Saturday, July 23, 2016

Criteria for Judging Type

An excellent article, with plenty to make you think about typography and design.

Bad Type by by Erik van Blokland, developer of software and designer of type

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Typeface Design

Final Delivery will be to Turnstile_2, following the formats below.

Note new time, now 12:30: We will meet for our final Exam Thurs. Dec. 10 at 12:30pm in Rutledge 221, the new iMac lab.

Long-Term Project, aka Projects 3 and 4 in our sequence. Lost & Found Type requires students to find existing lettering and typography in the world around them, for designing a typeface. Students may also opt to create their own typeface, that is neither a tribute nor a revival of an existing typeface. Project 3 is the typeface design itself, and Project 4 is creating the capabilities and applications where your typeface will live, work, and function. See Turnstile_2 for examples of prior semesters' work.

  1. Read your Carter text, chapter 2 and pages 75-82; and "Logo, Font, and Lettering" textbook Part II to support your work.
  2. Students capture found typography by taking photographs of the lettering, words, phases, and/or sentences in the environment; the found typography becomes the basis for them to create a tribute or revival. Students may also use their own hand lettering, or other personalized type design, to create their own "self-made" typography.
  3. Student's early type designs will be reviewed, critiqued for "project appropriateness" and ultimately, one direction shall be selected.
  4. Students begin the drawing and rendering process, creating an English alphabet with A-Z characters. The alphabet may be unicase, such as all upper case, all lowercase, or mixed case. A total of 52 characters must be created.
  5. We will have a number of in-class reviews during the last weeks of the term, with our final in-class critique on Thurs. Dec. 3rd's class.
  6. Final work due and handed in on or before Thurs. Dec. 10 during our scheduled final exam.
  7. Students will create a full alphabet, as well as a number of promotional items, that show the font "in use" in an appropriate context, such as on packaging, in a logo, on a poster, or in a business card, for example.
  8. All final work submitted with alphabet as vectorized outlines, saved as High Quality PDFs.
Preliminary Schedule

Week of Oct. 27
  • Review photographs of found type you've seen in the real world, and photographed yourself. 
  • Review students' own lettering, that could be turned into a typeface. 
  • Bring materials to work in class, experiment with lettering, and to begin making type.
  • for students doing lowercase: n, h, o, p, s
  • for those doing all uppercase: Z, O, R, L, H
 Week of Nov. 3
  • One type "direction" has been chosen for the student to focus on.
  • Project brief discussed in greater detail.
  • review letter designs, sketches, with instructor
  • Subsequent reviews throughout November and into December, including mid-point reviews of letters and capabilities prototypes, with the final in-class review on Thurs. Dec. 3rd
  • Follow the class calendar for a complete list of milestones, reviews.

Letters, Numbers, Punctuation, Glyphs shall be delivered as vectorized character outlines, produced in Adobe Illustrator, saved as outlines in both Adobe Illustrator (AI) and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) formats. Letters may be drawn or painted first, scanned in for vectorization, and handed in as AI and PDF files. Letters may also begin in Illustrator, as pure vector files.

Character Options: students must create 52 characters in all, and can choose one of the following approaches
  1. 26 uppercase, 26 lowercase
  2. unicase - 26 uppercase, plus others* (see below for full list): numerals 0-9, punctuation, swashes, and/or other characters
  3. unicase - 26 lowercase, plus others* (see below for full list): numerals 0-9, punctuation, swashes, and/or other characters
  4. any option not listed above must be approved by the instructor
*the 26 others
  1. items 2 and 3 below are required for the others, and students may choose from items 4-11 for their additional characters
  2. digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  3. punctuation: periods, commas, open/closing quotes, apostrophes, colons, semicolons
  4. alternate characters, such as various styles of one or more letters, see Amanda Moore's Tonic from last term as an example
  5. swashes, such as stylized ampersands (&) or upper- and lower-case letters
  6. fractions: ½, ⅓, ⅔, ¼, ¾
  7. math symbols, multiplication, plus, divide
  8. currency symbols, US, EU, Asia, UK currency marks
  9. miscellaneous: copyright, registration, trademark, servicemark, diamonds, arrows
  10. crosses: Roman, Orthodox, Celtic
  11. Latin accents: grave, acute, circumflex, tilde, diaeresis, ring, macron, breve, ogonek, caron, etc.
Final Deliverables
In addition to creating your font, students are expected to create the following to market their typeface and give it a personality. The model for the items below is the Lost Type Co-op, where they have name boards in their browse section. Note: all sizes below are in points, so size your layouts accordingly. You can build these in any program (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), but note the file requirements asked for when turning in the work. All of the following must be delivered on or before our final exam, Thurs. Dec. 10.

