Exercise: If the face fits

Create your own sample book of typefaces on your computer that you can refer to.Organise them into:

  • • Serif for continuous text; readable at small sizes and those suitable for headings.
  • • San-serif for continuous text; readable at small sizes and for headings.
  • • Script fonts that look handwritten with a pen or brush.
  • • Decorative fonts only suitable for headings or ‘fun’ uses.
  • • Fixed width, techno and pixel fonts for use on the web or to give a computer appearance.

Identify which typefaces have bold, italic, black or light fonts. 

Now identify which fonts you might use in each of the following commissions:

  • A short story in a woman’s magazine entitled “I thought I loved him; now I’m not so sure”. The story is 1300 words long so you will need to identify a text font and a headline font.
  • An advertisement in a parish magazine asking for more helpers on the flower rota. The finished size is A6 landscape and the text reads: “Can you add that important artistic flourish to our church? We desperately need more volunteers to join the flower rota. If you can help or would like more information please contact Jennie jennie@vicarage.co.uk.”
  • A poster to advertise an after-school club for boys aged 13 – 14. The poster will be A3 size and the copy reads: “Bored? Feeling got at? Nowhere to go? Then why not come and join us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school in the Old Gym. We’ve got football, ping pong, table soccer, computers, Karate, cooking and lots more. All free just come along.”
  • Your friends’ engagement party. They want a flyer A5 size to send to their friends as if advertising a club night. The copy reads: “Mandy and Josh are finally going to do it…well almost!!!!! Come and join them on Friday 24 March from 8pm at the Golden Calf to celebrate their long awaited engagement… and yes lots of presents would be gratefully received particularly if we can drink them!!!!!

Then have a go at mocking up each of these. Try different fonts to see how each changes the feel of the text and make notes in your learning log about which works best and why.

The first thing I discovered is that I have something called Font Book on my MAC where all the fonts are stored. I researched how I could  use this application to organise my sample book.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-10-32-18There are many available software applications for organising fonts. Since I am not planning to be a graphic designer I decided to use the Font Book provided on my MAC.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-10-33-58I created my own collection of serif fonts. Unfortunately I learned that one cannot delete a collection(incorrectly set up) – just disable it – weird…. I also failed to make a ‘smart collection’ as I did not know the correct terminology for how to limit what would go into this collection….

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-11-06-56I found a list of Fonts supplied with MAC OS X in Wikipedia. I found this could be sorted into subtypes e.g. Sans serif. So I did this sort. Then I copied and pasted the result into EXCEL. I added a column for the Appearance for which I used FontBook.

Version 1

font_list-sheet1

I then rationalised this by creating shortcuts for the classification subtypes (B for Bold etc.). I ordered the different classifications (serif, sans- serif etc.) into sub classifications using this sites’ classification system which seemed to me to be logical. But I did run into limitations. Many of my FontBook typefaces seem to fall into odd sub categories. I used Wikipedia’s classification in some cases. Not sure if this is “Beginners License”…..

Version 2

font_list_2

I will add to this list as I add more typefaces to my computer.

Now identify which fonts you might use in each of the following commissions:

  • 1. A short story in a woman’s magazine entitled “I thought I loved him; now I’m not so sure”. The story is 1300 words long so you will need to identify a text font and a headline font.

Here is a crash course in combining typefaces.

The principal concerns when combining typefaces are the following:

  • contrast (not too similar and not to drastically different)
  • weight (combing typefaces of different weights)
  • style and decoration (normally regular or italic are used to create style. Decoration is created by drop shadows)
  •  scale and hierarchy (e.g headings should be bigger than sub headings and body typefaces)
  • classification (use different classifications e.g. serif with sans serif)
  • structure (structures should be either VERY similar of very different)
  • colour & texture (for contrast in similar typefaces use colour or texture)
  • extreme contrast (for display or script typefaces use extreme contrast)
  • mood (choose a typeface that reflects the mood of what you are designing e.g serious, fun)

Another paper I read with the title “Setting body text for comfortable reading” says:

The body text is most important for ease of reading. We only notice if it is wrong and should be unnoticeable if it is correct.

The paper suggests Caslon, Jenson, Chronicle, Miller, Palatino, Garmond and Goudy are easy to read. While Didot and Bodoni  are not because they are not intended to be read at small point sizes. He suggests that body text sizes can range from 9pt to even 12pt. 

So I set up four different pages in Word:

franklingothic_garamond

futura_hoefler

gill_caslon

helvetica_georgia

My husband looked at these and decided that Gill Sans and Caslon was the easiest and best combination to fulfil the above criteria. So I set this up in InDesign. I have used PageMaker many years ago so the flowing text and bleeding came back to me….

Here is the final result:

i-though-i-loved-him i-though-i-loved-him2I am now going to write a best selling version of Fifty-one Shades of Grey……

RESEARCH FOR NEXT PART:

Before starting the next part of this exercise I wanted to research graphic designers who worked especially with typography. I have added these to my page on graphic designers.

