Page 1


big bigger b iggest bradley brooks visc 402 designer as aut hor patrick dooley public typ ography


synop s i s

The goal of this project was to find typography in our environment, then use it to tell a story. I am obsessed with the fact that typography can be so, so big. I realized that I wanted to tell my story through scale. I quickly found out that the location of the typography is a huge factor to what size the typography will be. I broke the chapters down to three sizes, all the way to “biggest� where the letterforms supercede our human figures. We then were to arrange this story into a book and apply design elements to create something worth keeping for years. Public typography is every, and it just takes an extra quick glance to notice that.


main

b ody

t e x t

PRE FACE Lets face it. We are stuck in a typographic world. Words here, words there, words everywhere. Words are on signs, buildings, streets, cars, and almost anything. But that’s the problem, we think of them as words. Well, it is the letterforms of those words that create what is known as typography. Technically speaking, typography is the art or process of setting and arranging types and printing from them. Hours, days, and months of thought go into the letterforms that we pass by everyday. Typography in our environment can be easy to walk by and not even be thought of. But have you ever thought about how the location could affect the size of the type? This book calls attention to the big typography in particular places. First, “big” type can be found ultimately anywhere. From in your home to on the street, “big” is what we are surrounded by the most. Then we can move on to “bigger” type. This focuses typography that is larger, out of physical reach, and normally more industrial. Higher populated areas contain more of this category. And finally “biggest” typography is mostly found in downtown, industrial areas. The size supersedes the human body and is beautiful to look at. When you are somewhere that traffics thousands and thousands of people everyday, typography of massive size is required to stand out. From these progressions of size, you will


be able to appreciate and probably notice the typography that lives around you more than you ever have before. BIG Tangible typography can be found in almost any type of environment. It is in your home, on the street, at your work, and anywhere else you go. In most cases, typography that you can touch is going to have a similar size. This is because it can fit in your hand or you can touch it with your fingers. Because of this, the type is normally at or around eye-level. “Big” type does include signage, but there is so much more than just that. It involves informative messages as well as using interaction. No matter what the purpose is, this chapter highlights beautiful typography that is at our fingertips. Even though the size of the typography might not appear the most remarkable, it is the form that can be praised. First, you need to think about legibility. You have to be able to read the type for it to be successful. “Big” typography involves a lot of sans-serif typefaces. These are simple fonts with nothing too cutesy or decorative about them. You can find this when walking down any street. Don’t look at signs for businesses, but signs that say “No Smoking” or “Right Turn Only”. The overall design of whatever the typography is on probably isn’t the most dynamic composition, but at least the letterforms


are visually nice and simple. This idea translates to other “big” typography. There are times when the type is being used as information, and it just needs to be able to be read easily. Many script and even serif fonts cannot be used for this because they obtain too much décor in the letterforms. Every single day more and more “big” typography is transitioning from the everfamous Times New Roman to typefaces like Helvetica. We live in a very sans-serif age, and we don’t have to go far to find an example of “big” typography. bigger Typography that is set apart from our reach is “bigger” type. You cannot necessarily fit these letterforms in your hand, but they do not supersede your own body. To come across these, you’ll need to travel to shopping centers and more populated areas. This is the prime category for signage, and the main purpose for these is to be recognized by those walking or driving down the street. Many examples in this category introduce three-dimensional aspects. This is a great way to spice up simple typography without making it too hectic. There are new developments that are implementing this style of signage, but it is not a new thing. Take a stroll through a downtown area and look for vintage signs. You will be able to find three-dimensional signage that could probably date back to the 1940s. They might not all be working


like they used to, but you can appreciate where these beautiful signs we see today came from. sidebar As someone who lives and breathes the downtown life, Jon Klag cares a lot about the signage. “All the new signs are great and all, but it’s the ones that have been here for years that I love the most. I hope they don’t take those away.” Klag respects vintage typography that is all over downtown Kansas City. It is his home, and he considers all the signage as a piece of Kansas City. Once things start changing, the entire environment can potentially change. Public typography is a part of everyone’s lives. biggest Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though you can’t find it everywhere, typography of that proportion is out there. Take a trip to a downtown and urban area, and you will be amazed by all the “biggest” typography that surrounds you. Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect. Just like anything else that is made abnormally huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script or serifs to


the typeface. It has to be bold, dynamic, and structurally easy on the eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography speak for itself. The only exception that seems to be successful is if it is a logo of an extremely recognizable brand. Besides that, keep to the basics. The majority of the reason why “biggest” typography is found in downtown areas is because the scale of the buildings. As buildings get larger, the type has to increase because of legibility. In many cases, the person is going to be looking straight up to see the type, so just think about how big the letterforms have to be to be read. The scale for “biggest” typography towers over the human body. This creates an option for the viewer. If you’re up close, then you can appreciate the technical aspects of the letterforms. But if you’re far back, then you can admire the scale compared to size of the building it is on. Either way, “biggest” typography should always be admired wherever you find it. conclusion “Big, Bigger, & Biggest” exposed successful typography in three different types of locations. Starting very broad, “big” type is everywhere and in all environments. Its tangibility


is an aspect that the other categories don’t have. “Bigger” is distinguished by not being tangible. Instead, there is a level of separation. This category is dominated mostly by signage living in more populated areas. The letterforms are bigger than what can fit in your hands, but don’t overwhelm you. That category is “biggest”. This typography does supersede your stature and allows you examine the technical parts of the letterforms at a different level. You need to go to downtown and urban areas to come across this typography. The next time you come across any sort of typography, take a second to think about what type of environment you are in. Whether it’s new or old, that typography is there for a reason.


