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type and graphics is a process of weighing and balancing elements until a
harmony between content and display is achieved." –Robert
of Type | Thinking With Type
forms are the purest representation of our alphabet because
they represent a dual connection between the fundamental nature of the alphabet
as a tool for reading and as a barometer of the aesthetics of modernity.
of typography is about making the complex clear and the uncomplicated interesting,
all with an apparent effortlessness that is democratic in its presentation.
The experienced typographer knows that his primary purpose is to be a facilitator,
to organize content in a lucid manner to best impart to the reader the intent,
mood, and content of the work displayed.
readability first and foremost. Form should follow function.
It also suggests voice and reflects tone, attitude, personality. Type should,
therefore, be appropriate to the audience, message, client, medium and image.
have different expressive qualities: cold, sensual, clean, ostentatious, graceful.
(look at Stall Wall Weekly and page 1 of the handouts)
choose a typeface, think about:
(based on picas)
length (standard: 50-70 characters)
(legibility; don't choose font for font's sake)
II (modern, traditional, contemporary)
(vertical spacing between lines)
(letter spacing >> J K or JK)
(flust left, right, centered, justified)
and reflect content, research, know your audience, and understand what you're
designing before you begin selecting and aranging your typography.
must type accomplish? It should:
- Be easy
to read. It should be reader-friendly.
and hold attention.
a coherent harmony among the elements in the communication. A unified whole.
and establish recognition. Create identity and maintain continuity in our
style of lettering. Most typefaces vary a great deal, when you develop
an eye for the differences. Each "family" or "race" of
typefaces may contain variations like "italic" or "bold"
in addition to regular or "roman."
complete set of type of one size and one variation on a typeface. Bold Century,
for example, is a different font that italic Century.
white shapes inside the letter. Consider the shapes the type makes
the stroke that projects off the main stroke of the letter at the bottom or
the top. Serifs come in a wide variety: round, bracketed, hairline, slab,
flat, curved, square. Letters without serif are called sans serif. Sans is
French for without. (see
handouts, page 1)
height of the body of a lowercase letter like the letter x
or a. It does not include ascender or descender. The x-height
will vary in typefaces of the same size. Size is measured from the top of
the ascender to the bottom of the descender. So, 10-point Garamond has a small
x-height but long ascenders and descenders; 10-point Univers has a larger
x-height but smaller ascenders and descenders.
density or darkness of a typeface (literally, the amount of ink the press
puts on the printed page). Garamond light italic is light. Ultra-black Impact
the part of the lowercase letter that rises above the body of the letter.
The letter a has no ascender, but the letter b
part of the lowercase letter that falls below the body of the letter. Letters
a, b, c, d have no descenders; letters f
and g do.
lines that form its design. They may be monotonal, or uniformly stroked
(sans serif) or they may vary in stroke, like serif letters, which vary from
hairline to quite thick.
adjusting the space between individual letters
regulates the spacing between large groups of words (letter spacing and word
spacing are controlled by tracking programs in your computers)
(handouts, p. 2)
in a pica, approximately 6 picas in an inch. So, 6 x 12 = 72 points in an inch.
Once a type
size reaches 2", however, it is measured in inches. 5 points to 72 points,
measured in points.
a type size from ascender to descender (highest point to lowest point). General
rule: type less than 10 points is difficult to read. Another general rule: Web
ignores points and picas. More on that later.
length is measured also in picas. Designers use pica measurements on
layouts to indicate line length. For example: 8-point type can be set in a 22-pica
line length on standard 81/2x11 paper. Line length, then, is closely related
to size of type. You want the reader's eye to move smoothly along, never forced
to slow down or lose its place. (look at line length illustration)
type is any type under 14 points in size. Display type is larger than
14 points, typically 16 points and above.
letter or text: angular, complex, dark, ornate. Think medieval or
madrigal. They are difficult to read. Think wedding invitations and heavy
metal CD covers.
chiseled, simple, architectural. Think granite inscriptions. Three main sub-categories:
old style (like Goudy), transitional (like ITC New Baskerville), modern (like
- Sans serif:
Sans serif structure is geometric, clean, open. Its letters
are uniformly stroked. They are, therefore, flat, untextured, easy to read.
Street sings. Think Bauhaus and form following function.
Balloon, Dracula, Tupelo, Icicle, Fajita, Jokerman Text. These are miscellaneous,
clown pants types. Think affectation and trivial. Careful here. You wouldn't
show up to a wedding wearing a Hawaiian shirt (most likely). You wouldn't
wear a tuxedo to the beach. Type communicates voice, volume, sensitivity.
What type would you
use for the Bible?
A diploma? Newspaper nameplate?
Stop signs, street signs and billboards?
1: In Microsoft Word, choose a font that best represents your personality
or mood. Type your first and last name in that font. Include a paragraph on
why that particular font best represents you now.
2: Using only type, communicate or signal the following:
conflict or unfriendliness