Further Type Research

After looking at the anatomy of type, I found a really good resource that taught me the key concepts including:

  • the desktop publish revolution – beginning in 1985, three companies were responsible, Apple, Adobe, and Aldus. Postscript is a device-independant page description language invented by Adobe. Together with Aldus PageMaker, Apple were able to produce the first desktop publishing software, and Apple made the first affordable 300dpi laser printer all running on macintosh.
  • Typefaces and Fonts – A digital font, in short, is a piece of computer software that contains a collection of vector (drawings) along with spacing and kerning data that cold be accessed through a keyboard. These ‘drawings’ are often letters, and when combined they can make meaningful words.
  • Character and glyph – A character refers to the smallest semantic unit of language’ – or simply put, a sign in a given language.
  • Making fonts- fonts are made using font creation software programs such as Macromedia, Fontgrapher, and Fontlab.

Moving on from this, I looked at different font formatsScreen Shot 2015-10-31 at 15.03.14Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 15.07.34

Finally, I looked at how type can appear different on screen compared to when its printed. I found this really interesting after seeing the printed version of our first project, the typographic walk poster. Type on a screen works with light directly into the the eye, as opposed to a light source reflecting off an object into the eye.Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 15.23.27

I read a lot about the relationship between two different typefaces and how they can compliment each other if used appropriately. This is something I wish to learn and take forward not only in this project, but in everything I do from now on.

Instead of harmony, we should strive to create extreme contrast between typefaces in colour, point size, weight, and style. When mixing typefaces on the same line, designers often change the point size so the x-heights align. However, when placing typefaces on separate lines, it often makes sense to create contrast in sca;e as well as style or weight. I should look to mix big, light type with small, dark type to create extreme contrast of textures and flavours.Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 14.00.22 Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 14.00.26

Interestingly, in this example below, they’ve used a font called Glypha Thin or the text ‘The Word’, which has a large scale of words, contrasted by the thin stokes. Below this there is clear alignment to the right hand side of the page. In contrast to the typeface used in ‘The Word’, which just used capitals at the beginning of the word, the typeface below is in small caps, has strong serifs, and strong contrast between thick and thin. This grouped type works well and the gives a clear division of the top of the page.Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 14.00.35

Ideas and Sketches

Once we had assigned each article to each person, I started to sketch out ideas for the article. This helped me visualise what each piece would look like, and testing out different fonts, and highlighting techniques that might work well in the finished product. Of course there may be changes I will make when it comes to making each page, as there are limited resources and font sizes may vary. Never the less, all my ideas are out and down on paper, and my sketch book will be a useful prompt when i’m making it.

20151101_171441 20151101_171523 20151101_171525 20151101_171540  20151101_171558  20151101_171621 20151101_171634 20151101_171638

Resources And type

After researching the history of typography, I started to think about the zine project, and how I could implement fonts that would look pleasing to the eye and get the desired  messages and ideologies I want to convey. In conjuction with the notes I made on printing techniques, I went to hobbycraft to see what inspiration I could get, and what resources I could get to use in my design. I found some really interesting stencils, which sparked an Idea for the title of the “MPN” article I designed. The typeface is a sanserif typeface with a shadow. When I saw it on the page, It really caught the eye and looks like a 1990’s billboard typeface. I think for the dated look I’m going for in this design, it works quite well. I want to use this below the tagline, “Get your beak on”. For this text I want to use something big and bold. Im going to try variations between different sans serif fonts, geometric sans serif, and slab serif fonts.

History & Evolution of Typography

I did some research into the history of typography to better my understanding of what the development has been from past to present. To do this, I watched a documentary made my featuring Stephen Fry trying to replicate the very movable type print press designed originally by Gutenberg in 1439. He was the trigger for what would be a revolutionary form of mass communicated through print. The design was very intricate, each individual character had to be cast from metal and filed down. The would then but put into forms in order of how it wants to be printed, coated in ink, and the a plate would squeeze the paper and the form below together, indenting the paper and producing a printed page. Gutenbergs typeface was perfected over many years. He used a narrower scope and straight glyphs to produce a readable typeface that would align well on the page when printed.


