Sunday, 6 February 2011

AD104 Task 5: Typographic Blogs

I love typography was the site which I found most inspirational and gained more understanding  from. This website unlike other Typographic blogs, focuses on how to teach you about typography, the history, how to make your own, and what fonts are popular in the current market. So it covers a wide variety of topics, as well as frequently posting inspirational typographic designs and various articles, etc.

The Origins of ABC

The first article I looked into was 'The Origins of ABC' which is based on the history of Typography, and how it has evolved over the centuries.
It goes all the way back to the very first form of written text, Pictograms, commonly associated with Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
It also looks at other written languages and compares them, showing the differences and the similarities between them
I found this so interesting, and I never thought about how pictograms could be the historical version of infographics.

This image shows a timeline of the various forms of written language, which I found really interesting and educational to see how the written language has evolved from symbols to separate letters.

On Choosing Type

Who shot the Serif

Arial Versus Helvetica


FormFiftyFive is another blog which I looked at, this covers a wide variety of articles, which are posted frequently, from Typographic Designers latest work, to New Typography websites launching.
What I liked about this site, is that it keeps you in the loop, and informs you of great opportunities, like this job which was available in november 
Unlike ILoveTypography, which is more of an educational blog, teaching you about the history of Typography and how to identify a specific font or tell similar fonts apart. FormFiftyFive, is more of a notice board, informing or updating you on the latest designers/designs and projects, and keeping you up to date on what's current in the industry. It also posts images which are found inspirational.

Designer Headstones

This article really stood out to me, as it's so unusual! while it's quite morbid, I thought that it was really interesting seeing an artistic and contemporary approach to Headstones and I never thought about how Typography is applied to them.
I like the style of the one above, I think the cubes is a cool alternative to the common shapes used. The style of the Typography is also quite cool, the way the letters have been spaced out and also the Typeface used.
It's a lot more modern, and I think it would be an interesting Idea to have customized or personal headstone, which could reflect on your personality, again a really morbid topic! but 

This headstone isn't quite as interesting as the one above, it's a little more boring.
It's simple and contemporary with the choice of colour and font, I think black is too miserable... I prefer the cube headstones
I've never quite associated Typography with Headstones, but this article has definitely opened my eyes to say the least! I wont look at headstones in the same way....

AD104 Task 4: Typographic Design Companies

Typographic Design is also great for brands who want to have their own font, which expands their brand even more. Especially for television channels, as they're so many, you want a viewer to instantly recognize a channel by seeing their typeface on an advert, as sometimes channels don't necessarily have their logo in the top corner or on show all the time.
So there are definitely advantages of having bespoke Typography.


Fontsmith for example is a Typographic Design Company that specializes in bespoke Typographic Design, their portfolio shows more TV channels than any other form of company. They have also worked on large companies like Post Office, SEAT Car Manufacturer and even Lurpak.

The television channel I decided to focus on was SKY News HD, which is a popular channel, and the typeface used on all the sky news and football/sport channels is exactly the same.
It definitely carries the style and brand through every channel showing the family brand.

As you can see the font has been used on the Headlines, the icon in the top corner and the smaller headline bar on the bottom of the screen.
So it shows how the one font can be applied to every piece of info on the screen.
The advantages of this are so that it doesn't look mismatched, if every piece of info had a separate font, it would look a mess and some parts wouldn't stand out, and possibly wouldn't be legible. Whereas the channel will benefit more from their own bespoke Typeface, as it's guaranteed to be a reliable bold, legible font.

Here is another image showing how the font has been carried through to sky sports channel. 
The same font is used on all the score boards.


Daltonmag is another large Typographic Design Company which specializes in bespoke Typography. They've worked on a lot of large companies such as, BMW, Vodafone, BT, Recycle, Telewest and the National Lottery.

BT - Phonebook



As the portfolio didn't have various examples of one project, I decided to give 3 examples from a few of their projects for some of the most well known companies/brands.
Vodafone being one the most well known brands, is based all over the world, so this font is highly recognizable, as is the Telewest font and the BT font.
All the examples given show the advantages of bespoke Typography, how it can expand a brand and make it more recognizable from a small piece of info, and not just the company logo itself.

