Friday, November 26, 2010

final 3 artists!

I have narrowed down my possible 6 artists to the final 3. Thoughts?

The following are my key images, artist biographies, color palettes and associated word lists.


warm, painterly, cityscape, mosaic, colorful, silhouette, pointillism, bright


rustic, layered, textural, muted, organic



bright, vintage, comic book style, graphical, decorative, floral, iconic


6 Possible Artists

These are my 6 potential artists for Project 4 in typography:

1. Edward Hopper


Edward Hopper painted American landscapes and cityscapes with a disturbing truth, expressing the world around him as a chilling and alienating. Figures in his art appear terribly alone. Hopper soon gained a widespread reputation as the artist who gave visual form to the loneliness and boredom of life in the big city. This was new in art, perhaps an expression of the sense of human hopelessness that characterized the Great Depression of the 1930s.

2. Anna Taratiel

In her work, the Barcelona native juxtaposes rigid geometric shapes with soft organic lines, then adds intense colors that cause your eye to bounce all around the image. The result are cartoonish images, a touch reminiscent of Lichtenstein, which convey deep emotion and movement through the simple shapes and balance of color, whether they’re thrown up asstreet art or displayed in a traditional gallery. 

3. Norman Rockwell

"America's most beloved illustrator", best known for his covers of The Saturday Evening Post. 

4. Andre Derain

Andre Derain was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse. He was a strange, moody, highly intellectual man who disliked the painting produced during his own lifetime to the extent that he retired to the country to live in almost complete solitude and seemed almost determined to be forgotten.

5. Tavis Coburn

Tavis Coburn mixes vintage illustration style with a rad contemporary twist. He has created countless works for leading publishing, advertising, and music companies in North America and Europe. Tavis' unique style is inspired by 1940s comic book art, the Russian avant-garde movement, and printed materials from the 1950s/60s.  

6. Andy Kehoe

Andy Kehoe's paintings are rich with a childlike innocence that recall a time when magic and monsters existed and all the untold mysteries of the world still seemed possible. After a few illustration stints, Andy began to focus on his personal work—and in the years that followed, his paintings have been shown in galleries across the country.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On to Project 4: Illuminated Letters


So, we're starting our 4th and final project in typography. It consists of illuminated letters based off of a contemporary counterpart artist, which we select. We start by selecting 6 artists (those will be posted soon). From there, we narrow the selection down to three and create an illuminated/drop cap letter that conveys the feeling, style, and color palette of the chosen artist. Below I have some examples and an explanation of illuminated letters.

An illumination is an embellishment, or additional decoration that enhances the pages of a written, or manuscript page. The term comes from the term illuminate, or to fill with light. This effect is achieved with the application of gold leaf to the letters and and images, which reflect light and appear to glow.

An illuminated letter was usually the first letter of a page or paragraph. It was always enlarged and in color with gold applied in areas.



The contemporary counterpart to the illuminated letter is known as the drop cap. A drop cap is an oversized, first letter in a paragraph.


Typography Motion Video

The Adobe AfterEffects project is now done, check it out please :) it was so frustrating, but it turned out well and i'm glad I know how to use the program now

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Take my poll pleaseeeee :]

For my visual concepts class, we're taking polls for our infographics assignment. Easy questions, I promise.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ask me anything about Didot!