A. Multiple Specification Sheets: 842 points wide by 597 points high, 226dpi, RGB, TIFF—will include all of your characters, can be color, should have your name, as the designer also listed in the layout, as well as the font's name too. This is noted as Multiple rather than a specific number because some students may need to show more than one specification sheet, especially those with layered typefaces. But these are the ones you are required to show:
  • black text on white ground
  • white text on black ground
  • others (as needed) perhaps colored for layer effect

The following works in sections B and C shall be assessed and counted as a separate grade from your letter design work.

B. One Brand Board: 700 points wide by 300 points high, 226dpi, RGB, TIFF—this will have the name of your typeface on it, and use materials and color in order to promote a look and feel, the character if you will, of your font. Consider how a background image, faint or full, or texture, can add to that character. 

C. Three Capabilities Layouts: your typeface used in situation, and applied to a layout or other design application; the application should be appropriate, meaning it makes sense as it's applied; an example of an inappropriate application would be Comic Sans used on the resume of a banker, which would look rather dubious; format may be rectangular as portrait or landscape, may also be square in shape, but cannot be any smaller than 400 points in any one direction, must be 226dpi and RGB, TIFF; examples include but are not limited to: billboards, wordmarks and other brand identity, tabular layouts such as stock information, album covers, posters, bumper stickers, book covers, eight track cassette tapes, vinyl record labels, CD cases, railroad signage, trading post signage, stationery, envelopes, rock band poster, classical music posters, toy packaging, real estate advertisement and/or identity, cigarette packaging or advertisement, cigar packaging or advertisement, alcohol packaging or advertisement, etc., etc.

Consult the rubric shared in-class, for details about point values and assessment.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    Type, Space, Environment

    Due Oct. 22

    Using a phrase, quote, or series of phrases or quotes, students will create an outdoor environmental design or an indoor installation with their typography existing in their chosen space.

    • Media or Medium: open
    • Size, Scope: open
    • Color: open
    • Documentation: 4-6 photographs, ideally high-resolution; and one 30-40 second video showing the space

    Assessment criteria:
    • 10% craft: rendered typography, phrase, quote
    • 20% legibility and readability
    • 30% composition: design in the environment
    • 20% conceptual merit, uniqueness 
    • 20% presentation/professionalism
    Worth 100 points

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    Project 2: Small Visualization

    Each student shall be assigned three (3) books, all part of a textbook series for survey classes taught in college at the 100-level. During the initial sketching/ideation stage, you shall create three different designs for your three covers, such that you have a total of 9 designs.
    • 3 concepts for each of your books, 3 x 3 =9
    • See deadlines below for details.

    You may work in color, you may include textures, patterns, and other graphic applications. However, neither photographic images nor icons/symbols may be used. Nothing representational can be used. In other words, if you were assigned an Astronomy text, you cannot use stars, rocks, planets, nor anything similar to the shape of those things. Be mindful of appropriateness, contrast, and readability of images; also beware of any denotation or connotation.

