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Constrained System Process


Starting digital Sketches for this project started off pretty difficult, with placement and sizes that I wanted to incorporate for the words, Defamatory & Splatter.







For Defamatory, as difficult as it seemed at first, became easier to picture an idea as oppose to splatter.  I wanted to depict each letter getting defamed by either bending a significant part of it or breaking it as if it were intentionally done in a malicious, vandalizing kind of way.

02Sketch 03Sketch Defamatory



















Splatters however as easy as it is to picture is difficult to plot with out overdoing it on the shapes.  At first I started off using circles for this one, but then trying it with squares, I liked the look of it.  I wanted there to be implied lines with small squares expanding from the implied line parts. So that when you look at it up close it looks like randomness but looking at it from a far your eyes begin to see the letters.

04Sketch 05Sketch 06Sketch Splatter

16 Nov 2013

Definition & Examples for Splatters & Defamatory

Splatter Definition:


Splash with a sticky or viscous liquid.

-splash (a liquid) over a surface or object.

-(of such a liquid) splash.


A spot or trail of a sticky or viscous liquid splashed over a surface or object.

Denoting or referring to films featuring many violent and gruesome deaths.


Defamatory Definition:

Damaging the good reputation of someone; slanderous or libelous.




















So the first thing that comes to mind, after looking up the definitions of defamatory and Splatters, is Banksy (a graffiti artist from London, who not only does amazing art and stencil graffiti but also uses defamatory designs to voice his opinions)  who has always been an inspiration to me in a way.  But the idea of a Graffiti typeface possibly.

images images-1





Video of Paint on Speakers:

29 Oct 2013

Rule Patterns

VodkavsWhiskey The typographic comparison between regular vodkas (as opposed to flavored kinds), & different types of whiskeys, shows there is a rule in both the color choice and typeface choice.

With the Vodka, there is a repetitive use of the color blue (this rule does not apply to flavored vodkas), along with the use of very crisp, clean typefaces—typically a san-serif. Although, Belvedere does use a typeface with serifs, it still fits in with the crisp, clean look because of the thin strokes.

Looking at the Whiskey, there is a more warmer color approach using, Red, Golds, & Maroons, as well as the typefaces become more decorative in different ways.



Wine The Graphics aspect of Red and white wine also has its own rules. As a whole, both use a color choice that compliment the taste of the wine.  For example, with the white wines the Lagaria, Pinot Grigio is a fruitier tasting wine, and that is emphasized by the use of multiple colors, as opposed to the Ruffino, Pinot Grigio which doesn’t taste as sweet but more like grapefruit specifically. Both Pinot Grigios’ use a multiple colors, however the sweeter, fruitier one emphasizes the color more. Same with the red wines, the color emphasizes the taste, since red wine has more of a spice taste to it, many labels use earthier tones.




BooksBook covers have their own rules as well whether it be comic books or other literature, they will all have an author, the title as the largest part, and then a design. With comic books there is more of an emphasis of the publisher/company who printed it.

Comic books also have the cover  illustrating the main character(s). As opposed to other books which have imagery to what the book as a whole may be.

22 Oct 2013

Sketches for Fictional Letter (Didot)

Understanding and dissecting the individual parts of letters.

Understanding the patterns & correlations

These sketches are looking at characteristics of the Didot Typeface:













Taking parts of existing letters and rearranging them in different combinations to see what would happen.

These sketches become a possible new letterform:




















Potential Options for the final critique:

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 3.37.54 PM



Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 4.32.04 PM


















The final critique one which fit between the q & r in the alphabet was named “Quara”:

Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 12.05.40 AM

16 Oct 2013

Typographic Lexicon

Postscript: Referred to PS, T-1, PS-1.  It is a trademark used for an object-oriented computer language for describing the appearance & layout of documents, used to print high-resolution text & graphics. Uses descriptive mathematics that interprets letterforms in terms of Bezier splines (Postscript splines are cubic).  Consists of a printer font & a bitmap suitcase.

OpenType: Modern font format developed by Adobe & Microsoft to provide users with an accessible & advanced typographic toolset.  The format may offer you 4 choices: Proportional & Tabular lining (titling) figures, & proportional & tabular old-style (text figures).

Typeface: An artistic interpretation, or design, of a collection of alphanumeric symbols.  May include letters, numerals, punctuation, various symbols, & more—often for multiple languages.  Usually grouped together in a family containing individual fonts for italic, bold, & other variations of the primary design.

Font: A set of sorts or glyphs.  In the world of metal type, this means a given alphabet, with all its accessory characters, in a given size.  In relation to photo type, it usually means the assortment of standard patterns forming the glyph palette, without regard to size, or the actual filmstrip or wheel on which these patterns are stored.  In the world of digital type, the font is the glyph palette itself or the digital information encoding it.  Although font & typeface are used interchangeably, font refers to the physical embodiment.  A font is what you use.