d ay - b y - d ay

not e s

9.20.11 The photos taken are good for “big” and “bigger categories, but I need to find a lot more “biggest” type examples. 9.27.11 The photos taken downtown really show the concept of scale depending on location. Keep finding more examples. 9.29.11 The mood board is nice, but what’s the story? Arrange the photos in a way that is more descriptive. 10.4.11 There is enough text, but not sure if it’s the direction I should be going with story. I need to find a niche and head that direction. 10.6.11 Only one of my type studies really explores what I should be doing. The others seem lost. Also, the mood board shows more structure, but the story is not all there yet. 10.13.11 The type studies are going somewhere now. I realize that I like them without the photos involved. So I need to work on incorporated them better. 10.18.11 The landscape orientation is going to work best for me. Keep going.


10.20.11 The covers explore different options, but how the story be conveyed on the cover, as well. The angle introduced in the spreads could give the book a dynamic feel. Keep using those. 10.25.11 Good thing I took a lot of new photos. They are good and I will use a lot of them. The spreads are getting somewhere, but try not to make all of them identical with the angles. 10.27.11 Same as before, keep exploring the spreads to make them each unique. 11.1.11 How can the text be better incorporated with the design of the book? 11.3.11 The text looks and quotes are being incorporated better with the design. Fine tune EVERYTHING and get it good! 11.8.11 All done! Upload to Blurb and sleep.


photos


design

moo d boards

de v e lopm e n t


typ e studies 1 Have you ever held a poster in your hands? And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for

Buildings are recognizable, but in many to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He cases it is the typography of the sign that probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography

is what we remember. These signs cannot just be put through the printer and made

an d

in a couple minutes. Letterforms like this life

take time and preparation. This is a great

ne w

had to be carefully thought and planned

A r, rw ea

th em

ra nc y

U

to be required. Also, the size

in to

nd e

going

vib

has to increase to be able to be

IG

more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped

w ith

an d

structure is

is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is

th e

le

ja

a building, more

can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it

he lp

nd ro

the sign is at the top of

it be? Is there even a typeface that I like? Typography of this size

of O pe

Pa ul b

become three-dimensional. If

most likely the title. What typeface should be used? How big should

re at hin g

instance where typography starts to out. The most key aspect of the poster is

nT yp e.

in the title, subtitle, and other information

legible. This is also a jump from where

typefaces used become much, much more produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

simple. Crazy, script typefaces cannot always be understood when you are one hundred feet below them. The

B

letterforms are simple, straight, and easy to

THE SIMPLICITY IT CONTAINS.

FLASHY, BUT IT IS STILL BEAUTIFUL FOR

— GRAPHIC DESIGN REFERENCED

TYPOGRAPHY IS NOT ALWAYS MEANT TO BE

with the help of OpenType.

THE PERPENDICULAR LINES AND SYMMETRY. THE

Industries, Underwear, and Alejandro Paul breathing new life and vibrancy into them

MAKE WITH SIMPLE TYPEFACE CHOICES BECAUSE OF

designers like House

OF TIME AND DETERIORATION. THESE WERE EASIER TO

with young type

THESE EXAMPLES ARE BECOMING “GRUNGE-LIKE” BECAUSE

…scripts have

the twenty-first century,

FORM, YOU CAN EASILY READ WHAT IT SAYS. HOWEVER, M UC H OF

enjoyed a renaissance in

NAME OF IT PAINTED ONTO THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING. IN L A RGE

IF YOU WALK PAST AN OLD WAREHOUSE, YOU WILL PROBA BLY SEE TH E

distinguish.

Taking advantage of the third dimension allows the typography to become something different and unique. The structural element has to be as thought out as the choice of typeface. When it is done in way where bother aspects make sense,

Have you ever stood by it is beautiful.

“i have always loved three dimensional signs. in particular,

It

seems

appreciate

that

people

would

three-dimensional

a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue

typography much more if they got

much of the power and light signs incorporate light, as well. up close, you can see the different layers and all the stuff that it takes to put it together. this is probably why

turned into an exclamation mark? Even a close view. From far the type is legible, but up close you can view

far away.”

out there. Unlike the previous chapters,

you still can take get something

is meant to be noticed and

out of it.

leave a lasting effect. Just

If you walk past an old warehouse,

like anything else that is

you will probably see the name

made abnormally huge, there

of it painted onto the side of the

these are meant to be seen from

though it is hard to find, typography

the structure. From both positions,

building. In large form, you can

this

typography

is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t

“ GOOD TYPE IS GOOD

normally allow much script to the typeface. It

are

B E C AU SE IT HAS NATURAL

has to be bold, simple, and structurally easy

becoming “grunge-like” because

ST R E N GT H AND BEAUTY. THE

on the eye. People are already going to be

of time and deterioration. These

B E ST R ESULTS COME, AS A

amazed by the size, so why would you add

were easier to make with simple

R U L E , F R O M FINDING THE BEST

any extra jazz that could possibly confuse

typeface choices because of the

T Y P E FOR THE WORK AND

them? You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography

easily read what it says. However, much

of

these

examples

perpendicular lines and symmetry. The typography is

T H E N G UIDING IT WITH THE

not always meant to be flashy, but it is still beautiful for

G E N T L E ST POSSIBLE HAND.”

the simplicity it contains.

speak for itself.