For about a hundred years, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Didot family were active as designers. They were printers, publishers, typeface designers, inventors and intellectuals. Around 1800, the family owned the most important print shop and font foundry in France. Each of the seven members of the Didot family was involved in various branches of the book trade in some way. Francois Didot (1689-1757) established a print/type foundry and bookselling business in 1713. Under François's elder son, François-Ambroise, the Didot point system of 72 points to the French inch became the standard unit of type measurement, as it remains today. François-Ambroise changed the standard of type design by increasing the contrast between thick and thin letters. His sons Pierre and Firmin took charge of printing and typefounding. Pierre published acclaimed editions of French and Latin classics, and Firmin designed the Didot typeface. Books designed by the Didots have minimal decoration, generous margins, and simple linear borders. The family achieved Neoclassical ideals in their work.
Firmin Didot was born in Paris on April 14, 1764 and died April 24 1836. He was a member of the Parisian dynasty that dominated French typefounding in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Firmin was the most important family member as far as type design is concerned. As a printer, and especially as an engraver and founder, he raised the family name to the highest eminence. He revived and developed the stereotyping process, and produced fine editions of many classical, French, and English works. Didot was the first in France to print books using these stereotype plates, a process he improved and named, enabling him to make less expensive books. In printing, the term “stereotype” refers to the metal printing plate created for the actual printing of pages (as opposed to printing pages directly with movable type). 
Firmin developed Didot in Paris in 1783. He cut the letters, and cast them as type. The Didot types defined the characteristics of the modern type style. This new typeface featured stems flowing into extremely thin hairlines, and very straight across serifs with no bracketing. By this time the Didots were using woven paper and an improved printing press, allowing the fine details of such type to be reproduced. Still widely used today, Didot remained the standard in France for a century. Didot remains France’s greatest contribution to type design.
            Firmin took over the foundry when his father retired in 1789, and continued the production of new types. He favored neo-classical designs with increasingly fine hair serifs. In 1811, Firmin was made printer to the Institut Francais. In 1814, Napoleon appointed him Director of the Imperial Foundry, a position he held until his death. In 1823, one of his tragedies was performed at the Théâtre de l’Odeon. He retired in 1827, leaving his sons Ambroise-Firmin and Hyacinth to continue the business. At this time, Firmin devoted himself to politics and literature. He died in 1836 at the age of 72.
The typefaces Firmin designed include Didot, Linotype Didot, Firmin Didot, Didot LP and Initiales Grecques.
A number of major world-wide events were taking place during the years of Didot’s development. It was right in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment, which lasted until approximately 1789 when the French Revolution began. Didot is described as neoclassical, and is evocative of the Age of Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment is the era in Western philosophy and intellectual, scientific, and cultural life, centered upon the 18th century, in which reason was advocated as the primary source for legitimacy and authority. At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science. In France specifically, the location of Didot’s development, the power of religion and the aristocracy were violently uprooted.
Modern or Didone serif typefaces, which first emerged in the late 18th century, are characterized by extreme contrast between thick and thin lines. Modern typefaces tend to look very structured and could be considered cold. Having said that, modern fonts can look really eye-catching and very elegant at large sizes. They are not suitable for large amounts of body text, either on the web or in print. When used for body copy in print, an effect called “dazzling” occurs, the thick lines become very prominent while the thin lines almost disappear. It’s best to keep them for headings and sub-headings. Modern typefaces have a vertical stress, long and fine serifs, with minimal brackets. Serifs tend to be very thin and vertical lines are very heavy. Most modern fonts are less readable than transitional or old style serif typefaces. Common examples include Bodoni, Didot, and Computer Modern. In the eighteenth century improvements in paper quality combined with more advanced printing methods brought about changes in how typefaces were created. Didones are most commonly used for display and semi-display purposes, where the accentuated contrasts or stroke width create dynamic and elegant graphic effects. While these characteristics are moderated in the smaller sizes to allow for their use in text setting, the extremes of contrast impair readability, making them a less practical choice where large amounts of copy are to be set. At smaller sizes, the delicate hairlines can break up when printed on inferior papers, or fill in when reversed out of solids. The effective use of Didone typefaces depends upon high-quality printing and paper, and serves in turn to demonstrate that quality. As a consequence, they are frequently used to denote values of exclusivity and sophistication.
Didot was introduced by the Didot type foundry in 1784. Improvements in presses and papers allowed printers to get clearer type and the Didot typeface was reworked until it aquired the rigid, finelined serif we recognize today as modern roman letterforms. While designing Didot, Firmin Didot moved away from the handlettering and calligraphic characteristics of the era in search of a cleaner and more legible solution. Didot type diverged with previous typefaces by abandoning these hand penned styles in favor of a cleaner, more precise vertical stroke, extremely then hairlines and strict horizontal serifs with almost no bracketing. The Didot typeface personifies the neoclassical motif that permeated French culture from pre-revolutionary days through the age of Napoleon. These changes personified the beginning of the modern style, and Didot became the French standard for over a century. As happens with older, successful typefaces, Didot has been redrawn many times, weathering the process of reinterpretation and new technologies. Overall, Didot gives text a classic and elegant feel.
Well known Didots include Adrian Frutiger’s Linotype Didot and Jonathan Hoefler’s HTF Didot. While Didot is relatively commonly used, it was a copy of Didot called Bodoni which became more popular. (Maybe for practical reasons, since the Didot serifs often cracked during printing). Bodoni and Didot are often compared because of their similarities. While Didot was created in France, Bodoni worked in Italy. Both were inspired by the transitional-style Baskerville.
Several revivals of the Didot faces have been made. Adrian Frutiger’s version for Linotype may be the best regarded, but the more mordern intepretation by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, designed for Harper’s Bazaar features seven optical sizes-from 6 point to 96 point- that optimize each size to maintain the contrast and finesse deserved by the elegant Didot.
In 1992, Adrian Frutiger designed Linotype Didot. It retained all of the features that make Didot types ideal for book work and other text use. Less robust than Bodoni, Linotype Didot is an elegant face in which the decorative features of the Didone genre can be seen to best advantage. Linotype Didot has a broad form, very high contrast, and a combination of bracketed and hairline serifs. the high contrast and fine hairlines require high-quality printing and a well-considered choice of paper. These qualities limit its use as a text face, making it more suitable for short passages than extended bodies of continuous text. Linotype Didot is available in two weights and a distinguishable lightweight italic. A headline font has been designed for display use, retaining the refinements of detailing at larger sizes. There is also a font of ornaments.H&FJ Didot was designed in 1991, as part of the new Harper’s Bazaar that was being conceptualized. The brief was just the kind of challenge that H&FJ loves: they were asked to create a typeface that works like no other, a Modern which — unlike the commercial cuts of Bodoni — would have hairline serifs, and maintain them over a range of sizes. From the Didot collection they chose the grosse sans pareille no. 206 of Molé le jeune as a historical model, and extended the scant material in Didot’s 1819 Spécimen des Caracteres with quite a bit of invention: italics designed to work at large sizes, a range of different weights, and the many characters that Didot’s workshop never made. In the service of the design’s thin hairlines, they drew each of the family’s six styles in seven different “optical sizes,” each designed to be used at a different range of sizes, for a total of forty-two fonts.
Harper’s Bazaar would become a milestone in fashion publishing, its typeface singled out by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) as part of “one of the most dramatic magazine reinventions in history.” The H&FJ Didot typefaces continue to be a major part of the most fashionable brands, including Bazaar itself — a testament to the flexibility and durability of the style.
H&FJ Didot also appears on the TV show Ally McBeal. Additionally, the "Foundry Daylight" version of Didot was commissioned and used by broadcast network CBS for many years alongside its famous "eye” logo.

