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Posts tagged ‘research’

Accidental Mysteries

Here’s a really cool post I found on the Design Observer site. It talks about this German Book from the 17th Century that basically is just a compilation of different calligraphy styles applied to the alphabet. What’s truly amazing is that each page gets more and more ornate. The time it took to make these is probably ridiculous, and I definitely don’t have a steady enough hand to do something like this so I definitely respect and admire it! Take a look.



I think it gets to a certain point where some of these are borderline-beyond-legible, but amazing to look at nonetheless!

7 Mar 2013

Visual Confections by Tufte ~ Notes

  • A story is a progression of noun-verb incidents.
  • A confection is an assembly of many visual events, brought together and juxtaposed. They tell us another story.
  • Structures that organize information should be transparent, straightforward, obvious, natural, ordinary, conventional – with no need for hesitation or questioning on the part of the reader. – Some ‘confections’ can just be way too complicated!
  • Visual confections tend to use compartments and imagined scenes to combine imagery into one piece.
  • Descriptions of confections seem to provoke the language of miracles, as familiar elements find renewed meaning in astonishing arrangements…
  • Confection-makers cut, paste, construct, and manage miniature theaters of information – a cognitive art that serves to illustrate an argument, make a point, explain a task… narrate a story.
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8 Feb 2013

The Armature, the Grid, and Grid System ~ Notes

Grids are essentially.. “frameworks devised to assist hierarchy…”

  •  Armatures underly and bind elements … by “intuitively” divided space. Armatures employ principles of alignment, visual proportion, balance and harmony similar to… a satisfying drawing.
  • Grids also underlie and bind elements but with structural in addition to visual rules
    governing placement. Example: 
    Newspapers … utilized simple columns to accommodate changing content day to day… helped to order masses of text. Efficiency and accessibility in typography joined the points, lines and
    planes of abstract art. In the end the principles of abstraction proved elemental to grid
  • Grid systems put similar principles to work except within a calculated program. This
    mechanical plan for the placement of elements typically spans pages.  All areas comprising the sum total of any given space work under the grid’s close supervision.
  • Brockmann’s treatise signaled the consummate arrival of “systems thinking” for typographers. Modularity in typographic structure: interconnected small, equal and repeating parts that comprise a whole. “Working with the grid system means submitting to laws of universal validity”

Each whole is the sum total of its configuring parts.



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4 Feb 2013

Supplement Sketches

For ‘Supplement’ I was trying to portray the idea that a supplement is extra information, and not quite necessary. I wanted to letters to have a basic skeleton that people can see and immediately recognize it as that letter, but I wanted extra information to help build up the letter (but also isn’t necessary to understand what letter it is). I wanted this to be pretty clean and crisp, and most importantly SIMPLE.

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15 Nov 2012

Sluggish Sketches


For ‘Sluggish’ I was trying to get at the idea that it is slow-moving, un-caring, and lazy. I wanted to letters to be moving apart from each other, going from fast (or normal) to slow, and extremely slow. I also wanted to letters to have an organic feeling since the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Sluggish’ is an actual slug, so I wanted to be sure the letters didn’t seem to digital or edgy.

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15 Nov 2012


Reform & Revolution

  • Some designers thought distortion of the alphabet was gross and warned against it
  • Avant-garde designers rejected the quest for essential letters grounded in the human hand and body
  • At the Bauhaus, letters were constructed from basic geometric forms – squares, circles, triangles

Type as Program

  • Wim Crouwel created designs for a new alphabet purely from straight lines… these letters were designed for optimal display on a video screen.
  • In the mid-1980s computers and low-res printers made typography more accessible to the public
  • PostScript and high-res printers in the 1990s created less contraints for type designers.

Type as Narrative

  • Designers became unsatisfied with clean, unsullied surfaces and wanted to make letters more harsh and disorderly
  • Template Gothic is designed based on letters drawn with a plastic stencil
  • Dead History combines Centennial and VAG Rounded – manipulated the vectors of readymade fonts (strategy often used in contemporary art and music)]
  • Beowulf was the first typeface to have random outlines and programmed behaviors



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3 Nov 2012

More Modular Type

This is another really attractive modular type system I stumbled upon. Obviously the colors are what attracted me first – they are very harmonious and calming – the words aren’t jumping out at you! One thing I noticed is right at the top, the N and U essentially mirror each other, but the artist used different colors, which helps to differentiate between the two. I enjoy that not all parts of these letters are strictly the same (the stroke weight of the T is larger than the U right next to it). This variation makes the typeface very interesting and fun to look at. I also enjoy the use of square and circular shapes, not just one or the other. The texture within these letters are also very intriguing and captivating – resembles wood or marble.

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1 Nov 2012

Project 4 Word Descriptions



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1 Nov 2012