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.