Print Sources:
-Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces
-The Complete Typographer: A Manual for Designing With Type by Will Hill
-Graphic Design Referenced

Web Sources:



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Font Classifications

Old Style - Used late 15th century to early 18th century
            Developed out of handwriting and stone inscription
Modest contrast between thick and thin strokes
Bracketed serifs
­slight diagonal axis 

shorter x-height
scooped serifs, sturdy without being heavy

Examples: Bembo, Caslon, Garamond, Jenson, Palatino

Transitional - Used early and mid 18th century
            Combination of old style characteristics and new styles.
contrast between thick and thin strokes is more pronounced
very slight diagonal stress
bracketed serifs
tall x-height

Examples: Baskerville, Caslon, Perpetua, Bulmer, Bell

Modern - Used late 18th to early 19th century
            Even width amongst the characters.
extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes
flat unbracketed serifs
hairline serifs
no horizontal stress
mathematical construction /measurements

no influence by handwriting

Examples: Bodoni, Bauer Bodoni, Walbaum, Didone

Slab Serif - Used 19th century
            Large x-height
            Based on precise mathematical measurements
block-like serifs
            seldom used in body text, usually used in large headlines and advertisements

Examples: Rockwell, Courier, Memphis Clarendon, New Century Schoolbook

Sans Serif
            usually blacker type color
            Standard in English typography
            Typically used for headlines rather than body text

Examples: Bauhaus, Bank Gothic, Century Gothic, Impact, Helvetica, Futura

Script – Used 18th century
            Based on the varied and fluid stroke created by handwriting
            Similar to cursive writing
            Looser, more casual scripts
Used for announcements, etc.

