JAVAN BARTON
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Minimal

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Ever since its birth, American society has been driven by an increasingly consumerist attitude. The average citizen is bombarded daily with hundreds of advertisements, urging them to buy products that promise to make their lives better in some way, shape, or form. In response to these messages of economic materialism, a mindset by the name of “minimalism” was created to counteract the societal desire to constantly consume new goods. Put simply, this mindset takes the principles of the minimalist design movement and applies them to an entire lifestyle. It emphasizes on ridding one’s life of any excess, instead focusing on the few items that are most meaningful to an individual.

My concept for this show was to demonstrate and explain the minimalist mindset through the medium of typography. I created a custom font titled “Minimal,” a project inspired by the principles of the mindset it was named after.  Minimal is meant to serve as a visual representation of minimalism and my hope is that it will be used by others around the globe, continuing the spread of key concepts it represents.

 
 

The Process

 

 The typeface is created entirely out of 8 linear elements, signifying that one can live a fulfilling life while owning only a few material possessions. A true minimalist takes into account all of their belongings and gets rid of those that are of least importance.  This allows them more time to focus and use the possessions that are most meaningful to them

 
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The Result

The finished typeface below signifies the result of a successful minimalist life: clean, modern, and focused on the essentials. In this case, “essentials” are defined as the minimum amount of linear elements needed to make a readable, effective letter form.

 
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The Exhibit

 

Minimal was unveiled at the Grunewald Gallery in Bloomington IN. In addition to the three main panels showing the process of making the font, I created an animation that elaborated on the usability of the font in a digital context. Promotional cards with the font name and download link were also laid out for anyone to grab and take home with them.