    Preliminary Design Research
    • Absorb the content: get to know your material; conduct field research looking at related texts; interview students in these majors, or their professors
    • Analyze the content: understand what's important, what the "big idea" is; how to differentiate your idea from others
    • Understand your audience
    • Render your visuals: draw, collage, set type; revise as needed
    • Test: get feedback in class; via peers

    Suggested Approaches For Ideation Stage
    • Direct: using a font that appears as if it is a "close match" to the content in your book 
    • Simple versus Complex (contrast): using a simple font in conjunction within (or with) a busy environment; or using a complex font within a simple environment 
    • Historical Relevance: the font can have historical connection to the material in your text, such that it was designed during a period of significance in your text's content, or maybe it originated near a country of significance 
    • Atmospheric: uses textures, patterns, overlapping, layering, transparency, collage, etc. to evoke the sense of that topic; evoke, verb: 1. bring or recall to the conscious mind: the sight of baseball evokes pleasant memories of going to baseball games with my dad; 2. to elicit a response: the awkward kid who evoked giggles from his sisters via Oxford English Dictionary

    For additional suggestions and creative paths, read the very wonderful Type, Image, Message by Skolos and Wedell, and consult your Typographic Design textbook as well.

    Three Books in Series Must Have Unifying Properties
    • To be discussed in class, and worth 10 points, part of full rubric below

    The final product will be your 3 books designed as a series, such that if you have Social Norms, Family Studies, and Religion textbooks, and they visually appear as a family, a group of 3 texts. You will only design the covers, not the spine, not the back cover.

    • Concept and Sketch/Ideation Deadline: 3 sets of 3 covers due, total of 9 covers
    • Iterative, and Revision Deadlines: see the class calendar
    • Final Deadline: final review in-class Thursday Oct. 15, and then final delivery Oct. 22
    • Final Format: PDF saved to Turnstile_2 cropped to the finished 8x10 size, that's 8-inches wide by 10-inches high, portrait orientation.

    Worth 100 points, with rubric...
    1. 10% craft
    2. 30% composition
    3. 20% concept
    4. 40% presentation/professionalism

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    What the Font

    Generate an A-Z alphabet using any materials you choose. Media is open, but the thrust of this project is to see and render type physically and/or digitally, with an emphasis on the hand made. Letters can be rendered with photography, sculptures, Photoshop, lead, bacteria, fur, hair, birds, bread, eggs, waffles, or a combination thereof. You can work in any media you choose, but the final product must be delivered as stated below under Final Submission (cookie sheet or movie). 

    Option A: Final Submission - Cookie Sheet. The final product will be a fully-designed specification sheet with the letters A through Z on an 8.5-inch wide by 5.5-inch high format, 300dpi, RGB colorspace, flattened TIFF with no compression. BUT save all of your process work and build files, especially save files with layers, masks, and other effects needed to construct your work. All students who submit a cookie sheet will have their work considered for the DoD postcard printing, an annual tradition.

    Option B: Final Submission - Movie. In addition to designing a coookie sheet for consideration in the postcard contest (see Option A above), students may create a time-lapse typeface, or other movie, that would require you to video record its creation, existence, and/or decomposition. Students who choose to make a movie documenting or animating their letters are not required to turn in the aforementioned cookie sheet, but if they want to be considered for the postcard printing contest, they are encouraged to make a postcard for entry. The movie must be submitted as a Quicktime movie file, with the .MOV file suffix. An MP4 movie is also acceptable. However, all movies for Option B must be 4:3 format, in other words, landscape. Movies for Option B should be no smaller than 640x480 format (4:3 ratio). Students who create a movie, must produce the movie entirely themselves: making the typography, recording the video, editing the video, and producing the music. Students must have permission to use any music or sound effects, whereby they've purchased the rights to use the music in a video, for the project's purposes, or they've made the music or sounds themselves. Just purchasing a song, either as a single or on an album, does not necessarily grant you permission to use it in this video.

    Final Process Work. All students shall submit no less than 24 still photographs and a short film (no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds) documenting their work and process. The photographs and video should show the labor, materials, and handiwork that went into your planning, building, designing, and producing. Take your still photographs in landscape mode (wide format) as JPEGs. Video should be no larger than 640x480 format (4:3 ratio). The video must be submitted as a Quicktime movie file, with the .MOV file suffix. High quality, aka high-def (HD) movies for the process submission are also acceptable.

