Just browsing through Ilovetypography.com I found this great article about creative director, Stefania Malmsten. She is currently the new director of Swedish fashion and culture magazine Rodeo. I love how she describes her job description, and as a designer who loves all things... type, magazines, and graphic designing it's hard for me to choose between what I really want to do. Am I a designer or am I cut out to be an art director? I think that's why I like magazines so much because they involve just enough designing and just enough conceptual work.
“I’m very passionate about photography and I’m very passionate about typography. I never wanted to choose between being a graphic designer and an art director and that’s why I love working with magazines and titles for film. Working with Göran on this project has been very luxurious, creating almost like a main character for the magazine.”
Stumbled upon this on DesignTaxi.com. Designer Audra Hubbell project large letters on buildings in Chicago for her 'Letters at Large' project. It explore typography in urban settings.
Most of the projections used works or phrases, but as you can see she also did individual letters matched with backgrounds that would accentuate that letter and highlight the architecture at the same time.
I love her use of lighting and switching between serif and san serif. Lovely combinations!
One of my recent designs for the Campus Environmental Center (CEC) was for Green Greeks. This segment of the CEC focuses on involving the Greek community on campus in more sustainable efforts. They came to me wanting to design a logo for their newest initiative for the sororities: "How Low Can You Go?" This initiative encouraged the sororities to participate in a competition on who can limit their water usage in the houses. How could I appeal to a set of highly social ladies and make sure it was short and to the point?
I started looking at illustrations of water droplets. I filtered through Pinterest and Dribble and found this one striking photo of a water droplet man drawn probably in the 1970's. He was cute, super simple and reminded me of the easy School House Rock days.
So I needed a great font to go with that. I didn't want anything too straight. No... nothing with feet, that's too traditional. The 70's were all about those bubbly, non-constraining fonts. Not only that, but water flows, it doesn't appear in constrained forms.
Searching through Dafont.com I found THE PERFECT font for this project: Old Guard. I have to say it's been my favorite font so far and I can't help but use it in other materials. I mean... disco music is making a resurgence and is popping up as inspiration in new music, too... maybe I'm just having a 70's moment in my life right now. I have been wearing my bell-bottoms a lot...
Talking about typography, leading and kerning got me to thinking back to my first job at Mardel Christian Bookstore. Man... come to think of it minimum wage back then was $5.25 when I started and I was making $5.25 and the guy that was hired right when I started was getting $6.50... rude... I'll stop there before I go into gender discrimination in the work place.
ANYWAYS, at Mardel they sold Bibles, anywhere from leather bound to paperback. What was awesome was they had an imprinting station at the customer service desk I worked at and people could get free imprinting when they bought a bible there. I only got to work on a few Bibles because I wasn't quite trusted with the machinery, not only that but it took a lot of practice.
It was much like a printing press where you chose your metal letters, arranged them, heated up the pressing machine and went at your work. I really wish I had more time with that machine and mastered it, but unfornately I had to leave that job early because school work got so busy. Nonetheless it was my first experience working with a imprinting machine!
So... as I further read articles, blog posts and forums, I came to find that calligraphy is not lettering and lettering is not typography. So it looks like my blog theme is turning into an overarching theme of calligraphy/lettering/typography instead of just calligraphy.
The most informative blog I found was on Smashing Magazine. Written by design professional, Joseph Alessio, it covers the difference of lettering versus typography and then lettering versus calligraphy. So many professionals and clients misunderstand these terms. I mean, it is very easy to do so because over the years the terms have meshed with each other and honestly... a professional would only know this stuff right?
So, typography is the study of how letterforms interact on a surface. So how the type is set and how it goes to press. It involves the use of "leading" and "kerning." Typography is a subset of lettering: basically it is the use of letters in a typesetting matter such as printing books and publication. In this digital world, we are using typography as we set copy in a type box, etc.
Lettering on the other hand, is, as Alessio describes it, "the art of drawing letters." It's the combination of letters for one use instead of a repetitive use like typography. Funny thing here, since we talked about Jessica Hische in my art director's course, is Alessio uses her works of lettering as an example. Oh hey, and then he uses the "Book of Kells" to describe lettering, too!
Now, calligraphy derives from lettering. Alessio says that calligraphy is used a lot more in long passage of text. It is much more about penmenship, or writing letters... so I was pretty much right about that!
For years I've been wanting to get into calligraphy and typography but between being a full-time student, training to bike from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska and just having a personal, fulfilling life, it's hard to sit down and pick up a new skill. I think these blog posts on calligraphy and typography will allow me to gain an overall understanding before I actually start playing around with nibs and ink.
You know how in elementary school they handed out those terrible large papers with the dotted lines and dotted letters for you to trace. Well, I know the first time I laid my eyes on them I fell in love. There was something about tracing each and every letter perfectly and getting every curve right that got me really excited. Most kids don't get excited over tracing letters, so I was the odd one.
I remember going home every day in fourth grade with written papers. It wasn't that I was dissatisfied with the content of my papers, but I was dissatisfied with my handwriting. I would spend hours rewriting my papers just to make sure they were presentable the next day when I turned them in. I would practice my handwriting incessantly and do my signature about 100 times over and over again. I think this is where my obsession with my handwriting began and my love for calligraphy and typography.