AD104 Task 3: 50 Years of Helvetica

50 Years of Helvetica is an exhibition formed to reflect on how Helvetica has influenced Art/Typographic Designs and culture over the last 50 years.
Designers from all over the world joined together to work with online archives and galleries, Blanka and Candy to create a 'visual diary' of 50 events from the last half century. Using Helvetica itself to show the inspirational movements which have occurred.

Vince Frost - A Popular Face

The First Image which stood out to me from the exhibition was this photograph based on the birth of Michael Jackson, I like the simplicity of this photo and how the board has been used as the main focus.
I like that they didn't create a design based around the moonwalk, or a portrait of his face or something along those lines. This design, is much plainer, and a lot less obvious, which is possibly why I like this design so much, it's clever... in the simplest way.

Ros Shiers - Butterfield 8

This next image is based around the movie Butterfielf 8 which stars Elizabeth Taylor.
I love the style of this Image, I like that the helvetica 60 has been used as a base and the illustrations of Elizabeth Taylor have been drawn inside to create the shape of the numbers with some parts outside the lines so that it's not too much like a clipping mask.
I love the illustration style, it makes it look like a fashion design, which ties in with the storyline of the movie, as her character was "A Fashionable Manhattan Beauty" - Imdb.
Overall, a good reflection on 1960 and Elizabeth Taylor being so famous is a strong image in herself and communicates the message well.

Farrow - 1962

This image is based on the 1962 Eclipse and also the movie Eclipse also created in 1962.
I like the simplicity of this image, and how the Typography has been used to create the circle. The colours are also perfect, and the typography is just the right size, making the image look  as realistic as possible. I think this is a good event to represent 1962 and the meaning behind it is very notable.

Antoine+Manuel - I Have A Dream

This Image is based around the speech 'I Have A Dream' done by Martin Luther King Jr to win black rights in the USA. This event is possibly one of the most memorable moments of black culture in america, and is a perfect representation of the year 1963.
I like the modern style of the image, I like that it's not a typical image of Martin Luther King Jr himself, and focuses more on the Typography and the title of the speech.
I also like that the main Typography is in black, reflecting on how this speech was to win Black rights.

Fabio Ongarato - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

This last image represents 1965 the year Mary Poppins was released on VHS not the year it was created which was 1964. This image is a perfect example of a Typographic design, which is in the style of Neville Brody. Where the typography is sliced and distorted until it's hardly legible.
I think that this is an interesting approach to Mary Poppins and the phrase is well known from the movie and is immediately associated with it, so this was a perfect representation of the movie and the year 1965.
I also like the illustration style and the colour palette used, it's very colourful which makes it look fun and lively like the movie is, again a great reflection on the movie.

The whole exhibition is full of great designs, which represent some important events, like the creation of the apple mac, the first landing on the moon, etc. But these designs showed better examples of how the font Helvetica had been taken and used to create a great design. Which is why they're my top 5. I also thought that they had more of a clever idea behind them of representing their year.
I also thought that these designs showed a wider variety of styles which have been applied to the font, and show how each designer has used it to inspire their design and mixed it with their own personal style.

AdD104 Task 2: 10 Typographic Designers

1. Alan Kitching

'Alan Kitching is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. Alan Kitching is renowned for his expressive use of wood and metal letterforms in creating visuals for commissions and his own limited edition prints.' - Debut Art

Alan Kitching is one of those designers who uses the same style or theme and carries it through all of his work. Unlike designers such as Alex Trochut who doesn't have a particular style of illustration, but focuses on Typography.
Kitching's work appeals to me, due to the mixed media clipping masks, which I use frequently in my own work.
Personally I find this technique to be very effective, the edges of the letters are straight/sharp, so the texture of the mixed media contrasts well with that.
I also like that he keeps the background very plain, either cream or white, so that the focus is entirely on the Typographic Design. Again, a technique I use frequently in most of my own work.
Out of his entire portfolio, this piece stood out to me the most as it's so bold.
I also like that in the 'i' he has created that shape out of various words. which makes the design. I don't think this would have been as interesting without that.
I also like the chosen colour, the cream background compliments the deep reds in the mixed media.

