Edit: Based on feedback from in-class critique, I’ve rotated the cropped composition. Let me know what you think in the comments.
I have had a great time exploring ligatures and I’m impressed by the detail that goes into really well formed characters. I’ve learned that anyone can just stick two letters, numbers, or marks together, but it takes care and skill to make them look good and work within the font. My hat’s off to type designers who do this for a living and do it well. As an example of some intriguing ligatures, check out this set of Mrs Eaves Just Ligatures. I particularly like the “gg” combination, for reasons that will become obvious. Although the letters are not connected, they clearly go together and add personality to the font.
I chose to work with Bauer Bodoni Roman after making thumbnails using three different fonts. My favorite combination is 4 and 7(third down on the right in the picture), but since the scope of the project only allows us to use letters, I went with a close runner up, “gg.”
In combining the letters, I chose to merge the characters with as little white space as possible between them, making them look, as a couple of people mentioned, like they were hugging or dancing. Where the two loops of the “Gs” intersect, I smoothed out the crossover making the letters a cohesive whole and continuing the roundness characterized by the Bodoni font.
The second part of the project entailed expanding the ligature and creating a cropped composition — one that is balanced and formally resolved. I think my cropped composition flows well and is engaging, while retaining the inherent characteristics of Bodoni.
The compositions were then both transferred to 10” x 10” illustration boards and inked. The ligature is an 8” x 8” square with a white border and the cropped composition fills the 10” square.