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What is Typography?

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

Introduction

3

Developing an Opinion

4

Collecting Examples

5

A New Language

7

Basic Glossary

8

Assessment

9

Find Out More

10

Sources

11

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Typography is an art, good typography is art Paul Rand 1960

Type can be a tool, a toy and a teacher

Bradbury Thompson

Typography is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters Steve Byers

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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Typography Introduction As a budding graphic designer and visual communicator, typography will inevitably play a key role in your professional development.

You probably will have had some experience of working with type and letter forms in the past and you will be building on this over the next two years at LCC. If this is not the case - don’t worry, because you will now have the opportunity and support from us to become a competent and creative type user. Some of you will be more interested in type than others but all of you will need to gain some understanding of how typography can affect all areas of visual communication. On this course we want to encourage you to create a solid understanding of the basic principles of typography. Until you feel very confident about how you

use type, try working with just one typeface – Helvetica – for instance. This will allow you to become familiar with how one typeface works and really get to grips with how your typographic decisions affect your work without getting side tracked. You will notice that we do not focus particularly on using computers for typography at first. This enables you to become familiar with the detail of the letterforms; to think about spacing, size, alignment and hierarchy in a more purposeful way. When subsequently using a computer, you will be in control – not the computer’s default settings. (unless, of course that’s what you decide you want!).

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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Typography Developing an Opinion Make it your business to become an expert on both current and past typographers. Try to develop an opinion on different typographers; who’s work do you like or admire and whose do you not like. Can you express why? Here are just some for starters. look them up - what do you think of their work? Add your comments to the course blog. Jonathan Barnbrook

Alan Kitching

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

Philippe Apeloig

Armin Hoffmann

Stefan Sagmeister

Zuzana Licko

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Typography Collecting Examples Becoming a type collector will provide you with an ever expanding resource for all of the projects on the course

Keeping a sketch book or folder of interesting examples of type will be very useful to you. From now on, if you see anything that might inspire you make a drawing of it, pick it up or photograph it and start to make your own library of type samples. Collect examples of vernacular type - type that is perhaps hand made and reflects its environment.

You won’t have to go far, the Elephant and Castle is full of excellent examples of this. record any type experiments you make - you may want to refer back to them in the future. Alan Fletcher’s ‘The Art of Looking Sideways’ (directly below) is a great example of how a note book can become a fantastic source to work from.

Keep an open mind you don’t have to love every piece that you collect. You may find examples in books, online or in less obvious places such as in the biscuit tin! Images from trips abroad provide useful contrast

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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Typography: the balance, interplay and organisation of letters on a page

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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Typography A New Language

The Anatomy of a Typeface

Like most professions, graphic designers and typographers use a specialist vocabulary. It is important to have some understanding of this so that you can communicate easily with other designers and related professionals such as printers.

Character

The basic glossary on the next few pages contains some of the terms you will become familiar with

Condensed

Alphabet

Ball Terminal

Symbols used in a writing system.

A circular form at the end of the arm of a letters. Look at Bodoni and Clarendon for examples.

Arc Part of the boundary of a letterform

Ascender Part of a lowercase letter that rises above the x-height - b, d, f, h, k, t and l.

Axis Line on which a letterform rotates.

Baseline

A symbol in a font or glyph.

Classical Type Style Letterforms having vertical axis, adnate serifs, teardrop terminals and moderate aperture. Originated in the 18th century.

A horizontally compressed font.

Contrast The difference in thickness of vertical to horizontal strokes in letterforms.

Counter

The line on which letterforms rest.

Bleed

Bold

Cap Height

Blackletter

Where an image extends to the edge of the paper after trimming.

The blacker, heavier variation of a typeface compared to the Roman version.

The distance from the baseline to the cap line of an alphabet, which is the approximate height of the uppercase letters.

The name for a wide variety of gothic letterforms that originate in northern Europe. The masthead of The Telegraph newspaper uses this type of type face.

