Iain Budgen FMP
FMP Originally I had trouble nailing down an idea for my FMP. So my initial work was an attempt to work out what I wanted to do. My first plan was to continue with my current font and try and convey a message through screen and print design. It was not particuarly inspiring because whilst I could not pick a theme, it did not really push the boundaries of what I was capable of. The ideas and themes had to be broader and venture away from University comfort zones. I eventually came to this decision:
These experiments were an attempt for me to figure out where my FMP was going. The intial imagery that would become a hallmark of this project was there, strong use of negative space and geometric grids. I feel that by trying to be more organic with the grids would break the structure of my font, something i do not want. As you can see, there was very little direction at this point and there situation had not really moved forward since the end of the active research. My favourite image there was the teal and yellow image, not for its content, but because of the bold colour choices. Leading up to graduation, I would not want to look back and say that this was the work that I concluded my studies with.
My FMP is to be recreating my typeface as a workable and functioning font, exploring and refining its features to make it visually pleasing whilst maintaining the unfamiliar characterisitics I was aiming for. This was originally an exploration of cryptography, the characters are to be unrecognisable and designed for short sentences in the public domain. Whilst there is an obvious conclusion, I would like the work to remain exploratory and fun - exploring structure and form of both grids and typography. I would continue other themes from my previous work, simple colour pallettes, strong use of negative space and a lack of illustration - the focus is on the typography and structure. This would then be marketed online via ISSU and other online sources. Featuring a PDF booklet showing off the font. I would also target various free foundaries in an effort to get my font noticed. At times this project is going to be as much work as it is keeping my work at the forefront of the public domain.
Font Creation Beginning work with my existing typeface I began to redraw and develop it to a point where it was ready to put into Fontlab. But I stumbled across a problem I had previously not taken into consideration - taking this font beyond decorative meant I had to consider numbers and additional characters within my font. The original font was created as a string of lines before being cut up and each of the twenty-six squares representing a letter. I felt uneasy simply tacking another ten squares onto it. Aesthetically I felt I would always know that those numbers were never part of the original typeface and even if everyone else accepted them. I tried to have a separate string (Pictured) but I always felt it would be alienated by the original. As a result of this I felt I had achieved everything I could with this typeface. Whilst pleasing to the eye, I felt it needed a fresh start to achieve the best results. So I decided to ask people who deal with numbers and letters every day. After sending out numerous emails I was eventually put into contact with Richard Browne, the crossoword editor for The Times. I was also put in contact with Wayne Gould who has made sudoku books for The Times. The results of both interviews helped shape the course of this project.
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C H L O U Y
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As can be seen here, despite the Fontlab log being present and some editing required, the original typeface is functional and working. In hindsight the vertical structure of the typeface leaves for little variation. Below is an attempt to create a number setup in a similar vein to the original alphabet. I do not feel there are any real standout characteristics.
Richard Browne Interview have never asked people specifically to consider it. The single most aesthetic feature of the crossword grid is its symmetry, single symmetry I think so. I tend to find my attention with the top half a mirror image of caught by words I casually hear or the bottom half. This is pretty well read, and start thinking whether universal in cryptic crosswords, and they would make good clues - can I don't know when it started, but it be very distracting when I am trying was pretty soon after the crossword to read a book or follow a play or a was invented (in the 1920s) and film. But I also find my reading etc seems to have established itself enriched a lot, because in the nature silently as what everyone accepts as of things I have come to know so the nicest looking format. many words, often curious ones, and their relationships and history, that Do you believe cryptic crosswords it gives as it were an added depth are elitist, using language that is to language; and I am fascinated to inaccessible to certain demographics? note the subtle changes that go on If you believe they are elitist, do you in the meaning and use of words, consider that to be a bad thing? although this may just be because I am getting older and no one speaks Certainly the Times Crossword is any more as they did when I was a deliberately aimed at the Times child. Most of the novelty comes readership, which is generally the from America, of course. more educated and intelligent group in the population, and the Whilst there are certain rules crossword reflects this in the level regarding crosswords, are the of vocabulary, range of general aesthetics/ structure ever taken into knowledge, and cognitive ability to consideration? work out the clues. I see nothing wrong in this; there are plenty of Yes, very much so on the crosswords out there of all types Times crossword certainly. Me and levels, and everyone can choose predecessor as editor consolidated which they like. We are much less a set of crossword grids, which we elitist than we were, though, I would still used, which were designed to say: sixty/seventy years ago the look good as well as be susceptible crossword was full of references to to filling with useful words: with obscure byways of English literature, many long crosschecking words, suitable for Oxbridge types, senior and the black squares in pleasing civil servants, and people who patterns, never too many of them remembered the staples of the close together. We also try to avoid Edwardian nursery - Edward Lear, ugliness in the choice of words: A A Milne, that sort of thing. But words that rhyme for example we again, that was a reflection of the don't like to put together. I think a readership of the time; and we lot of the elegance we get into the change and adapt as circumstances crossword is unconscious; certainly I change: so for example literary and Has your relationship with words and letters changed as a result of creating/ solving crosswords?
