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CHRIS WALKER MIAD 04 | 25 | 12



The flow of this book follows the flow of my process. Sometimes organized and calm, other times crammed and chaotic. Also, sorry I’m not sorry about the profanity.



But I’ve got this other idea too... Project Description


Sometimes boring, always necessary: Research. Research


Shit, this is going to take a while. Process


If people aren’t telling you that you’re crazy, you’re not thinking big enough. Execution


Time to step back for a minute. Evaluation


Can I sleep now? Summary


BUT I’VE GOT THIS OTHER IDEA TOO... I usually feel like I have so many ideas to choose from, which makes it difficult to pick the right one to work with. I have learned that eliminating potential dead-end ideas as early on as possible is highly beneficial for the success of a project. 4

HUNT STATEMENT I will research the industry of type design, type designers, & the process of typeface creation. The goal of my research is to apply what I learn towards the creation of a unique typeface or type family. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Design three typefaces that are each inspired by a different area in the city of MIlwaukee, while branding and designing a website for the typefaces to be distributed as a resource to local designers.

MESSAGE The goal of MKE Type is to give the selected neighborhoods a new and unique visual representation. Additionally, MKE Type aims to introduce new typefaces to local designers that were inspired by the areas in the city.

AUDIENCE Narrow: Milwaukee Designers Broad: All deisgners


SOMETIMES BORING, ALWAYS NECESSARY: RESEARCH. You may not always want to do it, but it will only strengthen your understanding of the project. Research may not be the most glamourous stage of the process, but it’l sure as hell help you look good in the end!


RESEARCH The following is a list of type foundries that I researched, as well as some notes I took down based on their web content.


One of the first independent type foundries to establish itself centered on personal computer technoilogy

Font Bureau (1989) Initially founded to serve the emerging needs of microcomputer-based magazine & newspaper publishers seeking unique typographic identities.

Hoefler & Frere-Jones (1989) Since 1989, H&FJ has helped hundreds of editorial, institutional, & corporate clients achieve their goals through typography, and has participated in some of the most successful & memorable redesigns in recent years.

FontFont (1990) The FF library is recognized as an aesthetic and technical reference among type experts.

House Industries (1993/94) The font collections, in particular, provide an opportunity for House to draw attention to all of the under-appreciated art genres that made such an impact on us during our impressionable years.

P22 (1994) creates computer typefaces inspired by Art & History and is renowned for its work with museums and foundations to ensure the development of historical typefaces that are fully relevent for today’s computer use

Myfonts (1999) Wanted to make finding fonts “as easy as shopping for shoes.

TypeTrust (2002) Established as a direct and sustainable channel between the dedicated type designer and the devoted type design enthusiast.

Process (2002) To make typefaces we wanted to use hoping others would too.

Suitcase (2003) An independent type foundry that specializes in the design & digitization of quality fonts for professional use


COMPETITION ANALYSIS (continued) Commercial (2004) The company publishes retail fonts developed by Barnes & Schwartz, their staff, and outside collaborators, also represents the two when they work together on type design projects.

Sudtipos (2006) The first Argenteniean Type foundry Collective. “Our team offers original and exclusive type design for corporate use.”

Urtd (2009) retail & custom typefaces, lettering, corporate ID, editorial design, icon & pictogram design

Rosetta Strong focus on multi-script typography. Is is a response to the increasing interest and need, within the global market, for multi-script typefaces that are both technically and aesthetically of the highest standard.

FREE FOUNDRIES Font Fabric (2008) Our goal is to create high quality fonts which stand in a unique class of their own, and which will serve as a good base for any designer project whether it be web, print, t-shirt design, logo. etc.

Font Squirrel (2009) Free fonts. Focus on quality, not quantity.

The League of Moveable Type (2009) Here you’ll find only the most well-made, free & open-source, @font-face ready fonts.

Lost Type CO-OP (2011) A pay-what-you-want type foundry, the first of it’s kind.



Designing Type Karen Cheng Logotypes & Letterforms Doyald Young




SHIT, THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE. I like to take my time when I work, which means that my work takes time to produce. It’s a blessing and a curse; and I still haven’t quite found the right balance between getting shit done & geting shit done with style. I’m workin’ on it though! 11




IN-CLASS PROCESS WRITING * The writing is unedited, taken directly from what was written down during class to ensure that the sleep-deprived qualities remain.

SESSION 1 3 things I’ve hated so far - the beginning, not knowing what I’m doing. I think that is the worst part. - From not knowing in the beginning and falling behind. That made it a pain in the ass to get caught up with research. Plus, I feel like if I would’ve figured my shit out earlier on, my research would have had the potential to be much more thorough. - properly expressing my ideas. part of that may be due to lack of thought I put in on the front end, but ti’s difficult when I’m not as motivated as I am later on in the process (nowish) in the process. I feel like I sold my concepts short early on due to lack of understanding and development on my end.

