Project 2 was decidedly more difficult and tedious than Project 1, as to be expected. However, I learned a huge amount of information in one project. First and foremost- I got to know the Baskerville font pretty well. I learned the anatomy of letters and the names of all the parts of letterforms, and exactly what they are referring to. I learned to pay attention to these different parts, because they give the letters specific feels. The differences, even within the same font family, can give different feelings. Some of them include the loop, the eye, the link, the terminal, the counter, the bowl and the axis. I found this portion of the project to be very helpful and informative. Not only did I learn the differences, but the second part of the project really helped me notice them. Making the compositions forced me to find these differences and point them out. I really enjoyed the last part of the project- evoking one of our eight words with the glyphs of our font family. I really liked thinking of connotations and then using them to create a feeling/word. Designing from a sort of network of ideas is really helpful. Although not everyone will guess exactly what the words were, I feel like after I told them, everyone would agree that the compositions evoke the words I chose. I was pretty pleased with that part of the project. In terms of problems and challenges, I had quite a few. I feel like this project was pretty big and had so many parts that it was almost impossible not to accidentally mess up somewhere. I think I messed up my labeling on the anatomy of letters portion, and also I wasn’t thrilled with my 4 compositions. I feel like they could be stronger, but I was limiting myself because I thought all the letters had to be the same size, which other people kind of ignored. I also didn’t register that we’re not supposed to use stroke on letters and so my composition showing the “eye” of the “e” is a little less legitimate, which I’m sad about because I actually liked that composition. All in all, I enjoyed the learning process of the project, and getting to know specifics and details of letterforms. I also liked the design aspect, especially for the last part of the project.
Throughout Project 2, I needed to do lots of editing! Here are some of my early drafts. I needed to change my approach in some cases, other cases I needed to re-think printing/alignment, and sometimes I just needed to revisit solving the problem completely. For part one, I need to delete some of my glyphs because the space became too crammed, and I spread the letters out more to have a little more breathing room on the margins. I re-did some of the compositions, including the “g” composition showcasing the loop. Dan said it wasn’t clear with the layering effect I had been thinking of. For the labeling of the anatomy of the letterform, I deleted some of the elements I had originally had. I got rid of the circles because I felt they were too distracting, and I only used color for the lines which pointed to the part I was labeling. I also added the baseline, x-height, ascender, and descender lines. I also included my rough drafts/experimentation of my expressive compositions. I really enjoyed that portion of the project. My words were “Elegant” and “Systematic”, and I think it’s clear which is which.
I was just perusing the internet and came across this interesting article, which happened to relate graphic design with politics and history. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/19/banh-shop-logo_n_5851706.html It was awesome to relate a real world situation to what we’re learning in class. It just goes to show how much impact graphic design has- especially the logo and design of a company, it really speaks to what the company represents and it effects how people treat it and view it.
Our “curvy” letter scavenger hunt for Project 1 was trickier, yet more fun, than I expected it would be. One of the things the group struggled with at first was a definition of our assigned formal system. “Curvy” is one of those words that are used often and you know what it is –but when it comes to a definition, many people draw a blank. We finally settled on thinking of “curvy” as organic, free-flowing forms, and we also decided that nature is a good place to draw inspiration from. In our endeavors, almost all of our photographs ended up being found in nature. I found many letters in the curvy lines of various plants, leaves, and branches. Once I started seeing letters in nature, I couldn’t stop seeing them! It was a little tricky not to get repetitive, because we didn’t want to limit ourselves to only branches (for example), but a lot of our letters showed up in trees and branches. I wonder if maybe we should have chosen just one, but we liked how it was a variety of forms. We joked that we should call the typeface “Trail Mix”, but settled on “Nature Trail”. I liked that we ended up having a mix of different forms in and around nature. Not only branches and trees, but also leaves, dried grass, lily pads, an animal or two, and flowers. I feel like “curvy” makes me think of things that aren’t static and that have a wide range of variability. Our final letters definitely expressed that. I also think we did a good job not infringing on the “elaborate” group’s territory. Our letters express “curvy”, but some of them are simpler, and some of them are more elaborate –it’s clear we didn’t confuse the two systems. Overall, I would say the project was successful –the group worked well, shared responsibilities, and kept on task to produce a cohesive “curvy” alphabet!
All of my images can be found in the Project 1 Process post I previously posted.
Here are my letters, which were chosen by the group to be included in the final alphabet: final_chosen_letters_project1
The Scavenger Hunt Letter Project was actually quite fun! Here are the images I’ve collected, we have not yet chosen exactly which letters the group will use. Our shape assignment was “curvy”- which made us think about organic, free-flowing forms found mostly in nature.
As our first assignment, we were given a typographer/foundry to research. I received the name “Jonathan Hoefler”, quite frankly not knowing any of the names on the list. However, after some lengthy research, I found that Hoefler founded the Hoefler Type Foundry in New York City in 1989- a time when digital typography was brand new. The Hoefler Type Foundry was a leader in its field, peaking at the time when Tobias Frere-Jones was working with Jonathan Hoefler. During this time, they gained a vast number of big-name clients, including Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and more. They created iconic fonts such as Hoefler Text, HTF Didot, Mercury, Gotham, Requiem, Archer, Chronicle, and more. These fonts are very widely used in the design world- even in Obama’s campaign and in Wikipedia’s logo. The Hoefler Type Foundry is legendary and continues its work today.
I’m attaching my short presentation, and summary page, to illustrate the fantastic work of Jonathan Hoefler and Hoefler & Co.