scriptural references are becoming increasingly rare. I am not aware of anyone complaining of feeling excluded; in fact, an excellent feature of modern life is the crossword blog, on which solvers get together to discuss and criticise each day's clues, and where they extend welcome and help to anyone who wants to learn how to start doing the crossword for themselves. So, along with the "how to" books that have proliferated in recent years, it is probably easier today to get into the crossword than ever before. We are probably rather inaccessible still to people for whom English is not their first language, but tackling the crossword would be an excellent and fun way to improve. When creating crosswords, has there been examples of personal feelings etc represented in clues?
My compilers don't tend to do this; and I discourage it. The expression of personal opinions can be annoying to solvers who don't share them (as a large number won't, whatever they are). The crossword is meant to be purely an entertainment, so I keep it neutral. We avoid referring to living people, and we ban references to controversial subjects - one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, so we don't go there. The Guardian crossword, on the other hand, I think it is fair to say, is mainly compiled by people who share that newspaper's political point of view, and this is sometimes reflected in the clues; but the readership probably share it too, so that's fine.
Font Creation Part Two Wayne Gould Interview: 1. When creating a sudoku puzzles, do you acknowledge the numerical value of the digit (1-9) or do you view just view them as a symbol? Just as symbols. 2. If a sudoku puzzle was created using an unrecognisable alphabet would that increase the difficulty?
Retreating to the drawing board I felt I had the answers I needed in order to edit or redraw my typeface. Richard Browneâ€™s interview has showed me more than ever the importance of words and as with cryptic crosswords, keeping them closely guarded.
the idea of it becoming a monospace typeface. As with typefaces previously, I took the time to review my creation once it was finished and make some changes. This was specifically looking at legability (See insert) as well as making things pleasing to look at.
No, not at all.
3. Do you see the numbers 1-9 differently in day to day life as a result of sudoku? No. What I learnt as a result of both interviews is that numbers do not have much significance in comparison to letters. So the addition of the numbers in the font will not over-complicate things. I chose to ignore all additional characters except for the full stop and comma because the font is only supposed to be for short, casual communication. Hopefully users will accept and agree with my decision although there is of course room for expansion and editing.
Using the structure of a QWERTY keyboard to map out my characters I used 10x10 squares as the basis for the characters. By drawing from my conclusions from my previous typeface (That the letterforms all had the same vertical structure) I felt having four sides to approach from would add varity to the letters and produce a better all-round typeface. As with previous typefaces, they are created with
As can be seen here, at size 60 the original character looked legable (Top), but when at a standard size 12 that part of the character looked arkward, with too much black in certain areas. Without the joint I think the character has more room to breathe.
As a result of this I think I have created a convincing typeface where every letter looks different.
Font Editing There are things that I did not take into account when I originally made this font that I have since had to edit. The intial concept of having a monospace typeface ended up with it looking disjointed and uncohesive (Version 1). Characters with little linework and lots of negative space were often isolated and alone when they are supposed to be part of words. Decifering this cryptic typeface would become more difficult and it is visually disjointed. More importantly, it is not attractive to look at. The decision was originally taken just to remove the spaces of those with little characters but I still felt it was not cohesive enough (Version 2). As a viewer I would find it confusing that some were joined when others were not. Drawing inspiration from Arabic typefaces, I felt a joined up approach would be visually more appealling. The user obviously has to opportunity to over-ride this. Finally the spacing between words was increased to the full potentional width of a character just to allow the words room to breath. This also would give the viewer the opportunity to have a grasp on what was trying to be communicated. FUCK
THIS Version two.
