Skip to content
Dec 14 / Zahraa

Project 5: Paste-up book and blog

Final project submitted, thank God!


It was, like the rest, a very extensive assignment. Not only that, it was a project that crossed into an entirely new territory for me, making a book. The first part of the project was to explore a comparative analysis between different types, point sizes, leading, alignment, and combinations of these different elements. It was a process that resulted in close to 50 pages (if not more) of just visual analysis that was potentially meant to ease us into the major decision making regarding our book. It would help us “see” which typefaces worked better on the page (A5) at different settings, and which type was more visually appealing for us.

The second part of the project was to begin to compile old blog posts and decide what would go into our book, and what wouldn’t. It helped that we were given a list of general things (notes, project reflections, etc.) we had to include, otherwise the rest was up to our choosing. I saw that this process continued to happen and edit itself while I was typesetting.

Which brings me to my next task, actually typesetting the book and making decisions on layouts, how many grids to activate and which, the design of headers and body text, placement of images, and so on. I took very careful consideration with this part of the assignment because I wanted to make everything fit visually, I wanted it to be very appealing, dynamic, and have a sense of flow between the multiple elements on the page. Time-consuming, but worth it in the end.

Finally, once all was said and done, I printed out my spreads on tabloid size paper, printed it all out, and then proceeded to cut every element out of the page and re-paste it on a separate spread. This wasn’t as brain-busting of a process, but it required a lot of skill in cutting and placing elements back where they belonged. Once the mechanical process was over, I took my newly generated spreads to the FedEx on campus and photocopied the sheets back and  front (a major part of the process), where they then would be cutout into A5 size and saddle-stitched together to make a book.


Images from the process:

2013-12-07 16.42.41

Comparative analysis studies.

2013-12-07 16.44.55

Process.2013-12-10 21.10.11

Printed, cutting commenced.2013-12-10 21.17.32

All cut out!2013-12-12 09.43.21Process work book.

Nov 19 / Zahraa

Project 3: Process Work

The objective for this project was to create a fictional letter form that fit seamlessly into a preexisting typeface. I chose to work with Baskerville because I loved the way the letters acted on paper and how the serifs flowed from the main stems in such an elegant manner. The process was three steps, 1) Duplicate existing letters from two typefaces, 2) Pencil sketch two different types of studies of each typeface, a series that examined micro-details and a series that examined how ligatures from different letters could meet and combine in a realistic way, 3) And finally digitize and create final forms after much consideration and process.


The first set of images are my drawings of various letters and symbols from the typefaces Baskerville and Garamond:




PROJ3001 PROJ3002 PROJ3003 PROJ3004





PROJ3005 PROJ3006 PROJ3007 PROJ3008



It was so difficult scanning these since my original sketches were so light. Some sketches are a simple examination of micro-details of the typefaces, and the remainder are possible renditions of ligatures meeting in one place or another.


PROJ3022 PROJ3021 PROJ3020 PROJ3019 PROJ3018 PROJ3017 PROJ3016 PROJ3015 PROJ3014 PROJ3013


Possible studies


PROJ3030 PROJ3031



Final form! PROJ3036

Overall this project was something I worked really hard on, and spent a great deal of time to produce. I had many, many possible iterations but stuck it to this one because I felt it to be most unique in terms of how specific parts met and believable. It wasn’t unlike something I thought of in the earlier process and so I decided to turn this one in. I was excited to present this because I really felt it to be a summation of my exploration process and also thought it was a form that held its own.

Nov 19 / Zahraa

The Timeless Way of Building

Pulled from hand written notes:

  • The more the same things are, the more the different they can become
  • Although patterns of objects may run a little similar to one another, there are subtle differences between objects that makes them vastly different from one another
  • The way which patterns are combined is utterly different
  • Natural language vs. Pattern language
  • We create patterns in our minds by the things we subconsciously collect around us
  • Architects are responsible for only 5% of building everything else is repetition and recreation of things before
  • A man experienced in building houses has a language rich in that career
  • Patterns have a tendency to appear in the world as slightly different each time and in a different manifestation
  • Patterns in the world exist vs. the patterns in our mind which are dynamic
  • Patterns in our mind require more knowledge
  • A desirable pattern is one that solves a problem
  • Rules of patterns save you creative energy and keep you from creating meaningless combinations (ex. English language/sentences)
  • A system of patterns form a language
  • “Barns” will always have the particular relationships required by the patterns, however size, relationships, angles, etc. are at the whim of the builder
  • Patterns are used to make our designs
  • Designs are informed by patterns, patterns come from our mind, patterns are subconsciously collected from the world
  • Pattern languages are a condensation of our own experiences
  • Keeping patterns a secret is inessential because they come from our experiences
  • We have many, many rules that tell us what is “bad” or “good”
Nov 18 / Zahraa

