Typography

Showing 414 posts tagged Typography

Recently the Type Worship blog reached a milestone of 150,000 followers. To mark the occasion we have invited a selection of creative leaders to guest blog on the subject of their choice. In the first of these posts, Rob Clarke describes a pivotal time in his education that led to his career in lettering and typography, and offers his advice to aspiring designers.

Why a career in type?

I’m often asked why I got into such a niche career as typography. Back in my student days there weren’t many opportunities or information on a career in type design or lettering. I didn’t even think you could make a living purely out of playing around with type. In the early 90s I studied an ordinary graphic design degree course and loved the work of many contemporary designers of that time including Neville Brody, David Carson, Jonathan Barnbrook, Emigre, Why Not and 8vo. However it was Erik Spiekermann who really caught my attention. He had recently co-founded FontShop and was proving an inspirational speaker. 

With Brody at the helm FontShop developed ‘the magazine for the future’ entitled Fuse. In each issue four designers were commissioned to create a font and poster based on a theme. The designs rejoiced in pushing the boundaries of legibility and creativity. It was this experimentation with type that I found most inspiring at that time. I only have a couple of Fuse issues but now I wish I’d bought them all.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erik in his MetaDesign studio in Berlin in December 1992. I was hungry to learn and this short visit would prove incredibly important to my future career decisions. At this time MetaDesign were working extensively with Berlin Transport Services (BVG). I was lead through the process of designing fonts and bespoke type in order to suit the needs of a particular project. I was also given a copy of Erik’s book entitled ‘Rhyme and Reason – A typographic Novel’ – a light-hearted look into the world of type and well worth a read if you can get your hands on a rare copy.

Berlin Map Sketch
 
When I met Erik, 1992

The revelation of my trip, however, was being introduced to an emerging East Berlin design collective called Grappa. They were originally established in 1987 and were pioneers of the Mac – embracing both its capabilities and limitations. Prolific poster designers for dance, theatre and music, I found their work so expressive and engaging. With a minimal and inventive style they created an unpredictable relationship between type and image. They were not traditional typographers and went with their gut instinct. Co-founder Andreas Trogisch told me they wanted their work to stay fresh and experimental. Their supplies were limited and budgets low therefore creativity was essential. Andreas was both warm and passionate and continues to champion freedom in design today. Grappa became Blotto in 2002 and recently Andreas left to form Troppo.

Andreas Trogisch talking through his process 1992
 
Grappa1
 
Grappa2

Meeting these guys had a lasting effect on me and I couldn’t help but be hugely inspired. To see how they worked in the real world and getting physically involved proved to be the real inspiration. I based my thesis on the emerging graphic design scene in Berlin and it heavily influenced how I would look at and treat type in the future. I still had no idea that I would end up concentrating purely on type and it wasn’t until I got my first job alongside a calligrapher that my education really started.

My advice for students/aspiring designers today: If you don’t ask you don’t get. It’s all too easy to send a generic email to a designer you admire, in the hope of receiving some magical inspiration. You have to dig a little deeper than this. Without becoming a stalker, try and meet your idols – go to as many talks as possible, you may bump into them in the pub afterwards. If this isn’t possible look at websites, like Dribbble, I’ve found this a great place to get feedback and virtually rub shoulders with all levels of designer.

We all had to start somewhere and my experience is that us designers aren’t a bad bunch and most are willing to help. 

Image Credits:
Above from top left: Neville BrodyJonathan Barnbrook, EmigreTypography Now2 (Why Not Associates), Fuse Packaging, Fuse poster by Neville Brody.
Images 7-10 & 12: Rob Clarke, December 1992, aged 21.
Image 11 Eye Magazine Winter, 1991

Posters at Reading

Following on from the Type Design course (TDi) course I attended at Reading University last year, I’ve returned to learn more about type design and the industry. If you like to know more about the intensive summer course take a look at my daily diary from last year.

Meanwhile here are some of the cool posters I’ve spotted around the faculty. Top by Jamie Wieck, bottom right, specimen of MATD 2013 graduates.

Lace Lettering Magazine Cover
You may have seen a few past posts about the lettering stitchwork of the twin designers Maricor & Maricar. Here is one of their recent projects. I can’t think of a more perfect evolution of the textile twins’ work.

We embroidered lettering for the cover of French magazine Paulette and their Romantique issue. The mood board we were given was lace, white and Virgin Suicides. It was tricky knowing the type would appear against a very light airy image and the first time we’ve had to composite our embroidery onto a photographic image but it turned out well I think.

via type-lover High-res

Lace Lettering Magazine Cover

You may have seen a few past posts about the lettering stitchwork of the twin designers Maricor & Maricar. Here is one of their recent projects. I can’t think of a more perfect evolution of the textile twins’ work.

We embroidered lettering for the cover of French magazine Paulette and their Romantique issue. The mood board we were given was lace, white and Virgin Suicides. It was tricky knowing the type would appear against a very light airy image and the first time we’ve had to composite our embroidery onto a photographic image but it turned out well I think.

via type-lover

London Transport Type

Last week I had the chance to visit the London Transport Museum in the old Flower Market building in Covent Garden Piazza.

