homage to the hexagon:

The shape still works its magic, despite the broken wall. As you can see, there are quite a few experiments here with dimension and embellishment, but I decided the simplest form was probably most effective. I could see it having quite an industrial vibe as part of a full alphabet – nuts and bolts, and that carry-on.

A post dominated by hexagons and not a single Blockbusters reference. I’m learning.

AtoZ-GRUNGES009

Grunge again, and so soon? Perhaps the wheel is feeling kind as we approach the end of this series. I’m still waiting for W, by the way.

In terms of process, there isn’t much here that wasn’t covered in my last go. I went a touch more urban with this one, thinking more about stencil and graffiti. I’m not sure that’s entirely answering the prompt, but there’s surely an overlap there, so I’m going with it.

The stencils were looking OK, until I overdid it!

And then came the attempts to make some striking S forms, before subjecting them to the gamut of Photoshop manipulation:

Again, this is always a hoot. I wouldn’t mind if the rest come up grunge! 😉

AtoZ-15-VFIERY6_F

Yet another double letter and double theme – I should probably think of a cleverer way of titling these should I have another go! With both V and fiery being dealt by our wonder wheels, I thought I’d take a trip to the Lava Reef Zone.

The meat of this was attempting to make a suitable 3D texture with bumpy noise and overlays, starting off with bright, glowing yellows before moving into red hot territory.

The final sees the V shape cut into a rocky plane and the lava placed beneath. Add some cracks and veins in Photoshop, and that’s about it, really. Pretty quick, rather like this post!

AtoZ-GRUNGER005A

Here you are now, I’ll try to entertain you. Thanks to the wheel, we’re going grungy today. I’m thinking less 1991 trend, and more playing with my texture brushes on Photoshop – that old nirvana.

With that, there wasn’t much in the way of preparation or rationale here. I went a bit mad to begin with, just dropping strokes and colour all over the shop.

I ditched those and drew a fresh R, which organically ended up with a stencil, or letterpress slant, both in form and composition:

Cutting, printing and generally playing with letters in a similar way to this was a bit of a watershed moment for me, now rather a number of years ago. With unique alphabets as the outcome, I became quite addicted, and many of my subsequent projects were firmly focused on typography. Happily, it remains exciting to this day – I’m a grumpy sod mostly, so it’s nice for there to be something that has such a simple effect.

AtoZ-INDUSTRIALM-01_3Back to the industrial zone, and with another fortunate letter for such a theme. AtoZ-INDUSTRIALM00_0044a

Above was my first idea; two cranes sporting a very weak handshake, by the looks of it. After that, I shifted to the gantry crane. Made in a couple of hours or so, the model is on the basic side – almost toylike with its simple textures. But it’ll do for this exercise.

There was an attempt to be rather more literal in presenting the M, incorporating diagonal beams, but in the end I thought that was pushing things a bit too far. Something similar might work another time, though:

Fun fun. Less than a week to go, now – how exciting!

AtoZ-DESTIJLI-1-14

Today’s spin compelled me to make reacquaintance with my old high school pal, Piet Mondrian. It’s been years!

The De Stijl movement is characterised by abstraction and simplicity, striving to express a dynamism of geometry and colour in the purest form. There are an awful lot of developments to go with this one, because a De Stijl I was something I found much harder than anticipated – it proved a pudding all too easy to over-egg!

I did briefly consider 3D, playing with cubes as a nod to the architectural transposition of the movement; perhaps that’s something to focus on if it comes up again:

Back to 2D grids:

Much of it is possibly too iterative to qualify for the theme – hence the drastic reduction and almost reverting to the beginning in the final form – but there were some interesting compositions forming along the way.

AtoZ-YSHARP6-01

Sharp again! Y again! Y again indeed. Still though, the third outing with this particular theme afforded me the chance to channel my inner Annie Lennox – working on broken glass.

The distorted Helvetica-esque Y was quickly made in Illustrator and equally speedily transformed into 3D with Cineversity’s handy ArtSmart plugin.

From there, it was just a matter of having fun concocting textures, spreading the shards and trying to set lights effectively. Some of these were a success, at least.

Cheers Annie, as it turned out this wasn’t really a Thorn In My Side at all (and there’s another good one for Sharp, actually). A pretty simple exercise, which meant more time for the good bits.

AtoZ-mechaT7

Another day, another spin. I wanted to make a 3D robotic arm for Mecha, but it quickly dawned on me that this would take a while, probably longer than I had available this evening, so I backtracked to Illustrator. Much fun was had trying to create a kooky, vintage mister roboT, apparently indulging in a spot of robo-yoga:

Affirmative! This friendly character will be taking care of all our chores by the year 2000, you wait and see.

Then, it was just a case of adding colour and texture. I did tone it down somewhat for the final, though. I enjoyed this one! It’s something I’d probably never have considered had I not gone in for this challenge. I’m sure there’s a lesson there somewhere.