Glyph: An incarnation of a character.  Every character in a typeface is represented by a glyph.  One single type design may contain more than one glyph for each character.  These are usually referred to as alternates.

Connotation: An idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.

Denotation: The literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests.

Modern Type: Characterized by high contrast between thick & thin strokes, & flat serifs, along with a totally vertical axis.

Transitional Type: Characterized by medium contrast between thick & thin strokes, less left-inclined Old-Style faces, & a triangular or flat tip where diagonal strokes meet.

Humanist Type: Originated among the humanists of the Italian Renaissance & persist to the present day.  They are of 2 primary kinds: Roman & Italic.  Humanist letterforms show the clear trace of a broadnib pen held by a right-handed scribe.  They have a modulated stroke & a humanist axis which is an oblique stroke axis reflecting the natural inclination of the writing hand.

Slab Serif: An abrupt or adnate serif of the same thickness as the main stroke.  Hallmark of the so-called egyptian & clarendon types: 2 groups of realist faces produced in substantial numbers since early 19th cent.

Sans Serif: Without serifs (a stroke added to the beginning or end of one of the main strokes of a letter).

Ligature: 2 or more letters tied into a single character.  Rigid definitions of the glyph set, leaving no provision for additional ligatures (such as ff, ffi, ffl, fj) are a hazard to typography. Required by the design of the individual typeface should always reside on the basic font.

18 Sep 2013

Futura Font Mannerism



Part 1 of the project is a simple demonstration of the same typeface (Futura) but it’s different families.  Other than the image at the bottom all of them use the same font size.

  • First Row
  1. Left image: Futura Extra Heavy
  2. Right image: Futura Medium Condensed
  • Second Row
  1. Left image: Futura Book Oblique
  2. Right image: Futura Light

The last Row with one image is a demonstration of the four families with different point sizes and different tracking sizes.  The font showing repeats 8 words that are connotations of the font. (Which I had to decide on the words)


  1. Mechanical
  2. Geometric
  3. Urban
  4. Rigid
  5. Coherent
  6. Universal
  7. Practical
  8. Constructive


 PART 2:



Part 2 First looks at the anatomy break down of the font and being able label different parts of a letter (using two of your descriptive words) such as an eye, a counter, a bowl, aperture, shoulder, etc.



Then picking 4 anatomy parts and illustrating the differences between the 4 font families you chose, noticing how the parts change from family to family, the difference in shapes, size, direction of change.

  • First Row:
  1. Tittle (Left image): There is a different oval shape for each tittle even if the font sizes of all the i’s are the same the size of tittle changes, as well as the axis for the tittle.
  2. Stem (Right Image): Shows the different thicknesses of the stem stroke, and the different directions that they move (Which is all vertical, except for Futura Book Oblique which adds emphasize to the difference).
  • Second Row:
  1. Counter (Left Image): This was my favorite composition because I think it was the strongest in showing the differences between all the counters.  Especially because I mixed up what counter went with what “o” but you can still distinguish which one goes with which letter because of the dramatic differences.
  2. Eye (Right Image)This one was showing the eye in the letter “e” and could have been a little more successful if I didn’t make the eye larger than the letters, although all of the eyes came from the same sizes from each family, because they didn’t come from the e’s displayed it starts looking slightly wrong in comparison & composition.














These were just test runs before coming up with a final, trying to show 2 of our descriptive words through a composition that did not resemble an object or create an illustration.

The top two were ideas for Mechanical, that was a difficult one to create a composition for.  I was going for the idea of something being mechanical as in not man made, so perfect that a machine had to have been the creator using formulas.  However it was hard to not end up with an illustrative composition.  The final composition for this one was :












The bottom two were roughs for Geometric, which, like Mechanical, had a math based formula to what makes it geometric. I felt like the image on the right represented the idea of Geometric better than with the letters overlapping and creating general shapes that we all learned as children, like a circle, square, rectangle, triangle.  The final composition for Geometric was:

Geometric02Although color was not allowed for this portion, I did post the one I did with color because I felt as though it emphasized the idea of shapes and had a playful feel to it.


18 Sep 2013

Type Crimes with Examples



Full of Holes: A column that is too narrow is full of gaps.  The spacing between words in this example just looks awkward and the spacing changes with each line of text.  It is creating this effect because it is justified.


Hyphen between numbers: An en dash connects two numbers. It means “up to & including,” not “between.” No spaces are used around the en dash. This example uses a hyphen between two numbers rather than an en dash.



Horizontal & Vertical Scaling: The proportions of the letters have been digitally distorted in order to create wider or narrower letters.  This example the advertising is skewing the letter, making it wider, it seems to try to fit it within the box,  with this effect it just makes the typeface look thicker although it is not that think in all reality.  The typeface looks constrained within the blue box.


