DEVELOP Visual Research – Typography in Built Environment Dérive

Since I’m still having trouble figuring out a route to take for the lettering in this project, I attempted another derive, this time using a new prompt: “Follow the lettering, signage and grafitti that catches your eye”.

This allowed me to focus on the way that writing is (sometimes literally) embedded in the built environment, and gave me a great starting point for developing on.

A lot of the imagery and textures I have been working on have been very focused on representing nature, but I think it’s quite important that I don’t lose the urban aspect of the project.

I found more than I expected, and I’ve divided it into loose categories.



Painted Text


3D – Embossed or molded

Next steps

  • Layer up paint and scratch into it
  • Writing with paint pens and spray paint
  • Carving/embossing into metal – tin cans?
  • Brush painted letters
  • Not sure about the stickers – maybe there’s a way I can use this as a way of creating texture