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Apr 2 / Arielle Nabors

kerned interventions. part two.

So in the last post you got to enjoy the kerning work I did with my partner. In this post, you get the extreme pleasure of seeing what I can do with InDesign and kerning. It’s truly magical. I especially enjoy the cover I came up with. Every time I say “kernderful” it makes me laugh.

Kerned Interventions

Apr 2 / Arielle Nabors

kerned interventions. part one.

This is a masterpiece if you’ve ever seen one. My typography class was split into groups of two, my partner was Aaron. Anyways, we were tasked with writing a haiku about typography. I’m terrible at poetry, so we used the haiku Aaron came up with. Obviously. It goes like this:

The type before us

Often hides beautiful things

Beneath the surface

It could make your little heart cry, right? Maybe not. Either way, kudos to Aaron for coming up with a haiku.

The next part of the project was to cut out each letter of each word from black foam core using an Xacto blade. Twenty-nine letters later, my fingers were sore, but my letters looked pretty awesome. Finally, we organized all our letters and mounted them to a wall in Old Main. We chose a corner for several reasons: it looked really super duper awesome and it gave the haiku and typographic style a little “something something.” Now everyone that walks by gets to enjoy our beautiful typographic masterpiece. We set our type in Futura Medium. Below you can enjoy our work and see the process that went into mounting it.

photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3.1 photo 2.1 photo 1.1photo 4.1 photo 5.1 photo 1.2 photo 3.2 photo photo 5.2

Mar 23 / Arielle Nabors

constrained systems. final work.


Below is my final for the Constrained Systems project. Hopefully all you awesome admirers out there will agree with me that I’ve communicated the connotations of “magnification” and “oppressive.”

Constraine Systems Final

Also, check this out. Using the letters from one of my words, the assignment was to create a phrase and then design a 34×22 poster of it. I’m printing it tomorrow from the plotter at school. I’ve never used the plotter, so this will either be a disaster or super awesome. Either way, I’m super excited for it.

Constrained Systems Poster

Mar 23 / Arielle Nabors

constrained systems. process work.


Constrained Systems, project 4.

The objective was to create a typographic system for two words, “magnification” and “oppressive.” This system was to communicate the connotations of each word and designed using only circles or squares. Below is my process work for this assignment, including the connotations I was trying to communicate.

. connotations connotations_0001 connotations_0002 connotations_0003

connotations_0004 Constrained Systems

Magnification Finalmagnification

OppressedOppressive Final

Mar 17 / Arielle Nabors

type crimes. these are notes about them.

First: check out the super awesome examples of Type Crimes that I found over Spring Break. That’s right, homework over Spring Break. Oh well.

Type Crime Book2

Second: I found out about these Type Crimes in Ellen Lupton’s book Thinking with Type. Also, Ellen’s book has a super helpful website, so if you aren’t able to get your hands on a hard copy of this masterpiece, check out the website. Below you’ll find the page number & a link to the crime, if available. Neat!

1] Horizontal & Vertical Scaling [pg. 38]: font families have set widths for a reason, don’t scale these out of proportion.

2] Optical Sizes [pg. 41]: “some typefaces that work well at large sizes look too fragile when reduced.”

3] Scale Contrast [pg. 42]: minimal differences in type size do not make a drastic enough statement in design. Go big or go home.

4] Pseudo Italics [pg. 48]: sometimes italics aren’t italics, but the font at a slant. Gross.

5] Adjusted Leading [pg. 52]: watch out for uneven leading between text lines, descenders can throw this off.

6] Pseudo Small Caps [pg. 52]: creating small caps when they haven’t been designed into a font family is so lame. Don’t.

7] Mixed Typefaces [pg. 54]: when mixing font sizes/weights/styles, be cautious that the difference is effective.

8] Quotation Marks/ Hatch Marks [pg. 58-59]: so many things about quotation marks, but don’t use a hatch mark where a quote is needed; and don’t create a gaping hole in your body of text by not using hanging quotes.

9] Tightly Tracked Text [pg. 104]: occasionally, tracking a little closer or farther might be a good design move, but don’t get too crazy, your eyes will start to cross.

10] Auto Spacing [pg. 108]: Similar to adjusted leading, auto spacing between lines of text can yield some unfortunate results.

11] Text Block/ Holes/ Ragged Edge [pg. 112-113]: just check out the link here. there are so many things.

12] Stacked Lowercase [pg. 120]: stacking lowercase creates an odd design & according to Lupton, “Roman letters are designed to sit side by side, not on top of one another.”

13] Too Many Signals [pg. 127]: ” Using paragraph spacing and indents together squanders space and gives the text block a flabby, indefinite shape.

14] Too Many Signals .2 [pg. 133]: using bold, italic, underline, and caps all at the same time? You probably shouldn’t.

15] Data Prison [pg. 204]: If you ever find yourself in the horrible position of working with data, at least don’t imprison it.

