This sponsored post by Southwest Airlines appeared on my Facebook timeline. Apparently the image is supposed to say “Sale”, though I didn’t figure this out until I read some of the comments. Other commenters saw words(?) like SLLE, SILE, STLE, SMLE, etc. Southwest spent money promoting a post that is difficult to read. An important aspect of both design and marketing is clear communication. Rather than focusing on communication, they instead tried to be cute with the image.
When learning new words for my lettering project, I have begun avoiding big words that aren’t actually helpful in conversation. While words like “grandiloquence” are cool to know, in most cases using such words just comes across as…well…grandiloquent (Pompous or extravagant in language).
As a designer, my focus is clear communication and though I do occasionally learn some fun words, I have been attempting to choose words that simplify rather than complicate dialog. Below is a great quote about the word epexegesis (which I actually did use in my lettering project because I thought it was an amusing word to know):
“Never use a long or unusual word that requires the addition of more words just to make clear the preceding word or sentence. I’m going to use the word ‘epexegesis’ because as a writer you should know it, but not use it. Epexegesis is another fun word that only one person in a million might know. The dictionary says that it means ‘the addition of more words to make clear the preceding word or sentence.’ So stay away from words like epexegesis that need explaining. Words like that only increase your fund of trivia.”
-Leonard N. Simons
I’ve now completed two vocabulary words for my handlettering project. The goal is to sketch a word a day for a year and complete one per month on the computer. I’ve now completed 2/12 vector words and 65/365 daily sketches.>
When designing my logo, I began by listing objectives and stating the message I wanted to communicate in order to brand myself. I wanted to convey problem solving since design is about constantly seeking ways for improvement and seeking problems to address. I began brainstorming different ways to convey problem solving in my logo. I wanted the logo to remain simple and versatile.
283 sketches later, I came up with the idea of using the puzzle piece in the counterform of my name. I began working with different puzzle shapes and sketching different ways to accomplish this idea.
I then began working on the computer and testing different typefaces, spacing, and colors. I explored making the puzzle piece more significant and also more subtly. Since one of my goals was to create a logo that was simple and versatile, I decided to make the puzzle piece less emphasized.
After choosing the color and typeface, I converted the type to paths and began customizing the letters for the final result:
Two weeks ago, I decided to begin a project of handlettering a new word each day for a year. The goal is to improve at handlettering and learn new words. Here are the first 14 words. Not all are good, but the overall objective is to gain practice and see improvement over a year.
I’ve began a new project and personal goal, which consists of hand-lettering a vocabulary word every day for a year. The goal is to improve my lettering skills while simultaneously learning 365 new words.
I was inspired by a project called The Daily Artifact, which was a personal challenge by Corey Fuller, a friend and former teacher of mine, to create a drawing, design, photograph, doodle, etc., every day for a year.
My plan is to sketch a word daily and then at the end of each month, choose one of the sketches to create finished type on the computer.
Here are the sketches from the first three days:
From Chapter 6.2 of Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
Choose typefaces that suit the task as well as the subject
You are designing, let us say, a book about bicycle racing. You have found in the specimen books a typeface called Bicycle, which has spokes in the O, an A in the shape of a racing seat, a T that resembles a set of racing handlebars, and tiny cleated shoes perched on the long, one-sided serifs of ascenders and descenders, like pumping feet on the pedals. Surely this is the perfect face for your book?
Actually, typefaces and racing bikes are very much alike. Both are ideas as well as machines, and neither should be burdened with excess drag or baggage. Pictures of pumping feet will not make the type go faster, any more than smoke trails, pictures of rocket ships or imitation lightning bolts tied to the frame will improve the speed of the bike.
The best type for a book about bicycle racing will be, first of all, an inherently good type. Second, it will be a good type for books, which means a good type for comfortable long-distance reading. Third, it will be a type sympathetic to the theme. It will probably be lean, strong and swift; perhaps it will also be Italian. But it is unlikely to be carrying excess ornament or freight, and unlikely to be indulging in a masquerade.
“Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition: An essential act of interpretation, full of endless opportunities for insight or obtuseness.”―Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
Here’s a fun game to test your knowledge of fonts. I’m currently ranked #4 for daily high score (not all time). http://www.deep.co.uk/games/font_game/