— ROBERT BRINGHURST


is what we remember. These signs cannot

just be put through the printer and made

just be put through the printer and made

in a couple minutes. Letterforms like this

in a couple minutes. Letterforms like this

simple. Crazy, script typefaces cannot always

be understood when you are one

be understood when you are one

hundred feet below them. The

hundred feet below them. The

ne w Pa ul b nd ro

he lp

ja A

th e

le

typefaces used become much, much more

simple. Crazy, script typefaces cannot always

an d

w ith

rw ea

th em

r,

legible. This is also a jump from where

typefaces used become much, much more

nd e

in to

U

ra nc y vib

THE SIMPLICITY IT CONTAINS.

FLASHY, BUT IT IS STILL BEAUTIFUL FOR

TYPOGRAPHY IS NOT ALWAYS MEANT TO BE

THE PERPENDICULAR LINES AND SYMMETRY. THE

MAKE WITH SIMPLE TYPEFACE CHOICES BECAUSE OF

OF TIME AND DETERIORATION. THESE WERE EASIER TO

THESE EXAMPLES ARE BECOMING “GRUNGE-LIKE” BECAUSE

FORM, YOU CAN EASILY READ WHAT IT SAYS. HOWEVER, M UC H OF

IF YOU WALK PAST AN OLD WAREHOUSE, YOU WILL PROBA BLY SEE TH E

THE SIMPLICITY IT CONTAINS.

FLASHY, BUT IT IS STILL BEAUTIFUL FOR

TYPOGRAPHY IS NOT ALWAYS MEANT TO BE

THE PERPENDICULAR LINES AND SYMMETRY. THE

MAKE WITH SIMPLE TYPEFACE CHOICES BECAUSE OF

OF TIME AND DETERIORATION. THESE WERE EASIER TO

THESE EXAMPLES ARE BECOMING “GRUNGE-LIKE” BECAUSE

FORM, YOU CAN EASILY READ WHAT IT SAYS. HOWEVER, M UC H OF

distinguish.

NAME OF IT PAINTED ONTO THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING. IN L A RGE

straight, and easy to

distinguish.

IF YOU WALK PAST AN OLD WAREHOUSE, YOU WILL PROBA BLY SEE TH E

straight, and easy to

NAME OF IT PAINTED ONTO THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING. IN L A RGE

letterforms are simple,

B

letterforms are simple,

re at hin g

nT yp e.

IG

legible. This is also a jump from where

of O pe

ne w A r,

th em

rw ea U

going

has to increase to be able to be

vib

has to increase to be able to be

structure is

to be required. Also, the size

ra nc y

to be required. Also, the size

a building, more

in to

nd e

going

the sign is at the top of

w ith

an d

structure is

become three-dimensional. If

th e

le

ja

a building, more

instance where typography starts to

he lp

nd ro

the sign is at the top of

of O pe

Pa ul b

become three-dimensional. If

re at hin g

instance where typography starts to

life

take time and preparation. This is a great

life

take time and preparation. This is a great

cases it is the typography of the sign that

is what we remember. These signs cannot

nT yp e.

Buildings are recognizable, but in many

cases it is the typography of the sign that

an d

Buildings are recognizable, but in many

an d

typ e studies 2

signs. in particular, much of the power and

signs. in particular, much of the power and

light signs incorporate light, as well. up

light signs incorporate light, as well. up

close, you can see the different layers and all

close, you can see the different layers and all

the stuff that it takes

the stuff that it takes

i have always loved three dimensional

i have always loved three dimensional

to put it together.

to put it together.

this is probably why these are meant to be

this is probably why these are meant to be

seen from far away.

seen from far away. — BRADLEY BROOKS

— BRADLEY BROOKS

Taking advantage of the

Taking advantage of the

third dimension allows the

third dimension allows the

typography to become something different and unique. The structural element has to be as thought out as the choice of

typography to become something different and unique. The structural element has to be as thought out as the choice of

typeface. When it is done in way where bother aspects make sense, it is beautiful.

typeface. When it is done in way where bother aspects make sense, it is beautiful.

It seems that people would appreciate three-dimensional typography much more if they got a close view. From far the type

It seems that people would appreciate three-dimensional typography much more if they got a close view. From far the type

is legible, but up close you can view the structure. From both positions, you still can take get something out of it.

is legible, but up close you can view the structure. From both positions, you still can take get something out of it.