Spaces around Dashes: Dashes express a break in the flow of a sentance, Em dashes are required in typesetting.  No spaces are used around dashes.  This example uses the correct dash, however it has obvious spaces between the words and the Em dash.


Too Many Signals: Emphasis can be created with just one shift.  This example is using both bold and underlined when it could create emphasis using just one changes.



Pseudo Italics: The wide, ungainly forms of these skewed letters look forced & unnatural.

Pseudo Bold: Padded around the edges, these letters feel blunt & dull.

Pseudo Small Caps: These shrunken versions of full-size caps are puny & starved.

Negative Tracking: Make the shoe fit, not the foot. Don’t use negative tracking to save space.

Bad Rag: An ugly wedge-shape spoils the ragged edge.

Punctuation Eats The Edge: This is not a true crime so much as a situation of compromise.

Stacked Lowercase: Letters are especially awkward cause the ascenders & descenders make the vertical spacing appear uneven & varied width of the characters makes the stacks look precarious.

Data Prison: The rules & boxes used in data tables should illuminate the relationships among data, not trap each entry inside a heavily guarded cell.

Two Hyphens in place of Em Dash

Em Dash in Hyphenated Word

An Ellipses character is used in place of separate points.

Two spaces between sentences

13 Sep 2013

Thinking with Type (pg. 22-47)


Reform & Revolution

  • At the Bauhaus, Herbert Bayer & Josef Albers constructed alphabets from basic geometric forms which they viewed as elements of a universal language of vision.
  • Assembled from modular components, these experimental designs emulated factor production.
  • Futura by Paul Renner in 1927 embodied the obsessions of the avant garde in a multipurpose, commercially available typeface.
  • The calming, abstract forms of those new typefaces that dispense with handwritten movement offer the typographer new shapes of tonal value that are very purely attuned. These types can be used in light, semi-bold, or in saturated black forms.

Type as Program

  • 1967, responding to the rise of electronic communication, Wim Crouwel published designs for a “new alphabet” constructed from straight lines.  He designed his letters for optimal display on a video screen, where curves & angles are rendered with horizontal scan lines.
  • 1985 Zuzana Licko began designing typefaces that exploited the rough grain of early desktop systems.  Licko embraced the language of digital equipment, her and her husband Rudy VanderLans called themselves the “new primitives” pioneers of a technological dawn.
  • By the early 1990s, with the introduction of high-resolution laser printers & outline font technologies such as PostScript, type designers were less constrained by low-resolution outputs.

Type as Narrative

  • In early 1990s, Letters, which for centuries had sought perfection in ever more exact technologies, became scratched, bent, bruised, & polluted.
  • Barry Deck’s Template Gothic is based on letters drawn with a plastic stencil, after it was released commercially its use spread worldwide, making it an emblem of “digital typography” for the 1990s
  • P. Scott Makela’s Dead History is a pastiche of 2 existing typefaces: the traditional serif font Centennial & the Pop classic VAG Rounded.  He adopted the sampling strategy employed in contemporary art & music by manipulating readymade fonts.
  • Erik von Blokland & Just van Rossum combined the roles of designer & programmed creating typefaces that embrace chance, change, & uncertainty (Beowulf: typefaces with randomized outlines & programmed behaviors.
  • Zuzana Lickos’s Mrs Eaves inspired by the 18th cent. Types of John Baskerville.
  • Fred Smeijers’s Quadraat & Martin Majoor’s Scala offer crisp interpretations of typographic tradition, these typefaces look back to 16th cent. Printing from a contemporary point of view.
  • Tobias Frere-Jones’s Gotham expresses a no-nonsense, utilitarian attitude that persists today alongside the aesthetics of grunge, neofuturism, pop-culture parodies, & straight historical revivals that are all part of contemporary typography.
  • When choosing a font, graphic designers consider the history of typefaces & their current connotations as well as their formal qualities.
  • Goal is to find an appropriate match between a style of letters & the specific social situation & body of content that define project at hand.



  • Cap Height: the distance from the baseline to the top of capital letter, determines its point size.
  • X-Height: the height of the main body of the lowercase letter (or the height of a lowercase x), excluding its ascenders & descenders.
  • Baseline: where all the letters sit.  This is the most stable axis along a line of text, & it is a crucial edge for aligning text with images or with other text.








  • Height
  1. Point system: used to measure the height of a letter as well as the distance between lines (Leading) is the standard used today.
  2. One Point equals 1/72 inch or .35 millimeters
  3. 12 points equal 1 Pica (the unit commonly used to measure column widths
  • Width
  1. Set width: a letter’s horizontal measure, its the body of the letter plus a sliver of space that protects it from other letters.
  2. Width of a letter is intrinsic to the proportion of the typeface
  3. Condensed, compressed, or extended.
  4. Differences in x-height, line weight, & character width affect the letters’ apparent scale.

