Thursday, October 27, 2011

ffi - The Pressing Issue on issuu

Congratulations everyone on producing an excellent issue of ffi Magazine. It's one of the best we've ever done! I think you will also join me in thanking Lauren for her really excellent input as tutor this semester. You can see the outcomes for yourself. Thanks Lauren!

Although The Pressing Issue takes it's content, themes and visual references from the traditions of letterpress we can clearly see it is also located at the edge of modern publishing trends. Therefore, it is only fitting that we publish it in a format that ensures we are able to take advantage of social media networks to maximise the exposure it gets. I have alsready taken the liberty of putting the magazine up on the self publishing site issuu. Check it out below. I urge you all to be proud of what you have assembled and to use your own social networks to publish the work to what is essentially a global audience. Once again - well done everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Trends

I can see where the threat to traditional methods comes from. In fact it’s hard to ignore it. The digital world brought on by new technologies is more than a simple trend, it defines the world. The beauty about it is how global it can make things. Networking knows no boundaries and has allowed a great access to broad cultural practices. For example a publication that once upon a time was only distributed in its nation of print can now have distribution worldwide online or through an app. It’s hard to argue against that. However the digitalisation of the world as we know it has reduced the need for print. Personally I don’t think this means the end of print though. While it has been reduced it’s not going to die out. People will always have a desire to hold something printed on paper be it a book, magazine or otherwise. It’s human nature to want a physical link with the world rather than just staring at a screen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Still need work from the music poster/contents team, as well as the front cover.

Thanks :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Trends

I’m not sure if I am ready to say that it is the end of print. Yes, I am aware that there are new technologies that are rapidly growing, which are creating a digital format that makes it cheaper and in many cases easier to access than through printed format. However, this may not necessarily be a bad thing. The trend towards the latest technologies that has swept the world, I think, has to some extent triggered the everyday person’s interest into exploring new things and ideas that would not normally come to their attention. The ease and immediacy of the internet makes information and material accessed by so many, and people come across random things they may have never known about otherwise – for example the power that lies behind typographic design. Blogs, for example, are in no way an exclusive medium to share interests and its surprising how knowledge and awareness is spread through something as simple as an online diary. Its free, its visual and the personal nature makes it all easier to relate to and comprehend – even if it is simply just a graphic poster that someone found “cool”.

Additionally, there are people out there that still have that real passion and drive for the printed medium for publication and design. Ie. The Distillery print shop that my group are focusing on for the online publication project. The team there is an absolute perfect example of people who have an unending love for the tangible forms of publishing. They see the gap that lies within Sydney community and its diminishing enthusiasm/interest in print, and so are taking big steps to bring it back. Their way of doing so is driving and working their asses off to produce designs and outcomes that are so outstanding that it actually makes people stop and look. Their use of the old school printing methods to create contemporary beautiful designs is genius. This is something that I hope takes off the way they intend, when you see it you will instantly back it. They ultimately show you not to underestimate the power behind print. So no, its not the end yet.

File Preparation

I think I need to learn more, or perhaps do more testing with colour in terms of file prep for printing. Whenever I get prints done I always find one colour on the page that hasn’t turned out the way I wanted or thought it would. I am very aware that there can and is major differences between on screen colouring and the final print, I suppose it is a lot of my own downfall if I don’t leave myself enough time to experiment and test the print outs so I guess it’s something I will need to work on! Also - much like what Tom has suggested in his post, a Pantone swatch book would be very handy to familiarise myself with the process and outcomes.

Print Publication --[Louis.06]

Having read the other posts whether dismissive or optomistic about the future of print publishing, I'm not surprised to recognise perspectives that are voiced repeatedly out there.

Good Old library VS
Cloud information data base 

Even though some web base publications are putting out hard copies, it nolonger bares the core duties of a conventional magazine. It looks more like a collectible archive that you can have access to during a power outage....

Print media will eventually phase out as a major carrier of information.

The trend of its delivery is leaning more and more towards digitalised multimedia which offers a more dynamic mix of

Literature, sound, still visuals, moving-pictures, intractive elements like java script
and hot-links that interlace relevant information.

I think alot of people saw this coming. The library terminal, bookless library
even our own UNSW library offers Sirius e-journals that's much more current whilst maintained the creditbility of a published hard copy.