Examples: Monotype Corsiva, Brush Script, Lucinda Calligraphy, Apple Chancery, Coronet

Blackletter – used 14th and 15th centuries
sometimes called Old English or Gothic script
uses letterspacing for distinction
tall, narrow letters
sharp, straight, angular lines

Examples: Fraktur, Cursiva, Hybrida, Schwabacher

            Weathered, worn, or grundgy appearance
Very extreme
Legibility is difficult

Examples: Scumbag, Inked God, Soul Mission, Black Oak, Ginga Font

Each letter and character occupy the same amount of horizontal space
The first monospaced fonts were designed for typewriters, which could only move the same space forward with each letter typed.
The text will align more readily.
Crisp, clear characters

Examples: Monaco, Letter Gothic, Courier, Consolas, Andale Mono

            Mix between other styles

Examples: Cooper Black, Gotham

Sans Serif or Serif - Serif
Name of the Designer – Firmin Didot
Date it was designed - 1783
Classification – Modern
List its family members: Roman, Italic, Bold...(small caps)

Baseline – invisible line on which the characters sit. Rounded letters such as e may extend below the baseline.

Cap height – distance from the baseline to the top of the uppercase letter.  

x-height – height of a lowercase “x”. It can vary between typefaces.

serif style – serif style typefaces have an extra stroke at the ends of a character, known as a serif. A serif only appears at the end of the main strokes of a letter-form.

stroke width – the thickness of the main diagonal part of a letter. A letter’s relative amount of blackness. Examples: Regular, light

final/terminal – the connection, usually curved, between a stroke and a serif.

barb – small “serifs” at the end of a curved letterform. Example: C, S

spur – A projection smaller than a serif that reinforces the point at the end of a curved stroke, such as G. A spur only occurs at the end of a curved letter-form.

ear – stroke attached to the bowl of the lowercase g. It can be a distinctive element of some typefaces.

loop – the open or enclosed counter. Examples: b, d, g, o, p, q.

link – curved connection between the bowl and the loop of a two-story g.

g one story or two story – g vs. g

tail – descending stroke of a Q. It extends below the baseline and does not contain serifs. Also the downward diagonal stoke on K or R.

apex – top part of a character where two strokes meet. It can be pointed, round, or cut off. Example: A

leg – lower, down sloping stroke of the K, k and R. It touches the baseline.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adrian Frutiger! Typography Assignment 9/1

Adrian Frutiger was a famous Swiss typographer and typeface designer of the 20th century.  He is most famous for his development of one of the most successful typefaces in history, Univers.

Frutiger’s career in design began as a sculpturist and graphic designer after studying in Zurich. After graduating, he worked in Paris at a type foundry. He later joined two others in establishing a graphic design studio, where he worked as a freelance typographer. He devoted most of his attention to legibility, which he believed to be one of the most important aspects of typeface. He successfully created a typeface easily readable from both up close and afar.

As a result of his discontentment for the commonly used typeface Futura, Frutiger began his development of his own typeface, Univers in 1957. When it was first designed, this sans serif typeface included 21 variations. It features “optically even stroke weights and a large x-height to improve legibility.” Today, there are over 27 different variations of Univers available.

Frutiger later developed the typeface Frutiger, which is a branch off Univers.
In 1975, the Frutiger typeface was implemented on multiple signs throughout the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris.

Univers is unique because for the first time, a number system was used to identify different styles of the typeface (example: 45 light) 

The Univers grid is used to show the variations in comparison to one another. It displays 21 variations of the Univers typeface, including various weight, width, and position combinations.