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Wayne State University

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Apr 14 / Allibanana

Happy (late) Valentines Day! – the Lust Slim font adds all the right curves to serif

ascender

Happy Valentines Day! I know, I know, I’m about 2 months late but I just recently came across this font, and it’s the first time typography ever screamed “Valentines Day” to me. The Lust Slim font by designer Neil Summerour, and published by Positype is one of the most beautifully designed typefaces I’ve seen. For one, it’s very similar to Didot, a serif font that I absolutely adore. Another admirable quality of Lust Slim is how it embellishes it’s curves with a tight-compact leading, creating a very versatile and adaptable usage.

What first caught my eye was the presentation of the font with picture-title cards on Myfonts.com. Evocative humorous phrases with a sexually-themed image underneath with flourishes and glyphs. It looked a lot like a Lover’s Lane ad! Then it was the literature describing the font, and it’s uses. From the description on Myfonts.com:

“Everything that was under the covers before, still remains–with a few surprises—Lots of contrast, almost demure, coy contrast mixed with the flowing curves of a woman’s body, incomplete, almost teasing ball terminals, and serifs that went on forever…so sharp they would draw blood if you touched them.”

And the designer’s warning is written to invoke humility and knowledge of proper use:

“Please know what you are getting into with this typeface. Like a supermodel, it can’t be squeezed into every situation. It needs room and size to breathe. The regular weights can support 36-point or higher settings, whereas the display weights shine above 72-point (preferably 100-point).”

Very fun stuff! The listing has “type-nerd” written all over it. If you have $199 to buy the license (and please – no college student should!), check out Summerour’s Lust Slim font on Myfonts.com.

curves fineopentypedemo

 

 

Apr 10 / Allibanana

Famous Quotes Illustrated

I think I mentioned before that I sometimes struggle in my design studies. I’m sure all of us have hit that wall, and have had to either power through it or start over. I told my friend, who works in the creative field, about this issue and he relented to me:

“I started as a hack. Everyone starts as a hack, but you just have to find your strength, what you enjoy doing the most, and concentrate on only that. Then your work will be less like a hack and more of a labor of love” – DAP

It was a good talk to get me out of my funk, and although it doesn’t make me super energized or prolific, I still manage to finish what I can with the time I have and the capabilities in my reach.

Now with that talk, Darrell’s quote stood out enough for me to look for other memorable quotes, and I came accross Tang Yau Hoong’s site. Ya Hoong is an illustrator/artist/designer who had a great project on Behance called the “Quote Illustration Project” where he tries to take the embodiment of a famous quotation and illustrate it to communicate it’s influence. He also uses typography so subtly that you barely notice it’s variation. Take a look and tell me you can’t get motivated:

 

https://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Quote-Illustration-Project/7683851

Apr 5 / Allibanana

Project #3 – Fictional Letterforms

Project# 3 – Fictional Letterforms tasked us to create a unique series of new letterforms based on the small details of an existing font. What’s most important is that these new letterforms must feel and evoke the same response as the original font face. I had a lot of fun exploring the details of Didot and manipulating it to a new form.

Self Critique and Analysis:

This is one of my best projects I have ever had the pleasure of working on. From the beginning, I chose a font that I adore: Didot. The reason I love Didot so much is that it has a classic feel, but also, after examining the font closer for this project, it’s a work of art.

My new letterforms were a variety of different combinations. One was a great match for the Didot regular font face – the “e” mixed with “k” created an obscure letterform that I would never have created from the top of my head. On the other hand, the Didot italic font face, created a whispy, irregular form by combining a lower case “g” with the top of a letter “f”-turned 90 degrees. The last fictional letterform was an assemble of a lower case “u” fused with the top of a lower case”f” turned to it’s side. These new concepts looked like musical notes to me or an alien language!

The most difficult – and most interesting task was to generate a pronunciation of my new letterforms.  This was comical because our entire class, including myself had to come up with some weird sounds for our letters. 

I’m honored that Charles submitted all three of my fictional letterforms into the student exhibition in the Art Building. It was a high accomplishment for me, because I never had anything submitted into an art exhibition before. Hopefully everyone enjoys these letterforms as much as I enjoyed creating them!

 

eK fg fu

 

Process sketches: I attached several process sketches to show how I concluded to the final result:

20140416204519114_0007 20140416204519114_0005 (2) 20140416204519114_0004 (2) 20140416204519114_0003 (2) 20140416204519114_0002 (2) 20140416204519114_0001 20140416204519114_0012 20140416204519114_0011 20140416204519114_0010 20140416204519114_0008

Apr 1 / Allibanana

Project 2: Font Mannerisms

Definitive sreenshot

Some of us would say that Project 2: Font Mannerisms wasn’t a major project. Well, it certainly wasn’t as involved as the Constrained Systems project or the Scavenger Hunt. But what Font Mannerisms did for me was open my eyes to how much thought goes into choosing a font, and if it will accommodate the visual principles that the body of work represents.

