Week 6, Session 1 (OpEd)

1) Read this short article on Ed Ruscha’s typography paintings and then view more of them by Google (image) searching: Ed Ruscha typography.

2) Choose a painting (reference the name and date) and comment on the affect the typography has on the meaning of the word being displayed:

• How does the word sound in your head when you read it through the filter of Ruscha’s typography?

• How does the typography enhance, conflict, or entirely deconstruct the meaning of the word for you?

4 thoughts on “Week 6, Session 1 (OpEd)”

  1. After a closer look at the work of Edward Ruscha, I found the “1938”; 1958 Oil and pencil on canvas more interesting then the rest of them. Most of them look a lot like Helvetica just in his style but the “1938” caught my attention first because it’s his paintings and not just pictures in the background with words in the front.

  2. “Hollywood,” 1968

    Not strictly a pure type work. The word is presented in font like the iconic Hollywood sign, but from an exaggerated perspective where the word extends, approaches, or marches towards the viewer’s POV. It resembles a megaphone in shape. That makes it sound like the word is being announced–as in a bus reaching a destination, or the opening frames of a movie, with an overemphasis on the last part of the word in contrast with how it’s actually pronounced.

    The letters are not realistic in portrayal, without any of the supporting framework the real sign has (looking like bad computer type). That may be playing upon the fantasy/unreality of Hollywood the idea. It seems tenuous, as if the letters were about to fall down, especially as the font color is very similar to the sunset in the background. It deconstructs the ideal of Hollywood (dreams come true) through its artificiality.

    Image available at:


  3. One of the Ed Ruscha typography I choose was ”Artists Who Do Books ” 1976. A affect typography has on the meaning of the words the painting is leading and tracking it have on it. In the painting you see there is no type of kerning between the words which looses the connection or clarity .

Leave a Reply