Type Classification

  • Humanist: letterforms are closely connected to calligraphy & the movement of the hand (Sabon)
  • Transitional: Typefaces with sharper serifs & a more vertical axis, more abstract & less organic (Baskerville)
  • Modern: Thin, straight serifs; vertical axis; sharp contrast from thick to thin strokes. More abstract & less organic. (Bodoni)
  • Egyptian or Slab Serif: Bold & decorative, heavy; slab like serifs. (Clarendon)
  • Humanist Sans Serif: has humanist characteristics; calligraphic variations in line weight. (Gill Sans)
  • Transitional Sans Serif: Uniform, upright character makes it similar to transitional serif letters, referred to as “anonymous sans serif.” (Helvetica)
  • Geometric Sans Serif: Built around geometric forms. (Futura)


  • Roman font is the core/spine from which a family of typefaces derives.
  • Italic fonts, which are based on cursive writing, have forms distinct from roman.
  • Small caps have a height that is similar to the lowercase x-height.
  • Bold (& semibold) typefaces are used for emphasis within a hierarchy.
  • Bold (& semibold) typefaces each need to include an italic version, too.
  • A type family can be faked by slanting, or inflating, or shrinking letters.
12 Sep 2013

The Grand Design Notes



1.1.1 Typography exists to honor content

  • Typography is a craft by which the meanings of a text can be clarified, honored & shared, or knowingly disguised.
  • Typography at its best is a visual form of language linking timelessness & time.
  • One of the principles of durable typography is always legibility; another is something more: some earned or unearned interest that gives its living energy to the page.

1.1.2 Letters have a life & dignity of their own.

  • Typography is a link, & it ought, as a matter of honor & courtesy & pure delight, to be as strong as the others in the chain.
  • Typographer’s task has always been to add a somewhat unnatural edge, a protective shell of artificial order, to the power of the writing hand.
  • Original purpose of type was simply copying, today’s typographer’s task is still to give the illusion of superhuman speed & stamina to the writing hand.
  • Typography is idealized writing.

1.1.3 There is a style beyond style.

  • Typographic style doesn’t mean any particular style, but the power to move freely through the whole domain of typography, & to function at every step in a way that is graceful & vital instead of banal.
  • Typography is to literature an essential act of interpretation, full of endless opportunities for insight or obtuseness.


1.2.1 Read the text before designing it.

  • The typographer’s one essential task is to interpret & communicate the text (Its tone, tempo, logical structure physical size, all determine the possibilities of its typographic form.)

1.2.2 Discover the outer logic of the typography in the inner logic of the text.

  • Books are often layered with chapter heads, section heads, subheads, block quotations, footnotes, endnotes, lists & illustrative examples. For the sake of the reader each requires its own typographic identity & form.  Each layer must be consistent, distinct, yet harmonious in form.
  • First tasks of the typographer.
    1. Read & understand the text
    2. Analyze & map it.
  • Novels seldom need a signpost, but often require typographic markers of other kinds.
  • In poetry & drama, a larger typographic palette is sometimes required.
  • The typographic performance must reveal, not replace, the inner composition.  Like other artists & craftsmen, must as a rule do their work & disappear.

1.2.3 Make the visible relationship between the text & other elements a reflection of their relationship.

  • No matter what their relation to the text, photos or maps must sometimes be grouped apart from it because they require a separate paper of different inks.
  • Typographic page is a map of the mind; it is frequently also a map of the social order from which it comes (minds & social orders change.)

1.2.4 Choose a typeface or a group of faces that will honor & elucidate the character of the text.

  • Beginning, middle & end of the practice of typography: Choose & use the type with sensitivity & intelligence.
  • Letterforms have tone, timbre, character, just as words & sentences do, text & typeface, as a rule they must not collide.
  • Root metaphor of typesetting is that the alphabet is a system of interchangeable parts.
  • Letters are microscopic works of art as well as useful symbols, they mean what they are as well as what they say.
  • Typography is the art & craft of handling these doubly meaningful bits of info.

1.2.5 Shape the page & frame the textblock so that it honors & reveals every element, every relationship between elements, & every logical nuance of the text.

  • Selecting the shape of the page & placing type upon it is much like framing & hanging a painting.
  • Shaping the page goes hand in hand with choosing the type, & both are permanent typographical preoccupations.

1.2.6 Give full typographic attention even to incidental details.

  • Give full typographic attention especially to incidental details.

1.3 Summary

Typography should perform these services for the reader:

  • Invite the reader into the text
  • Reveal the tenor & meaning of the text
  • Clarify the structure & the order of the text
  • Link the text with other existing elements
  • Induce a state of energetic repose, which is the ideal condition for reading.
12 Sep 2013

Elaborate Alphabet


















10 Sep 2013