If you walk past an old warehouse, you will probably see

If you walk past an old warehouse, you will probably see

the name of it painted onto the side of the building. In large

the name of it painted onto the side of the building. In large

form, you can easily read what it says. However, much of

form, you can easily read what it says. However, much of

these examples are becoming “grunge-like” because of

these examples are becoming “grunge-like” because of

time and deterioration. These were easier to make with

time and deterioration. These were easier to make with

simple typeface choices because of the perpendicular lines

simple typeface choices because of the perpendicular lines

and symmetry. The typography is not always meant to be

and symmetry. The typography is not always meant to be

flashy, but it is still beautiful for the simplicity it contains.

flashy, but it is still beautiful for the simplicity it contains.


landscape

Public Typography

Have you ever held a poster in your hands? And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title, subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

“…scripts have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first century, with young type designers like House Industries, Underwear, and Alejandro Paul breathing new life and vibrancy into them with the help of OpenType.” — Graphic Design Referenced

Buildings are recognizable, but in many cases it is the typography of the sign that is what we remember. These signs cannot just be put through the printer and made in a couple minutes. Letterforms like this take time and preparation. This is a great instance where typography starts to become three-dimensional. If the sign is at the top of a building, more structure is going to be required. Also, the size has to increase to be able to be legible. This is also a jump from where typefaces used become much, much more simple. Crazy, script typefaces cannot always be understood when you are one hundred feet below them. The letterforms are simple, straight, and easy to distinguish. If you walk past an old warehouse, you will probably see the name of it painted onto the

“I have always loved three dimensional signs. In particular, much of the Power and Light signs incorporate light, as well. Up close, you can see the different layers and all the stuff that it takes to put it together. This is probably why these are meant to be seen from far away.” — BRADLEY BROOKS

Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though it is hard to find, typography of that proportion is out there. Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect. Just like anything else that is made abnormally huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script to the typeface. It has to be bold, simple, and structurally easy on the eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography speak for itself.

The President Hotel in downtown Kansas City homes one of the more recognizable signs in the historic area. You can find this hotel from almost anywhere because of the substantial size of the typography.


Have you ever held a poster in your

hands? And no, not a poster made

a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce

can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title

Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces

What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface that I like?

thought and planned out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title.

the typography in the title, subtitle, and other information had to be carefully

of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of

for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort

A graphic designer was hired to create something special

thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster.

real poster is professionally printed and on nice,

from a template in Microsoft Word? A

portrait


“I

have

always

loved

three

dimensional signs. In particular, much of the Power and Light signs incorporate light, as well. Up close, you can see the different layers and all the stuff that it takes to put it together. This is probably why these are meant to be seen from far away.” — B R A D L E Y B R O O KS

If you walk past an old warehouse, you will probably see the name of it painted onto the side of the building. In large form, you can easily read what it says. However, much of these examples are becoming “grunge-like” because of time and deterioration. These were easier to make with simple typeface choices because of the perpendicular lines and symmetry. The typography is not always meant to be flashy, but it is still beautiful for the simplicity it contains.

Taking advantage of the third dimension allows the typography to become something different and unique. The structural element has to be as thought out as the choice of typeface. When it is done in way where bother aspects make sense, it is beautiful.

It seems that people would appreciate three-dimensional typography much more if they got a close view. From far the type is legible, but up close you can view the structure. From both positions, you still can take get something out of it.

Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though it is hard to find, typography of that proportion is out there. Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect. Just like anything else that is made abnormally huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script to the typeface. It has to be bold, simple, and structurally easy on the eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them?

The President Hotel in downtown Kansas City homes one of the more recognizable signs in the historic area. You can find this hotel from almost anywhere because of the substantial size of the typography.

You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography speak for itself.


T

Y

P

O

G

R

A

P

H

Y

spreads 1

Have you ever held a poster in your hands? And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title, subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

Have you ever held a poster in your hands? And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning.


…scripts have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first century, with young type designers like House Industries,

Underwear,

and

Alejandro Paul breathing new life and vibrancy into them with the help of OpenType.” — GRAPHIC DESIGN REFERENCED

Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that.

the title. What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a

All of the typography in the title, subtitle, and other

typeface that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface.

information had to be carefully thought and planned

Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms.

out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely

However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.


covers 1

Public Typography


BIG, BIGGER , & BIGGEST P U B L I C T Y P O G RA P H Y


spreads 2

PREFACE

Typography in our environment can be a beautiful thing. And we are also surrounded by bad typography, as well. This book looks to showcase type that has been composed in an engaging and attractive form. But not the typical type we can type out on the computer, but the big stuff. First, examining typography that can be held, but not done at home. Next, focus on the letterforms that fit on many buildings. Finally, pay attention to type that is unbelievably large. This will give you the chance to see things more closely that you might normally pass over subliminally. In addition, you will be able to appreciate public typography that is big, bigger, and biggest.

TYPOGRAPHY Type that you can walk up to, see closely, and even touch is BIG type. This type is everywhere everyday, and a little closer view can help you appreciate it for what it is worth.


Have you ever held a poster in your hands?

“No Smoking” signs have been around for ages and many have become old and weathered. But the simple typography lets the simple message be known. Attached to fencing, this sign has stood the test of time.

And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title, subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a

This type has a three-dimensional aspect that gives beauty to the type and structure.

Something does not have to be printed still be considedered nice typography. This enter sign contains strong attributes from the stems to wide stature.

WEATHERED …scripts have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first century, with young type designers like House Industries, Underwear, and Alejandro Paul breathing new life and vibrancy into them with the help of OpenType.” — Graphic Design Referenced


T Y P

pe Ty

O G

s

R

ha a

A P Y t

bu

w

. pe ty

e m

. hy

so

, ce

an ar

d

ER G IG

pe

B

ap gr

an

po ty

ge

ap

is

na

H

l

ch

e th

sig

tia

a re

of

to

n ta bs

ts

of

lo

er ct ra

su

t

s

ou

a ch

de

clu

be

in

ht

at th

ig m

ue

iq

un

is Th

ith

Have you ever held a poster in your hands?