The Death of Print

A primary target as an example of the "death of Print" comes in the form of newspapers. I feel that so many newspapers and magazines are going bankrupt because they aren’t willing to expand their ideas about what a newspaper or magazine can be. Consumers want more. The business model for a newspaper, for example, hasn’t changed much since the printing press was invented

Some print media sources, however, are changing to keep up with consumer need. They’re working hand-in-hand with electronic publishers to develop an online news presence. That there is constant links and url's in newspapers that redirect the reader back to the internet.

The conception of ebooks and their rising fanbase has also created a bias against printed media. Not only can the reader obtain updates and a constant flow of information, but rather this is a greater environmental option as there is no waste created or resources used.

The End of Print

I do not think print media will ever truly die out in a cultural or artistic context. There will always be people who prefer a good printed book or beautifully printed card especially for a special occasion and would be willing to fork out the extra money if it came to it. Therefore because i believe there will always be demand, there will always be some supply.

Having said that, it is obvious that in other contexts print media is truly dying out. For example newspapers are constantly struggling with making ends meet. The advantages of a purely electronic means of distribution such as faster updates, no shipping or printing logistics and of course a larger worldwide market are great, and the costs for running an ad will surely have to increase as the market increases.

Regardless of this, newspapers don't really have a choice in the matter. Looking over the past 10 years print media sales of newspapers have been declining substantially. In the UK the top 10 national newspapers have declined in print media sales by over 20% while online sources have been steadily increasing. Statistics like these are also seen in Australia and America.

People do not want to buy printed newspapers anymore and suppliers will have to respond to it.

Preparing a file for Screen Printing

I'd be interested in knowing more about how to prep a file for screen printing. Screen printing is a very old technology (around 960–1279 AD in China and ironically patented in England by Samuel Simon in 1907) and credit is often given to Andy Warhol for popularizing the method with his works. But it is still particularly useful today as a way to print onto non-flat or unusual surfaces such as billboards, bottles, electronics, snowboards, balloons etc.
Because the process involves pushing ink through a mesh screen, the designs need to be carefully thought out in terms of layers. Not just the shapes of each colour but the order in which they are placed and any overlap areas which could result in an undesired colour change. This tutorial goes through the steps required to prepare a simple graphic for screen printing and really helps to start framing your mind to think about the layering process.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

File preparation

Crop marks and bleed marks are areas that I would like to learn more about and how to utilise properly. They are tools I just simply have never taken the time to set up in my work. I am so used to printing at home where a white border doesn't really matter, or I have cut it off on a double sided page where it will obviously mess up one side. But I know that if I paid more attention it could save time and leave room for error.

The future of print...

Like others I'm also intrigued by the rise of the iPad and Kindle, and as a result of these what could be in store for the future of books in particular.

I've heard a lot of interesting arguments for those against reading books digitally. I think because it's something we have become so used to, that Kindle and friends could not be able to completely take over. Some people might prefer the tactile quality of holding a book, or the idea of turning pages (although digital technologies can simulate this, much like the idea of a digital camera shutter noise). I've even heard someone say that reading digitally "is not natural" and well…is reading even natural?

It is impossible to fathom a world without print, yet many forms have already been overshadowed. Email and SMS have very much phased out the writing of letters. We have of course also seen this in convenient ways, such as library catalogues stored on computers. And despite convenience of digital technologies, and of course the demise of Borders, it's still hard to say if books will ever get completely phased out, at least not in our lifetime.

WEEK 13!

Hi everyone. Well we made it. Week 13 is here and so the semester comes to a close.

I've been emailed by Pricilla and Hanne to say that the web code will be ready soon to post up and I will put this up on my sites folder on the COFA server and we'll advertise the publication "The Pressing Issue" to everyone at COFA.

I'm sorry to have to report that the 3D printer has had a severe mishap. "A massive plastic spew!" in the words of Rod Bamford. Check the image below to see the mess. Therefore I think we can safely say that the experiment has failed from technical issues. It was wise to have developed the backup plan after all.

 "A massive plastic spew!" Rod Bamford

Be sure to go back through the course notes and make sure that you have uploaded responses to the blog for all the designated discussion points and tasks. This will ensure the best possible assessment outcome for each of you.

So, as the semester draws to a close it remains for me to congratulate you on working so consistently throughout the course - even when we faced problems with the 3D Printing. Well done everyone!