Project 4: Video Critique

I partnered up with Maryvi throughout the project and before the final forms were due, we were asked to make a 1 minute long video of us critiquing our partner’s process work. Things we had to consider as we reviewed were:

  • depth of research, investigation, process / what is good or what ight be lacking
  • how characters communicate the meanings and connotations / are they communicating something other than the connotations of the word
  • what is working formally /what needs consideration
  • what you hope to see in the final presentation / how would you like to see this develop
  • anything else that may be relevant to the work that serves as useful critique/examination of the work.


Click the link for my video!



Below is Maryvi’s blog post of her critique on my stuff:


Nov 18 / Zahraa

Project 4: Process Work pt. 4 (final forms and reflection)

I felt that more so than any of my other projects, the process work for this one was more dedicated and print-heavy. I really tried to push my self to produce the most accurate and appealing forms on paper, and that alone was a process within itself. As I was working, I came across a quote that went as such:

To [a typographer], one typographical point must be as important as one inch.

I felt this to be relevant to my work. I played around a lot with possible spacing and positioning of modules on a grid to push the ideas I was trying to communicate and even aside from points on a grid, how would one form play with or against another form? Around the time final forms were decided on and pasted, I collected my process work and put it together in a book that came up to be quite some pages long.


Final forms:



Parts 1, 2 and 3 can be found here, here and here.

Nov 18 / Zahraa

Project 4: Process Work pt. 3 (digitizing)

Once sketching was completed, and ideas were laid down on paper, we moved on to the computers and worked from there. By this time I had decided on which shape to use (circles) and commenced putting letters together. For inundation I made the conscious choice to use solely large circle modules to really push the sense of my connotation words: overbearing, heavy, overwhelming. I tightly packed the circles, one right next to another, to create letters and a word that really overwhelmed the eyes and sat heavily on paper. I experimented with various compositions and designs that I thought would portray the sense of inundation and referenced pre existing modular type to consider how to treat the circles and whatnot. The remainder of my process is outlined below:

Process Work_ZA4 Process Work_ZA5 Process Work_ZA6 Process Work_ZA7 Process Work_ZA8 Process Work_ZA9 Process Work_ZA10 Process Work_ZA11



Spontaneous was another drawn out process. While I was working I started losing sight of how to treat my word in a way that portrayed spontaneity, and began seeing effects that belonged in other words (i.e. splatters). I would work, print, process, work and repeat. I stopped my process at one point and began to do some more research on spontaneous, and how that word acts in life or at least in context. Once I had come back to the drawing board newly inspired, I feel like I pushed my sketches in a way I didn’t imagine before. Below are the results of that process:


Process Work_ZA15 Process Work_ZA16

Process Work_ZA18

Process Work_ZA17Process Work_ZA19 Process Work_ZA20 Process Work_ZA21 Process Work_ZA22 Process Work_ZA23 Process Work_ZA25Process Work_ZA24

Parts 1 and 2 of process can be found here and here .

Nov 18 / Zahraa

Project 4: Process Work pt. 2 (sketching)

We were asked to sketch a series of pattern thumbnails that conveyed the meaning of our assigned words. The sketches were to be informed by our previous brainstorming. After we had developed a number of thumbnails, we were to apply those patterns to two letters of each of our words. Below are my sketches:


Process Work_ZA Process Work_ZA2



Process Work_ZA12 Process Work_ZA13 Process Work_ZA14


Part 1 of process can be found here:

Nov 17 / Zahraa


Eventually founded Hoefler & Frere-Jones type foundry.

Nov 17 / Zahraa

2Lou Dorfsman, CBS Didot, 1962

Nov 17 / Zahraa


This set of cards gives off a certain sensibility that excites my senses and inspires me as a type student.