Body Size The height of the face of the type. Originally, this meant the height of the face of the metal block on which each individual letter was cast.

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

Bowl The round or elliptical that form the body shape of rounded letters such as C, G, O. The bowl is similar to the ‘eye’.

Centered Text Text set so each line is centred above the other.

The white space either partially or fully enclosed by a letterform, for example in the letters d, o, c, m.

Cursive Typefaces that resemble handwriting.

Descender The part of a letter that falls below the baseline, as in j, g, q, p, y.

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Typography Basic Glossary

Dingbat

Folio

Kern

Movable type

Ranged Left

Stem

Symbols such as arrows, mathematical signs and bullets.

A page number.

To affect the spacing in between individual letters.

A set of characters.

Setting lines of text so that any extra space is on the right, and the text is against the left margin. Also called ragged right.

A main (vertical) stroke in a letter form.

Display type.

Gutenberg invented individual letters cast on independent metal bodies for assembly into blocks ready for printing.

Font

Large sizes of type, for use as headlines and titles.

Foundry

Drop Cap

The place where metal type is made; now any maker of type.

An initial capital in a paragraph that extends through several lines.

Grid

Egyptian Type

A graphic ‘scaffold’ to aid the design and layout of a page.

Letterforms having square serifs and almost uniform thickness of strokes.

Grotesk

Em Space

H and J

A distance equal to the type size 12 points in a 12 point typeface, 11 points in an 11 point typeface and so on.

Abbreviation for Hyphenation and Justification.

Em Dash A dash the width of the letter m.

Letters without serifs.

Humanist Type Style Letterforms which originate from the humanists of the Italian Renaissance.

En Space

Justification

Half an em.

A body of text with a ‘smooth’ edge either side.

Expanded/Extended

Letterpress Traditional method of printing type.

Text Any sequence of graphic symbols.

Oblique

Ranged Right

A slanted type design, following the letter shapes of the roman variation, as opposed to italic, which is also cursive.

Setting lines of text so that any extra space is on the left, and the text is against the right margin.

Uppercase

Small letters used in printing that were found in the lower part of the printer’s type case.

Oldstyle typeface

Roman

A capital letter, so called because of the placement of capital letters in a printer’s type case.

Majuscule

Pica

A capital (or other large) letter.

A unit of typographic measure, equal to 12 points.

The classical style of type that is upright, as opposed to oblique, is of normal weight as opposed to light or bold, and has graduated thick and thin strokes as opposed to being cursive.

Script

X-Height The height of a lowercase letter ‘x’ in a particular font.

Ligature Two or more letters tied into a single character.

Lowercase

Modern Type Style

A group of typefaces typified by oblique, bracketed serifs.

Letterforms with flat serifs, abrupt and exaggerated strokes, and vertical shading.

Point A unit of measure used by printers, equal to 1/72 inch.

A form of typeface based on writing, having generally continuous strokes that connect letters.

Monospaced printing

Point size

Serif

Printing in which each letter or symbol occupies the same horizontal space.

The height of a font expressed using points.

A small stroke at the end of the main strokes of letterforms. Typefaces with serifs are called serif typefaces and those without, sans serif typefaces.

Typeface A distinctive, visually consistent design for the alphabetic symbols.

Weight Heaviness or blackness of letters.

A loosely spaced or wider than normal font

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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or exploration of alternatives

materials in the realisation of concepts

evidence of exploration

future work

Typography Assessment 5 Technical Competence Skills to enable the execution of ideas appropriate to the medium

University of the Arts London Undergraduate Marking Criteria

Criteria

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

Execution demonstrates poor judgement and very limited command of techniques

Uses limited rudimentary processes exercising little judgement

Skills are adequate to communicate ideas; accepted conventions and procedures are usually applied

Skills facilitate communication evidence of chec testing / finishin conventions and procedures are u consistently and appropriately

Level of Achievement Indicators Fail 0–29%

30–39% Information presented does not relate sufficiently to the task; there may be evidence of rudimentary research

