Typography

Typography – First session

I honestly have no clue if this is appropriate for posting on the blog, but whatever. I have to make a logbook anyway, so I might as well start looking back on stuff here.


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I admit, I haven’t had any real contact with typography before this exercise, so I only had a very vague understanding of how typefaces works. Thankfully Chris’ explanation was very quick and clear so I think I somewhat understand the basics now, and will try to use the correct terminology.

So after the crash course we got to work. As usual, I had a hard time breaking out from making mundane things, and I’m fairly sure I didn’t manage to overcome that.

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I started out with a few basic letters, just to see how the x-height and the cap height works. With the first three on the left the idea was to turn the horizontal lines at a slight angle. I think the ‘e’ and the ‘h’ could work, but the angle should be a bit more pronounced, and the crossbar on the ‘e’ should start a little lower. I have no idea what I’d do about the ‘w’, or most other letters for that matter.

I don’t remember what I was thinking when making the middle four letters. They all seem to have slight curves to their bodies, but those are inconsistent. The ‘y’ for example should probably have the left arm curved upwards, instead of the straight line it is right now.

The last two letters are the result of me trying to use a piece of straw as a “brush”. I got it to work later on, but this ‘A’ and ‘s’ just turned out a mess.

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After all that I tried my hands at making full alphabets. These two were both based on geometric shapes, and were done with the same brush.

With the top two lines I tried using rounded rectangles as much as possible, which worked for the most part, though there are some exceptions like the ‘x’, ‘z’ and ‘k’ looking very awkward, and the dissonance between ‘v’ and ‘w’. I also have concerns about how some of the capital letters would work. ‘F’ would end up looking very similar to its lowercase counterpart. ‘K’ and ‘R’ should somehow keep the rounded-rectangle aesthetic while at the same time remaining distinct looking from ‘H’ and ‘A’ respectively. ‘S’ and ‘Z’ have the same problem with ‘5’ and ‘2’.

The letters on the bottom line have had their curves replaced by triangles. I feel like it works well enough, but once again there are some concerns. The ‘a’ is way too wide compared to every other letter. The bottom half of ‘e’ ends at roughly the center, which makes it feel like some part is missing from it. The ‘c’ looks remarkably like ‘<‘ which could get confusing. And lastly the ‘m’ and ‘n’ just look like shrunk capitals instead of proper lowercase letters.

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This is the one that was made with the piece of straw. Since it couldn’t hold enough ink for even a single letter, I had to go through each line multiple times. This ended up creating a rough look to the whole thing, which I quite like. I also tried adding curves to each letter, which didn’t really work as intended on some of them. The ‘q’ for example bends the wrong way, thus clashing with most other letters. The serif-like curves on ‘f’, ‘k’ and ‘l’ just don’t fit. And the ‘m’ and ‘n’ look like the mustaches I drew in kindergarten. Those definitely need to be reworked.

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I only noticed this nice letter ‘c’ while looking at the photos. Most likely some ink spilled from the plastic cup and left this on the paper. I definitely like it, though I’m not yet sure how it could be applied to other letters, especially those without curves.

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From this point onward I just started messing around with making large letters without guidelines. With these ones above I tried replacing some of the curves with crossbars. While I quite like how ‘s’, ‘a’, ‘b’, and ‘c’ turned out, the ‘e’ and the ‘k’ are just horrible. Looking back, I feel like I should have just kept the usual shape of ‘e’ and instead of this weird monstrosity that is ‘k’ I just used the curves of ‘b’ and ‘c’, or at least something similar to those.

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No idea. I guess I was going for letters made with quick brush-strokes, but other than that this feels a bit random. Although I like how thin the spine of ‘S’ gets, the ‘A’ is asymmetrical in a weird way, and the double stem of ‘R’ just looks awful.

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This is me trying to replicate the straw-painted letters on a larger scale with a stick. Same issue as before: the serif-like curves on ‘h’ don’t fit. Maybe if I removed one of them it would look alright, but I’m not sure. I’ll give it a try later on. Oh, and the ‘s’ is way too large cause I couldn’t control the stick as precisely as the straw.

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This was a last minute addition to the ‘catalogue’. Very basic letters, but painted with a wobbly movement of the brush. I don’t like these. They look like those wavy fries you can buy from the freezer at stores. Maybe they could be improved, but I have not clue how…


Well, that’s it for the first session. I’ve enjoyed it, but I should probably try making some more extravagant stuff next time. Or just something a bit more out of the ordinary.

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