Watch this masterful tribute to legendary designer, Paul Rand. This film was produced by one of my favorite studios called Imaginary Forces.
It’s important to learn from the masters, because that’s the only way you’ll truly learn and grow as an artist. So I think this short video is a must see. My favorite part is when Paul Rand says, “don’t try to be original, just be good”. Wow. Such simple, brilliant and humble advice.
I’m always amazed at how fast the summer flies by. Not so long ago, we were just getting familiar with type and type crimes—and now you are all typographers with your own typeface.
I hope you take a further interest in typography and keep in touch with your future projects. Good luck this school year, enjoy the rest of the summer, and in the words of the Sounds of Music, Adieu, adiu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.
If anyone is interested in having their own copies of the light workshop photos, I will bring a disk of all the photos tomorrow. You must bring your own external hard drive (or laptop) if you want copies of the pictures.
Today’s type history lecture was about an overview of typography, typographers, and the development of visual styles from the 15th Century to today.
If you are interested in learning more, I recommend Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volumes 1 & 2. These are great references that provide a comprehensive and detailed overview of type and its development. In order to accommodate a vast amount of material, the writers have divided the text into two volumes. Volume 1 covers 1600-1900, Volume 2 covers 1900 to the mid-20th century.
This book offers an overview of typeface design, exploring the most beautiful and remarkable examples of font catalogs from the history of publishing, with a special emphasis on the period from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, when color catalogs were at their height. Taken from a Dutch collection, this selection traverses the evolution of the printed letter in all its various incarnations via designed catalogs displaying not only type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad, but also characters, borders, ornaments, initial letters and decorations as well as often spectacular examples of the use of the letters. The Victorian fonts are accorded a prominent place in this book. In addition to lead letters, examples from lithography and letters by window-dressers, inscription carvers, and calligraphers are also displayed and described.
Featuring works by type designers including: William Caslon, Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke, Peter Behrens, Rudolf Koch, Eric Gill, Jan van Krimpen, Paul Renner, Jan Tschichold, A. M. Cassandre, Aldo Novarese, Adrian Frutiger
This book offers an overview of typeface design, exploring the most elegant fonts from the history of publishing. Featuring works by type designers including: William Caslon, Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke, Peter Behrens, Rudolf Koch, Eric Gill, Jan van Krimpen, Paul Renner, Jan Tschichold, A. M. Cassandre, Aldo Novarese, and Adrian Frutiger.
Why is knowing the history of typography important?
How can your knowledge of type history help you in approaching projects and work?
Check out this brilliant experimental blending of two art forms: Graffiti + Kirigami (a variation of origami; most people know kirigami as paper snowflakes). This experimental style is called Graffitiami.
Guest Lecture: Masood Ahmed, the History of Graffiti
Masood Ahmed, graffiti artist turned graphic designer, gave a lecture on the History of Graffiti, and its influence on his work as a graphic designer. He spoke of the natural progression from graffiti into graphic design, pointing out that graffiti is manipulation of letter-forms, and in graphic design, we call that typography.
Here are some of my notes! The beginning of graffiti started in “gang graffiti” in the late 1960’s as an early attempt of gang members to mark who owned which neighborhood. In the example below, the gang called the Savage Skulls marked neighborhoods in the Bronx:
Darryl McCray, referred to as "Cornbread", is a graffiti artist from Philadelphia. Starting in 1967, he is regarded as “father of modern graffiti”. His first efforts in graffiti were based upon his love interest for a girl.
In the 1970’s graffiti was mostly found in Spanish Harlem in the form known as tagging, which was the simple mark of the person’s name and street number. However, the work of an artist named Warlock, shown below, was an early masterpiece that shocked the graffiti art movement because it moved from tagging into painting:
Warlock’s “piece” inspired many graffiti artists, who started to look for inspiration in letterforms in advertising, sample ads, etc. The piece below by Robin was done in 1973, and demonstrates the emergence of the first style in graffiti art known as Bubble Letters:
By 1982 graffiti art became more sophisticated with certain defined style. The most prolific genre became a complex style known as “Wildstyle”, involving interlocking letters and connecting points. These pieces are often harder to read by non-graffiti artists as the letters merge into one another in an often undecipherable manner:
In the 1990’s, a new style based on tatoos was created by an artist named Saber, who called the stylized graffiti style, LA Style or LA Latino:
Finally, putting graffiti art in context with today’s visual culture, an example of graffiti art merging with graphic design can be seen in wheat pasted posters known as street art, in the works of artists like Bansky and Shepard Fairey:
I’m curious to get your input:
What are your thoughts about graffiti and its role in today’s visual culture?
How has street art informed the art world?
Many graffiti artists call graffiti in commercial work as “selling out”, what do you think?
It’s important to know the proper terms of typography, especially when we critique and review your typeface designs. Take a look at these illustrations and familiarize yourself with typographical elements in the anatomy of type.
The Daily Drop Cap is an ongoing project by typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische. Each day, a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap will be posted for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere.
Here’s the calligraphy book we used in class on Tuesday. It’s a comprehensive guide to the 10 major calligraphy hands, starting with the formal and classic Roundhand. The book also has a great collection of illuminated letters (the starting point for the modern drop caps). You can find this book at the SVA library, Amazon and Strand.
