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Oct 7 / Brandon Fredericksen

Project 2: Font Mannerisms

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Project 2 was actually a lot of fun. The objective of this project was to observe a certain style of type (in my case, transitional) and dissect it. We had to take a look at the way the letters were put together, and how each style of the font are different from each other. We learned about things such as x height, baseline, cap height, ascenders, descenders, and other various parts of type. I have labeled all of these parts in a previous blog post. As you can see from my cover page, the font I was assigned was New Baskerville. Even though I consider myself a sans-serif guy, this typeface was a ton of fun to work with, and has further helped me appreciate a different style of type.


Part 1 – I took each font in the family – Roman, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic – and labeled the x height, cap height, baseline, and descender line for each family.

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Part 2: The first section in part 2 was called the “font showing”. We were assigned to select 8 descriptive words that define our typeface. Using each font family, we put them together and adjusted the font size and leading. This showed how different the font could look at different sizes. These descriptive words would be used in a future part of the project, as well.

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The next section of part 2 was the first part that aloud us to start being creative. As mentioned earlier, we learned about the different parts of a letter. Using this new found information, we were to create 4 compositions that compared and contrasted these parts of a letter in each family of the font. The challenge here was to create a visually appealing composition that also clearly showed what was being compared. While this was a lot of fun, it proved itself to be very difficult.

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This first composition is comparing the serifs of the letter X. Using a white outline and overlapping the letter, you can see the differences in each serif. The second composition is comparing the stroke weight. Personally, this one is my favorite, although it does have room for improvement. I thought the easiest way to compare these would be to create a point of reference, instead of overlapping the letters. The black bar in the middle of the composition is my point of reference. Something I could have done different here is to add color to the strokes, and use that corresponding color on the point of reference instead of just using the color white. The 3rd composition is comparing the counters of the letter C. I think this is my weakest composition. All it is really doing is highlighting the counter, but it doesn’t really contrast anything at all. The final composition is comparing the axis of the letter e. instead of changing the direction of the axis line (which was a very popular concept in class), I simply changed the orientation of the letter itself. I don’t love this composition, but I do think that it does its job at comparing the axis.


Part 3: This part was so difficult. Using 2 of the words we chose from the font showing, we had to create a composition for each that defined itself, without using any sort of writing. For example, if you chose the word “exciting” to define the typeface, you would have to create a composition that was exciting. This was very thought provoking and tested your ability as a typographer, but I think it was a very beneficial exercise.


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Here are my two compositions. Can you guess what they are?

One Comment

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  1. Ivona Sopic / Dec 1 2013

    You’re first two anatomy compositions are great. Especially because you kept your compositions to black and white and still were able to successfully “highlight” and emphasize those parts and allow them to be visually compared. The last two anatomy compositions I feel like lose their effect to compare the different parts because the letters are shifted in multiple directions instead of having the same base line, as the first two compositions had.

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