Experiment 1 – Text combinations & visual styles


Each daily entry in my pandemic diary consists of five pieces of content.

  1. A written description of what happened to me/my observations of the day
  2. A news headline, almost always related to Covid 19
  3. An image or often images created by me that day
  4. An image caption
  5. The day number and date

It is expected that additional elements will become available as a result of qualitative research.

There are currently just over 730 diary entries recorded in several Microsoft Word documents.

Additionally, I keep notebooks that record my daily thoughts and feelings.

The problem is that I don’t have a visually interesting or scaleable way to illustrate/present the content.


By carrying out a number of rapid experiments combining handwritten, found and computer generated text through different mixed media materials and techniques I will discover:

  • More interesting ways to present text
  • New approaches to hand lettering that extend my visual style

Expected results

I will find new and effective ways to illustrate/present text.

What happened

I thought it was important to start immediately to avoid procrastination. I created the first test sheet.

The images use mixed media that combine imagery and text from the pandemic diary.

The approach was deliberately loose and playful.

What I learned

Whilst I did learn something new about combining handwritten text and imagery, the most important realisation was that I didn’t need to constrain myself to a chronological diary format.

It felt like the experiment was too constrained. I had assumed that the pandemic diary content would be best presented in a diary format, and the challenge I had to solve was just one of layout.

This was a problem because I felt that the content was not strong or consistent enough to stand on its own; some days the images and text were strong and some days weak.

I needed a more fundamentally different approach.

What I’ll do next

I paused for about six weeks. It was after a tutorial that I realised I could be more creative in combining and treating my source content.

This led to Experiment 2

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