Week 11:Type Noticings

Because I love Bodoni so much, I keep a collection of Bodoni-inspired posters on my Pinterest account. The poster below showed up in my feed recently and led me to do some more research on the typographer. Bodoni strove to produce all the major classics in his typeface (including Homer, Horace, Virgil, Tasso. etc). Evidently his Iliad impressed Napoleon so heartily that Napoleon gave Bodoni a fine pension.

The connections between historic figures is sometimes baffling.

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Information: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Giambattista-Bodoni
Image: http://yhoo.it/1ZZl8El  (Website is offline)

Week 10: Off Campus Event, Pens & Pints

This evening I went to the Central PA AIGA event in Harrisburg, Pens & Pints. I took a friend who is a designer for Mile 6 in Elizabethtown. We had a good time lettering with the group of other designers there, many of whom also went to Millersville and know Professor Mata. From what I saw, they did marvelous work! Like it was nothing.

Some of the designers there I am certain work for The Infantree, which I know enough about to know that it is somewhat of a paragon for local designers in advertising and marketing. My designer friend confirmed this by saying, “They’re basically every design business’s crush.”

There was no theme to the event – everyone just grabbed giant sheets of paper and scribbled away with markers. I did a lot of blackletter styling and wispy handwriting. Watching the others sketch, however, was motivating: I would love to be better at calligraphy and hand lettering in general, because it looks so much better than digital type. In fact, I think that hand lettering styles majorly influence new and upcoming typefaces.

Attending this event demonstrated to me how important it is to practice things by hand, even if those things are primarily done digitally. Hand lettering reminds us of how physical typefaces really are, and how intricately they can vary from one another. When you write a word on a piece of paper ten times, it will not once look exactly the same. There are so many variations to consider! I cannot imagine designing my own typeface.

I am not a graphic designer by any means. But typography is a fascinating study!

Week 10: Monologue Project Initial Work

Below are some examples of the first drafts of my monologue project. I wanted to keep with the movie’s theme of typewritten sheets of paper. I’m not really pleased with these designs so far – they are very simple, and a little boring. After a review with Dr. Mata this afternoon, I think my next set will be more interesting to read.

I will be getting rid of the silhouette, for one. Although I like the combination of the text (“ever since I’ve always felt I prevented”) and the silhouette of the girl who did the preventing, the message is not immediately apparent to the reader. This project is not necessarily for just those who have watched the movie and will recognize the symbols – it is for anyone and everyone, I suppose, so I must cater to them. Also I would like to play more with designing in thirds rather than in halves. Fun times ahead!

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Week 9: Type Noticings

I have long had a board on Pinterest called “Typography & Illustrations” and recently I have been adding to it more than I ordinarily do. (Perhaps because I am actually taking a type class…) As I have clicked about and pinned designs that I liked, I noticed a trend. The designs that usually stand out to me are those that utilize clean, modern type, and are pretty minimalistic. In class one time, Professor Mata warned students who tended to overdue their type designs to keep things simpler than normal, and warned students who tended to oversimplify their designs to try bolder approaches. Something I still need to work on, evidently.

All the same, these designs are lovely:

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Week 9: Monologue

The piece I have chosen for the monologue project is the final speech by character Briony Tallis in the film Atonement, based on Ian McEwan’s book of the same name. Briony is played by Vanessa Redgrave.

The only trouble is that she speaks haltingly, so the sound blurb is more like a minute long, rather than 30 seconds. But I don’t think it will be a problem.

The movie is full of great imagery and emotion, so I am certain I will have no trouble coming up with ideas for the book.

Atonement 284Image via bradenwellspring.com

Week 8: Final T-Shirt Design

After much deliberation, and going back and forth between similar designs, I’ve decided to go with the following design. The large cap V signifies the sculptural quality of Nicolas Jensen’s capital letters, and it also stands for Venice, where his type shop was located. His type symbol will go on the back of the shirt.

Also, I’ve decided to go with an ash gray for the t-shirt color, similar to the pale stone that is everywhere in Venice.

Typo Tee Art Approval

Week 8: Type Noticings

When walking in the woods with some friends in Mount Gretna yesterday, I found this paper on a bench. The overall design here is painful, especially surrounding “Merchandiser.” The bottom strokes of the letters I, S, E, and R are resting right against the yellow box, which really looks juvenile. Same with the bowl of R hitting the blue ribbon image. Also, the M’s hairline has too much going on where it overlaps the blue bar. There’s too many lines there. “Lebanon Area,” however, looks great in line with letters E, R, and C.

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Week 7: Type Noticings

Recently I have been looking at some very elaborately designed typefaces or just individual letters, though not in the cursive, calligraphic sense. There is an interesting  French website that I found, www.blogduwebdesign.com, with a lot of fantastic work on it. One page in particular by Vincent Ginet (called Typographie #10: Un caractère créatif!) had the following designs on it.

I like these designs because of their beautiful textures. They could make great statements depending on the message. The one is liquid and the other reminds me of thread or veil-like material.

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Week 7: Miki Agrawal’s Talk, Feb. 29

I never considered having my own business or being an entrepreneur. I always considered it a massive undertaking with little reward. Only if you were lucky did you succeed. My goal has always been to work in the arts: a performing arts center, gallery, museum, visitor center – even a library. To work for something, I suppose.

I hate business, really. The idea of it makes me cringe, whether managing my own business or someone else’s.

This being said, Miki’s talk on Monday night was very motivating. She made me wish I did have plans to start a business. Not because I suddenly liked the idea of creating a budget, managing taxes, fundraising, or making a profit, but because it would be something all of my own. I know for certain that I will put my everything into my job (which may not be good in the long run, but I’ll do it because I always do – balance is difficult for me), so why not invest in something where I call all the shots? I will have to think more about it.

A couple things Miki said stood out to me:
1. Make sure your business partner has skills opposite of those you have. Two people with the same skill sets will probably just argue over one dimension of the process, and only that one dimension will be properly taken care of…
2. Lead with “How can I help you” rather than “How can you help me.” Easy to say, hard to do – lots of patience needed!
3. Be genuine – be yourself. Don’t worry about talking the right jargon as much as relating and connecting with people as people, and not as pawns in some dreadful “professional” game of pretense and fakery. I completely, completely, completely agree with this, so this was honey to my ears! I have seen this sort of relational connecting at Fig, where I intern, and it is so refreshing.

Good stuff. Whether I start my own business or not, much of Miki’s advice was beneficial.