Design Studio: Typography (Week 1)

Week 1 of Design Studio: Typography is complete.

In week 1 we began to learn the basic principles of typography and to translate text into clear, precise and readable material. I did not know a lot about typography before starting this unit, and had my connection only through website design and using applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I am still slowly learning a lot of the terminology and becoming more familiar with all of it. I am really looking forward to being able to expand this knowledge and learn something about an art form that is a core feature of design, and something that is part of our everyday life (and even the text you are reading).

Working with website design, my biggest typography mistake, is the usage of font and typeface. No doubt this will continue to be something that I have to remind myself about. But if I can remember “A typeface is the design of the letterforms; a font is the delivery mechanism” (Lupton 2010, p. 81) I should be fine…

The essential information that I found very interesting and relevant was about; x-heights, spacing, leading, kerning, typographic colour, optical sizes, quotations, numbers (I had no idea that numbers had upper and lowercase), capitals (I did not know it was best to use the true small caps, usually available with a good pro font, rather than the program generated version), all capitals are harder to read, limiting the typefaces used and making sure not to use similar versions, that a serif is easier to ready for regular body text, reversed text is alright for headlines but not long text, lines should have 55 to 60 characters (9 to 10 words), white space is good, left justification is easiest to read (I still have a great attachment to justified, I love having thins even…oops), remember to use glyphs! That is a basic round up of the important things I discovered from my messy notebook.

As part of week 1, we also began to investigate and build together many ideas for our first project, word and meaning. Each week I will have a seperate post for the work towards the project, as well as the recap of the things I have learned.


References

Lupton, E 2010, Thinking with type : a critical guide for designers, writers, editors, & students, 2nd rev. and expanded ed, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.