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Good tips for the every day typographer


16 Oct 2014

Project 2: Font Mannerisms (Process Work)

I think this project was a prime example of the evolution that occurs during the creative process. I would say the majority of people who are not designers have absolutely no clue the amount of time, effort, revisions, and brainstorming that goes into creating something that may seem simplistic or not time consuming to them. The journey from brain to actual physical product that exists in the world is incredible. I spent alot of time experimenting, checking and re checking a million times, measuring, developing, re working, tweaking, and problem solving. Having a large chunk of time for the project left room to play and try new things which was very helpful in my creative process.


Here are some screenshots and scans of my doodles, sketches, trials and early drafts:


img003img004img005img006img007Screenshot 2014-10-03 08.25.18Screenshot 2014-10-03 08.28.41Screenshot 2014-10-03 08.29.45Screenshot 2014-10-03 08.30.22

2 Oct 2014

Project 2: Font Mannerisms (Reflection)

My overall response to Project 2 is a very positive one. I thoroughly enjoyed this project and particularly liked how all of the steps were broken down in a neat and organized manor. I feel as though I learned an immense amount during the entirety of this project. It was very useful to put into action different elements that we have discussed as being key components to typography and type analysis. For example, I had struggled a little bit with understanding the different “lines” (ex: base line, x height, cap height) but feel that as this project progressed, I grasped the concept much better because I was being made to have a hands-on approach with it. I think this project was a true embodiment of what this class is supposed to be teaching us. We had to take into consideration many different aspects that will be used forever as we grow as designers: layout, cohesiveness, attention to detail, making executive design decisions. I also appreciate the fact that the time frame of this project was a lot more organized than in Project 1. I feel that I had alot more freedom to make important decisions and refine my work because of the length of the period of time we had to work on it. I really did enjoy myself and have fun working on this project, and I hope I enjoy all future projects in this class just as much!

2 Oct 2014

Project 2: Font Mannerisms

The basis of Project 2 was to be assigned a font and analyze it’s members from various angles. The font I was assigned was Bodoni STD, and the family members I chose to compare and contrast were roman, italic, bold, and poster.

The project contained numerous steps, and at the end we were asked to create an 11×17 book with all of the pages we came up with. The different steps to the project were:

  • Pt 1.1: Font Family Display A. Create the whole alphabet for each one of your different family members and set guides for cap height, ascender, x height, baseline, and descender.
  • Pt. 1.2: Font Family Display B. Decide upon 8 descriptive words for your typeface and show the words in various point sizes and in the style of each of your family members.
  • Pt. 2.1: Visual Analysis. Using your 4 different family members, create 4 different compositions documenting different comparisons within your font family. Examples could be: terminal, x height, counter, serifs, ect.
  • Pt. 2.2: Visual Analysis Continued. Using two of your chosen words, highlight various parts of the anatomy.
  • Pt. 3: Expressive Compositions. Selecting two of the words from Part 1, brainstorm a list of connotations for each word.. Then create visual compositions for each word that expresses the connotations of the word.


Here are the different pages to my book in order:

Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.17(2)Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.18(2)Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.17Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.44.23Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.17(3)Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.51.37Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.18Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.51.32Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.45.17(4)Screenshot 2014-10-02 07.55.37Screenshot 2014-10-02 08.05.01Screenshot 2014-10-02 08.25.21



2 Oct 2014

Side Project: The “G” Study

The G Study assignment was to analyze 3 given lowercase g’s and determine the factors that made them different from one another. From an initial glance, the three g’s were virtually identical, but upon further investigation and using a designer’s eye, the details and differences began to emerge. Here is a photo of the three g’s side by side:

g study


My initial breakdown of the differences of these three g’s are as follows.

g studynew


From the discussion of the exercise in class, we learned:

  • The three fonts used were Helvetica Neue, Ariel, and Univers.
  • The G is a good letter to analyze when deciding on what typeface to use, for it contains subtle differences that you would not get in other letter forms while looking at various typefaces.
16 Sep 2014

A little typography humor

12 Sep 2014

More on Project 1: Scavenger Hunt (Reflection)

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s critique on Project 1! I thought all of the groups did a fantastic job, and I was very proud of my own group for our hard work and effort.