Pass 40–54%

55–69%

Adequate information has been gathered and documented from readily available sources applying standard techniques

Information is accurate, Well informed appropriately categorised judgements made of the and from a range of relative value of sources connected information from a wide range of sources

70–84%

85–100% Extensive independent research, accuracy, familiarity with the material, and sound judgements

1 Research Systematic identification and investigation of appropriate sources

Little or no information presented

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

2 Analysis Examination and interpretation of resources

Little or no evidence of examination of source material

Constituent elements may be incorrectly identified; analysis may be attempted but not justified

Key elements within relevant information are identified, but may lack accurate interpretation

Accurate interpretation of the relationships between constituent elements

Accurate interpretation and evaluation of relationships between elements

Accurate and perhaps personally based synthesis and evaluation of elements

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

3 Subject Knowledge Understanding and application of subject knowledge and underlying principles

Unable to evidence or articulate basic principles and knowledge related to the subject

Limited knowledge of the subject and its development

Evidence of understanding key aspects of the subject context, in current debates and / or historical background. References to some relevant movements / people

Accurate understanding of subject context. References to key movements and people

Accurate, extensive understanding of subject context. Evidence of appreciation of the relative significance of movements and people

Contributes to the subject debate by assimilating knowledge into a personal hypothesis (or elements of / the beginnings of one)

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

4 Experimentation Problem solving, risk taking, experimentation and testing of ideas and materials in the realisation of concepts

Little or no engagement with alternative ideas and processes

Unable to identify problems; does not understand the purpose of risk taking or exploration of alternatives

Operates within familiar and well established ideas, processes, media and / or materials; some evidence of exploration

Evidence of exploration of processes, media and materials; may lead to potential directions for future work

Evidence of conceptual risk taking / using own analysis to inform further cycles of inquiry and potential future directions

Unfamiliar conceptual territories may be explored

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

5 Technical Competence Skills to enable the execution of ideas appropriate to the medium

Execution demonstrates poor judgement and very limited command of techniques

Uses limited rudimentary processes exercising little judgement

Skills are adequate to communicate ideas; accepted conventions and procedures are usually applied

Skills facilitate communication of ideas; evidence of checking / testing / finishing; conventions and procedures are used consistently and appropriately

Skills facilitate practice and the communication of ideas; full command of conventions and procedures is evident

Idea and technique are unified. Discernment and judgement are evident. Technical / craft skills may have contributed to conceptual advances

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

6 Communication and Presentation Clarity of purpose; skills in the selected media; awareness and adoption of appropriate conventions; sensitivity to the needs of the audience

Ineffective use of visual / oral / written communication conventions in the production and presentation of ideas

Partial lack of awareness and observance of conventions and standards; lack of clarity in structure selection and organisation of information; lack of awareness of audience

Conventions and standards are applied; structure is clear; information selection and organisation shows awareness of audience requirements and preferences

Communication media have been selected / used with good judgement; standards and conventions of use have been fully adhered to; decisions show awareness of the audience and the context

The nature and strengths of appropriate communication media have been exploited; information has been selected, organised and presented showing awareness of audience and context

Message and medium are unified with personal style; the communication is persuasive and compelling; it takes full account of diverse audience needs

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

7 Personal and Professional Development Management of learning through reflection, planning, self direction, subject engagement and commitment

Consistent lack of evidence of reflection or planning for learning. No awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to task

Sporadic evidence of reflection and planning for learning but not followed through consistently. Incomplete awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses

Evidence that reflection and planning have led to increased subject engagement and commitment. Developing an awareness of strengths and weaknesses

Evidence that a cycle of reflection and planning has been iterative and productive. Actively works to develop strengths and mitigate weaknesses

Reflection and planning is self directed, iterative, habitual and evidenced clearly. Strengths have been built on, weaknesses have been mitigated

Takes full responsibility for own learning and development through iterative cycles of well articulated purposeful analysis and planning, supported by extensive evidence

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

70–84%

85–100%

8 Collaborative and / or Independent Professional Working Demonstration of suitable behaviour for working in a professional context alone, or with others

Does not collaborate with others; unproductive working alone; shows no knowledge of related profession

Collaborates reluctantly; struggles to produce work alone; has unrealistic view of professional life

Awareness of main standards required of relevant profession. Able to work both collaboratively and independently.

