FMP – Typeface Choices

Looking online, looking at google fonts, and looking through my own personal library of typefaces, I identified 5 typefaces that I’d consider for my design. They’re all personal favourites of mine, but i particularly like Roboto condensed for this project. Its a bold, impactful typefaces that does what it says on the tin. I feel like the other choices in some way or another, don’t fit the feel of the design.

Roboto has been designed entirely in-house at Google by Christian Robertson, an interface designer for Google and the reception wasn’t always positive back then. Typography commentator Stephen Coles called the initial release of Roboto as a “Frankenfont” because the similarity of some characters in Helvetica, Univers, Myriad, DIN and Ronnia. .

But since then the font went through a few updates and improvements which corrected many of the problems with the initial release.

I’ve recently downloaded the “what the font” plugin, which allows me to hover over and quickly identify typefaces. I’ve found this really useful when searching the internet, to see which sites and brands use which typefaces.

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Project X – Screen Display

As a group, we discussed ideas with Tim about how we might get our message across. One idea was to use video in a screen. This is something that I’ve found interesting recently. In my spare time, I’ve been learning how to use after effects to animate typography using visual elements. Although a screen display would have been a good idea, we didn’t have access to those facilities in the room we were using. I wanted to demonstrate what I’ve learn recently in after effects in conjunction with this topic.

I wanted to visually demonstrate the effect of plastics in the ocean, using particles and disintegration effects to reveal the text.


This could be used as a discussion piece, drawing the attention of the audience by animating a subtle message in an interactive way.


Finally, I decided the ton of voice was slightly wrong. I think the clear blue water is too clean, and needed dirtying up slightly, to evoke a more shocking reaction from the audience. I layered a video of floating plastic, using a blending mode to achieve the effect. Towards the end of the video, there is a transition from a light blue colour, to a merky brown colour, signifying the direction the world is going if this thoughtless production of plastic and mindless throwing away, continues.




FMP – Type Choices

I tried a variety of different typefaces, thinking about the house style of my book. I wanted the design to seem clean and clear, whilst also being visually appealing. I tried something that I’ve previously been advised not to do, which was implementing a script font. From previous experience, using a script font reduces readability, however it does add a stylistic element to the overall design. I chose to look at script fonts mainly to add a personal touch to the design. However, after comparing them to the a sans serif I still feel like the title needs to be readable, and is more so using the bolder typeface.

I chose Gotham as the house font. The font comes with multiple variations of weight, which will allow me to add hierarchy and contrast between titles and texts. I like how it neutralises the design, which works well with the isolated white background and food imagery.


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GIF Design

I created some business cards for the show, and to tie in with that, I also want to potentially have a display screen to add interest to my exhibition at the end of year show. I followed some tutorials on how to use timeline in photoshop, to create a flowing glowing effect, adjusting the hue of different layers and adding “tweens” to add motion. Although the image belowmay appear grainy, the screen should display the image seemlessly.Screenshot 2017-05-12 12.45.37.png


FMP Research – Typography & Layout Design – Food For Thought

I found some really eye catching layouts, but also some great tips on typefaces. All of the below cook books use a combination of two typefaces. One defines each title for the page, whilst also linking to the front page of the book. The other is used for the body text of the book, where variation in weight can distinguish between sections such as ingredients and method with contrast.


This layout below is simple, clean and very effective. I love the use of neutral white, as this gives a lifestyle feel to the book, whilst also providing contrast against the food. Lighting of the image is also very natural, shining from the left, casting shadows on the right.


Interestingly, the image below has been shot using reflective white materials, which adds interest to the white bowls. The designer has considered the purpose and the target audience, providing a sleek feel to the design.


I’ve previously mentions this technique of shooting from a 90 degree angle before, and its something that I am looking to implement in my student cook book design. The designer of the piece below has used a black background to add contrast to the vibrant oranges and yellows displayed. However, although I like the contrast between the black and white pages, I feel black has dark and negative connotations, and I want to maintain a neutral, vibrant feel.


I chose to look at the design below because I found the material used to print the book interesting. They chose to print on rice paper, which ties in with the subject of the piece. Rice paper is also biodegradable, which has natural and healthy connotations. I also like how they’ve created layers by having an underlay of text with slightly reduced opacity. Although part of the words are hidden, the reader is still able to pick up on the sign without having to search very hard. The typeface used is a bold Sans Serif font, similar to Bebas Neue that I have used previously. I works well in conjunction with the Serif font used to define the body text.


The colour scheme also works well, with two colours used to define text, red & white, and a signature colour of the brown, “eco-friendly” rice paper.


I love the layout of this design, and it’s a style I am very familiar with in previous projects. Using white backgrounds gives the opportunity for the natural vibrant colours to pop out of the page. This dynamic effect can only be achieved with the aid of shadow beneath the subject. Otherwise, a standard clipping path without the shadow in photoshop would make the subject flat and less effective.


I’ve always been swayed away from using script fonts as they lose readability compared to a Sans Serif or a Serif font. However, I think in this instance, there is a lot of white space around the script typeface used on the front cover, which draws the readers eye after seeing the plate and smear of vibrant colour. It’s a design choice the designer has made in order to give a homely feel to the design, meaning the recipes can be achieved by anyone


Research Into Gravestone Typography

I took to the internet to find some guidance as to what typefaces are typically used to produce a gravestone.