With my head exploding from the work of these contemporary designers I set about trying to create some meaningful designs…

I did some sketches, in my log book, for all three assignment tasks. Nothing really pleased me so I went to Illustrator and Photoshop to see if I could get inspired – not really. Back to the sketch book and I picked some ideas rather than the totality of any one sketch.

Below are my sketches in my log book.

logbook_1_4

 

logbook_2_4

 

log_book4_4

 

1. An advertisement in a parish magazine asking for more helpers on the flower rota. The finished size is A6 landscape and the text reads: “Can you add that important artistic flourish to our church? We desperately need more volunteers to join the flower rota. If you can help or would like more information please contact Jennie jennie@vicarage.co.uk.”

I came up with two designs.

flower-rota_smThis one my husband declared illegible and he totally missed my artistic efforts of tucking some of the type behind the flower! Since the ad would not be focused on anyone like him, as he would not be helping with any church flower rotas, I tried to defend the work. But in the end I had to agree. The amaryllis (my own image) was too strong. The type chosen was not legible enough.

For my second attempt I went for a walk and picked some wild flowers. I typed the words “artistic flourish” in script on a piece of white paper, reduced the opacity, and added the flower buds and grass to partially cover the words. I had seen a young female designer do something like this (albeit with a lot more skill) online. I then photographed it and made an artistic(ish) brush stroke around it in Photoshop. I picked the colour of the background and increased the canvas size . I then imported this into Illustrator and added the remainder of the text. I think it is wishy washy but maybe that is what might attract the people who would be offering to arrange the church flowers….

flower_rota_3_sm

2. A poster to advertise an after-school club for boys aged 13 – 14. The poster will be A3 size and the copy reads: “Bored? Feeling got at? Nowhere to go? Then why not come and join us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school in the Old Gym. We’ve got football, ping pong, table soccer, computers, Karate, cooking and lots more. All free just come along.”

This was much more my style. I liked the idea of a bold background colour and some interesting typefaces. I also wanted to play with some effects like warp in Illustrator. I hope I have not overdone it. The main words are in Stencil Std Bold. Helvetica for the the request to join the club and graffiti or helvetica for the activities.

bored_big_sm3. Your friends’ engagement party. They want a flyer A5 size to send to their friends as if advertising a club night. The copy reads: “Mandy and Josh are finally going to do it…well almost!!!!! Come and join them on Friday 24 March from 8pm at the Golden Calf to celebrate their long awaited engagement… and yes lots of presents would be gratefully received particularly if we can drink them!!!!!

For this there was three pieces of important information. Whose party was it, what date and time and where it was to be held. I wanted to improve my illustrator skills and I liked the idea of two jig saw pieces not quite fitting because of the text ” well almost”. Creating the two jigsaw pieces was a marathon learning curve and I did not finish the tutorial to achieve the beautiful pieces being illustrated. However I was happy to have learned a little about creating a 3D effect, rounding the corners and moving anchor points.

The design I came up with is a simple clean one which I would like myself.I would hate hearts or rings or guys down on one knee. I tried many fonts before I settled on Apple Chancery for the heading and top information, Avenir Next for the main body of information which I felt had to be very clear and Lucida handwriting Italic for the post-it. I hate the idea of asking people for presents so I put it in as an after thought yellow post-it. I think it would be cheap to print with only three colours.

invitation_3_sm

REFLECTION FOLLOWING TUTOR FEEDBACK:

I am most drawn to your cut flower type as I like the novelty, the colour and the intrigue. This example may be over complicating a task which is primarily focussed on the use of appropriate existing fonts however, I think this is the most effective image due to a clear hierarchy where your subordinate fonts and colours allow the title imagery centre stage. This image is also grounded in influence and research – you saw something you liked and you tried to replicate the style and language. Whilst a designer must be careful not be overly derivative this deconstruction of existing imagery to influence and assemble you own designs is an essential part of making more sophisticated work, so please look to continue to structure this element of the process into your methodology. For me this might include questions at the start of a project like this:

  1. What design already exists that fits the purpose of the brief? (and how would I go about replicating this / do I have the skills and do I understand the steps and methods?)
  2. Do any of the current designs on the market satisfy me? Is there a particular niche that I am drawn to? How could I make MY design fit in with this and push it towards the art and design and tastes I am drawn to?
  3. Do I need to broaden my tastes and knowledge? What do I need to look at that might give me inspiration for newer, more innovative design?

It is very rare for me to do a piece of design work without using numerous bits of direct visual reference to construct it – these are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to reappropriate and assemble my own work based on a field of semiotic influence.

I am not really sure how to interpret this feedback. On the one hand my tutor liked my created ‘typeface’ but on the other it did not fulfil the brief. I am not sure if my other efforts fulfilled the brief better or less well.