File preping in prepress --[Louis.05]

Like Chris, I was interested in learning how foils and varnish effects are represented in the digital file. Sometimes, not only does that spot colours need to follow its apparent naming convention in the swatch, I was asked by the printers to add another layer that clearly indicates the exact spot for post-print treatments.

And I'm also interested to find out, if the more expensive, durable options like UV varnish really stack up for its price? The printers informed me that it prevents Colour fading in an outdoor environment, but Machine varnish seemed to endure just fine.

Tibor Kalman & Karen Kavett --[Louis.04]

Tibor Kalman (July 6, 1949–May 2, 1999)

“Good designers make trouble“

He started Colour magazine and lead the publication to global recognition as editor-in-chief.

In 1993 he moved from New York to Rome, left everything behind, to concentrate fully on his magazine Colors. Colors was about “the rest of the world” which, as we all know is a very vast subject and I think it was a good move of Tibor to quit everything else because otherwise he’d burn himself out. (he did die six years after he left New York, but I don’t reckon there was any major connection. I do know that he got a quite beautiful note from the Staff of the Creative Time saying “As we say our sad good-byes and send our condolences to Maira, Lulu and Alex, we anticipate seeing some interesting cloud formations, better groupings of constellations and possibly a longer spring. Thank you Tibor, the pleasure was ours.” The New York Times, 6 May, 1999.

Today the influence of M&Co is still strong, both as a result of its work and that of the many designers, like Stefan Sagmeister, Stephen Doyle, Alexander Isley, Scott Stowell, and Emily Oberman, who worked there and went on to start their own design studios in New York City. Howard Milton and Jay Smith who worked with Kalman in 1979 went on to found Smith & Milton in London.

Karen Kavett (younger that me)
Digital Nerd Fighter/Youtube Curator

On the other hand ,Ms Karen Kavett, self proclaimed nerd fighter, knows hell of a lot about typography, YOUTUBE employee (I learnt a lot from her videos I wonder why I bother going to uni-- jokes). This is a leading figure of the new generation designers that predominately publishes their works Digitally.

Not afraid to be herself, Kavett has gained a huge following on the internet, Twitter, Facebook, and having recently Curated youtube (as seen featured on the Homepage 1month ago) her presence on the web is soon becoming ubiquitous.

Her website was grid-in-ground sweet, and She made an awesome Inforgraphics for the special occasion of 10,000 followers that subscribers to her creative outputs distributed digitally, quickly and frequently.

That means, her work wouldn't become the likes of classic COLOUR covers that you could collect in a magazine shelf, but her designs are more conversational, current and probably the way of the future.

And did I mention she's younger that most of us in the Adv.Typo class?

The future of print

New technologies are constantly appearing, the way we digest information is always changing, and we are always seeking new and exciting ways to view media. Through it all thought, print still persists. It's impossible to talk about the (potential) death of print without mentioning the two primary threats - the Kindle and the iPad. The kindle is light, has great battery life, and uses a new technology known as e-Ink. e-Ink means no more eye strain when reading a screen, due to the screen only refreshing when a page is loaded. The iPad offers a great reading experience with rich media, and a store right on the device itself, so consumers need never go out of their way to get a book again. What prof is there proof is there that these devises are having an impact on printed media? Aside from many big names in publishing scrambling to get onboard before their savings dry up, Borders has already fallen. A massive book retailer fell to it's knees only after the birth of the two devices.

Due to print being so expensive and comparatively less accessible (having to go to a book shop or newsagent) its no wonder people are finding it cheaper to find digital copies. But will the iPad and Kindle be able to flourish as distributors of digital content? With the explosion of the web, most people will pay very little, if anything, for content. News is free online, and so why should people pay on the iPad? If there is no revenue coming in, people will forget about these digital copies which slide off the front page of the App store of Kindle Marketplace - but people will still see a newspaper at their local news stand, or pick one up while they wait for their coffee.

We are at a point where the iPad and Kindle are a relatively new category, with a long way to go. There is a lot of excitement, but it's hard to tell at this stage if the glow will wear off, and people will go back to the never failing, always charged, printed copy.