Its important to choose the right typeface. Whichever style i choose will have a big impact on the aesthetics of the gravestone, and how people might remember me.

Different types of Typefaces 


Roman is a serif mimicking the style of ancient Rome. This style is the most common and classic serif used in todays times. Roman also refers to any upright typefaces, (as opposed to italic, slanted, or script)

Classic examples: Baskerville, Caslon, Garmond, Bembo & Times New RomanScreen Shot 2016-05-31 at 18.46.01.png

You can get a feel for how Garmond looks as a typeface when carved in stone in the image below. The serifs and and thin strokes make it easy for the reader to read in along a line, and also gives a sharp effect when engraved.



Script is a contemporary typeface  that has become more popular in the modern era. Based on a varied an fluid stroke originating from the handwritten word. They can be categorised into more formal types to cursive writing, and more casual scripts. The image below shows a quote engraved in a more contemporary, fluid script typeface.

Old English

Otherwise referred to as Gothic, Fraktur, or Blackletter, was used in the Guthenburg Bible, one of the first books ever printed in Europe. The style is easily distinguished by its dramatic thick and thin strokes, and embellishments to serifs. They evolved in Western Europe from the mid 12th century. Four major familes can be identified from blackletter typefaces can be identified:BlackletterChart


This may be added to a graves stone for artistic effect, and to add contrast against the other typefaces. Also its a very (German) but British and European looking typefaces, and wouldn’t be out of place on a gravestone in an English church.

Serif or Sans Serif?

Its believed that serif typefaces are popular for body text because the added serifs make it easy to read along a line. They are not however common choices for hand writing styles except for  capital letters. Serif typefaces originated from inscriptional lettering, and the earliest examples of this is in carvings from Roman antiquity. The historical usage for serif typefaces is extensive, however sans serif fonts gives the gravestone a more contemporary feel.

Sans serif typefaces are a popular choice for headings because their larger appearance doesn’t effect the readability in anyway. The sans serif genre has grown in popularity since it was officially recognised as a typographic term in the 1830s.

The Experts Say…

John Champman from Studio Jubilee, an independent print and website design studio, knows the importance of choosing the right typeface fro the right scene. He says:

“An obvious choice of typeface for engraving is Gill Sans, designed in 1926 by controversial Eric Gill. It has become, in many ways, quintessentially British; helped in part by considerable use from the BBC and Penguin Books. In addition to being a type designer and fine artist, Gill was a sculptor and stone cutter, and this is reflected in the sculptural qualities of the humanist letterforms. Gill Sans feels very natural cut from stone, almost peaceful in tone, which is perhaps why it’s used extensively by the Church of England. 

A less obvious choice is perhaps Haptik, a Swiss typeface by Grilli Type designed in 2010. Stylistically, Haptik is much more dynamic and contemporary than Gill Sans. Each letterform is optimised to be read blindfolded and by touching them. The design being not primarily focused on optic appearance gives the type a unique appearance. Shapes and lines are emphasised and exaggerated, as if you’re tracing the letters with your finger. Engraving type from stone is a tactile experience, and so is looking at the finished piece — encouraging you look closer and touch the words yourself.”

The information about Gill Sans is particularly interesting. Although I’ve heard of Gill Sans as a typeface, and knowing he featured in the history of typography, I didn’t know the connotations and importance of his typographic work. He’s associated with the phrase “quintessentially British” due to his work with The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and penguin books, another British company. Gill Sans as a typeface feels very natural cut from stone, and this is due to Gill’s background in sculpture and stone cutting. This is reflected in his humanist letterforms.

John Chapman also talks about Haptik, which is another interesting typeface. It has been optimized to be read by touching the letterforms. The typefaces shapes and strokes have been exaggerated to increase the readability of not only the generic reader, but one that may be visually impaired. This is important to note as I want my gravestone to be read by everyone easily, but still keeping the aesthetic beauty.

Seaford Memorial Inscriptions Group, a team of experts that are trying to make a record of every single memorial inscription in the East Sussex Town of Seaford, put together a list of key points to make an effective gravestone. After studying hundreds of gravestones, their knowledge is extensive and is a very trusted source.

–       Use plain capital letters in a sans-serif font, such as Arial, Tahoma, Times, Verdana (but not e.g. Comic Sans with additional curves)

–       Avoid lower case and italic

–       The larger the characters, the longer they’ll remain legible

–       Vary the size of letters to emphasise names etc.

–       Don’t expect painted lettering to remain painted

–       Avoid beginning and ending lines of text close to the edges of the memorial (leave a decent margin)

–       Expect the original fresh colour of the stone to change

Although my gravestone will just be a digital concept design, it’s still important to take into consideration the legibility of the type after weathering over time. Interestingly they advice to stay away from lower case and italics, which may be down to the fact that weathering will make these letters difficult to read.


Introduction to Memorial Brief

After deciding to choose the memorial brief for my final end of year project, I read Banbrooks brief about making your own memorial. It states that I should consider my interests in life and express them on a gravestone for everyone to remember me by. My initial thoughts for my research would be to explore the history of type in more detail, and choose a typeface that reflects my personality and life. I also want to look at other gravestones and dissect what I like and dislike about the typography used. This will then give me a good platform to then choose a typeface for my own design, and understanding what typeface I am looking for when searching through my typekit.