Exercise: Hierarchy

Using about 500 words of Lorum Ipsum (or other dummy text) you are going to design three different pages:

  • • an interview with a TV actor in a listings magazine entitled: Will Sheila tell the naked truth?
  • • a review of a new piece of hardware or software in a specialist computer magazine
  • • a book review in a newspaper’s weekend edition.

Research these types of publications and identify three different combinations of typefaces appropriate for each publication. 

Now you need to invent headings and subheadings for your articles. Set these combinations so that your header is above 12pt in size, your body text is 12pt or below and subheadings sit in between in your hierarchy.

You will need to create some text to allow you to show your combinations in action. Use your text to describe your decision making process, why you think the combination works and what your intentions were.

  1. I looked up some listing magazines – we do not get any of these as we do not watch a lot of television. When we do we watch the news and the occasional documentary. The first interview I found on a magazine called “BUZZ”

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-09-29-33The heading was in Franklin Gothic pt size 36. The body of the text was Helvetica Neue 14pt with the questions in the same font but Bold. Because this is online the pt size used is bigger than it would be in an equivalent printed magazine. Sans serif also reads very easily online. Both heading and body text are clean and simple.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-10-02-55The next magazine I looked at was called, appropriately “Interview”. I loved the cover. The online interview was in Georgia 14 both questions and    answers, The questions were in Upper Case.

I loved the typeface of the Title but could not figure out what it was.




I am sure that the printed version would use different body font.

Some of the other magazines I could not work out what fonts were being used. One about Reggae interviews was impossible to read. I also looked at an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker in Red. I have no idea who she is (this is my problem I never know who these people are). But I do know this magazine as my daughter reads it.It was easy to read but an unusual way of doing an interview.

Sarah Jessica Parker is trying to resist sending an email. It’s a reminder to her husband, Matthew Broderick, to make sure a school form has been signed and returned, and that their son James Wilkie needs to clear out his backpack tomorrow, as he does every Wednesday.

“There’s a file under his desk and all his papers from the week – whether it’s Latin or history – have to go in.”

There are no questions and Answers it is a story format. I like it.

There are many online sources about pairing fonts.

  • this shows combinations of fonts for different publications. Most are not free fonts but some are.
  • this one is for InDesign so should prove useful
  • another set of combinations
  • and yet another set of combinations

I have printed the first task headline and a little text with a number of heading/body text combinations. I’ve pasted these into my learning log. With the fonts that I have available I like the following combinations:

  • Garamond/Futura
  • Myriad/Minion

I then tried out a number of layouts in my learning log. I had some images of my lovely daughter and decided to use one or two of these. I find my two final layouts dull but then I find most of the women’s magazines layouts, which I looked at, really dull.




2. A single screen snap from the hundreds of typography pairings for technical magazines on this site.


I made some sketches in my log book:

I then researched technical backgrounds and found amazing images on this site. But these all looked a little too advanced for my present Illustrator skills. I used this site for a very simple background which showed me how to create a Mesh gradient.


I then added a cloud. I first made the colour pale blue but finally decided white was better.

Using my log book sketch  for ideas I added a mobile phone, a laptop, an envelope as the software was a cloud storage software. I then added rectangles into which I would put the text. I decided to use Myriad in both headlines and text as I find it very clean and readable. I did all of these steps in different layers as the whole was quite complicated. I sent it to a couple of friends for comment. I have not used all the 500 words as I felt that this would probably be a two page spread and the rest of the text could be used.

Basic RGB



I think the poster is great – love the central cloud and mauve is sufficiently soft yet bold ( sounds bonkers), but also one can read the text in white against it.
I suppose my boy comment would be whether there needed to be a link between the images ( eg mobile) and text. Would any text be an explanation of the object illustrated within the context of the whole concept? Does that make sense? Tricky, as text is gobbledygook.
It is, however, hugely eye-catching with relevant central motif.
But what do I know about these things!

3. The final task is to make a layout for a book review. I found this the simplest. I love books and I absolutely adore the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adechi. I decided to do a review for Half of a Yellow Sun.

I made a few layout mock-ups in my log book:

I used the tried and tested Baskerville at 36pt for the titles. I used Minion Pro for the BOOK REVIEW title and for the body text at 10pt. This still did not allow me to fit all 500 words into the space. So I reduced the tracking to -25. I am not sure if this reduced the readability beyond tolerable. I got most of the 500 words in but not all. I like the two serifs for a book review. I think it is comfortable to read. I wanted to break up the paragraphs with the drop caps. I only used two lines for the Drop caps.



