Category: Typography

Design

Smart prototype “Spector” identifies hues and fonts with a click

For web designers and artists alike, inspiration can come from the most unexpected moments. You might encounter a hue you see as something fitting for an interior project or a suitable font for a web page while browsing through a magazine or reading a book. Only, you don’t have your computer or your swatches with you and the best thing you can do is take a photo for future reference. And they don’t always end up looking the same. The frustration that colors and fonts “never looks like it does on screen as it does in the finalized print” is exactly the reason behind UK designer Fiona O’Leary’s device. With the help of interaction designer David van Gemeran, she created “Spector” – a smart device that quickly identifies fonts and hues with a single click. The innovative prototype can store up to 20 references at once which can be transferred to a computer – a total designer’s dream. According to O’Leary, the device can further provide “other details...
Art

Visually impaired writer and graphic designer teaches typography, encourages other blind individuals to follow dreams

Graphic design is not simply clicking and clacking on a computer keyboard. It has become a widely accepted form of art in our modern world. This art involves many elements, and typography is one of them. Typography is not just any kind of art - it is an entire process on its own. It involves setting, arranging, and designing type. Because of the importance of text in overall design, it has become one of the biggest aspects of a good, sound graphic design project. Not only does it provide the proper context to the visuals, it also rids it of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Because of this, graphic designers have an obligation to make sure that they pick the right typography for the needed message. Eryn Stubblefield offers a straightforward lesson on typography, targeting first-timers and rookies in graphic design. You can check out her post on Freepik.com to learn more. Stubblefield is a visually impaired individual who freelances as a writer and graphic designer....
Art

This book for graphic designers features six new typefaces inspired by “new classics”

If you're a bookworm and a graphic design buff at the same time, then this book is for you! Kansas City and San Francisco-based Willoughby Design have designed a book that enables you to explore new typefaces created to represent “new classics” in contemporary design.  The interactive book is called, "Fresh Takes on Classic Type on CLASSIC® Papers," and features six unique typefaces with stories behind each of them in the words of the creators. The book is sure to keep you engaged and amazed with its premium quality paper supplied by paper brand Neenah. w  ...
Graphic Design

Sculpture made from sentences in Annie Vought’s works of typography

The power of perfectly kerned type meets the versatility of paper Annie Vought latest work. The Oakland-based artist turns letters into physical objects by cutting, mixing and matching sentences. From chaotic, jumbled letters to perfectly organized phrases, Vought's work is 41″ x 53″ of cut paper sculpture, meant to provoke feelings from the viewer rather than send a message. Check out the sculpture below, and find more of her work on Instagram and Jack Fischer Gallery. ...
Illustration

From magazines to murals: 7 lettering projects

Illustrator, designer, and mural artist Tobias Hall has been focusing on lettering and typography. In an interview, he said, “My aim is to become very much a one-stop shop for all styles of lettering, rather than focusing on one particular style.” Having graduated from university in 2010, Hall is currently based in London, and his clients have included clients like Netflix, Vodafone, Toyota, Time Magazine, and KFC. Like most freelancers, he finds pricing to be one of the most difficult parts of his job, but now that he has gained some success, he has hired an agent to save himself from that part of the process. Check out the video timelapse below that reveals the work that goes into an end product that appears so simple. ...
Creativity

7 objects that have self-deprecating thoughts

Blending her background in typeface design and hand-painted signage, Annica Lydenberg founded the design studio Dirty Bandits to work on typography, lettering and illustration projects. In a series called I'm a Piece of Garbage, Lydenberg rescues retro objects that were on their way to the dumpster and hand-paints them with puns and self-deprecating phrases. “With these phrases Dirty Bandits touches on deep insecurity and a struggle to maintain a sense of self worth,” says Lydenberg.   ...
Sculpture

Letterforms made using mailed letters

Niral Parekh has created a series of sculptural typography pieces that use mailed letters to create letterforms. With his material list including postcards, newspapers, packages, and direct mailers, he used a wooden mail organizer as the structure and then carefully arranged the envelopes. The piece with the number “50” took the artist a total of nine straight hours to complete. You can watch the video of his process below. Another piece where he created the New York Times Magazine logo took 14 hours to complete. After completing that piece, he then mocked up a cover design that showcased his work. ...
Funny

A book about A-holes… the typographical kind

Curtis Canham has a design joke that asks, “You know, that negative space found in the letter 'A'?” Canham, a teacher and a designer, has created a book to explore this typographical question with a tongue-in-cheek coffee table book called A-holes: A type book. While his initial idea was to just create a book that is a visual compendium of A-hole shapes, he instead pulled from his background as an educator to look at the history of this commonplace and often overlooked typographic negative space. Having funded the project through Kickstarter, he jokes, “’Font’ is a four letter word that starts with an ‘F’.” Hear the designer talk about the beginnings of the project in the video below. ...
Illustration