Aware of and able to meet most standards required of relevant profession in simulated or real professional situations. Productive when working in a team or working alone

Aware of and able to meet most standards required of relevant profession in simulated or real professional situations. May work well in a team, provide effective leadership, and demonstrate a well rounded profile working alone

Integrates a sense of own identity productively into real or simulated professional situations. Can work comfortably as a team member, in a leadership role, or alone

UALv7 2009

6 Communication and Presentation Clarity of purpose; skills in the selected media; awareness and adoption of appropriate conventions; sensitivity to the needs of the audience

7 Personal and Professional Development Management of learning through reflection, planning, self direction, subject engagement and commitment

8 Collaborative and / or Independent Professional Working Demonstration of suitable behaviour for working in a professional context alone, or with others

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

On the assessment sheets we will use to mark you, typography and how you apply it to your work will fall into more than one category40–54% depending on 30–39% 0–29% project Partial lack of awareness Conventions and Ineffectivethe use of visual / brief.

standards are applied; and observance of oral / written structure is clear; conventions and communication information standards; of clarity will conventions in the The most relevent twolack categories usually selection in structure selection and and organisation shows production and beof‘Technical Competence’ and ‘Communication awareness of audience organisation of presentation ideas information; lack of and Presentation’. However, criteriarequirements such as and preferences awareness of audience

‘Experimentation’ will sometimes also offer the opportunity for you to display your ongoing typographic development.

55–69%

Communication have been selec used with good judgement; stan and conventions have been fully to; decisions sho awareness of th audience and th

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

Consistent lack of evidence of reflection or planning for learning. No awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to task

Sporadic evidence of reflection and planning for learning but not followed through consistently. Incomplete awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses

Evidence that reflection and planning have led to increased subject engagement and commitment. Developing an awareness of strengths and weaknesses

Evidence that a reflection and pl has been iterativ productive. Acti works to develo strengths and m weaknesses

0–29%

30–39%

40–54%

55–69%

Does not collaborate with others; unproductive working alone; shows no knowledge of related profession

Collaborates reluctantly; struggles to produce work alone; has unrealistic view of professional life

Awareness of main standards required of relevant profession. Able to work both collaboratively and independently.

Aware of and ab meet most stand required of relev profession in sim or real professio situations. Produ when working in or working alon

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Find out more...

Eye, Grafik and Baseline magazines are great for keeping abreast of the latest typographic developments. These magazines are expensive so you may prefer to look at the copies in the library at LCC.

Keep an eye out for articles in daily newspapers and other publications. Typography can be newsworthy as the recent Guardian article about Ikea changing its catalogue font from Futura to Verdana proves!

The library has some fantastic collections of past design magazines - it’s well worth seeking them out and spending time just browsing through.

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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Typography Sources

Books

Magazines

Websites

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students Ellen Lupton

Baseline

typophile.com

Eye

new.typographica.org

Grafik

ilovetypography.com

Creative Review

www.typeculture.com

Type and Typography Phil Baines and Andrew Haslam Basics Design: Typography Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris

tdc.org typeradio.org

The Ten Commandments of Typography by Paul Felton

typeneu.com typographyserved.com

Hand Job: A Catalogue of Type Michael Perry New Typographic Design Roger Fawcett-Tang

1001freefonts.com welovetypography.com

A Type Primer John Kane Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type really works Erik Spiekermann & EM Ginger 20th Century Type Lewis Blackwell

| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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| FdA Design for Graphic Communication | Typography | Year 1 | Updated: October 09 | SR |

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typo notes  

introduction to typography

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