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GILLIaN
HAYES


Unmatched

Unmatched is a print publication exposing the gender inequalities in professional sports. The typographic expression is bold and unapologetic playing on scale, colour and composition. The overall concept relates to the idea of form, conceptualising the physicality of sport but also addressing the social attitudes and values we hold towards gendered constructs. The letterforms mimic the unrest and unevenness of the gender bias, taking visual inspiration from each sport and its structure. For example, tennis works in the diagonal beginning with an opposite serve then the ball is followed back and forth, so naturally the copy reads from left to right, left to right, with the gutter as the ‘net’. Gradually the letterforms become displaced throughout the publication to suggest the deconstruction of the bias. Each issue also contains an A2 poster, both presented in a clear wrap to address the general lack of transparency on the problem with ‘Issue 01’ beginning with tennis. As suggested, a possible series roll out would see each issue further case study individual sports such as boxing, swimming and basketball.

 

PROCESS


The main challenge I faced was that I initially planned for this publication to be a lens-based project. Restrictions and zero resources left me with the decision to create an entirely typographic piece. I struggled with this idea as I felt the print piece would be at a disadvantage. However it worked in my favour as I began to play with layout, type, colour and letterforms in ways I hadn’t thought of before. There was a lot of trial and error and plenty of experimentation in order to strike a balance between the argument and the tone. By adopting visual cues relating to tennis, the reader’s experience throughout is lively but also informative. Again, to subtly relate to tennis most spreads work in the diagonal, tip-ins bounce from right to left and the layout of a tennis court served as an ‘unofficial grid’. The bold typeface choice relates more to the argument, often pushing the boundaries of the page to suggest female athletes creating their own space and becoming better recognised for their efforts. Reducing the publication to just type allowed me to better communicate my stance and strike a more realised and confident tone that I don’t think would have been the outcome otherwise.