Sunday, 6 February 2011

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.

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