Strips of paper used for lettering relief sculptures

Rather than using paper to make flat shapes, artist Sabeena Karnik instead uses cut paper strips that are set on their edges to create her designs. Not only does this way of working with paper lend itself to the beautiful line-work that we see Karnick create, but the photographed relief sculptures are made more interesting by the subtle shadows. Rather than a flat design, the artist’s technique results in works hat have a depth and flair. Often focusing on typography projects, Karnik has been commissioned to create her lettering relief sculptures as editorial illustrations for magazines as well as corporate promotions. ...
Graphic Design

The winners of this year’s 50 Books|50 Covers competition

The winners of this year’s 50 Books | 50 Covers competition have been announced. Organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA, the 700 entries were judged by Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, and Barbara Glauber. The roots of the contest date to 90 years ago when the American Institute of Graphic Arts mounted the show The Fifty Books of 1923. As book formats are shifting from print to digital, the judges paid attention to how book covers “do double and triple duty, functioning not just as alluring packaging on the bookstore shelf, but as telegraphic icons in the realm of online marketing and sortable rubrics in online libraries.” View all fifty winning books can be viewed here and all fifty winning covers can be viewed here. Among the winners is the coffee table book Opera, which we previously profiled. ...
Illustration

The epic battle of Man vs. Punctuation

Illustrator Grant Snider has created a series of drawings for the Fiction Issue of The New Yorker. 01Working with creative director Nicholas Blechman, Snider’s illustrations reference the minimal black and white line drawings that are often seen in New Yorker cartoons, while simultaneously preserving the style elements and characters that Snider uses in his other work. Adding the bold red punctuation marks to the outlined characters, the letter-forms are removed from the context of written text, and are instead embedded within a pictorial story line. This Man vs. Punctuation illustrated series offers yet another variety of literary conflict. ...
Sculpture

A graphic designer takes her letter love into 3D with typographic sculptures

Alabama-based artist June Corley worked as an advertising art director and graphic designer for many years doing what she called “playing with type”. Continuing her affinity for letter forms and bringing her play-space into three-dimensions, Corley now creates typographic sculptures. In her work, we see how vintage signage and discarded letterpress type can be transformed into playful characters. The curve of a “D” becomes the belly of a bird, and the prongs of an “E” become legs. This body of work began when Corley moved from Atlanta to a cabin in Alabama and was inspired by a chaotic stack of her collected vintage signs.        ...
Logo design

Rebranding Paris

The graphic design agency Graphéine worked on a re-branding project to come up with a bold new look for the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau. In a smart and elegant logo design, they altered the text of the words “Paris” to transform the letter “A” into the Eiffel Tower. It’s a brilliant way to bridge the city’s name with it’s most famous icon. The designers were fearful that using the symbol of the Eiffel Tower would result in a kitschy or gimmicky design. In response to this concern, “We went for simplicity, and concentrated our efforts on a typographic design that can be seen as a Parisian skyline,” said the designers. For the accompanying materials, the team incorporated the colorful illustrations of Séverin Millet. Using these drawings allowed the designers to avoid using postcard-style photos while still presenting the scenes of the city. ...
Illustration

The hand-drawn lettering of 11 sarcastic quotations

Measuring just a few inches in size, the hand drawn lettering project by Indonesian artist Dexa Muamar are carefully rendered. But the crisp text belies the meaning of the quotes that he chooses which don’t hesitate to punch you in the gut. “Practice makes perfect but nobody is perfect so why practice,” says one ironic image. Another one makes the suggestion, “Drink some coffee, put on some gangster rap, and handle it.” The artist says, “I love the ‘truest’ quotes,” as he shies away from ones that are motivational and instead looks for ones that have impact. ...
Graphic Design

A typeface of trees

Have you ever read a forest as though it were a short story? Have you looked at a tree as though they were a letter of the alphabet, full with meaning and ready to share its secrets? The book About Trees by Katie Holten makes such a tree-based communication possible with a hand-drawn tree typeface. Now in its second printing, the book pairs text that is written about trees alongside a translation in her Trees typeface. “Each text becomes its own forest,” said the artist in an interview. She continues, “With short texts it’s possible to see/read each individual tree/letter in the Trees translation, but with the longer texts the trees crowd together forming dense forests of encoded meaning.” ...
Design

“Math is beautiful” says a type designer about his numbers project

“I began thinking about how numbers play an incredibly significant role in our world,” said San Francisco based illustrator Seth Mach. “Although language and letterforms are crucial to graphic design, numbers might actually have more to say.” Mach has hand-drawn each number and then digitized it using Photoshop. With the leaf-like designs filling the shape of each number-form, we see the thoughtfulness of the characters as a delicate serifs add elegance and the curves seem to grow organically. The designer may have been right to title his project: “Math is beautiful”. ...
Illustration

Portraits made with calligraphy

Artist Bine Scris is a master hand-lettering and typography mind. By utilizing techniques from calligraphy, working with other artists, and using influences from portraiture, painting, and chalking, Bine Scris has created a diverse and enthralling and captivating portfolio. Check out more of Bine Scris’ work here. ...
Street art