This Union Station sign has different levels to you. The background surrounds the structural letters. These have become popular lately instead of just painting a two-dimensional sign.

And no, not a poster made from a template in

is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title,

Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally

subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned

printed and on nice, thick paper that has

out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What

meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic

typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface

designer was hired to create something special

that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface.

for this band is most likely famous. He probably

Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the

put some sort of picture on there, but there

letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

In many cases, texture creates a three-dimensional aspect to typography. Here, the fading green shows the grit and age of the building that this type lies on.


GOOD TYPE IS GOOD BECAUSE IT HAS NATURAL STRENGTH AND BEAUTY. THE BEST RESULTS COME, AS A RULE, FROM FINDING THE BEST TYPE FOR THE WORK AND THEN GUIDING IT WITH THE GENTLEST POSSIBLE HAND.” — ROBERT BRINGHURST

T Y P O G R

When you come across typography that is

A

huge, extremely gigantic, you know it. The

P H

letterforms overpower your physical body

Y

and you can see every dimension of the typography. It is not just bigger, it is the B I G G E ST typography.

HOLY HUGE Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though it is hard to find, typography of that proportion is out there. Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is

huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard.

meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect.

Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script to the typeface. It

Just like anything else that is made abnormally

has to be bold, simple, and structurally easy on the eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography speak for itself.


Logos can be made in great scale that shows typography and also creates brand awareness.

The scale of the building and typography compared to the cars and people is unbelievable.

The Kansas City Star building is massive itself. But then their logo and identity are a sight to see. It is only fitting that the scale of this typography matches the scale of the building.


covers 2

PUBLIC TYPOGRAPHY

PUBLIC TYPOGRAPHY

BRADLEY BROOKS


P

R

E

F

A

C

E

spreads 3

Typography in our environment can be a beautiful thing. And we are also surrounded by bad typography, as well. This book looks to showcase type that has been composed in an engaging and attractive form. But not the typical type we can type out on the computer, but the big stuff. First, examining typography that can be held, but not done at home. Next, focus on the letterforms that fit on many buildings. Finally, pay attention to type that is unbelievably large. This will give you the chance to see things more closely that you might normally pass over subliminally. In addition, you will be able to appreciate public typography that is big, bigger, and biggest.

TYP OGRAPHY Type that you can walk up to, see closely, and even touch is BIG type. This type is everywhere everyday, and a little closer view can help you appreciate it for what it is worth.


Have you ever held a poster in your hands?

“No Smoking” signs have been around for ages and many have become old and weathered. But the simple typography lets the simple message be known. Attached to fencing, this sign has stood the test of time.

And no, not a poster made from a template in Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally printed and on nice, thick paper that has meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic designer was hired to create something special for this band is most likely famous. He probably put some sort of picture on there, but there is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title, subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface. Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a

This type has a three-dimensional aspect that gives beauty to the type and structure.

Something does not have to be printed still be considedered nice typography. This enter sign contains strong attributes from the stems to wide stature.

W E AT H E R E D …scripts have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first century, with young type designers like House Industries, Underwear, and Alejandro Paul breathing new life and vibrancy into them with the help of OpenType.” — Graphic Design Referenced


T Y P O G R A P H Y

Type that has a substantial appearance, but might be out of reach is BIGGER type. This includes lots of signage and some with unique character to the typography.

Have you ever held a poster in your hands?

This Union Station sign has different levels to you. The background surrounds the structural letters. These have become popular lately instead of just painting a two-dimensional sign.

And no, not a poster made from a template in

is more to the poster than just that. All of the typography in the title,

Microsoft Word? A real poster is professionally

subtitle, and other information had to be carefully thought and planned

printed and on nice, thick paper that has

out. The most key aspect of the poster is most likely the title. What

meaning. Think of a band poster. A graphic

typeface should be used? How big should it be? Is there even a typeface

designer was hired to create something special

that I like? Typography of this size can be made with almost any typeface.

for this band is most likely famous. He probably

Staying simple with typefaces can create interesting aspects out of the

put some sort of picture on there, but there

letterforms. However, it is still possible to create a legible title when using a typeface that is more elaborate and decorative. Some companies have actually helped produce a resurgence of script typefaces lately.

In many cases, texture creates a three-dimensional aspect to typography. Here, the fading green shows the grit and age of the building that this type lies on.


GOOD TYPE IS GOOD BECAUSE IT HAS NATURAL STRENGTH AND BEAUTY. THE BEST RESULTS COME, AS A RULE, FROM FINDING THE BEST TYPE FOR THE WORK AND THEN GUIDING IT WITH THE GENTLEST POSSIBLE HAND.” — ROBERT BRINGHURST

T O G R

letterforms overpower your physical body

P

huge, extremely gigantic, you know it. The

Y

When you come across typography that is

A Y

BIGGEST typography.

H

typography. It is not just bigger, it is the

P

and you can see every dimension of the


H O LY

H UG E

Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though it is hard to find, typography of that proportion is out there. Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is

huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting to be heard.

meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect.

Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script to the typeface. It

Just like anything else that is made abnormally

has to be bold, simple, and structurally easy on the eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d let the typography speak for itself.

Logos can be made in great scale that shows typography and also creates brand awareness.

The scale of the building and typography compared to the cars and people is unbelievable.

The Kansas City Star building is massive itself. But then their logo and identity are a sight to see. It is only fitting that the scale of this typography matches the scale of the building.


f i na l project


concep t

s tat e m e n t

Typography in the environment can seem like an afterthought. Have you ever noticed that the location of these letterforms can affect the size of the type. “Big” typography is everywhere. It doesn’t have matter which environment you’re in, it will be there. “Bigger” tends to be in areas with more traffic and people. Then, “biggest” can be found in downtown, urban locations. The scale is huge and is normally on large buildings. This typography is beautiful and just needs a second glance to be appreciated.


f i na l

s pr e a ds

Pu b l iC t Y P O g r a PH Y

07

b ig

15

b ig g e r

25

b ig g e s t

02

03

Three-dimensional signage has benefits that can increase exposure. This cuisine sign relies on the translucency backed by the dark marble that looks great in sunlight.

P r e Fa C e we pass by everyday. Typography in our environment can be easy to walk by and not even be thought of. But have you ever thought about how the location could affect the size of the type? This book calls attention to the big typography in particular places. First, “big” type can be found ultimately anywhere. From in your home to on the street, “big” is what

04

Lets face it. We are stuck in a typographic world.

we are surrounded by the most. Then we can move on to “bigger” type.

Words here, words there, words everywhere.

This focuses typography that is larger, out of physical reach, and normally

Words are on signs, buildings, streets, cars, and

more industrial. Higher populated areas contain more of this category.

almost anything. But that’s the problem, we

And finally “biggest” typography is mostly found in downtown, industrial

think of them as words. Well, it is the letterforms

areas. The size supersedes the human body and is beautiful to look at.

of those words that create what is known as

When you are somewhere that traffics thousands and thousands of people

typography. 1Technically speaking, typography

everyday, typography of massive size is required to stand out. From these

is the art or process of setting and arranging

progressions of size, you will be able to appreciate and probably notice

types and printing from them. Hours, days, and

the typography that lives around you more than you ever have before.

months of thought go into the letterforms that

05


Fire alarms are in almost every single building in our society. The condensed typography fits nicely with the vertical composition of the box.

r

a

P

H

Y

Typography at eye level is different that when it is fifty feet above us. This street sign stays simple while letting the red color pop.

t

Y

P

O

g

07

Type that you can walk up to, see closely, and even touch is big type. This type is everywhere everyday, and a little closer view can help you appreciate it for what it is worth.

“No Smoking” signs have been around for ages and many have become old and weathered. But the simple typography lets the simple message be known. Attached to fencing, this sign has stood the test of time.

There are Times when ta n g i b l e

The Type is being used

Tangible typography can be found in almost any type of environment. It is

as informaTion, and iT

in your home, on the street, at your work, and anywhere else you go. In

jusT needs To be able

most cases, typography that you can touch is going to have a similar

08

To be read easily.”

size. This is because it can fit in your hand or you can touch it with your fingers. Because

09

of this, the type is normally at or around eye-level. “Big” type does include signage, but there is so much more than just that. It involves informative messages as well as using interaction. No matter what the purpose is, this chapter highlights beautiful typography that is at our fingertips.

This type has a three-dimensional aspect that gives beauty to the type and structure.

Even though the size of the typography might not appear the most remarkable, it is the form that can be praised. First, you need to think about legibility. You have to be able to read the type for it to be successful. “Big” typography

10

involves a lot of sans-serif typefaces. These

and simple. This idea translates to other “big”

are simple fonts with nothing too cutesy or

typography. There are times when the type is

decorative about them. You can find this when

being used as information, and it just needs to

walking down any street. Don’t look at signs for

be able to be read easily. Many script and even

businesses, but signs that say “No Smoking”

serif fonts cannot be used for this because they

or “Right Turn Only”. The overall design of

obtain too much décor in the letterforms. Every

whatever the typography is on probably isn’t

single day more and more “big” typography is

the most dynamic composition, but at

transitioning from the ever-famous Times New

least the letterforms are visually nice

Roman to typefaces like Helvetica. We live in a very sans-serif age, and we don’t have to go far to find an example of “big” typography.

11

Something does not have to be printed still be considered nice typography. This enter sign contains strong attributes from the stems to wide stature.


There is even typography on the ground we walk on. This sewage top contains type that is not meant to be noticed, but just to give it a name for where it is.

Typefaces have personaliTies — cold, 12

sophisTicaTed, or friendly — which

Over time, wear and tear is bound to happen. This parking sign could be considered old and ugly. But it could also be seen as having character and color.

13

esTablish The aTTiTude of The design. They provide an immediaTe firsT impression ThaT is criTical To The delivery of messages.” – layouT workbook

t Y P O

15

g

14

r a P

This sign hangs off from a building and gives someone walking or driving by and easy view. This is an example of contrast between italics, roman, and even a different font.