Die Cut

Creating a document with foils, embossing or die cut

I'd love to learn more about creating a document ready to print with embossing or a foil on it. By researching this, I've found that making a die cut or foil is like making a spot colour for printing. It requires the designer to create a spot colour which the printer will then make a plate for this layer, just as it does for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. It's best to name the spot colour in the swatch what you intend it to be, for example 'silver foil' if you intend to have it create a silver foil.

To ensure the foil/die cut is correctly applied, you can view the separations panel by going Window > Output > Separations. It Should appear as it's been named, for example as 'silver foil'.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I would like to learn more about colour preparation when printing. I am aware that the printed colours appear different to that on screen, but I still manage to be surprised with the final results. On many occasions I simply run out of time to do a test print, and therefore do not end up with the colour tones I was after. By learning more about the RGB and CMYK colour profiles, I may be able to have a better understanding of what to expect when printing coloured files. Pantone swatch books seem like a great tool to have, as the exact swatch numbers are listed for reference. This would help in identifying certain colours that relate well from screen to print.

New Trends and Future of Print

There are never-ending new trends that always appear and evolve in the publishing industry. And i believe with designers keeping up with these trends, it allows them to open up a new creative field to each design that gets published. Digital technologies have been a big trendy medium for recent published media as well as contemporary designs, which has slowly transformed some of the audiences way of viewing the material.

This starts to lead onto the question if there will be an end to print or not, in which i believe the answer is no. Physically holding a piece of print to look at and read is still very preferred now a days, as it occurs to be a bit more direct and real compared to reading something off a digital screen. For example, ones artwork may be posted and shared amongst the world wide web; but it is a complete different experience to view it in an exhibition or an art gallery. The physical experience is part of the process in viewing and perceiving.

Also, news are currently available on printed newspaper as well as freely viewable on the net. But many still choose to buy the paper to read the news, and i believe that reading a certain incident off the newspaper is much more influencial and gives a greater impact to the audience rather than being notified off a screen.

Furthermore, not everyone can afford digital technology, for example, not everyone has a 3G Ipad to read the news on the train, or even a computer in some poorer countries. Let alone the poor economy at the moment, digital technology is a pricey new medium for publishing and is only slowly engaging into our lifestyles.

There are many more features and issues to discuss, but in my perspective, i believe print media still has its value and should continue to present itself in the future society.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


 Hi everyone. The semester is almost gone amazingly - it's gone so quickly!

Today I am posting the final lecture and discussion points for the online component of the course. I hope that will give everyone the breathign space to keep up their involvement in the development of the online publication that is Project 2 and also tidy up all the loose ends on the blog. If you need to make some final posts take advantage of the remaining time to ensure you don't miss out on the marks attributable to the online component of the course. Therefore I would liek to suggest the final date for uploading posts and other online discussion material will be Wednesday 19 24:00 - that's next week.

The final lecture of the course is about new trends in publishing...

This final lecture considers all that we’ve covered in the course in the context of current trends that suggest the shape of publishing in the future. The term ‘trend’ itself has long been used as a somewhat derogatory descriptor associated with those who might otherwise be called "early adopters. Reflecting the nature of the content, the lecture is a series of examples, small ‘chunks’ of information and observations assembled from the ever shifting plethora of information, speculation and hyperbole available on the topic of how the publishing industry, the design industry and all other industries are being changed by the rapid evolutions of new technologies...perhaps Marshall McLuhan got it right when he said that human beings are simply the sex organs of technology.  

The Current Project
I haven't been advised this week of the status of the 3D Printing. The process depends on students submitting the form to enable the printing to be done by Hayden. I will check in and post about any issues and updates this week.

Regardless of the outcome of the 3D printing I think that Lauren and I are very confident that the project is progfressing very well. As I expressed last week from what I've seen to date I think that this semester we will have a very high quality publication.

I'm still having trouble with my Basecamp login ...

Check out the lecture and posts your discussion points and have a great week.

File Prep

I always seem to stumble upon much confusion when dealing with colour and page size during printing processes. Although I know what RGB and CMYK are, every monitor screen and printer seems to differ. It can be quite unpredictable and therefore I would like to broaden my knowledge in this area. Similarly, I constantly manage to make mistakes around size of a page when printing. Something must go wrong in reference to crop, bleed and registration marks because I am either cut off or there is too much white space. I definitely need to take more caution when prepping my file.

