Week 7: Dance Project | Round Four

Each time that I redesign this poster, I try to change my design significantly. This time I decided to play with some grays. The inspiration here was definitely the New York City Ballet logo, though I didn’t realize this until after I had finished it. I still prefer the ad I designed for Week 2 the most.




Week 6: T-shirt Final Choices

3 Final Choices

Although I considered the idea of a gondolier-style shirt (because Jenson lived and worked in Venice, and his Roman typeface is sometimes called Venetian Type), the difficulty of coming up with a design to go on a striped shirt stymied me. I also considered printing the design on a neck scarf, but that didn’t remind me of something a fellow designer would want to wear.

Having said this, I decided on three designs to be printed on plain t-shirts. The first one celebrates Jenson’s sculptural sensitivity, the second replicates his typographer’s mark, and the third is simply a pun on Roman (“Roman type wasn’t built in a day,” with a hammer).


I am leaning towards the first one. Colors would likely be either steel gray (like stone) and black, or dark red and golden yellow after the Venetian flag.

Week 6: Dance Project | Round Three

For Round Three of this project (as well as in Round Two), I decided to use only one font: Century Gothic, because it is a font that the Kimmel Center uses frequently. The Center is glamorous, yes, but sometimes glamor is best shown by careful minimalism. I also wanted to demonstrate how modern the Center is.

Lastly, this design is meant only for a print advertisement; I think that’s the only place it would work well.



Week 4: Nicolas Jenson

Nicolas Jenson (spelled various ways it seems) will be the focus of my first major project. Jenson (1404 – 1480) was a French engraver who worked in Venice, Italy, as an artisan in the early printing establishments there, and who is attributed with developing the first pure Roman style typeface.

Nicolas Jenson

Jenson was originally a cutter of dies for coinage, and served as Master of the French Royal Mint at Tours. In 1458 he was sent to Mainz, Germany by King Charles VII to study metal movable type under Johannes Gutenberg. This inspired a career change for Jenson, for shortly after his study with Gutenberg ended, Jenson opened his own printing shop in Venice. The first work he produced was a Roman style lowercase type.

The reason for Jenson’s new lettering was his strong distaste for Gutenberg’s Gothic Textura or Blackletter: an elaborate imitation of handwriting, like what is seen in manuscripts. Jenson decided to work with the Roman style lettering that he preferred for its open and round characters, and merged it with a Gothic lettering known as Rotunda. This new lettering style was evenly colored, very legible, and Humanistic in nature.

Jenson’s Roman style typeface

Jenson’s early training as a cutter of dies for coinage proved to be quite useful in creating type because it made him sensitive to careful shaping. His capitals were especially appreciated, for their beautiful, meticulous sculptural quality. In Venice, Jenson thrived not only as an artist but as a financially successful artist. He published more than 150 titles, playing a principal part in Venice becoming a widely known center of the printing press.

Several designers throughout the centuries have imitated and reinterpreted Jenson’s typeface, but the most notable is William Morris, the 19th century English (primarily textile) designer, who based his Golden Type on Jenson’s Roman style type.

Morris’s Golden Type


Photos Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and creativepro.com

Week 3

Last week’s review of ligatures left me a bit confused as to the difference between standard and discretionary ligatures. Ilene Strizver on CreativePro.com gives a helpful explanation as well as some great visuals in her article “TypeTalk“.

Standard: the combining of characters for better readability

Discretionary: more decorative in nature; their purpose is primarily ornamental

I also happened upon this fun website, a collection of delightful discretionary ligatures. It makes me wonder how difficult it would be to create my own using Illustrator.

For example:



Project_Circles_Template (1)

Project_Circles_Template (2)

Project_Circles_Template (3)

Week 2

Loved reading about type as a narrative this past week. Mrs. Eaves, by Zuzana Licko, has an especially interesting story to it. I wanted to know how similar the font is to Baskerville, but when they aren’t beside each other it is difficult to tell. This poster was created by a design student, Lauren Frager, and I accessed it on her WordPress portfolio. These fonts lend themselves well to a stylized, tasteful poster design.