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We've explored the issue of text design which includes placement, font type, size, color and tonality on both monochrome and color images and on more and less busy images. We've also had a look at the use of mats for holding the haiku and credits texts where the image is very busy.

Because I’ve used my own stylistic preferences throughout, the presentation may sound as if there are only two ways to place text on a haiga image: 1) place the text in negative (or more open) spaces, or 2) create a large mat to hold the text.

To further explore approaches to text placement and design, here are some haiga images that do what I consider to be a great job of creating space for text in different ways:

  • Ron Moss, the image and mat are used to create space for the text: Ochre Sunset
  • Billie Dee, text on the mat: Winter Dawn
  • Ruth Mittelholz, use of a large mat to hold text and image (I wish this were larger): Solitary Tree
  • Allison Millcock, a busy image that works with a muted color text taken from the image: Silk Flowers
  • Alexis Rotella, a busy image that works with text: In the Fisherman's Eyes
  • Allison Millcock, text placement in the negative space and a handwriting font type: Reaching
  • Ron Moss, a different kind of framing: Deep Woods

If there are any principles to keep in mind from this presentation, consider these two:

  • A haiku is a sublime little poem, characterized by its lack of ornamentation.
  • A haiga composition is the marriage of haiku and image in a way that stresses an equal partnership.

The design of the haiku text can adhere to these principles through careful attention to text design. This presentation was meant to increase the haiga artist’s options as in designing haiga images. It was not meant to suggest that there is one best way.

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