Visual Hierarchy

Letterpress is a printing technique, which involves the action of locking moveable type into the beds of a press, inking it, and pressuring it against paper to form an impression. The invention of letterpress was by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440s. This printing method remained the main method of printing until the second half of the 20th century. Letterpress printing is highly valued due to its time consuming efforts and beautiful embossed results. The visual hierarchy of grid has dramatically evolved, as there are several limitations within its process, highlighted by the introduction of modern technologies.

When designing visual hierarchy and grids there are text and image size restrictions. In some cases as most letterpress companies recommend the maximum area of an image or text is no more than 10cm by 25cm. Another printing problem is the even amount of pressure and ink spread across text or images. Colour is also limited when letterpress printing. One colour is applied at a time and the alignment of the use of different colours can be extremely difficult. Elaborate designs with numerous colours should be avoided and outlines of shapes do not produce very well in letterpress.

New dominating technologies such as the computer software ‘Adobe Suite’, in particular ‘InDesign’ not only allow the designer to overcome all letterpress printing issues but further in a considerably quicker and easier manner. They allow vast variety and diversity within developing designs and the use of many graphic features. Computer software’s act as such a significant tool for the designer as we now are able to “design, visualize, structure and edit the content of a publication” directly on screen. Style guides are easily created and are a powerful method for the design of visual hierarchy.

One of the first publications that Gutenberg printed was the Bible in 1455. It was an expensive piece at almost three years wages for an average clerk however it was considerably cheaper than the current hand written Bible of the time, which took over a year to prepare. 48 copies are known to exist, each page consisting of 42 lines of texts. It is a very traditional and limited grid form lacking features such as indents, paragraph breaks, various size of text, use of colour, different fonts, clearly restricted due to the letterpress printing method.

Bespoke is an Australian design and printing company which still uses the traditional printing method of letterpress however through the use of designing on screen. This opens up a number of unique design opportunities, expanding from the limits of traditional letterpress. They are able to letterpress custom illustrations, texts and shapes, a variety of colours and sizes, most importantly new and modern visual hierarchy and grid. Bespoke aim to keep the antique process of letterpress alive through beautiful typography and delicate images. The form of printing in similar to that of Gutenberg, obviously the machinery as evolved and improved over the years. However Bespoke’s designs and grid formats essentially have no boundaries or restrictions.

The letterpress printing method is still widely used today, only now with the use and involvement of emerging technologies. It is still a highly valued printing technique, still a difficult and time consuming method creating an extremely high cost for some projects. Letterpress is now commonly used for wedding invitations, with almost each and every line of text or image custom made to that particular project.

Pre & Post Digital Type

Matthew Carter is both a pre-digital and digital typography designer born in London in 1937. Carter’s life of typography design has witnessed the transition from physical metal type to digital type. When he was only 19 he spent a year studying letterforms in The Netherlands where he learnt the art of punch cutting and he was able to use his skills to cut his own adaptation of the typeface Dante. When he returned to London he became a freelance designer and under Linotype he designed the infamous Bell Centennial, which was the replacement font for the Bell Telephone Company. Bell Centennial is a sans-serif font that was commissioned to replace AT&T’s current directory typeface Bell Gothic, on the AT&T 100th anniversary. It was designed to overcome the restrictions of the current telephone directory printing, which included poor reproduction and ink spread making the type hard to read. Carter designed the letters with deep ink traps created to fill in as the ink spread onto the newspaper fiber, leaving the letter forms open and legible at smaller point sizes. Bell Centennial is a typeface that was designed to address a particular need, technical limitations. Carter’s contribution to the practice of typography has been and still continues to be quite significant. He has experienced the development of pre-digital to digital types, designing a range of typefaces from these two eras. (From Bell Centennial to Veranda and Tahoma). His physical pre-digital skills have shaped him into the designer he is today, forever influencing his own designs and the designs of many others. Andrew Byrom, a modern-day designer uses a similar practice, where physical skills and ‘hands on’ practices have influenced future designs and resolved his digital typefaces.