Exercise: Lorum Ipsum

Now select one of the designs from your research that you like and think works. Using the dummy text, try and copy the layout and design as closely as possible. You will need to measure the margins and column widths. If you don’t have the exact typeface get as near as you can. If you are copying a page that includes photographs just leave 10% tinted boxes to indicate their position.

Is the type serif or sans serif? Is the text set ragged or justified? Are there spaces after paragraphs or are new paragraphs indented? How many columns are there to a page?

What happens when you alter the fonts, change the alignment, adjust the leading or tracking?

Now try another, different publication from your collection.

I looked at a number of publications and answered the questions above as best I could. The most difficult for me is to identify the fonts used.

Here are my notes in my learning log.


I asked my husband which article he found easiest to read. He had no doubt it was Astronomy Ireland. Interestingly it had sans serif in both headline and body text.


I looked at all the characteristics of the letters and then looked up http://www.identifont.com What it gave me was Fedra Sans thin Display Codensed which seemed correct based on the following letters which I copied and pasted into Photoshop.


This font does not seem to be available either to download or buy. I thought Tahoma was near it and Ariel nearer. I did five or six copies of the text using either Tahoma or Ariel and altering the leading and tracking. I seemed to have overwritten 3….

Font used pt size leading tracking
1 Tahoma 12 18pt 0
2 Tahoma 12 14pt (-10)
4 Tahoma 9 14pt (-10)
5 Tahoma 9 14pt 0
6 Ariel 9 14pt 0
7 Ariel 10 14pt 0

The last version seemed to fit the closest although it is not very close. I put them all into my learning log.


For my second task I chose the Independent article as I wanted to try a newspaper story.


I now tried to identify the font using Identifont.com.










It came up with the following: Monotype Bodoni which looks very similar













I tried Bodoni.

  • First thing I learned was the paragraphs were justified with the last line aligned left. I had not noticed this..
  • The paragraphs were indented
  • headline is similar to American typewriter but I could not identify it despite the “R” being so distinctive. American Typewriter has a similar “R”The point size seems to be 40
  • the subheading looked like Ariel
  • for the body text BodoniI used 9pt.
  • the leading seems to be 9pt
  • tracking looks good at 10




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


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


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:





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……


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.







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….


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.



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.


Exercise: A Typographic jigsaw puzzle

On the facing page the typeface Baskerville has been deconstructed so it only contains the strokes, serifs and bowls that are common to all the letterforms. Your task is to try and put it all back together again to read

the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

This is a pangram containing all the letters of the alphabet. It is all in lowercase.

Start by drawing your baseline, determine the x height by identifying a whole letter such as x, e or n and draw your median line. This should provide a good starting point to try and piece together all the other elements. Remember that some parts will be used more than once, for example the same stem will be used in several letters. Try and account for all the parts without leaving any stray serifs behind.

step 1

These were my utensils for the job. Baking paper to trace, a sharp pencil, a nail scissors, because it was curved, UHU and the page from my notes.

step 2





Then I printed out the text in large point size so that I could see all the serif details.

step 3
step 3


I used the baking paper to trace the shapes and started the jigsaw.




step 4
step 4

Until the whole thing almost came together. I could not fit the “X” of fox to the slanted pieces that were given.I also found that the teardrop of the “r” was not in fact a teardrop…


But this is what I managed.



Having spent some time looking closely at typefaces, has your appreciation of them increased? If so in any particular aspect? Do you think that understanding more about how typefaces are constructed will be useful to you in future?

My appreciation has totally changed. I had never really looked that closely at fonts. I was broadly aware of the difference between serif and sans serif and of some of the more extreme typefaces. One thing I really learned is that it is sometimes very difficult to tell the difference between different designers’ reworking of some of the typefaces. I also appreciate much more the work of typographic designers. One needs a great deal of skill and patience.







Project The Visual Word. Exercise: Playing with words

Using the following words create typographical representations that present both the word and a suggestion of its meaning.

