Today’s 15 minute creative challenge was to ‘create something ugly’.

I decided to spend a little time exploring what I consider to be ‘ugly’. My initial reaction to the word, most probably like everyone else, was to think of an ugly aesthetic but then I realized that to me, ugly, was far deeper than crooked teeth or pimples! I thought about anger,  I thought about greed and I thought about deceit. To me that’s as ugly as it gets. So with this in mind I created a typographic solution which I hope conveys ugly in more that just an aesthetic sense. I wanted this to represent anger, greed, deceit and all the negative emotions that go along with them.

A quick google search gave me some inspiration for my typographic treatment and I found the 2 images shown below. Both demonstrate, to me at least, the beauty of typographic ugliness (I’m back to the reoccurring  theme of paradoxes!)


Fig 1

pretty ugly

Fig 2

After reviewing these 2 very differently approached designs I decided I wanted to make my type by hand. This would deliver a more emotive energy to the piece and also it was quicker! So I picked up a black wax crayon and a scalpel blade, they were the crudest mark making devises I could think of, and I set about creating my ugly lettering. Shown below (fig.3)

ugly 3










I am  pleased with the result. For something that was quick and simple to produce I believe the effect is striking and authentic. If time had allowed I would have attempted this on a larger scale and experimented with different textures and colours from which to scratch out my type but all considered for a 15 minute project I think this turned out quite well. This could be an interesting technique to experiment with for my books and I will hopefully put this to good use as I progress through this project.


Fig 1. Shepherd, M. (2013). Margaret Shepherd: Calligraphy Blog: 255 Weirdness. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Jul. 2015].

Fig 2. Jones, L. (2013). Pretty Ugly Lettering. [image] Available at: [Accessed 1 Jul. 2015].

Fig 3. Winstanley. L . (2015) UGLY


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s