Self Critique and Self-analysis
Beginning with the visual analysis, I chose the two words “Definitive” and “Distance” as the models for my font mannerisms. I then defined what the words mean to me visually and literally. “Definitive” in my mind conjured images of corporate documents and paper trails, major business signings – even the Declaration of Independence as a historical definition of our country. “Distance” shaped in my head as the literal thought of space and time, the distance from one object to another, the change of depth and detail when distance works between two objects.

The font, Times New Roman worked well for definitive and distance. As I mentioned that the Declaration of Independence was a major historical expression of our country’s attitude, I wanted the font to seem historical but also contractual like a mortgage of a new home. Times New Roman uses both traditional-historical typography, but is also a modern typeface for electronic documents. To fully form the visual effect of the word “Definitive” I considered entries into the dictionary-since it is a universally defined book, and made the type look like a dictionary entry.

distance screenshot

For distance, I used two different techniques to create a distance between the letterforms. Changing the font’s ‘color’ from solid, which is closer to the viewer, and graduated it to white to cover less detail of the letters. I also changed the kerning and italics of the letters to represent a change of distance in a molecular level.

I looked back at this project and wondered if I should have used different words for distance. Distance seemed too easy to demonstrate in a font mannerism, and I feel that I combined too many expressive tactics to create distance between the letters. I feel that if I chose a different word, it would also compliment the definitive font mannerism.

Visual definition process of Distance: distance_brainstorm

Visual definition process of Definitive: Writing_the_Declaration_of_Independence_1776_cph.3g09904

Apr 1 / Allibanana

Typographic Marks Unknown

Alexander Ross Charchars’ Retinart is a personal blog discussing his love for all things typography. I found his passion for the subject very inspiring, but also very resourceful.

Here has a page devoted to all the little word marks and symbols that we dont’ know the definition for. Being a typography nerd, I loved learning the strange names and origins of these symbols. Though I’m reluctant to memorize them :)

http://retinart.net/typography/marksunknown/

 

Apr 1 / Allibanana

Research, Rethink, Remake

Research, Rethink, Remake is a post-graduate exhibition at the London College of Communication.

The goal of this design solution, created by Francesca Oddenino,Vanessa Poli, Nina Frank, and Sven Zijderveld was to create an optical illusion that forces the viewer (graduate students) to consider other options to the thesis’ they are researching and writing – and understand that nothing is finite. As a design student I find this a very strong piece of work – most notably because it isn’t a mixed media of different elements and typefaces, nor does it restrict itself to a visual principle. It embodies exactly what it’s trying to communicate. As the designers state:

“we decided to use tridimensionality and optical illusions to convey the evolution and change, the need to go further, always convinced that “good enough” is never enough.”

Very neat work: http://www.typographyserved.com/gallery/Research-Rethink-Remake/13566077


Mar 30 / Allibanana

So you need a typeface

Found this great infographic on choosing the best Typeface for the job. Though you might have unexpected results. I’m making a painting at work right now in an Easter theme and it resulted in Palatino! Hah!

http://inspirationlab.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/infographiclarge_v2.png

Mar 30 / Allibanana

The Font Shop’s Typography Glossary

I might be the only person who enjoys understanding the subtle nuance and history behind typographic nomenclature. I enjoy learning about the little terminology behind this age old craft. Ever drop the term ‘ligature’ at a party? You’ll immediately get some eyebrows raised.

The Font Shop has an extensive typography glossary for everyone to enjoy. If you’re interested in typographic terminology, this is a great refresher to check out.

http://www.fontshop.com/glossary.php

 

 

Mar 29 / Allibanana

Typographic textiles used in a scarf

While I love the idea of well designed and design-themed apparel, I think what’s most important is of course the comfort. I have a friend who has nice shoes at home, but when he’s at work always slips on a pair of Crocs clogs. The kind that many people in the medical community wear. It’s a statement of function over form. If you are going to be walking around a lot, you want to be comfortable and stress the areas that need comforting support.

I came across this neat looking scarf on designboom. The scarf is composed of helvetica letters created on a textile that can wrap around the neck. This is a neat idea and fun, but remember function over form. If they are letters – there are gaps of air between them, and cold air will easily come through. So what’s the point of a scarf that doesn’t act like a scarf?

Check out the Helvetica scarf at designboom.

Mar 28 / Allibanana

Fonts in Use

 

I have to admit, I sometimes lose confidence in myself as a student of design. Don’t kid yourself, it happens to yourself to. What I don’t understand the most, is how some of our training will actually be applicable in real world use. For instance, typography is easy to be lazy. How much stuff do you see with Helvetica anyway? NOt that it’s a bad font, but it’s a neutral, safe font that anyone can use appropriately.

I came across Fonts in Use while searching for better examples of typography used in the professional setting. It’s a thoughtful breakdown and process of typography in use and can contribute to the learning experience.

1

http://fontsinuse.com/