3 things I’ve gained/enjoyed - I’m definitely enjoying that I am able to pay closer attention to my process then ever before. From this, I hope to better understand what does and doesn’t work for me when it comes down to it. - getting to say that i’m drawing letters, doing what I love is my homework. this is a great opportunity to work on something new and exciting on a larger than normal scale. it’s really a treat, being able to work on this…even more so now that my ideas have had a chance to develop and I have something solid to work with. - being given the opportunity to showcase the work that I’m capable of, and sharing my love for type in the process

Successes? Why? I have found it to be successful when I am able to work for a long period of time. Once of my downfalls is that I sometimes give up too easy, so it’s a matter of powering through and solving the problem instead of getting caught up on it and backing down. Also, I have learned that the more time I spend developing developing an idea before I present it, the better. That way OI will have given myself a better understanding of what I’m talking about, which will most likely mean that I will


“’s a matter of powering through and solving the problem instead of getting caught up on it and backing down.” be able to communicate the idea more thoroughly. Also, staying up late and getting shit done early on has proved to be successful thus far. It allows for better initial understanding of an idea, which leads to thoughtful and beneficial development. I also found it very helpful to create my more detailed calendar. It allowed me to get a brief look into the future of when what is due, so that I know how to properly schedule my time in order to stay on task and achieve my ultimate end goal. Oh, and thinking visually about each component as early on as possible helps for sure. Then, just like the schedule and calendar, it’s on your mind and you’re more aware of it.

Struggles? Why? Solved, How? Not solved, how? I would say that my biggest struggle normally seems to be at the beginning of projects. I always seem to have a difficult time picking up steam. Sometimes I jumbo from idea to idea, because I feel like I have many and I’m worried about choosing the one that is best suited for the situation. Also, I have confidence issues in my work during the initial stages when I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing. Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that sometimes I just need to remember to start. Starting and failing is better than not starting at all, and waiting to start only prolongs the sometimes inevitable failures from which the lotus flowers bloom.


SESSION 2 Process from start to now, what influenced visual choices based on research? How’d I get from the beginning to now? In the beginning of the proces, my ideas were all over the place. I felt as though I had many different routes to take that I couldn’t make up my mind so I just kept hopping around. The research that I did helped to solidify some of the thoughts in my mind, as well as make way from some new ones. What I have found recently—and maybe it’s common sense but i never realized it before—is that the early stages of the process it is of immense importance to create the most succinct and detailed image of your concept in your mind so that you will do it the most justice when it comes to the crit and getting feedback from others. Once my research was complete, I created a mood board for the city of MKE as well as the 3 neighborhoods. After I presented that the first time, I realized it needed revisions, so that’s what I did. Once revised, I began the sketching process. To my surprise, the logo *so I thought*, East Side, and Third Ward seemed to come easy at first. Bay View was a different story. After feedback on everything, I began vectorizing. Once “the logo” (Milwaukee Type Collection) & East Side were done, I was able to get some good feedback from both Michael Nieling and my good friend/web developer, Robert Milner. Talking with Michael and Bob has been extremely motivational.

“I’m most productive as a designer when I’m psyched about a project and know what the fuck I’m talking about.”

In regard to the FontLab Studio stuff, personal exploration has played a huge role in accomplishing that. OH! That Friday I came in to meet with Danielle and Shawn was the breakthrough day, as far as my concept is concerned. Just talking ideas out and DG writing them on the whiteboard allowed me to see my thoughts all at once, which was extremely helpful.

Advice, thoughts that I’d give myself if I could go back and talk to myself pre-research? You know what you have to do, so just do it. Don’t make it harder than it is. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work, but fucking suck it up! Just because you may not necessarily have all the knowledge that is necessary right now doesn’t mean that you won’t learn it in with time. Step outside of your comfort zone. The earlier you get this shit figured out, the more time you’ll have for research, and the less excuses you’ll have to make.

Times, locations, sounds, smells, that make you productive? What hinders you? How can you fix what hinders? I’m most productive as a designer when I am psyched about a project and know what the fuck I’m talking about. It seems that if I have a good idea to work with that I’m excited about, the time of day does not necessarily matter as much. BUT, night time does always seem the most productive to me. Probably because there are less distractions for me compared to daytime. At the same time, I just feel more motivated to be working at night, so I’m not really sure. I have noticed that If I don’t have a solid idea of what I’m doing or where I’m headed, than it is better to work by myself until I figure it out (aside from brainstorming, of course). I always love kicking ideas around with Bob or Michael, it’s always highly valuable and motivating feedback. I trust their opinions because the standard that they hold themselves to in their work is similar to that of mine. The sounds that have been motivating me lately range from Trent Reznor & NIN all the way to Jay-Z. In my opinion,








Trent Reznor is a badass. He IS Nine Inch Nails. Not only do I enjoy most of his music, but it also motivates me just thinking about the following he single-handedly created.

