This design is pretty awesome. It’d sone by a guy named Man Ray just to be cool. I love the composition of this piece is wonderful. There are two major shapes that overlap and I’m very interested in the relationship of scale between the shapes, lines, and that one black circle. It’s just awesome.
Is vertical text ever successful? (p.120)
Most of the time when I see vertical text it seems to look awkward. Roman letters seem to fit better horizontally, not vertically. I feel lowercase lettering is especially unsuccessful when seen vertically. Many times these errors can be fixed but when is it okay to use vertical type?
I guess bookspines, which we have worked on in class can be an instance where the vertical type can be used. In my opinion san serif text looks more pleasing to the eye in all caps or small caps. Vertical text can draw in the eye and make you stop and actually read what it says. It stands out.
Why do people mix typefaces? (pg54)
The mixing of typefaces is a practice where a person most likely a disigner uses more than one typeface together. The reason for this is to creat something different and becomes sort of a challege. It give contrast to the design. The combining of the typefaces most be handle with care, the values of the different strokes of the typeface most be taking into account as well as the tone of the typefaces. For example Helvetica is neutral typeface while Bodoni has an elegant element, so mixing these two typefaces might not be the best idea. What needs to be taken into consideration also is the text hieght, and the length of its ascendor or descendor.
When aligning all texts on a page/spread, should every element be aligned according to some sort of structured grid? (pg. 118-199)
Working on the book cover design drafts made me realize (via Professor Dell’Orto’s correction marks) how important it is just to move the title a few points, just to align with the texts on the side flaps. This has gotten me to think, when designing a layout, does every single element have to be aligned according to some sort of structured grid?
I found this fantastic tutorial on typophile, with instructions on how to create a baseline grid. In it, even each line of the different columns (of different sizes and weight) still aligned to each other– something I haven’t really thought about before:
In other exercises, I don’t think I’ve ever really aligned blocks of texts (of different sizes/weight) because I didn’t think it really mattered; plus, with the different sizes, I would think it’s tricky to align the different elements perfectly anyway!
As you can see in the image above, everything is aligned perfectly on a baseline grid. Simply by aligning everything, the whole layout has so much structure and legibility. It also looks effortlessly clean!
Although this topic seeps into the “GRID” section, there is a close relationship between grids and alignment. If you have a grid envisioned for your layout, you will have elements aligning nicely on the page.
Vertical Alignment p.112 & 120
What are some of the alignment principles for vertical text?
Lack of alignment creates a sloppy, unorganized look. Mixing too many alignments can have a similar effect. However, it’s also OK to break alignment when it serves a specific purpose such as to intentionally create tension or draw attention to a specific element on the page.
For example, in the poster design above there’s a clear vertical line that starts with the “l” in “long” and leads the eye down to the production information. According to Ellen Lupton, this design is considered to be a type crime because of the vertical stacked lowercase text (p120). However, it is intentionally designed this way to draw attention to the title of the play. Do you think it works? Yay or Nay?
Take Away Tips
Alignment creates a sharper, more unified design, creating invisible connections between elements on the page. In Vertical Alignment the top and bottom margins are exactly or visually equal. It can be the full page or within portions of the page.
KERNING pg. 102
When do you when to use optical kerning or metric kerning?
According to the book, when you select metric kerning you are using the spacing that was intended by the type designer. Designers apply metric kerning to text and this looks good at small sizes. On the other hand optical kerning assesses the shapes of all characters and adjusts the spacing wherever needed. This is good when applied to headlines and when a font has few or no built-in kern pairs, or when the overall spacing seems uneven. Designers suggest using optical kerning when you are combining different fonts or type sizes. So how do you know which kerning to use when formatting text? This depends on your typeface, and it should determine which of the two to use, “it’s a visual thing.”
This was designed by Lisa Hedge, for the International Culinary Center. She uses an exaggerated “2″ as the main focus of the page, making it the biggest thing on the page. This works very well because the design is very clean and sleek, and if it were food, you would feel inclined to eat it! Every other character is in text size (below 14+), making it not too complicated and messy. If any other text was in display size, it would be competing with the “2″.
This “2″ looks like it is announcing either a chapter, a step, or an important point. If it was in text size, it would not do it’s job in announcing whatever it is announcing. This difference in scale and size helps bring attention to what’s important, and eliminates a need for extra unnecessary ’fluff’ (e.g. extra bolded characters, underlined words, etc).
When and where should we use certain alignments? (pg. 112)
When deciding your alignment for your design you should consider your theme, readability and legibility. Center alignment should be used selectively as it is the hardest to read. While it can create the most aesthetically pleasing design, sometimes setting a whole body of text can be hard to read. However, small amount of texts such as headlines or smaller paragraphs can be centered. It can make it look sophisticated and elegant. Flush left is generally most common as it is the easiest to read. Flush left is one of the “biggest factors in improved readability.” It is mostly used in body copies whereas flush right should be used “sparingly,” and only when necessary, such as setting a small body of text that is meant to sit close to the edge. It is important to keep in mind readability instead of focusing on the aesthetics. Justified text has a formal feel to it. It is easy to read yet sometimes the spacings of words can become uneven and uncomfortable. Sometimes this can be adjusted but other times it is not always a possibility in our designs.
Alignment pg. 112
How do you pick the right alignment style for the texts within any given design?
Well Henry, despite having a limited number of alignment formats in typography design, they work universally well with almost every style of bodies of texts. It all depends on the other elements that accompany the text. For example, the magazine spread above with the justified columns of texts work surprisingly well with square, or rectangular shaped objects. It contributes to the page’s overall sharp and tidy appearance. A word of warning however, as rivers are common for justified columns, make sure to use appropriate text size and line spacing of the columns of text to evenly distribute the words.
Kerning pg 102
Kerning is the adjustment of space between two letter. My question has to do with optical kerning and metric kerning and how is it generally used?
So metric kerning is the built in spacing between letters in a typeface while optical kerning spaces letters according to shape and form. So metric kerning is best used for large bodies of text. Headlines and mixed typefaces can usually look better with optical kerning.
Kerning is all about the visual aesthetic. Indesign usually makes the choice for you how the kerning looks best in optical. Metric is just a standard and manual kerning is done by you. Optical kerning can also be a good fit for novelty fonts because they don’t really have kerning pairs which are pairs of letters that are usually pushed and fit together like “VA” and “TO”.