Monday, January 09, 2017

Awesome Ampersand

Project 1, Awesome Ampersand, introduces you to one of the more mysterious glyphs in typography. The '&' has many uses, but one meaning: 'and.'

Read about the ampersand:
The ampersand is fun and fancy. But don't let anybody tell you that it's frivolous, without purpose or value. Designing the ampersand takes practice, patience, and a no-nonsense approach. And even the best type designers can find it challenging. Read about what Terrance Weinzierl said about the ampersand. If you can make an ampersand and make it well, then you can make almost any glyph.

Project 1, worth 50 points, will require you to draw not 1, but 5 ampersands.
  1. script (formal or casual)
  2. serif
  3. slab serif
  4. sans serif
  5. student's choice (fancy, novelty, stencil, silly, or a different script style) 
The sky is the limit. Look for inspiration everywhere and anywhere, such as at foundries:
  1. House
  2. TypeTogether
  3. Avondale Type Foundry
  4. Just Another Foundry
  5. P22
  6. Emigre
  7. OH no Type Co.
Or look for inspiration elsewhere online.

In the end, you will make your own Awesome Ampersand.

Learning Outcomes:
  • learn and refine freehand drawing skills
  • learn and refine digital drawing skills, as well as drawing input and refinement in Adobe Illustrator
  • exploration of type styles, including but not limited to script, sans serif, serif, slab serif, and decorative
  • awareness of visual and formal vocabulary with regard to glyph rendering, drawing, editing, and making
  • appreciation of ligature, such as the 'e' and 't' used to form the '&' 

worth 50 points total
  • 10 points for each of the 5 ampersand styles
  • 4 points craft
  • 4 points composition, includes legibility
  • 2 points originality

initial development and media, working process
  • this is open, but should start with traditional tools such as paper, pencil, pen, marker, brush, ink, etc.
  • when final hand-rendered ampersands have been reviewed and approved, they will be moved into digital format (see final format below)

final format:
  1. scan your ampersand and digitize it in Illustrator
  2. work in a greyscale
  3. each ampersand should be rendered with a solid black fill and a white background
  4. all ampersand strokes (a.k.a. line work) must be solid black, no grey, no gradients
  5. each ampersand must fit within a 5 by 5 inch square, and cannot break the format
  6. submit each of the 5 ampersand styles in 2 formats, for a total of 10 final files
  7. vector file, outlines, saved as Illustrator.EPS
  8. bitmap file, pixel file, saved as PNG (ideally PNG-24 format) with transparency and no compression, RGB, 600dpi
  9. submit digital files to Turnstile_2

  • Jan. 12 and 19 dedicated to studio, in-class work
  • Jan. 17 critique of work in progress (will be a wall critique, requiring you to hang up your work)
  • final deadline, final format delivery: Tues. Jan. 24

see the Course Calendar for more information about deadlines