H Y Type that has a substantial appearance, but might be out of reach is bigger type. This includes lots of signage and some with unique character to the typography.

driving down the street. Many examples in this category introduce threedimensional aspects. This is a great way to spice up This Union Station sign has different levels to you. The background surrounds the structural letters. This new sign, interestingly, is the entrance to Kansas City’s historic and old railroad station.

many examples in This caTegory inTroduce Threedimensional aspecTs. This is a

s i g na g e

simple typography without making it too hectic. There

Typography that is set apart from our reach

are new developments that are implementing this

is “bigger” type. You cannot necessarily fit

style of signage, but it is not a new thing. Take a stroll

these letterforms in your hand, but they do

through a downtown area and look for vintage signs.

not supersede your own body. To come across

You will be able to find three-dimensional signage

these, you’ll need to travel to shopping centers

that could probably date back to the 1940s. They might not all be working

and more populated areas. This is the prime

like they used to, but you can appreciate where these beautiful signs we

category for signage, and the main purpose for

see today came from.

these is to be recognized by those walking or

greaT way To spice up simple Typography wiThouT making iT Too hecTic.”

17


In many cases, texture creates a three-dimensional aspect to typography. Here, the fading green shows the grit and age of the building that this type lies on.

18

19

JOn

klag

As someone who lives and breathes the

all over downtown Kansas City. It is his home,

downtown life, Jon Klag cares a lot about the

and he considers all the signage as a piece of

signage. “All the new signs are great and all, but

Kansas City. Once things start changing, the

it’s the ones that have been here for years that

entire environment can potentially change.

I love the most. I hope they don’t take those

Public typography is a part of everyone’s lives.

away.” Klag respects vintage typography that is

This liquor store signage has lots of character mostly due to its age. The lights give it an interesting three-dimensional aspect during the day. Even though the store is in a rundown area of downtown, it is still in business.

20

21

good Type is good because iT has naTural sTrengTh and beauTy. The besT resulTs come, as a rule, from finding The besT Type for The work and Then guiding iT wiTh The genTlesT possible hand.” — rober T b ringhursT

The simple type creates geometric shadows in unison with the geometric patterned wall that it lies on.

22

23 This typographic pole is as beautiful during the day as the night with the lights on. It is also a perfect example of getting a different perspective up close than from far away.

The classic “Boulevard” logo has quite a bit of color, but the type is calms things down so nothing is overdone.


t Y P

When you come across typography that is

O g

huge, extremely gigantic, you know it. The

r

letterforms overpower your physical body

Y

H O lY

H

biggesT typography.

P

typography. It is not just bigger, it is the

a

The President Hotel in downtown Kansas City homes one of the more recognizable signs in the historic area. You can find this hotel from almost anywhere because of the substantial size of the typography.

and you can see every dimension of the

24

25

Typography of this size at eye level can almost overwhelm you. Especially with the slight angle, there seems to be more type than there actually is.

H uge

Have you ever stood by a statue and had your picture taken? What if that statue turned into an exclamation mark? Even though you can’t find it everywhere, typography of that proportion

26

is out there. Take a trip to a downtown and

made abnormally huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting

urban area, and you will be amazed by all the

to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script or serifs

“biggest”

you.

to the typeface. It has to be bold, dynamic, and structurally easy on the

Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is

eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you

meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect.

add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d

typography

that

Just like anything else that is

surrounds

“iT has To be bold,

27

let the typography speak for itself. The only exception that seems to be successful is if it is

dynamic, and

a logo of an extremely recognizable brand. Besides that, keep to the basics.

sTrucTurally easy

This example of nontraditional ways of creating letterforms is made of metal. Letterforms do not have to be from a typeface; there are endless ways to come to a solution.

on The eye.

Logos can be made in great scale that shows typography and also creates brand awareness.

The majority of the reason why “biggest” typography is found in downtown areas is because the scale of the buildings. As buildings get

28 larger, the type has to increase because of legibility. In many cases, the person is going to be looking straight up to see the type, so just think about how big the letterforms have to be to be read. The scale for “biggest” typography towers over the human body. This creates an option for the viewer. If you’re up close, then you can appreciate the technical aspects of the letterforms. But if you’re far back, then you can admire the scale compared to size of the building it is on. Either way, “biggest” typography should always be admired wherever you find it.

The scale of the building and typography compared to the cars and people is unbelievable.


This almost seems like a sea of typography. There are so many great examples of unique and successful letterforms. This particular wall is a tribute to Kansas City and what it’s known for.

30

...legibiliTy relaTes To The ease or complexiTy reQuired To decipher, disTinguish, and undersTand a visual language...”

The Kansas City Star building is massive itself. But then their logo and identity are a sight to see. It is only fitting that the scale of this typography matches the scale of the building.

– graphic design referenced

C O n C lu s i O n “Big, Bigger, & Biggest” exposed successful typography in three different types of locations. Starting very broad, “big” type is everywhere and in all environments. Its tangibility is an aspect that the other categories don’t have. “Bigger” is distinguished by not being tangible. Instead, there is a level of separation. This category is dominated mostly by signage living in more

32

33

populated areas. The letterforms are bigger than what can fit in your hands, but don’t overwhelm you. That category is “biggest”. This typography does supersede your stature and allows you examine the technical parts of the letterforms at a different level. You need to go to downtown and urban areas to come across this typography. The next time you come across any sort of typography, take a second to think about what type of environment you are in. Whether it’s new or old, that typography is there for a reason.