I also looked at the development since the print press. Interestingly, I had been using typefaces such as Baskerville, created by John Baskerville, who created transitional typefaces in 1750, just after William Caslon created old style typefaces, which are the model for many typefaces in use at present. After the transitional phase, in 1791, Giambittista Bodoni created the revolutionary modern style typefaces.

Old Style – Thick serifs, and low contrast between thick and thin stoke.

Transitional – Thinner serifs, higher contrast between thick and thin stroke.

Modern – Very thin serifs, extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes.

William Caslon IV designed the first sans serif typeface, removing the serifs altogether. It wasn’t very popular to begin with, but would boom when the industrial revolution kicked in, and a need for bigger bolder typefaces that could be stretched for advertising. After much experimentation during this period, Viancent Figgins designed the first slab serif, that would mainly be used for titles, and has very thick serifs.

The early 20th century brought a lot simpler typeface. Paul Renner from Germany created a typeface called Futura, That was based on simple geometric shapes, thus being called geometric sans. Around the same period, Eric Gill created Gill Sans, which was similar to Futura, with gentler, more natural curves, and this is called the Humanist Sans.

The next revolution in sans serif typefaces came from Switzerland, where Helvetica was born in 1957. The world considers this its favourite typeface. It has simple curves, and comes in a variation of different weights.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 09.43.12 Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 09.43.16

I also found this interesting short animation on youtube that really helped visually, to understand t he development along side this timeline.

Comedy Night 22nd October Camden Quarter

Last night I went to the Comedy night at the Camden Quarter. I was really interested to to see how successful the night would be, and I felt a sense of pride when I saw the flyers that I had made. The night was a success, with over 100 people attending and a sell out crowd. The acts were also very good and the whole occasion had an upbeat happy vibe.

Ideas and Final Concept

We were put into groups to start working on our zine designs. We collaborated as a group to brainstorm ideas. After thinking about what would appeal to our audience, we wanted to make something quite comical and tongue and cheek, almost mocking the the solar flare. We came up with the idea of making a survival guide theme, with 10 alternative uses to for every day electronics. With this in mind we came up with loads of ideas and got them down on paper in a brainstorm. Once we had collaborated ideas we picked through what would work and what wouldn’t. We filtered our ideas down to 10, and then split them up equally. We bounced ideas off each other about our own articles and wrote down different ideas and sketches. We felt our time together was valuable as reading week next was next week would mean we would be mostly on our own. We also talked about the what paper we could use, and if we could use a different colour paper on the front cover. I felt that black would contrast well on red paper and this would make our zine stand out.

For our theme, we wanted to come up with some different characters that would be copied and adapted throughout the design. We came up with the idea of a simple thumb print with different symbols from the keyboard to form the face. We felt this was a good idea as it relates back to the idea of having no technology. We sketched out a few different combinations.

Below is our brain storm of ideas that we hope to develop into good articles and designs. This was a valuable process to make sure we were on the right track, and everyone had different ideas that aided the development.


Redundancy & Entropy

Today we learnt about redundancy & entropy.

Entropy – to specific to be understood by the wider audience – the probability of a piece of information is known as entropy.

Redundancy – is the result of something which is expected or predictable within a genre or topic. For example, christmas is typically associated snow, stars, christmas trees, spices, mulled wine, candy canes etc.

This is important when thinking about our latest project, zines. We will be communicating with an audience with type imagery, and illustrations. To make sure our point is portrayed clearly, redundant imagery can be used to justify our design if its too entropic, i.e cant be understood by a wider audience.

I looked through a Computer Arts magazine to look at examples of redundancy and entropy. I came across an article that talked about going metric. The header image showed a series of redundant imagery, including a ruler and other measuring implements. The use of this imagery makes the audience get a better understanding and grasp of the article. Without this, the design would be boring and difficult to understand.

Another design I looked at was an promotional advert for subscription to the computer arts magazine. They incorporated an image of the shape of  America along with a logo/ stamp in the top right of the a4 page. These redundant images give the audience an idea about what the piece is about without reading the text located inside the shape and below. The colours used also relate to america, with blue white and red symbolising the flag. These subliminal messages are soaked up by the reader.

To further my understanding of redundancy and entropy, I looked at this short slide show which broke down the meaning of both, and gave examples in for the form of music videos, highlighting the use of redundant objects within the video.