16] Dashes/Dumb Quotes/Spacing [pg. 211]: there’s a difference between a hyphen, em dash, & en dash. figure it out because it’s real life.

Mar 1 / Arielle Nabors

fictional letterforms. final.

I know, I know. You saw my final piece for the Fictional Letterforms project in the last post, but it was at the bottom. And the post was long, so maybe you got bored. I just want you to give it the attention that it deserves. So this is the newest member of the alphabet, “skuh.” It was developed using the humanist typeface Adobe Garamond Pro, a real beauty.



Initially there was no descender, the bottom of the tail was on the baseline with the “v”-shaped portion. It simply looked too cramped, so I drug the tail down to the descender line, and everything got better. Also, I had to fight to not lose the slender portion of the bottom of the bowl, I didn’t want this letter to be a fatty in an otherwise lean typeface.


Feedback during the critique was this:

  • set width is a little wide: I agree with this. Perhaps it would look better positioned between the “V” and “W.” However, it wouldn’t always be in that position, so a little more consideration of that aspect would have helped out my letterform
  • the crotch: the valley in the “v” portion of “skuh” is round. Where the bowl and tail meet, and where the bowl and the stem meet, there is a sharper valley. these certainly would have benefited from a softer angle
  • does it look like several letters smashed together? does it? I mean, technically it is, I grabbed parts of several letters and created something new. Is it too obvious though? overall I’m happy with “skuh,” but it’s possible that the bowl is too much of an “O.” if I’d taken more time with it, it’s probable that the bowl would have developed into something much more unique.
Mar 1 / Arielle Nabors

fictional letterforms. process.

Below you’ll find the initial sketches for my fictional letter form.



Next up, digital sketching.

Fictional Letterforms Fictional Letterforms2 Fictional Letterforms3 Fictional Letterforms4 Fictional Letterforms5 Fictional Letterforms6 Skuh process work Skuh process work2 Skuh process work3 Skuh process work4 Skuh process work5 Skuh process work6


And finally, the finished product, complete with it’s place in the alphabet and how it would appear in a word. My letter is pronounced “skuh” and is found here in the word “scuba.”

Skuh Skuh2 Skuh3 Skuh4


Mar 1 / Arielle Nabors

typeface differences.

During the critique for Project 3- “Fictional Letterforms” (more on that in the next post), my peers & I were asked how we can differentiate between type styles. How do you tell a transitional typeface from a modern one? What about a humanist typeface? Here is some of what we discussed.

  • Transitional typefaces have more “blunt” terminals
  • Modern typefaces allow for high contrast between strokes as well as more “fidelity” and sharpness in strokes
  • Humanist typefaces reflect the movement of the hand, as in calligraphy

New technologies, those that have developed since the printing press, have allowed for greater precision when setting and creating type. Carving the thin strokes found in Didot into a piece of lead would be a pain in the butt. Thankfully for technology, designers can more easily do that with available software programs. Talking about setting type lead us into ligatures (Lisa’s Project 3 had a neat example of a new ligature).

So, ligatures. Initially these were associated with high craft printing. From what I understood in the discussion, printing presses who had their ducks in a row used ligatures. Ligatures allowed for a better visual aesthetic, otherwise some letters would appear to have a strange space between them. Today, it’s a little bit different.

  • Prior to OpenType font files, ligatures were used to save space. Font files couldn’t handle a lot of information
  • The development of OpenType allowed for far more room within a font file, now glyphs and ligatures could be included in a font family
  • Ligatures are now used as a default when certain letters are typed next to each other (ex. ‘F’ & ‘l’ or ‘f’ & ‘i’).

Here’s a visual for you. You’re welcome.


Feb 16 / Arielle Nabors

typographic lexicon.

Definitions for Project 2, Font Mannerisms.

Postscript programming language; outline font technology

Open Type font format which allows multiple style and character variations to be contained in a single file (Lupton, p. 80)

Typeface design of the letterform; the visual design

Font: a set of characters. in digital type, the font is the character set itself or the digital information encoding it (Bringhurst, p. 233).

Glyph a specific expression of a given character

Connotation an emotional association; fonts are chosen to communicate a certain emotion or trigger a response

Denotation a dictionary definition; fonts are chosen to communicate the literal meaning of a word

Modern Type abstract, less organic; characterized by thin, straight serifs, a vertical axis, and sharp contrast between thick and thin strokes (Lupton, p. 46)

Transitional Type abstract, less organic; sharper serifs and a more vertical axis; high contrast

Humanist Type letterforms are closely connected to calligraphy and the movement of the hand (Lupton, p. 46).

Slab Serif: an abrupt or adnate serif of the same thickness as the main stroke… hallmark of the so-called egyptian and clarendon types (Bringhurst, p. 238)

Sans Serif: without serifs

Feb 13 / Arielle Nabors

Peer Blogs

Here are links to my classmates’ blogs. They’re legit. Check them out.