What amount of process do you want to reveal in your exhibit? How do you envision the role process will play in your exhibit? I’m not entirely sure just how much process I want to display in my exhibit, but I definitely want my process to be displayed. If I had to, I’d say a low-medium amount of my process will be shown. That being said, I see it being both and atmospheric and explanatory element. I would like people to be able to see what goes into the development and creation of a typeface (both designers & non-designers). Initially, process was an element I wanted to have a more primary focus on, but through the progression of my project I have created wrk that I feel is substantial enough to shift the focus away from process.

“Prior to the visiting pro crit, I felt as though I had hit the project plateau. I was stuck, with no ideas in the well. The visiting pro crit was a breath of fresh air for the project; just what I needed.”

SESSION 3 How do you feel about being critiqued by pros? Do you feel it was valuable? What stove out? How can we take the negative comments and make them work for us? What do you want to tell the critics? I feel just fine about being critiqued by the visiting professionals. They are all people too, only, people with more life experience. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to talk with Michael and the Ocupop guys pretty much whenever I need. Having discussions with them has made being critiqued by the professionals less intimidating. I feel it was very valuable. Prior to the visiting pro crit, I feel as though I had hit the project plateau. I was stuck, with no ideas in the well. The visiting pro crit was a breath of fresh air for the project, just what I needed. Overall, there were about 7/23 responses that really resonated with me. Surprisingly, many people had no problems with my use of grey, but the consensus seemed to be that color would lend itself to an increase in personality. Also, it seems as though I need to clarify my intentions some more; the more questions I can answer without them having to be asked, the better.

In the future/outside of school: Would you find someone from the outside to look at a project? Why, Why not? Fuck yeah! I already do. Why wouldn’t you? With each new project I take on, I learn something new. Recently I have realized how beneficial it is to have outside eyes look at your work. Personally, I feel that you’re limiting an idea’s potential if you don’t. Especially when you’re getting an outside opinion from someone you trust.




IF PEOPLE AREN’T TELLING YOU THAT YOU’RE CRAZY, YOU’RE NOT THINKING BIG ENOUGH. This section showcases all of work that I put in over the semester. I may have sliced off the tip of my finger, got into a car accident, and spent a ridiculous amount of money in a very short what? It was totally worth it.



Throughout the course of the semester I’ve read numerous articles and watched a variety of videos on The Behance Network’s site, The title for this section, “If people aren’t telling you that you’re crazy, you’re not thinking big enough”, is more or less a quote from Simon Sinek (ethnographer & leadership expert) which I came across in one of my searches for inspiration and motivation. To think I could design 3 typefaces, brand a “company”, and design a website all in 1 semester—not to mention plan and execute an exhibit that does my work justice—was definitely crazy of me. When it came time present my design for the exhibit along with what I had in mind for execution, were “Whaaaa???”, “That’s nuts!”, or simply “Crazy” with a repeated shake of the head. Some were skeptical of whether of not I could accomplish what I set out to; but in the end, it was just fuel for the fire. Once again, a big thanks the whole crew who contributed to the project, especially Michael Nieling (project advisor), Robert Milner (web dev), Miguel Ramirez (exhibit production), Phillip Moody (photography), Lucas Ruminski (printmaking), Grace Blevins (painting touch-ups), & Mary-Claire Ramirez (painting touch-ups) 20








TOP: Preliminary exhibit design was based entirely on the website layout. BOTTOM: Exhibit design was refined to improve hierarchy RIGHT: Painting, screen printing, laser cutting, mounting, and more mounting; A collection of images taken with my phone from the week leading up to the completion of the exhibit.






FINALL TIME TO STEP BACK FOR A MINUTE. Even though I did the best job I could have with the time I was given, I think there is still room for improvement when it comes to time management. Also, I noticed that during class both Shawn and Danielle always seemed to think I was further than I thought.



CAN I SLEEP NOW??? This semester has been absolutely fucking nuts...and I couldn’t be happier. It was a great opportunity to push my limits and see exactly what I’m capable of. Going without sleep for extended periods of time is as possible as your passion allows it to be.




MKE Type: Process  

This little book is a compilation of thoughts and images from the past semester while working on my Capstone project at MIAD. About the pr...