Grafitti artist breaks down letterforms in 36 Days of Type

In a project that he’s calling “36 Days of Type” the graffiti-artist who works under the name Nase Pop is using bold colors to break down the shapes of letters. Using trompe l’oeil painting techniques in his murals, the letters have the illusion of popping off the wall, and in some cases, they actually do pop-off the wall. Currently based in Buenos Aires, the Netherlands-born artist was actively creating graffiti murals before beginning this lettering project. For a behind-the-scenes look, photographer Alejandra Leston reveals his mural-making process of spray-paint cans and used paintbrushes. ...
Illustration

The hand-lettering master mind of Lisa Lorek

Lisa Lorek is a hand-lettering master. Finding her first moments of inspiration from “doodling lyrics during class in high school”,  Lisa is now Art Director at Brokaw Inc. in Cleveland, OH and in her free time, churns out some of the best hand-lettering projects the world has seen. Check out her work here, and here. ...
Technology

What does your voice look like as a typeface?

Designers know that choosing a typeface is more than just readability. It sets the visual atmosphere and character, much like the way your voice can set the character of your spoken words. In a project that Ogilvy New York built in celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Webby Awards, your voice can be used to create a custom font. The app TypeVoice analyzes your voice for pitch, frequency and volume, and outputs those drawls, ebbs, and flows into a typeface. Click over to check it out, and let us know what your typefaces look like. ...
Digital

3 epic lettering projects

UK-based digital artist Chris LaBrooy has taken a unique approach to lettering. In the three projects below, we see 3D renderings of type that’s larger than life. A stack of four RVs and trailers read Land of the Free, prompting visions of the open road and summer vacations. A collection of handbags reads Happiness Can’t Buy Money, a witty reversal of the oft-used quip. The last project is a set of sneakers that spell Addict which speaks to the designer’s relationship to his favorite footwear. Check out some of LaBrooy’s other projects like this melting jet plane or this project of distorted automobiles. ...
Graphic Design

What if Urban Dictionary made maps?

Mapping student at the University of Chicago, Sasha Trubetskoy, has asked the question of what would a map look like if it was generated form Urban Dictionary entries? How would the slang and the stereotypes look when they are visualized? The maps below are illustrations of the San Francisco Bay Area and Long Island, NY. The Long Island map defines areas of McMansions, potheads, the Italian mob, and rich people, to name a few. “I noticed right away how much less negative the entries were when compared with Long Island”, said Trubetskoy. But even in the Bay Area, we see descriptions such as the “armpit of Napa” and “ghetto wannabes”.   ...
Photography

Honey typography is a sweet idea

A photo studio is typically not the place that type designers will go to create their letterforms. But, as a project for a course at IED Barcelona, Franc Navarro and Alberto Martinez took their inspiration from honey and honey dippers. The duo used a laser cutter to create 3D wooden letter forms in the layered structure of a honey dipper from warm toned wood. ...
Painting

This is not the top of a cake

Like a typographic project constructed atop a cake in sweet delicious buttercream frosting, the lettering works by Calvin Ross Carl are like nothing that we’ve seen before. Although the texture of the work is misleading, the one to four-foot paintings are made from acrylic and enamel. Sometimes in an italicized block and sometimes in a straight stack, the framed letters often show a subtle color gradient within the white background. Revealing a second layer to the works, the image titles create a context for what is written on the painting. For example the painting text “Median Salary” is paired with the title Still In The Poor House. The painting text “Cruelty, Sadness and Endless Silence” is paired with the title That’s No Way To React. ...
Graphic Design

Visual rhythm of punctuation

Chicago-based designer Nicholas Rougeux focused on rhythm in his recent project Between the Words. Taking literary classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Pride and Prejudice, Rougeux spliced out the text of these tales, leaving behind only the punctuation. Just as punctuation can provide a cadence and rhythm to a writing, the designer said that he was looking for the visual rhythm found in punctuation. ...
Digital

Stunning 3D typography

Designer Katlego Phatlane, works to create blends of architecture and typography and 3D design into unique and eye-catching projects. From Johannesburg, South Africa, Phatlane originally wanted to be an architect but turned to design via his high school art teacher. Now he works to create typographic designs collaboratively and independently. ...
Graphic Design

Package design: the sweet taste of sans serif

Bold and simple typography takes center stage in the package design campaigns that Ruiz + company has developed for Chocolat Factory, a company based near Barcelona. “Forcefulness, differentiation and brand personality,” is how the designers describe their concept. Intending to distinguish their brand with their minimalist packaging, the chocolate bars feature sans-serif typography that is paired with a single colored background which references the type of cocoa that is used for each bar. A similarly typeset series of souvenir chocolates, all have a white background. Sold in the airports of the main Spanish cities, these packages are monochromatic except for the text of the city name which is boldly colored. According to the chocolatiers: we first eat the chocolate with our eyes. ...
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