2. Mike Perry

“Mike Perry’s compendium of hand-drawn type points to the continued relevance of the human touch in modern communication.”- American Craft

Mike Perry is a well known illustrator, especially for his hand drawn typography.
Compared to Kitching's work above, his work is a lot more lighthearted and has a childish style to it.
I think this style of typography has a lot more character rather than a plain font taken from a computer.
Out of his whole portfolio I chose the image above, as it showed a wide variety of typography and the variation in styles that he creates, rather than the same continuous illustration style like Kitching uses.
I think hand drawn typography gives you more room to manipulate it, and is particularly good to emphasize a meaning behind a word or phrase, like in the image, for example 'juicy' has been designed to look juicy and 'Be happy' is in the shape of a smile inside some lips to emphasize the word happy.
This style of typography is very popular in the current industry, and is frequently used in editorial and fashion works.
Like the images below:
I love that in these magazine spreads, the typography looks like doodles done with a pencil, I  think that it's a nice change from computer generated typography and it adds more character to the photography and makes it look more interesting with the style and texture of the handwritten typography rather than a plain serif.

3. Neville Brody

Neville Brody is a well known English Graphic Designer, Typographer and Art Director.
Especially for being one of the founders of 'FontWorks' where he created a variety of notable fonts and is also the founding Editor of the magazine 'FUSE'.

Neville Brody was known for creating Fonts that weren't ordinary plain fonts like 'Arial' or 'Helvetica', they were more interesting and had their own shape.
Later he was known for his unusual typographic design, where he started to create works like this design above, which showed the cultural shift from words to pictures. It wasn't just words it was art.
To gain this technique Brody would slice and distort the letters so that they were no longer legible, leaving the words as a texture, a pattern or abstract design.
This image above is in fact a cover for the magazine 'FUSE'.
I love this technique, it's different to the obvious typographic designs, which are usually used to be a more interesting way of communicating a phrase or word.
This style of Typography, is simply using letters to create an abstract form.
Although this is interesting, I don't think this is a technique I would personally use, I prefer to use a typographic design to communicate a message, or as an illustration like the works created by Mike Perry.

4. David Carson

"David Carson is an American graphic designer. He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of experimental typography. He was the art director for the magazine Ray Gun. Carson was perhaps the most influential graphic designer of the nineties. In particular, his widely-imitated aesthetic defined the so-called 'grunge typography' era." - Wikipedia

Like it was mentioned in the quote from Wikipedia above, you can see the grungy style that Carson uses in all his designs.
His designs are mixed media typography, sometimes mono print effects over photography.
The title 'Ray Gun' shows the same style that Brody used on the 'FUSE' cover above.
The letters have been sliced so it creates an invisible line or division through both words.
I personally like this style, I like the texture to the background mixed with the media used on the typography, which has been made to look like a Typewriter.
I don't think that his work really stands out to me like Mike Perry's did, and I don't think I'd use this technique on my own work.

5. Herb Lubalin

Herb Lubalin is a Graphic Designer know for the 'Art Deco' style to his Typography.
He always uses cruved shapes, and makes the letters look more fancy that a plain sans serif that Kitching uses on his works. His works are nearly always monochromatic, particularly black or a light blue.

The image above was my favorite of his works, I like the message that it communicates and I also like that the image has been created to look the same whether it's upside down or the right way up. The only way you can tell is by the small print that reads 'It's a great year, any way you look at it' Which explains the meaning behind the design, I think it's clever, and I'd love to use this technique on my own work at some point in the future.

This is another Lubalin design that stood out to me, again you can see the curves in the letters which has been described to be inspired by Art Deco.
I also think this is a clever design, as the word 'Beards' has been deigned to create the shape of a beard, and then the face has been added to emphasize that meaning.
I much prefer typography to be clever and communicate something rather than just be a piece of art.

6. Eric Gill

"Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement" - Wikipedia

Eric Gill isn't a designer which I have a huge interest in. His work doesn't particularly interest me at all.However, he is most famous for creating the widely used font Gill Sans, possibly one of my favorite fonts to use in my work.
For being created so soon into the 20th century this font is really modern, looking at the image above you wouldn't think it was created in the 1920s.
What I like about this font, is that it's so simple and can be applied to anything, it's perfect to use everyday.

As well as creating fonts like Gill Sans, he created pieces of art, which also had Typography in them, these designs usually consisted of religious images mixed with a Serif font, which had filigree designs coming off the Typography, much life the works of illustrator Si Scott.

