This video is an excerpt from Barbadian comedian Alfred Pragnell’s story ‘How Maisie Ross Get Save’. I wanted to show the culture of the time and place (mid-twentieth century) in the typeface, the type setting and imagery. The naivety of the characters and the country atmosphere comes through in the typography.
That’s why the type is made up of sugar cane, old-fashioned cloth, soil, wood, and leather. I chose an unsophisticated style of typesetting that is irregularly spaced and misaligned.
I kept the Barbadian (Bajan) slang to stay true to the culture of Barbados and to the storytelling style Pragnell uses.
I wasn’t sure that the pacing would be understandable with the fast rate of speech. I timed each word to show as soon as he spoke or a fraction of a second later. However, I showed it to my mother and grandmother, who were born and raised in Barbados, and they could read the type and follow the animation.
This project led to some interesting conversations with my mom about Barbadian life. We talked about chattel houses, tenantries and growing sugar cane. I learned a little bit more about my heritage because of this project.