Left to right: Joey, MaNazah, myself, Mariam


Also, I did recap the project in my last post, but here is my formal reflection on Project 1 which was included in my booklet:

“Overall, the scavenger hunt project was a great learning experience. It was quite challenging to have an assigned system to keep in mind while also trying to be creative and hunt for all of the necessary letters. In other words, you had to think outside of the box to find the letters, but you were also put into a box by your group’s assigned style. Being given a style also meant considering how to best represent it and making conscious choices to do so. This was good practice for paying attention to detail as well as keeping in mind the bigger picture.

I think the most important experience this project provided, however, was the opportunity to work in a team setting. This project would have been very different if we were asked to work as individuals rather than in an assigned team. Working through the obstacles together and making key decisions as a group was great practice for what may be to come in the future as we graduate and find jobs in the real world. Collaborating and combining all four of our visions is what ultimately made this project successful. This project also brought to light the importance of time management and planning while under a deadline. There were many different aspects of the project that had to be taken into consideration, such as having the photos, working on a reflective blog post, and communicating with your group during the process. The project being multi-faceted helped stress the importance of flexibility and organization while taking on a project. “

12 Sep 2014

Project 1: Scavenger Hunt

Tomorrow (Sept. 11, 2014) Project 1: Scavenger Hunt is due. This project required each student along with our group members to create “a formally cohesive alphabet”. This meant going out into the world and “collecting” ( or capturing with your camera) letters A-Z of the alphabet along with these symbols:  (!?$*). The “letters” needed to not already exist (for example, you could not photograph the letter B printed on a billboard and use it). The style group you were assigned to also added some further constraints, as your letters needed to fall under your category.

My group consisted of myself, Joe Martinez, Mariam Dakroub, and MaNazah Chandler. We were assigned to the style group “Minimal”. Upon discussion, we decided the word minimal meant:

  • As simple as possible
  • Clean
  • Basic
  • Stripped to the essentials
  • Orderly

We also decided that in order to stick with our style group, it would be best to have our final images be black and white, and to focus on finding things that looked like uppercase letters rather than lowercase. We also decided to split the letters and characters amongst the 4 of us rather then have all of us try to find every letter. MaNazah and myself were assigned letters N-Z and the characters ?*, while Mariam and Joe took A-M and $! . Here are a few of the photos I took:


I really had to think creatively, as some letters were much easier to find than others. I found multiples of some, but others I could not find. I had a difficult time discovering R, N and Z.

When our group met next, we reviewed all of the photos we had. Since we divided the alphabet and more than one person was assigned a set of letters, we had multiples for almost every letter. We went through the photos letter by letter and chose which one we thought was the best for our final alphabet based off of our definition of “Minimal”. We also discussed which ones needed to be cropped, further edited, or retaken all together.


*Photo credit: MaNazah Chandler. Our group reviewing and eliminating photos in preparation for the final critique.

We as a group decided we wanted to name our font something that incorporated minimal, as well as the overall look our photos seemed to have: industrialized. We ultimately chose to name our font Cimple City; a collaboration by MaNazah and myself. It combines a play on “simple” (minimal) and “city” (industrialized; pays homage to where alot of our photos were taken).

Overall, I think this project was alot more of a challenge than I had initially anticipated. Having a style added alot more of a constraint to what you could and could not use; you had to think outside of the box to find the letters, but were also put into a box by your group’s assigned style. I think it was a great learning experience!




10 Sep 2014

Side Project: Masters of type, LettError Type Foundry

For the Typographer research assignment, I was assigned LettError Type Foundry.


LettError is an independent type foundry created by two Dutch type designers named Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum.


(left to right: Erik, Just.)

The two began LettError in 1989 while both working for MetaDesign, a global branding firm. Not only does LettError produce type for web and print, but they also occasionally dabble in illustration and animation.

Erik and Just have both been successful as typographer/graphic designers on and individual basis as well as during their collaborative efforts. The most successful collaboration between the pair would have to be the creation of the font Beowolf.



Beowolf was drawn and engineered in 1989 and was part of the first release of the FontFont library. Beowolf is unique because it’s ragged edges shift randomly each time you print it. The Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired Beowolf in 2011 for it’s Architecture and Design collection.

Here are some other fonts the pair have received recognition for over the years:






5 Sep 2014

An inspiring video for designers everywhere:

5 Sep 2014