I’d been meaning to go for a while, particularly after the 100th anniversary of Johnston’s pervading typeface last year, and to see the history of the iconic roundel logotype which first appeared in 1908.

With a rich visual heritage spanning 200 years there’s plenty of graphic design and typography to see. There’s a decent sized display dedicated to graphic design and signage of the transport system with lots of printed ephemera. However type and lettering examples cover everything: vintage buses, underground carriages, posters, wayfinding.

Above, you can see some print examples together with hand–painted signage, ceramics, metalwork, and even some beautiful Pouchée type in use.

Covered in characters

Above are a few of the typographically led book cover designs from the David Pearson exhibition, currently on in London.  

I love the ‘redacted’ George Orwell, 1984, cover with it’s debossed title under black ink. I was also quite taken with the chilling cover for Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

There’s a week left to go, so if you find yourself in Shoreditch, London before the 28th June, drop in.

David Pearson is an acclaimed British designer, famed for his beautiful series of Penguin book cover designs.

David studied at Central St Martins in London (1999–2002) before taking a job at Penguin Books as text designer and later, cover designer. He left to establish his own studio – Type as Image – in 2007.

David played a key role in the recent re-emergence of Penguin Books through projects such as the multi-million selling Great Ideas series, Penguin by Design and thePopular Classics series. He has won numerous awards for book design, has been listed as one of Britain’s Top 50 Designers by the Guardian and nominated for the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year Award.

Advanced Web Typography

In case you’ve missed them, Elliot Jay Stocks has written a series of excellent tutorials about web typography. His blog posts show you how to improve your typography and layout designs by focussing on new techniques and demystifying the ever-improving technology.

The Advance Web Typography posts so far are:

Elliot, the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit and founder of 8 Faces magazine, will be giving a talk at The Type Directors Club in New York next month to cover the series.

Typography on the web has made huge leaps forward in recent years, allowing web designers to realize their designs with an almost print-like level of control. However, the details surrounding that control can still be challenging, and bleeding-edge technology like OpenType support is still in flux. In this talk, Typekit’s Creative Director and 8 Faces founder Elliot Jay Stocks takes attendees through some of the most exciting recent developments that allow us to take web-based typography to the next level.

Advanced Web Typography: Elliot Jay Stocks
The Type Directors Club,
New York, 
July 22 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Hebrew Club Typography

I was keen to show this impressive typographic work by 3rd year visual communication students at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design.

As part of a “Type as Image” course, the brief was to create three design formats for past Israeli music venues: an A0 poster, 4 A2 posters and 16 flyers.

With no illustration allowed, the students were pushed to create innovative layout and typographic systems that interpret a wide range of musical genres.

I’m unable to read Hebrew but Senior Lecturer, Nadav Barkan, was kind enough to steer me through some of the great work.

Above work (from top):

Itay WeinstockAriel MedinaTal ManiDenis Kushnir

Colourful Typefaces

Here are a few of the vibrant spreads showing the typefaces choices of our interviewees, in the final edition of 8 Faces magazine.

The limited edition print run and will be launching at the Kerning conference in Italy tomorrow, at apporx:

  • 09:15 PDT 
  • 11:15 EDT 
  • 16:15 GMT 
  • 17:15 CEST 
  • 01:15 AEST (7th June)
Coming this Friday…
I have the pleasure of announcing that the final edition of 8 Faces magazine will be available to order this Friday, 6th June. 
8 Faces is packed with informative articles and interviews with high-profile type people, and this final issue is no exception. Our 8 interviewees are:
Fiona Ross 
Jeremy Leslie 
Jan Middendorp 
 Robert Slimbach 
Steven Heller
Elliot Jay Stocks 
Pintassilgo Prints (This issues’s design duo) 

About 8 Faces: If you could use just eight typefaces, which would you choose? 8 Faces is a magazine that asks this question — and many more — to eight leading designers from the fields of print, web, illustration, and of course type design itself.
Eighty-eight pages of in-depth interviews, critical essays, and inspiration from the very best in the business. We pride ourselves on producing a printed magazine that you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf. Our covers are adorned with our foil-blocked silver logo and each issue is an experiment with an attention-grabbing new printing technique.
High-res

Coming this Friday…

I have the pleasure of announcing that the final edition of 8 Faces magazine will be available to order this Friday, 6th June.

8 Faces is packed with informative articles and interviews with high-profile type people, and this final issue is no exception.
Our 8 interviewees are:

About 8 Faces: If you could use just eight typefaces, which would you choose? 8 Faces is a magazine that asks this question — and many more — to eight leading designers from the fields of print, web, illustration, and of course type design itself.

Eighty-eight pages of in-depth interviews, critical essays, and inspiration from the very best in the business. We pride ourselves on producing a printed magazine that you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf. Our covers are adorned with our foil-blocked silver logo and each issue is an experiment with an attention-grabbing new printing technique.