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Type and Typography

February 7, 2017

Week 2 of Visual Design and we're on the topic of typography. For those that don't know, this is the style and appearance of written language.


In our lecture today, we were taken through the ins and outs of fonts. We looked a different types, such as serif, sans-serif, blackletter, and display to name a few of them. Then it was onto to briefly looking at the anatomy of fonts. These are the parts of the fonts that make them unique and now we have to learn them, so that we can talk about them when critiquing our own and others' work.



Following on from this, we looked at kerning (controlling the white space between two characters), tracking (controlling the group of space between a whole block of letters), and leading (controlling the vertical space between lines). All of this information, is going to be vital when writing and reviewing work, as well as when it comes to designing our own pieces of work, as we'll have to consider what types of fonts to use and how they will be effective.


Directed Study - Part 1:


For our directed study this week, we have had to design our very own business cards using font only, in addition to finding a type case study and critiquing it. I began with the business card design.


Until today, I had never used InDesign before, so it was all very new to me! However, after a very brief introduction in our lecture today, I managed to get my head around the type tool that I needed to create a business card, as well as few others. 

This is my business card. I have used a grey and black, because I have based it around the colour scheme of this website, so that there is a consistency across my branding. Initially, I first chose the colour scheme when designing my website, as I believe black, white, and grey give a professionally feel to my products. Additionally, after researching other music photographers, I found that a large amount of them had a similar colour scheme to allow their images to stand out from the background. 


Furthermore, I have used the same font that is featured across my website: 'Raleway'. This, in turn, has the same effect as the colour choice. When I first selected the font, it was mainly because I personally find san-serif fonts the most appealing and I believe it comes across as quite professional. In this design, I then opted for the 'small caps' option on the main body of text to make it seem classy, as well as more legible as the font becomes slightly more clear when it's more uniform. I decided to have my name reading downwards on the page, due to an issue I came across in relation to the spacing. I originally started off with it going horizontally across the top of the page, but found that this caused trouble in trying to fit all of the other information on in a stylish manner. This is when I began playing around with the layout, moving the parts around until I came up with this concept. 


Finally, I developed my very own logo using my initials, 'L' and 'T'. To do this, I simply created two text boxes, ensuring they both had the same rules applied to them, and began to move them around. Much like the layout of the whole business card, this was a process of trial and error. I rotated the letters around and changed their size, however I stuck with my original design. I like this concept, as it retains the idea of my initials side-by-side, but it also adds another meaning. I personally see it as a box, with part of the shape moved outside. I believe this represents my notion of trying to think outside of the box to create and develop ideas as a media professional. This is why I came to like this design so much: it has meaning.


Directed Study - Part 2:


For the second part of our directed study this week, we were instructed to find a piece of visual design with typography featured within it.


 The article I found is the poster 'Bad Typography is Everywhere / Good Typography is Invisible' by Craig Ward. This artist is one that is known for his graphic design that centers around typography.  I chose his work, because I found it very interesting in the concept it is expressing and how it is expressing it.


The 'bad typography is everywhere' is a bold, red font used to grab the viewers attention with it's thickness and bright colour that clearly contrasts with the off-white background. This font is a san-serif font, which makes it easier to read on screens, further reinforcing the previous effect. On the other hand, the font underneath is a serif font. This is a contrasting font and these are harder to read on screens, but in this case this is reinforced by the colour used. It is the same colour as the background, allowing it blend it and become 'invisible'. The designer has done this to replicate the idea that 'good typography is invisible'. Therefore, they have used the fonts to create their message, as well as using the words themselves. At this point, I would also like to point out that the layout of the fonts is also used by the designer to create the message. The 'good typography' is aligned from the tracking they have done, which differs from the 'bad typography' that is all over the place in terms of its positioning on the page.


I personally, really like this piece because of the reinforced meaning through the connotations of the words, as well as visual presentation of the poster. I find this very appealing in an intellectual manner, as it is almost quite humourous. On top of this, it also makes me question other designs I have seen and whether or not I have seen the obvious 'bad typography' that the designer seems to believe is everywhere, or the 'good typography' that they believe is 'invisible'.







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