Andrew Byrom is a contemporary typography designer born in Liverpool, England in 1971. He left school at the age of 16 to begin a four-year apprenticeship in the local shipyard. After the completion of this, he decided to pursue a career in design and left his job to enroll at the Cumbra Institute of Art and Design and later the University of East London, where he graduated in 1996. In 1997 he opened his own design studio in London where he worked for many clients including Penguin Books and Time Out Online. He also began to teach typography at the University of Luton and Central Saint Martins. He moved in 2000 to America to further his teaching career, here he divides time between teaching and designing. He has recently been commissioned to design typefaces for The New York Times Magazine and he has featured in numerous magazines and design books including IdN, Print, Creative Review, New Typographic design and Lettering & Type. Andrew Byrom is a typographer who can see letters in nearly every object near him, and further designs letterforms out of everyday objects and further transforms this into digital typography. He has created typefaces out of chairs, neon lights, and wood forms, which he photographs and digitally manipulates them into text. For example Byrom’s “Play” text was originally made out of steel poles, photographed and then established into a digital typeface. Similarly, his typeface made out of glowing light forms is truly amazing as the digital set of characters is created by one simple shape and by turning it different ways every letter in the alphabet is produced for the audience. Comparatively to Carter, Byrom’s contribution to typographic practices further explores the physical designing of type to the digital transformation. He may not have truly witnessed the pre-digital to digital evolution but he certainly carries out both the traditional and contemporary concepts of typographic practices.

scanned letters - edited for use

Hey everyone,

The letter forms are available online now. I only edited 1 scanned set as individual letters with transparent background. Put these in your working folder and place them into your indesign files (or make a title in photoshop, save it and place that instead)

The three original scan files are also there. They are layed out how they were in the scan, but are on a transparent background. If you want to use any of the letters I didn't make individual (for texture reasons etc) then either make an individual letter out of the one you want, or in inDesign place the psd and resize the appearance box around it so you only see the letters you want.

Hope that made sense, link for the folder is below :)

File Preparation - Colour

I believe colour plays quite a large role in the current print media, and hence i would like to increase my knowledge upon colour in regards to preparing documents prior to printing. This may include colour spaces, correctly collaborating computer monitors, as well as a range of different printers. Knowledge in these areas will definitely aid in the print industry, for it will help save time and money.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Breaking Rules

Some of the biggest traditions in typographic design has been played around with and redeveloped for contemporary compositions, such as legibility and readability. Reconstructing these traditions has surely opened up a bigger field for contemporary designs, but which ones have broken these rules successfully for more playful designs, and which ones have just made a mess. This is where evaluation is needed for breaking these traditional features of legibility and readability in typographic designs.

Playing around with positive and negative space is one factor, where when it is played around nicely, can be quite effective in its presentation. For example the one above uses positive and negative space creatively to generate letters without actually presenting its full letterform, and in result is still very legible. However, the example below has used too much of the positive and negative space in its design, making it overall very illegible and hard to read.

Reshaping type to fit together, or to create a certain shape or image is also a very common design in contemporary typography. However, this technique can lead to type being illegible. For example, the image above has successfully transformed the texts to be the shape of a body, but has failed to present the type to legible. If the love heart sign was not part of the composition, it would have been a struggle to read the text. The example below has utilised different fonts, resized the texts, and slightly reshaped, but overall is still very legible and readable.

Legibility and readability in typographic design has evidently been broken and redeveloped in contemporary compositions, but must be performed well to execute a more effective presentation and experience for the audience.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crop marks and fold marks.

By exporting your file to a pdf, inDesign gives you the choice to take bleed and crop marks in to your pdf. That is a good tool when designing on rectangular pieces, but not all design jobs fit in a rectangular shape, some jobs are not even geometric. What I am interested to know is, how you would sett up you’re files if the print is for a box or a custom (not rectangular) shape. Do you have the knife lines in the final pdf?

Is there any golden rules revolving this, or is it something you decide in a dialog with your printer?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Letterpress Alphabet Scans

I couldn't seem to upload these files to the basecamp website so here they are.

Week 12 - file preparation

I think a useful area (which I would like to learn more about) would revolve around the use of the many different pantone swatches available to designers in programs like illustrator and indesign, the reasons for choosing each different type(matte, solid, coated, uncoated etc) how they print differently and when they are appropriate to specify to a printer. Perhaps also a review on colour profiles and which is the most appropriate to export your pdf too.

Week 11 Breaking the rules

I strongly believe that only those who are well versed in the rules of typography, visual hierarchy and composition are able to break from them in a useful manner. Lets face it - the rules were put in place for a reason, and that reason at the end of the day is the maximise readability and communication from publication to reader.