  1. Sad 2. Safe 3. Sardonic 4. Saucy 5 Scholarly 6. Serious 7. Shadow 8. Shattered 9. Shy 10. Short 11. Silly 12. Sinking 13. Skimpy 14 Sleek 15. Smart 16. Snowy 17. Sodden 18. Soothing 19. Sordid 20. Sophisticated 21. Speed 22. Squat 23. Squeeze 24. Stiff 25. Stodgy 26. Stoned 27. Style 28. Supine 29. Swagger 30. Sweet

Start this exercise by working on A4 sheets of paper. Set the words in 48pt Helvetica Bold, print and cut out the words and then arrange them and stick them to a sheet of paper trying to capture the meaning of the word visually. Think about the composition, using the white space of the page to help you construct your meanings.

Then work digitally using any of the software you have available. Explore how you can set text at a slant, at different sizes, in different colours and fonts. Try using filters in your software for other effects.

Make notes as you work explaining your choice of representations and which ones you feel that you were most successful with.

I found a couple of the words below impossible to illustrate so I made a circle of them and photographed them.


I made thumbnails of the ones I completed:



I then made a booklet of them so that I could add them easily to my learning log.



Here is the first of the Software created words:



I don’t think it looks really sodden!!!! So I soaked it in water and scanned it.



Dublin graffitiI started with the adjoining graffiti image. I downloaded a graffiti font from Dafont.com

Dublin graffiti

This was created in Photoshop using layers. First layer was the graffiti image. I then used the Horizontal type tool and added a fill layer. Then I moved the text between the layers. I tried to add a filter but could not.

I then tried this with a black background:

Dublin graffiti


The ‘d’ is half missing because the graffiti had black behind here. I like the half missing letter – after all I am supposed to be representing ‘stoned’!! I added a filter pixelate and crystallise. I also prefer black background.

3: SAD

I used Illustrator and made a path around which I wrote SAD. I used a rather murky pink. In the ‘a’ I put a ‘sad dish’ mouth and nose of my granddaughter. I then placed it on a gradient background using the same pink. I reduced the opacity.




For this I searched YouTube for a method of ‘shattering’ letters on Illustrator… I found one on Youtube Here is the result.



This is a boring word in all it’s meanings…. So I sketched a boring safe, in Illustrator, and wrote the word safe….



I loved this challenge on the computer whereas I could not think of anything on paper. For this I used a Vonster pattern for the background. I wrote the word in Princetown LET and then I distorted the word using Glass distort. Finally I warped it using a bulge warp. I thought this indicated a cynical cured lip…. I have never used any of these before and maybe they are bit over the top but it was fun.




This was pretty simple. Wrote Shadow in Scorched Earth typeface Made the colour wine. opened Effects, Sylise, drop shadow. Put on Black background for heightened effect.



I decided first on a red background and then I looked for a script type on DaFont. I settled on Letra Hipster – Personal US. I then tried several effects and settled on Pixilate Mezzotint. This is the result:



I tried to create a mortar board in Illustrator using perspective and the pen tool…. My results are less that perfect…



I wanted to create spectacles which are  always though of as serious… I need to learn how to join anchors in Illustrator. I ended up using the eraser – not to very good effect!!!


Am reading about book cover designers. I like this piece of advice by Oliver Mundy:

 think more and design less.



This was easy for me I love playing silly games with my grandchildren on paper….. So I hand drew this with the pen tool….



This suggested itself to me as a ’60’s slimy skirt which I was guilty of wearing in those days!!!! The type face I used was eccentric std!!!



I am looking after the dog of a friend and of course squatting is in her daily routine so naturally I thought about this!!!!


I am not sure if we are meant to do every word in the list but I feel my designs are getting a little ‘samey’. So I will give it a break…


I was trying to look for a typeface that I thought looked smart and I cam across this site. The Typeface which was designed by Nelson Balaban looks beautiful. I tried to create my own version…. This might be a little presumptuous but it was fun. However does not look very smart.

I also added what I think is a classic smart typeface which is probably what I would use if I was called on to make something commercial. I followed the principals outlined in this paper.



For this I just downloaded a free typeface form here. Not ver imaginative but it would work for a Christmas card…



I used blue as the colour as this is supposed to be a restful colour.



I think Futura is a sophisticated font and in grey it becomes even more sophisticated especially on a black background…




For this I used Myriad Bold Condensed and replaced the “i” with a syringe… Sordid enough!!



I used Helvetica bold and with the Free Transform tool I turned the word around . I then I used to surround the word with ‘dust” to give the impression of dust around car wheels. Then distorted to give the impression of speed



I just squeezed the word up with the Free transform tool.





I found this paper about fonts and like the fact that Big Caslon is described  as stodgy…

Here is is



I used Mona Lisa solid with an imported candy strip background.