Typography can literally go onto anything. This trash dumpster shows the technique of stenciling and spray-painting. It’s simple, fast, and an easy solution.

C r e Di ts Cullen, Kristin. layout workbook: a real-world guide to building pages in graphic design. Gloucester, MA: Rockport, 2005. Gomez-Palacio, Bryony, and Armin Vit. graphic design, referenced: a visual guide to the language, applications, and history of graphic design. Beverly, MA: Rockport, 2009.

DESIGNER / PHOTOGRAPHER » bradley brooks TYPEFACES » gotham & deming CAMERA » nikon d3000 CLASS » visc 402 – designer as author INSTRUCTOR » patrick dooley SEMESTER » fall 2011 SCHOOL » The university of kansas CONTRIBUTOR » jon klag

This zoomed in shot of a Power and Light sign shows all the aspects that go into threedimensional signage. From the frame to the light fixture, all play an important role.


Fire alarms are in almost every single building in our society. The condensed typography fits nicely with the vertical composition of the box.

y

o

g

R

P

h

simple while letting the red color pop.

it for what it is worth.

and a little closer view can help you appreciate

type. This type is everywhere everyday,

Type that you can walk up to, see closely, and even touch is bIG

T

P

A

y

it is fifty feet above us. This street sign stays

Typography at eye level is different that when

07

grid e x p o s e d


10 being used as information, and it just needs to be able to be read easily. Many script and even serif fonts cannot be used for this because they obtain too much décor in the letterforms. Every single day more and more “big” typography is transitioning from the ever-famous Times New Roman to typefaces like Helvetica. We live in a

walking down any street. Don’t look at signs for

businesses, but signs that say “No Smoking”

or “Right Turn Only”. The overall design of

whatever the typography is on probably isn’t

the most dynamic composition, but at

least the letterforms are visually nice

to find an example of “big” typography.

very sans-serif age, and we don’t have to go far

typography. There are times when the type is

decorative about them. You can find this when

and simple. This idea translates to other “big”

are simple fonts with nothing too cutesy or

involves a lot of sans-serif typefaces. These

type for it to be successful. “Big” typography

about legibility. You have to be able to read the

that can be praised. First, you need to think

not appear the most remarkable, it is the form

Even though the size of the typography might

This type has a three-dimensional aspect that gives beauty to the type and structure.

Something does not have to be printed still be considered nice typography. This enter sign contains strong attributes from the stems to wide stature.

11


26

hug e

on the eye.

structurally easy

dynamIc, and

Besides that, keep to the basics.

a logo of an extremely recognizable brand.

exception that seems to be successful is if it is

let the typography speak for itself. The only

add any extra jazz that could possibly confuse them? You wouldn’t. You’d

meant to be noticed and leave a lasting effect.

“It has to be bold,

eye. People are already going to be amazed by the size, so why would you

Just like anything else that is

to the typeface. It has to be bold, dynamic, and structurally easy on the

surrounds

Unlike the previous chapters, this typography is

that

to be heard. Dimensions this big don’t normally allow much script or serifs

typography

you.

“biggest”

made abnormally huge, there is probably an underlying message waiting

urban area, and you will be amazed by all the

seems to be more type than there actually is.

is out there. Take a trip to a downtown and

it everywhere, typography of that proportion

exclamation mark? Even though you can’t find

picture taken? What if that statue turned into an

Have you ever stood by a statue and had your

h o ly

Typography of this size at eye level can almost overwhelm you. Especially with the slight angle, there

creating letterforms is made of metal. Letterforms do not have to be from a typeface; there are endless ways to come to a solution.

This example of nontraditional ways of

27


32

typography is there for a reason.

type of environment you are in. Whether it’s new or old, that

any sort of typography, take a second to think about what

come across this typography. The next time you come across

different level. You need to go to downtown and urban areas to

allows you examine the technical parts of the letterforms at a

“biggest”. This typography does supersede your stature and

fit in your hands, but don’t overwhelm you. That category is

populated areas. The letterforms are bigger than what can

This category is dominated mostly by signage living in more

by not being tangible. Instead, there is a level of separation.

that the other categories don’t have. “Bigger” is distinguished

everywhere and in all environments. Its tangibility is an aspect

different types of locations. Starting very broad, “big” type is

“Big, Bigger, & Biggest” exposed successful typography in three

C o N C lu S I o N

shows all the aspects that go into threedimensional signage. From the frame to the light fixture, all play an important role.

This zoomed in shot of a Power and Light sign

33


finish e d

produc t


refle c t ion

This project was the first time that I felt I had ownership over everything involved. It’s weird to think that I took every photograph and wrote every word in this book. Honestly, I love the idea of doing something like this so much more than paying for a stock image or whatever. I feel really good after creating something like this. I have always been fascinated with typography that is huge. And I am really glad that I got to incorporate that in my story. At first, I had no idea how I was going to tell a story, but it seemed to just come to me when I was out taking photos. I can see how every designer cannot always do every function with just them and have to outsource to others. However, I think it is still more rewarding for when you do all functions yourself. I really love the outcome of this project and think I applied basic design principles to create a unique book.


Big Bigger Biggest process  

Big Bigger Biggest process

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you