    Carter's textbook reading should support your research, especially as it relates to shared forms across letters of the alphabet: pages 34-39, 73-78, 198-199

    Letters: Upper- or Lowercase. Your typeface may be all of the capital letters, all of the lowercase letters, or a combination thereof. Bradbury Thompson's Alphabet 26 is an example of how to combine upper- and lowercase into a universal typeface. You can use an existing font as the basis, such as the Garamond which was used in the 2009 Words of a Feather typeface by Chris Richter, found in the 2009 examples linked below.

    Examples from Spring 2009
    Examples from Spring 2010

    Idea Deadline: see class syllabus and/or calendar
    • bring at least 25 different ideas for your letterforms, and they must each be unique; 
    • do not iterate this way: 1 idea of blue JellO; 2nd idea of blue JellO and Chocolate Chips;
    • make them each unique, and different
    ZORL Deadline: see class syllabus and/or calendar
    • letters ZORL rendered for each of the unique materials you've considered
    • such as ZORL in jell-o; ZORL in melted butter; ZORL in Lego; ZORL in lasers
    • at least four prototypes made with your chosen material
    • you may work at 50% scale for this deadline; subsequent reviews will be at 100% scale
    • all students should record the progress of their work, even at this early stage; this will help you capture your ingredients and your letterforms and "freeze them" in photography; this is especially valuable if your ingredients can change over time from exposure to wind, heat, cold, or moisture; photos may be brought in on your laptop, phone, tablet, etc. using any photo-sharing tools, such as iPhoto, Instagram, etc.
    Your concept, theme, and/or materials may say something socially, politically, or culturally relevant; but this is not a requirement, and will not factor into the project's grade. 

    1/2 of the alphabet will be reviewed in mid-September

    Final Materials
    • Students must submit all of their final content to the Turnstile2 shared server, VCOM-358 folder.
    • Create a folder with your last name.
    • Create folders for your content: final project and process documentation, as well as a movie.
    • If you do a video, you may also create a postcard, so you can compete for the printed postcard contest.
    • Name your design files using your first name.
    Worth 100 points: craft, composition, letter legibility, continuity/unity of letterform renderings across alphabet; see syllabus for an example of the assessment matrix

    Tuesday, October 01, 2013

    Book Cover Professor Review

    Students should meet with one faculty or staff member on Winthrop's campus to present your three book covers as printed comps. The faculty member should be knowledgeable of the subject your texts cover. Make the suggested revisions to your covers before printing them and taking them to your visit. Call these revisions V2 in Turnstile2.

    Be sure to let the faculty member know about the assignment, insomuch as just using type, with no representational imagery. It's for an Intermediate Type class in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Questions to ask during your faculty visit, which they should answer include:
    1. Is the text legible on the cover? Legible, meaning, you can tell what letters are, what words they spell.
    2. If not, what is hard to read?
    3. Does the cover look like the book, in other words, would it work well as the book's real cover?
    4. Does the cover appeal to them, as somebody who is knowledgeable about the subject?

    Take notes, and be prepared to share your feedback on or before our 12:30 p.m. class on Tues. Oct. 8th. Type your answers in a Word.doc; print the Word.doc to turn in; and also place the Word.doc in our Turnstile2 folder.

    Worth 10 points: inclusion of content in items 1-3; proper spelling and grammar

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Remaining Projects

    mid-term type quiz
    (complete worth 69 points)

    project 1 what the font
    (complete, worth 100 points)

    exercise poster, worth 50 points

    exercise social communication tool, mixed media or digital, worth 50 points

    exercise fashion brand identity, mixed media or digital, worth 50 points

    project 2 video or pop-up book, worth 100 points

    final exam, worth 51 points

    That will give a grand total of 470 points you can accumulate for the term. Some of the exercises will happen quickly, in class, and will rely on you to be present to complete the work. So pay close attention to the calendar link and our class website.