I made the word short of its total form…







Madre script







This was one of the most difficult and time consuming exercises I have ever done for OCA. I think I have learned a lot about typography as I can now recognise some of the typefaces. I have also been reading Type & Typography by Phill Baines & Andrew Haslam. However it is like reading something from another era. Things stood still in the world of printing for so long and with the advent of the computer it has rushed ahead.

I cannot possibly decide which  results are successful. Since I was using most of this software for the first time I would not consider that I am in any way proficient with it. I enjoyed the challenge but there is a long way to go before I would be at ease or know which results work best. I will await the tutors response.


Assignment 4: Typography Diary

10 january 2017

Finished my assignment 3 and posted it. I also reworked what was recommended in my last tutor report. Now it is on to Assignment 4.

12 january 2017

My husband returned having helped to wake and bury his oldest friend – not easy but he is very pragmatic. We are determined to live every moment of the lives we have left – one wastes so much time when young…

I printed the list of words and have started to arrange the ones I found easiest. Will continue today after some research.

FRIDAY 13 January 2017

It’s Friday 13th and am still unscathed… Tried to photograph my “Playing with Words” outside but it is freezing and blowing a hooley…. Did about half and now my Nikon transfer won’t cope… Did I say unscathed!!! Received my book ordered from Phaidon which were On Sale. “Beware of Wet Paint”, “Cindy Sherman” and “Surrealism”. Looking forward to a good read.

Had reply from Irish Print Museum – not very encouraging. The book Irish Type Design suggested coast 25€.. and is not available on any of the online sources that I can fine. Will just have to do my best to find material online.

14 January 2017

Finished making my images of my “playing with Words”. had to do them inside as the Mistral was blowing hard. Have now made thumbnails and added to my log. I also made my booklet to add to my written log.

16 january 2017

I have finished my wonderful new book “Beware of Wet Paint”. Now to write a review and get on with other work using the tremendous influence of this book…

17 january 2017

Am adding images to my blog. My Nikon NX2 has ceased to open and I have learned it is no longer supported so I am getting my images off it on to my external hard drives.




This has pushed me to  add images which were ‘waiting’ to my blog.





I have also started Cindy Sherman by  Paul Moorhouse   . So dull compared to the Alan Fletcher book. her work is very specific and if it is not ‘your thing’ it is hard to get enthused by it.




In the introduction to this chapter it is pointed out that print from letterpress is usually a little raised.




letterpress_printI searched out some very old books which we inherited from my husbands family. Here is one that his grandfather was given in 1870 for being a good student….


24 January 2017

In Paris this weekend with the grandchildren. This meant we had to select visits which suited a three year old and a five year old… We needed to be quite creative and flexible. I and my daughter wanted to see some ‘grown up” exhibitions but we decided it should be predominantly about the children. So we visited the Aquarium which was brilliant and the Natural History Museum which was equally good.

Then we allowed ourselves to visit the Grand Palais to see the Mexique exhibition. Frida Kahlo is one of my favourite female artists so this was a must. It was a bit of a challenge to keep the three year old amused. Grandpa did that for us. I wrote a review here.

The Grandpa and I went to the Biblioteque Nationale de France BnF to see the Richard Avedon Exhibition. I have written a review here.

27 january 2017

What a marathon this first exercise has been in Assignment 4. I have been reading Type & Typography at the same time as trying to create interesting  outcomes for each of the 30 words given. I am totally exhausted. However I think I have learned something about typography. I have also learned some of the possibilities of Illustrator.

I wrote up my review of Richard Avedon’s exhibition in Paris. I now need to write up my book Cindy Shermann which I finished on the trip to Paris. I want to write a review of the chapter in Type & Typography but am not sure if I really understand enough about all this. It is interesting as I am remembering things from when I first worked with computers which are discussed in this book. Having an information scientist for a husband meant we were one of the first families to have a computer. Since he was also one of the founding pioneers of the Internet I absorbed a lot of the original terminology. However I still find it a little baffling.

7 February 2017

It is days since I wrote in my diary. This is because I am busy creating my sample book of typefaces (or Type Families). This has involved a lot of researching on the Internet to get my head around the terminology. I really want to do this so I will be better informed in the use of Typefaces. I am loving it. But it is time consuming.

I am also creating my sample book at the same time. I have created Version 1. Now I am trying to rationalise it. I will put each stage on my log page. I have also printed out Version 1. I will add this to my physical log book.

