Lara Ala-Olla

Almost Readable – Exhibition visual identity

Lahti Institute of Design Typography exhibition, Almost Readable, was part of The Lahti Poetry Marathon 2018 program. The exhibition interprets readability from many different angles. It examines that moment when the text or reading experience spills on the uninhibited side. How could an almost unreadable or an almost readable look and how it could be experienced? The lynch difference is important, and the works of the exhibition are exploring what can be found in that gray area.

The exhibition was compiled from the final works of the advanced typography course at the Lahti Institute of Design. The works activate to reflect on readability as a cultural, social, physical, temporal and spatial experience.

The focus of exhibition identities is to tell its main information fast and a simple way. I continued the theme of the exhibition in the visual identity, but also kept in mind that it, in fact, has to be readable to be able to reach potential audiences.

The starting point was to collide elements of the theme of the exhibition. The identity of the exhibition would also be one of the works. The blue ink of a ballpoint pen and the phonetics served as an inspiration when designing the elements for the identity.

I chose Futura as the typeface. Geometric shapes of Futura were created to facilitate reading. It makes Futura an excellent contrast to the subject of the exhibition, which explores the readable and illegible gray area.

The elements are based on warping letters and symbols into abstract shapes. Instead of writing ‘Almost Readable’, I used the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to write it how it is pronounced

/ˈɔːlməʊst/ /ˈriːdəb(ə)l/

The movement of the animation got inspiration from the effect of reading a text through a moving glass filled with water. How the roundness of the glass and the moving water distorted the familiar shapes into an almost abstract form. These intriguing letterforms form the basis of the fluid identity.