Use of a subtle - yet predictable - layout (which is of course flexible) increases the readers ability to navigate information and hence absorb it. I feel that it is only appropriate to break from this goal when their is a well considered motivation for it. For instance, lets say the below was an article about horses - the typographical result below may capture the readers attention - and if they like horses enough, they may try and read the article (though it is clearly more difficult to navigate than justified columns of text where every line starts and ends at the same location.

Obviously this is a more extreme case - though I think there does need to be a point where the two conflicting views (readability and artistic purpose) need to be battle it out and either come together in a subtle harmony (hard to accomplish) or one must be chosen over the other.

This applies for the grid - which shares the same purpose of reader expectation and readability of the page. I would use the example of iDN - a design focused magazine. Now, whilst I love to look at this magazine, I absolutely HATE HATE HATE reading it. Each page is drastically different, confusing and although there may be some sort of formal grid throughout, it is in my opinion far to easy to break from and overflow with content and badly placed text.

On the other hand, the grid does not always have to apply strictly to all elements lining up - I think as long as there is some sort of overall structural integrity to the document, then the rules can be more relaxed within that structure. For instance, the following drawing is hand set typography, demonstrates beautiful use of colour to create a secondary meaning, everything is all over the place, unevenly sized, kerned, leaded, but it fits both the structural integrity of a head, of a question mark and overall it sits within an invisible rectangular structure that is evenly and proportionately placed on the page. Furthermore, and to reiterate my initial point, the rules have been broken for a purpose - to convey a relevant message.

I do really like the previous reference to Wing's personal work - I think it is yet another perfect example of how harmony can exist between legibility and artistic purpose. Though some of the line lengths are hard to read, their is undoubtedly a strong emphasis on grid structure to the document, which (after looking at the website for the gallery) is strongly inline with the branded look and feel of the gallery itself.

my grid + typography selection for grid

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 10 homework

Morris Fuller Benton (1872-1948) was an extremely influential typeface designer, having completed 221 typefaces.

He was a man well ahead of his contemporaries, and having carried on the work of his fathers work, is credited for the consolidation and design of the Century typeface family - let alone the conception of "type families" all together.

This contribution clearly altered the course of typography, giving typographers both pre and post digital age more freedom to create visual emphasis to letters or words.

As if this wasn't already a big enough contribution, M.F. Benton was then commissioned to modify the century typeface into the Century Schoolbook family, (commissioned by publishing company Ginn & Co) a typeface that was purely/scientifically designed for easy readability. He achieved this by utilising research by Clark University, which demonstrated young readers identified letterforms quicker through contrasting weight, but with the lighter strokes maintaining presence, as well as the importance of maintaining counter-form (negative space) around the letter which helped in recognising the face at smaller sizes.

In designing the typeface, Benton increased the x-height, stroke width and overall letterspacing, and soon this typeface became widely popular and familiar in North America, being the typeface that many first learned to read with.

Doyald Young, on the other hand, was a logotype designer / typographer who lived, worked and taught both pre and post digital age. Born in Holliday, Texas in 1926, he may seem like an unusual choice to use for this question - however Young's work was always unique and custom-made before it was digitalised, which - with reference to the Century typeface - demonstrates the immense advantage that contemporary technologies have had in the field of typography.

In an interview with - Young discusses his pride in a logo he made for "Prudential".
The initial request was to redesign the word prudential, so that it was friendly and closely related to a font but more tightly spaced and a little bit bolder than a normal typeface.
The companies emphasis on the word "friendly" lead Young to focus on the century typeface as its historical familiarity makes it comfortable which makes it friendly.

In short, Young redesigned a famous typeface to his liking. His improvements ranged from condensing the letter P and the tail of the letter a, as well as making letters, such as the letter t, taller so that they were more quickly read.

The result was Prudential Roman, an in between of ITC century book and bold - which in his words "satisfies the goal of many text faces where no 1 letter stands out. "

I believe that Young's work here shows how easily typefaces can be perfected and modified in the digital age - however one of the reasons that I love his work ( and his publications ) is that they both embrace technology yet prove that it doesn't necessarily mean there is more variation available. His work shows designers that even in this computer dominated age, they can still turn to their hands for inspiration and solution and transcend the limitations of fonts.