7. Robert Brownjohn

"Robert Brownjohn was a graphic designer known for blending formal graphic design concepts with wit and sixties pop culture. He is best known for his motion picture title sequences, especially From Russia with Love and Goldfinger." - Wikipedia

This piece above is my favorite design created by Brownjohn. I've used this as research in previous projects, and it never gets old. I love the wit that he adds to his designs, especially this one, I think using the Ace card was a clever way of writing the word 'Peace'.
This is could also be classed as infographics, where a symbol or image is used to represent or replace a word. In this case the Ace card replaces the 'ace' in peace.
I also like that the rest of the word is hand drawn in what looks like fineliner... it could be pencil. But overall, a strong design, LOVE IT.

Like the image above he used symbols to represent letters in all these words.
specifically the symbols associated with each word.
Again, very witty and it's a clever but strong design for being so simple. Love it.
This is the kind of Typography that I like, Infographics isn't something I really have experience in, but I'd love to try this in my own work in the future.

8. Stefan Sagmeister

"Stefan Sagmeister is a New York-based graphic designer and typographer currently living in Bali, Indonesia. He has his own design firm 'Sagmeister Inc.' in New York City. He has designed album covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny." - Wikipedia

Sagmeister, as well as being known for producing CD covers, he's also well known for his hand drawn approach to typography and also for producing some wild designs.
The design above is for a Lou Reed poster, The typography is the hand written style which he uses in all designs which include typography.
I like the style he uses, I think it has an erie feel to it, so it would be good used on a cover for a thriller or horror movie!

Sagmeister is also widely known for this poster in particular.
He actually cut the typography out of his own skin and then took a photo.
This is really crazy, but it's such a strong image, and you can still see the style of his hand written typeface. It also shows how far he will go as a designer, there are no limits to his work, as he's willing to carve his work into his own skin.
This is definitely something I won't use in my own work, but I still like his style and approach to typography, it's most definitely unusual....

9. Jitesh Patel

Patel is a designer which I came across on the website 'Central Illustration Agency'.
He's well known for creating pieces of typography out of card, like the image above, to make the design 3D. I think this style of illustration just takes typography to a new level, making it 'come alive' in a sense.
In the image above, the design is mixed with computer generated typography which looks cool, making it look editorial. I also like that as well as Typography, he has put images in too in the same media, it adds more character to the image and it highlights the word/meaning more.

In this image you can see the typography popping out more than in the image above.
I think this image has been created with metal... or shiny card, not entirely sure.
I also like that the photograph has been taken from this angle deliberately to emphasize the meaning behind 'high'. I'd like to try experimenting with this sometime, I can imagine it being quite fiddly!

10. Alex Trochut

"Independent graphic designer Alex Trochut has a passion for illustrationdesigntypography and lettering. From his studio in Barcelona Alex Trochut creates original designs for clients all around the world. Without choosing sides in a particular style Alex Trochut tries to evolve from project to project, and as a statement he believes in more is more." - Debut Art

Whenever I do a Typographic based design, I always look to Alex Trochut's portfolio for inspiration as well as other designers I have a huge interest in, such as Pomme Chan.
I love his variety in illustration styles, he doesn't limit himself to a particular stereotype, like quite a lot of designers do, like Kitching.
I also love the texture he gives to his image, He uses a variety of media and sometimes uses plastercine, which I never see being used anymore!
I especially love this design above, and the dripping effect he has given it.
I like that he has used an original Serif font for the letter and then altered it to make his own design, it's a strong design, I always think that monochromatic designs work better than using multiple colours, the simpler the better in my opinion, which is why I almost always use a plain white background, I like my designs to 'speak for themselves'.

Here is a design which he did for 'The Guardian'. Again he has used a dripping effect, quite frequently used in his designs, it's kind of like his trademark.
The image looks more vector based, than the 'M' which was obviously hand drawn first and then scanned in. Whereas this design looks like its been made directly in illustrator, giving it a modern, contemporary look which is current in the industry.
The way he has manipulated the typography, makes it look quite similar to the piece by Neville Brody. Where part of the words is cut out or overlapped.
I also like the choice of colour, I think black, white with one colour also works well, This image wouldn't have worked in a monochromatic palette at all as you wouldn't be able to identify the shapes very well. Overall, a brilliant design, and a perfect example of Trochut's work.