Exercise: Text and image


“Begin by taking each pair of words in turn from the list below and writing them in your own handwriting.”

  • Big Small
  • Fat Thin
  • Fast Slow
  • Fun Boring
  • Calm Mad

Now write each pair of opposites in a way that is descriptive – use the shape and size of the word and the relative position of the letters to express the meaning of the word. A fat ‘F’ may look different to a thin ‘F’. Write the words in both upper case and lower case.

“Turning to your computer software, scroll through the fonts and select one that suits your word. Reflect the qualities you were seeking to express when hand-drawing the word. Be conscious of the roundness or pointedness of a letter form. Note whether it’s serif or sans serif. It may help to type the word several times in different fonts and make a direct comparison between them.”


I found this a useful exercise to better understand the relationship between text and image. Through examining the different attributes to certain typefaces, allows the illustrator to customise the central message of the image to fit the mood.