My word was carbonation.
I began by trying to break down the word itself. It is rooted in the word carbon, so I thought of chemical structure and organic chemistry. I tried to form a hexagonal skeleton, but because it was hard to read, I used a bent structure instead. This became the lower-right composition. I wanted to use lowercase letters because they are rounder and more pleasing to the eye, especially the a’s. To keep the structure light-looking, I chose a thin style of font.
I chose to base my next composition (upper left) on CO2, or carbon dioxide, which is used to carbonate many sodas and soft drinks. I capitalized the C and O , and added a small subscript. I changed the sizes so that the C and O would appear larger, adjusted the baseline so that the letters would be centered vertically, and increased the tracking to again promote an air of lightness.
I thought about soft drinks next, and how the bubbles of air float about in a glass. I arranged the letters so that they were different sizes and at different baselines, to give a feeling of movement (upper right). I chose to make the C O and O the largest letters to reiterate the chemical CO2 theme. I chose a bolder, heavier font for two reasons: one, the c’s and o’s appeared rounder; two, there are often a lot of bubbles in a glass but each still has its own space. The heavier font gave each letter/bubble its own presence while increased kerning gave each letter its own space.
Finally, I wanted to capture the idea of bubbles fizzing out of a glass of soda (lower left). I could have done this through a gradual widening of the kerning between letters, or through gradient, or both. I chose to do a gradient because it communicates the idea well while still being readable (the kerning would have been distracting and uncomfortable). In addition, I wanted to keep the font light and the letters well-spaced, because you would not think something heavy could easily escape a glass.