Posted by: Jayhan Sim
I have great interests in typography subject since studying in graphic design course. It is amazing that by using a certain typefaces with the placement of the types can create incredible visual language even without the using of images. Typography is actually a very professional skills, because it is not just about selecting the right typefaces, but the layout, the size, the grid and many more.
According to Wikipedia, typography is the art and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. Type glyphs (characters) are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type is the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing) and letter spacing. Typography can be apply to anything, from displaying text as information to treating text as images. With the aid of digital fonts and design softwares, designers can play with the text freely.
Back to basic
But before taking type to playground, we should learn the basic stuff of typography. Adobe here has created a PDF called “Typography Primer”, talking on the everything you need to know about typography. You can learn the glossaries of the typography elements as well as essential tips to understand better. Just go here to download the PDF.
My Typography Heroes
As mentioned earlier, typography is my favorite subject. I still remember the assignment on “Master of 20th century Typography”, I choose Neville Brody as the subject matter. I read about his profile and works and I found out that his typefaces and works were outstanding! I like the way he deconstruct the text. One of his famous typefaces is “Blur”, which is very liquify-look and cute. I use a similar font (GF Becker) to represent him in my assignment.
Another typography master I like is Herb Lubalin, especially his logotypes shown above. The logos were done by using a little manipulation, but yet created a strong messages and giving warm feeling to it. For example the Mother & Child logo, the “&” become the infant, sleeping inside the “O” of the mother. While the “ili” of Families forms a healthy family, and one of “R” of Marriage was flipped, as if the couple is kissing and holding hand during the wedding ceremony.
David Carson is another typography heroes I admire too. I remember I read his book “The dead of Print”, the pages are absolutely cannot be read! His cutting edge creativity and mind thinking was can’t be match by other people. Besides, there is an interesting paragraph on the power of human mind. Here is the text:
THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
Typography blog to read
I Love Typography is a blog dedicated to typography. When you enter the page, you will be attracted by the huge “I Love Typography” header. The title of this post was also inspired by this site. You can read some useful and interesting articles in it.
Another good typography blog to read is Typographica. Typographica is a journal of typography featuring news, observations, and open commentary on fonts and typographic design. Their latest post is about Saul Bass hand cut style typography. I can see typography style was been adapted, for example the recent HP ad campaign if I not mistaken.
Besides reading blog, you can subscribe to newsletters to get the latest news and buzz. MyFont‘s “Creative Characters” and “Rising Stars” newsletters are the good one, with the interviews with a famous typographer and the introduce of popular new fonts. I subscribed to Font Shop‘s newsletter too. You can also subscribe to their FontFeed too.
Extra essential readings
A Practical Guide to Web Typography
The first site is webtypography.net. The guide is useful particularly for designers like me who deal with web design often. I just discovered this site today and I shall bookmark it for reference.
Five simple steps to better typography
Not an article about using fonts but in depth analysis on typography skills which categories in 5 simple steps.
Web Design is 95% Typography
An interesting analysis on web design by Information Architects. They claimed that 95% of web design is actually typography. I’m agree on their statement, because the content is king right? Designers should put many attention to make sure the text displayed is comfortable to read. But it is also dependable too on what kind of web experience you want to build.
With all these essential resources, I hope it can help you get a better understanding on typography. I myself, still is a noob to typography, writing this post with a thick face :P, but I do hope that we all can learn something and be a better designer and treat types better.