Jason Keisling

Process of designing my logo.

Category : graphic design, problem solving, typography · No Comments · by May 22nd, 2013

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:


New personal challenge in the works

Category : graphic design, typography · (3) Comments · by Apr 20th, 2013

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:




Practical Typography

Category : graphic design, typography · No Comments · by Nov 13th, 2012

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.


Category : quotes, typography · No Comments · by Nov 11th, 2012

“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

How well do you know your typefaces?

Category : graphic design, typography · No Comments · by May 5th, 2012

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/

29 ways to stay creative


Beautiful cover design

Category : graphic design, typography · No Comments · by Feb 11th, 2012

learn to kern

Category : graphic design, typography · No Comments · by Dec 27th, 2011

Last weekend some friends and I traveled to Seattle for the Niners vs Seahawks game. It was a great game and the Niners won. The team played very well. Today, I was perusing the 49ers’ website to watch post-game interviews, but instead it was the poor typography that stood out to me. I’m not even sure how one could possibly mess up the kerning so much. Even if one didn’t kern the type at all, it wouldn’t look this bad. Did their designer seriously spend time spacing these letters and decide that this was finished?

A typographic puzzle

Category : typography · (1) Comment · by Oct 16th, 2011

From “Stop Stealing Sheep & Learn How Type Works”:

This is a typographic puzzle. Which typeface do you think fits which shoe?

Bed Bath & Beyond’s type crime.

Category : graphic design, typography · (1) Comment · by Aug 30th, 2011

One of the very first lessons I was taught in typography class was to refrain from stretching or skewing type. Typeface designers spend hours tweaking various strokes, the x-height, the ascenders and descenders, the angle of the stems and spines, etc. so that the font family is consistent and all aspects of the letterforms relate well. Stretched type counteracts all of this hard work. The stroke thicknesses and curvatures become disproportionate, angles change, and inconsistent characters are a result.

Apparently Bed Bath & Beyond’s logo designer slept through the lecture on type crimes. The logo uses the futura font, which already has a large em space, then horizontally stretches the word “BEYOND”, which creates awkward variations of letter widths.

It appears the creator was trying to emphasize “beyooooond”, but there are ways to do so without resorting to egregious typography. The concept itself is trite. A great logo conveys a strong message about the company and often conveys a feeling or idea, rather than a literal image of the product or name. A great example one of my former college professors uses is insurance companies. Rather than showing a paper policy form, it is more prudent for an insurance company to convey professionalism, trust, and integrity. Emphasizing “beyond” does not convey an idea one attributes to the company and the only feeling it incites is nausea amongst typography lovers such as myself.

Below is what the logo would look like without the stretched typeface, which still doesn’t convey a unique quality of the company, but at least won’t make me wish I were blind each time I drive past an outlet mall.