What's Your Type Reading List: Doyald Young, Art of the Letter
Doyald Young is recognized as one of the modern masters of the lettering arts. Since the mid-1950s, Young has designed logotypes, corporate alphabets and typefaces all by hand lettering. Young still begins each job in the same manner he learned from his mentor, Joe Gibbey—with an HB pencil on tracing paper. “Depending on how long the logo is, I usually make a rough sketch about 1½- to 2-inches wide, sometimes smaller,” says Young.“I draw the letters in skeleton form to see how the word looks. Often, I’ll explore different character shapes and proportions and try to make the logo a distinctive shape.”
While drawing letters with a pencil first—rather than constructing them on screen—may seem old school to many young designers, the process allows Young to quickly try many solutions to the design problem. “A rough sketch of a logo takes only a minute or so to do,” he says, although he cautions that in-depth knowledge of different type styles is critical to the process.
In 2009 AIGA awarded Young the prestigious AIGA Medal for “for demonstrating the power of a lifelong love of the craft of calligraphy, type and graphic design, for his contributions as an author and for his dedication as an educator.”
To learn more about him, here a some of the best articles I found online:
AIGA 2009: Medalist Doyald Young By Marian Bantjes How do you get to be one of the greats of graphic design? If Doyald Young is the example, start with a well-rounded education in life, study with the masters, pay homage to your mentors, work hard, work long and, practice, man, practice.
Letter Cult Interview with Doyald Young If Matthew Carter is the greatest living type designer, and Hermann Zapf the greatest living calligrapher, Young completes the trinity as the greatest living designer of logotypes.
“You can say, “I love you,” in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it’s really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work.”—Massimo Vignelli, from Helvetica
Massimo Vignelli only uses 12 typefaces, and claims that for design to work, ‘twelve typefaces is enough’. He says type is like a piano, the more you use them, the better you get at it. Vignelli is an exceptional designer, he’s also considered the ‘grandfather of modernism’. Most of his work’s beauty and simplicity can be attributed to the self-imposed type palette of twelve typefaces.
So here is a list of the twelve typefaces that you’ll ever need, according to Vignelli’s view:
THE CLASSICS Caslon
THE SLAB SERIF Clarendon
THE GROTESQUE Akzidenz Grotesk
THE GEOMETRIC SANS SERIF Futura
THE NEO-GROTESQUE Helvetica
THE HUMANIST SANS Scala Sans
THE COMPREHENSIVE & UNIFIED SUPER-FAMILY Thesis
There are undoubtedly many professionals in our field who share Vignelli’s views, but for me, although I understand limiting your type choices to achieve beauty in simplicity, I believe having such a limiting number of typefaces simply cannot work with the current demands of design—the technological progress in visual communication requires differentiation and a wider option for legible type for web, digital billboards, and now even hand-held mobile devices.
“Don’t confuse legibility with communication. Just because something is legible doesn’t mean it communicates and, more importantly, doesn’t mean it communicates the right thing.”—David Carson, from Helvetica
As you create your own type, you may be interested in making digital type. To create a digital type, you will need the right software to create and edit your typeface. Font editors outline fonts, and depending on the software, the program may allow you to create a TrueType, OpenType, Postscript, or some other type of font.
I rounded-up a few contenders for font creation software programs.
High end font editor for designing or modifying fonts. This software is condsidered the industry standard, so it’s going to cost you (!!) $649. However, I like the 30-day free trial. I’ve used FontLab Studio and highly recommend it for its consistency and ease of use.
Professional, commercial tool for creating new fonts or modifying existing ones. Expands existing fonts to include fractions, symbols, foreign characters, and logos in Type 1, Type 3, and TrueType fonts. In June 2010, Fontographer version 5.0 was released by FontLab.
FontForge is an open-source postscript font editor that allows you to create and edit TrueType, OpenType, Postscript, etc. It can do almost everything FontLab does, BUT you have to download and install it to your computer, which requires a lot of technical knowledge. There are detailed tutorials on how to install FontForge.
FontStruct is a free font-building tool that provides simple tools to color in integrated blocks. You can fill out just one key letter or a whole font, and offer it up as an easy-to-install TrueType font. Using FontStruct’s tools requires a free sign-up, or you could just browse FontStruct’s library of original fonts for download. It’s pretty cool, but I find it somewhat limiting when it comes to the fine details of type.
TypeTool is an entry-level product with some features that allow you add ligatures, special characters, em and en dashes, etc. to your fonts. From their website, TypeTool is a “font editor for beginners, students, and hobby typographers”.
Do your research before you buy: try the free-download demos, read the forums for user reviews, play around with several programs, etc. Maybe you’ll like FontStruct, or maybe you’re a tech-genius and will be comfortable with FontForge. You may also start out with TypeTool, and in the future, once you became more advanced and need more features, you’ll to upgrade to FontLab.
Be sure to check with CAVA to see if they carry any of these programs! Remember to have fun with this assignment!!!
The Art Directors Club 2010 Scholarship application deadline has been extended. Open to talented sophomores and juniors, ADC’s scholarship program recognizes excellence and innovation in visual communications, to bring together creative leaders across the boundaries of their disciplines, and to encourage young people entering the field.