Rob Wittig Art+Design
My research concerns the use of type and image on large print surfaces --- posters, scrolls and other large, approachable displays.
Specifically, on the text side, I am investigating the use of very wide ranges of type sizes (from ca. 8 pt. to ca. 320 pt.) within the same text to achieve effects of layering and timing. Certain portions of the text are poster sized and legible from a great distance (20 feet or more), other portions of the text are legible from a medium distance (5-8 feet), and other portions of the text are visible only from quite close (2-3 feet). In many of my experimental pieces, a certain thought or sentiment is legible from a distance; upon approaching and reading the medium- or short-range text, the reader discovers that the large type can be construed differently when read with the smaller text.
On the visual side I am investigating the use and positioning of simple imagery --- often line graphics --- and its interaction on large surfaces with other imagery and with text. Using Viz Lab computing resources I am able to scan and enlarge imagery with a high degree of accuracy.
What I am finding is that the reading experience is enriched by a slow, revelation of complex and often contradictory meanings as the reader draws closer and closer to the object, This is what I mean by timing and layering. The possibilities for creative expression are enormous and exciting. Many of these same principles are also quite useful tools for my colleagues in other fields who are organizing large, visual/verbal information displays.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Viz Lab program, my research colleagues, and especially the Viz Lab director and staff who have supported my research in an extremely effective and professional way. The Viz Lab is an outstanding resource and an exciting center for innovation at UMD.