I’m about halfway through my summer typography class. I don’t love it, but I do have a new appreciation for type. Our last assignment was to come up with three type-only print ad for a well-known product. I picked Lipton Tea.
Can I just take a second and say I hate this kind of assignment? Not the creating ads or typography, but the super broad, “Pick something!” sort of assignments. Yes, it’s nice to have that freedom, but it also leaves me feeling like I’m floating in space without any direction.
The first thing I did was go to the Lipton website and see their current strategy and then Wikipedia to read their history and take a bunch of notes. Their current focus is on the health benefits of tea, so I started there, too.
But nothing was working. I didn’t really like any of the layouts and I didn’t really have a message or goal to communicate. So, I turned the page and wrote at the top, “What is the story I want to tell? What is the story of the tea?” and I just wrote whatever. What came out wasn’t about physical health. It was about mental health and how taking even a short break can recharge your day.
Aha!! Now I had a goal. I revised and revised and revised my copy, came up with a layout, revised some more, came up with a new layout (the first one looked like a circus poster), revised again, another new layout (now it looked like a circus poster from the 1980’s), showed it to my teacher (who didn’t like it), came up with another new layout, ran out of time and had to turn it in. Then, I revised it a little bit more this morning using the comments from the class critique.
I think they came out okay. I’m not thrilled, but I don’t hate them. Using only type in an advertisement is very difficult. “A picture is worth 1,000 words” is a cliche for a reason.
After turning these in, I went to the gym and did my regular hour. On my way home I thought, “If anyone told me two years ago that I would be capable of doing anything I did today, I would have thought they were crazy.” I believe we are capable of more then we realize, sometimes we just need a giant shove from the universe to get us started. I’m thankful everyday (okay, most days) I finally got started.