Over the course of this class, I have come to realize like many of the finer things in life, appreciation for fonts can be an acquired taste. I believe that my taste level for fonts has matured and I have grown to love many fonts that prior to this course I found boring or too standard for me to pay notice to. Here are a few fonts that I have found to be new additions to my personal list of favorites.
-Baskerville: I would have never in a million years listed this as a favorite font of mine before taking this course; it sure has grown on me. It is a get-the-job done type of font: reliable and classic. Can’t really ever go wrong with using Baskerville.
The final project we were required to submit for Typography 1 was a ” blog book”. The book was meant to contain all of the blog posts we had compiled during the course of the semester. These posts embodied our experiences during our time in the class, including the process of creating each project, activities done in class, and even our favorite fonts.
Through this book project, we were allowed to decide ourselves what content to include, how many chapters we wanted to have, what order to lay out the information in, and much more. We were free to decide what look we wanted our book to have as far as layout and font choice
Above: working on my blog book
The first step to creating our book was to conduct a typographic study on potential fonts to have the book’s type set in. This step would help us compare different type faces and determine which ones would work best together. Here are a few screenshots of my comparative type study:
I came to the conclusion that the following fonts would be appropriate for:
Headers: Franklin Gothic Medium (All Caps)
Body Text: Georgia
Subheads: Franklin Gothic Medium (Italic)
Photo Captions: Georgia (Italic)
The next step was then to set up a 5-column grid in InDesign and begin laying in all of my gathered content. Professor Dan stressed the importance of using a grid to guide all of our content into a reader-friendly arrangement. He explained that although a grid may seem confining, it is actually the opposite, as the grid makes it alot easier to cleanly and professionally arrange alot of information.
Below: Professor Dan illustrates the importance of setting up and underlying grid & explains what gutters are;
Browsing through books in the OpenLab in order to gain ideas and inspiration on how to lay out my book
Once the grid was established, I began to play around with arranging my photos and bodies of text:
pics of assembling book, screenshots of indesign layout
On Thursday, November 20th, we split into groups and interacted with physical letterforms to practice utilizing kerning when working with type. Each group was assigned the phrase”type rules” printed in a different typeface and was given each individual letter as a print out. We then had to trim the letter from it’s page using an x-acto knife, and perfect their kerning by hand. My group consisted of myself, MaNazah, Taylor, and Mariam.
shown below: our group alongside our version of “type rules”, set in Minion Pro
In my opinion, Project 3: Fictional Letterform was one of the most fun and beneficial projects assigned during the entire class period. This project was many lessons rolled into one, most likely because it was technically 2 projects (Pt.1 was developing and finalizing the letterform itself; Pt. 2 was the creation of the poster).
- Lessons learned in Pt.1: creating the letterform:
Familiarization with typographic catergories:
This project focused alot on typographic categories or styles and the characteristics that make a typeface fall under it’s respective catergory. During this project, I became alot more familiar with the distinctions that ultimately caused my font, Perpetua, to be known as a Transitional font. I think gaining more knowledge about the typographic categories was beneficial in the sense that knowing the history of anything you are studying is crucial. Each typeface looks a certain way because it is a product of a time period. Learning why a transitional typeface has the characteristics it does and knowing the history behind it was really interesting. Paying attention to these characteristics is ultimately what lent a hand to major decision making decisions when creating my letterform.
The importance of experimenting through thumbnails & sketching:
In the beginning stages of the letter creation process, we were asked to conduct studies on the letters found in our typographic category as well as create various combinations of letterforms using bits and pieces of these letters. This was to be done on a piece of paper, by hand. This part of the project taught me that thumb-nailing is a really important part in throwing out initial ideas before moving to the computer and working digitally. By working with a pencil, I was not afraid to make mistakes, and therefore produced more ideas than I would have if I were confined to my computer screen. It also helped me to familiarize myself with the distinct characteristics of each letter by drawing up close and experiencing the letter through my own “touch” if you will. I also was able to jot down notes and work through eliminating designs I didnt like quicker.
- Lessons learned in Pt. 2: Creating the poster
The importance of hierarchy:
The poster section of the project emphasized the importance of determining a hierarchy heavily. Because the poster had so many elements that needed to be incorporated into a limited amount of space, defining a hierarchy was crucial. This part of the project taught me to choose a few “key players”, or elements that I wanted to stand out the most, and then to decide the importance of the other elements accordingly. Setting up a hierarchy is purposefully as a designer telling the viewer what to view first, second, and so on. It means keeping control over the different parts of a whole and making sure not everything is on a level field, which can lead to a chaotic and muddled design.
Testing various compositions:
Another thing the poster project taught me was to not be afraid to experiment with various compositions. In the past, I would tend to get hung up on one or two layouts, and be nervous to move elements around drastically. Professor Dan made it clear that when trying to develop a composition, it is necessary to create lots of iterations and to push yourself to make each one extremely different from the next. Through this process I learned to not get attached to a composition and to scrap it if it wasn’t working for me. Moving fast and working through lots of designs at once rather than stressing over one or 2 is a skill one needs to have when entering the field of graphic design.
In the first instillation of my type crimes blog post, I explored the various no-no’s illustrated in Ellen Lupton’s book: “Thinking with Type”. In addition, I have now gone on a scavenger hunt of sorts for examples in the real world of type crimes in relation to kerning and tracking.
“[Kerning and tracking is] The process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letter forms, while tracking (letter-spacing) adjusts spacing uniformly over a range of characters.”
The following images are ones I have found that showcase poor kerning and tracking:
ADD 6 IMAGES HERE AND CAPTIONS