Graphic DNA project: Tracing urban developments through environmental letters

Marshall, G. (2015) Graphic DNA project: Tracing urban developments through environmental letters. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, 9 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2327008X

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Birmingham is a typical UK city that has undergone the transformation from one dominated by manufacturing industries to one lead by service and creative enterprise and multi-national commercial retail businesses while at the same time experiencing huge demographic change with the historical influx of immigration. The lettering on the buildings and street signs reflect these changes and the remnants of letterforms often remaining provide evidence of a visual timeline of what has gone before. This PhD research seeks to examine a city's social, cultural, and commercial development through an analysis of letters placed on buildings using the method of taxonomy. The areas of regeneration can change dramatically from industrial centres to tourist destinations, from residential slums to boutique shopping venues. The lettering on the building reflects these changes but remnants of the past often remain. Using Birmingham, in the English Midlands, as a case study, a photographic record of its "environmental lettering" will be produced, and the introduction of taxonomy will be used to enable an objective approach to the documentation and analysis of these letterforms. Rather than focusing on aesthetic or personal preference, as with previous documentation, this approach will challenge the rigid notion of how typography and letters are classified. Applying the process of taxonomy allows the analysis and comparison of lettering patterns and trends in specific geographic, social and economic areas of a city. This project aims to examine a city's social, "cultural" and commercial development purely through an analysis of letters placed on buildings using the method of "taxonomy". © Common Ground, Geraldine Marshall, All Rights Reserved.

Item Type: Article
1 March 2015Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Civic studies, Classification, Cultural studies, Culture, Environmental letters, Identities, Taxonomy
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-03 - design studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts > School of Visual Communication
Depositing User: Hussen Farooq
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 15:02
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:59

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