In order to get a feeling for what typefaces I should use for the short story for the woman’s magazine I wrote a ridiculous story under the given title. I am also researching on the internet for advice.

8 February 2017

So I tried out different typefaces for my story and printed them out. My husband, who used to write a technical magazine, had a look and decided which typeface was the most legible. He offered some opinions too about the “mis en page” – how does one say that in English? All our professional work has been down in French!! “Put on page” does not sound correct…

Now I need to get the ‘corrected’ best version into InDesign..

13 February 2017

Brilliant weekend in Rome. Mostly for the guys to see Ireland trash Italy at rugby…. I passed on the match to visit some museums and to just walk around Rome and drink in its atmosphere. I visited two museums both of which gave me a lot to think about. I have written reviews in my review section. One under installation artists – although this is not strictly where it fits. The other under photography.

I always travel light so I just had a tiny notebook and a biro with me. I made a few sketches for my ads. I have pasted them into my log book. I need to get going on these and see what is best….

16 february 2017

I have been thinking about how to proceed with these typography exercises. I am enjoying researching designers who specialise in typography. But now I must get down to the job in hand…

I am loosing the will to live here trying to create some artwork for the invitation to the engagement party. I had this crazy idea of creating puzzle pieces. I got as far as step 12 but could not work out the next steps. the resulting puzzle piece was OK so I decided to go with it….. I am not that keen on the end result but it has taken so much time to get this far I will leave it for today and maybe try again tomorrow….

24 february 2017

I was completely unaware of the thousands of typefaces that exist. My head is spinning looking at these on the web. I am also flabbergasted at the price of some of these. I looked up Akzidenz for example and it costs several hundreds of euro to get the complete set. I am looking at fonts for technology magazines. These are not discussed as frequently as fonts for women’s magazines. I see Font Space has several hundred for free. I wonder what the catch is?

Futura seems to be a good standby and I like it’s clean lines. Avenir Next is also used quite frequently. I think it best to stick to the tried and tested rather than try to be to quirky. I want to try some Infographics in the exercise. I like the idea of getting some practise in this which I did not know existed until this morning….

27 february 2017.

I have set up some sketches in my log book for this exercise and have more or less settled on trying one. I want to create an interesting background as I think technical guys reading a software review would be the sort of audience who would like this. I researched technical backgrounds. I then researched how to create abstract backgrounds in Illustrator. I am trying out the Mesh gradient tool…. It is great fun. I have decided to call my software “Clear Cloud” – this will allow me to create another cloud….. I love making clouds now. I will use clip art for the mobile phones, camera etc.

19 March 2017

I cannot believe it has been so long since I wrote in my diary. I suppose this is because I have been working with my log book on sketches for Assignment 4. I had friends here to stay also and since one of them is an artist she was delighted with watching me work…… She is an oil painter. I have also spent the past ten days in UK to visit family and sort out family problems. Then on to London to stay with friends, the wife is also a photographer so we spent our time visiting Tate Britian, Tate Modern and the National Portrait gallery. It was amazing. I need to write all these up.

I found it hard to come up with sketches for the work “TYPE” with which I was happy. This was until I was lying in my bed one morning watching my projector clock. I loved the shape of the numbers so I decided to try this for my letters. I liked them so I went with them. I had so many ideas but time was my problem. I am reasonably happy with my cover page.

I then wrote, in Word, the bits for the inside page of the magazine.

I wanted to keep the idea of the gradient that I had used on the cover. I thought it fitted with the old newspaper. However I had created the cover in Illustrator and I wanted to use InDesign for the pages. I had never created a gradient in InDesign nor had I done a double page spread. I “sort of” managed the double page spread but I had a front page which I could not delete. I printed the double page on my A3 printer but it came out as two pages. This allowed me to correct the text and see how it looked but I would like to know how to print  a double page spread. Could not find this anywhere. When I exported the document to Photoshop it came in as two pages also. I just increased the canvas size of the first page to double and copied and pasted the other page into it. Although this worked it is not, I imagine, the most efficient way to do this. So much to learn.

20 March 2017

Today is my daughter’s first husband’s anniversary. He died so suddenly. I have just had a text from her to say she is at the hospital where he was brought with her three year old (with her second husband) while they check out the little one’s heart for a heart murmur… Life can be very cruel sometimes.

I will occupy myself with checking through my submission for assignment 4 while I await news of my beloved grand daughter.