There are things that I did not take into account when I originally made this font that I have since have had to edit. The intial concept of having a monospace type ended up with it looking disjointed and uncohesive. Characters with little linework and lots of negative space were often isolated and alone when they are supposed to be part of words. Decifering this cryptic typeface would become more difficult and it is visually disjointed. The decision was originally taken just to remove the spaces of those with little characters but I still felt it was not cohesive enough. Drawing inspiration from Arabic typefaces, I felt a joined up approach would be visually more appealling. The user obviously has to opportunity to over-ride this. Finally the spacing between words was increased to the full potentional width of a character just to allow the words room to breath. This also would give the viewer the opportunity to have a grasp on what was trying to be communicated. This translation of the main body of text is to illustrate the main purpose of this typeface, to hide short message in public space. Whilst I think it is please to the eye, with that much black on the page any attempt at translation would become difficult. As yet, the font is yet to work with hyphenation. I again feel that adding this feature would add needless complexity.
This is the font joined together as it was originally intented, in a keyboard layout. I feel it would be a good way to draw people into the concept of the font because it does not immediately give away what it is all about. Because I have been so preoccupied with the use of negative space I decided to have some fun and play around with some colour. The result I think is very eye catching. I am still ensure on labelling my font Cryptic though, I almost feel if I am to publish this font it should have a more exotic name. In the digital and print publication this would be the central page, drawing the viewer in with the concepts and ideas before showing the font; This could also be used as potentional advertisement.
When I had the idea of a digital distribution booklet in mind, I was thinking of something similar to the catalogue type foundaries send out to clients. I original started with using a san serif font, largely based of personal preference. Experiementing with Myriad Pro and Arial I felt did not look right. It was too simple as a title font. Instead to chose to contrast my futuristic and rigid with a more traditional font. I settled on Georgia because I like the contrast in letterforms. Looking at ways to break up the text and make it seem more formal and professional, I experimented with lines to break up the text. Originally I was thinking along the lines of the line representing a mirror and seeing something different each side, but that eventually changed to become more stylistic. I chose to use the bottom example because I wanted to break up and change my use of rigid geometric lines. This makes it seem a little more old fashioned than normal.
After doing a little research into colour if felt that going with a black cover would be overpowering. I certainly wanted a bold block colour cover similar to that of the old Penguin books. I felt that as both a book and digital publication I wanted it to stand out more than anything else. Red would help achieve this. The white band was thinking about the implications of print, as a bold Georgia did not fit with the layout. Plus I like the contrast between the bold foreign characters and the regular serif. Early Penguin books used Gil San Serif Bold on their covers and dispite being influenced by the imagery of the cover, shunned this. I wanted to try and maintain a sense of mystery and elegance.
Book/Fonts â€˜Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.â€™ - Benjamin Franklin This project stemmed from a personal desire - to keep secrets in a world where private information is available at a touch of a button. We would be hypocrites for not being one of those people who take interest in the personal lives of both our friends and celebrities of our time. Curiosity is what sets the human race apart from any other species. This font allows the user the opportunity to hide secrets in plain sight. It is designed as a decorative screen font, to hide your messages in the online domain, right where people are looking for them. Some things are right under your nose....
The text above is the first page of my promotional booklet. I think it does a good job of outlining what the font is about and the thought processes behind it. Bodoni was chosen because I thought it would contrast my own font. The experiments to the left was trying to find the font for my book. Originally wanting a san serif I quickly chose my mind after some experimentation. I felt bodoni was the most instantly legable and would help create an interlectual vibe.
Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ICALLY adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as CRYPT-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ically adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as crypto-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ically adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as crypto-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ICALLY adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as CRYPT-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ically adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as crypto-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ically adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as crypto-; see -IC)] Cryptic a secret, mystical; mysterious, enigmatic; obscure in meaning; (Zool., of coloration etc.) serving for concealment; hense ~ically adv. [f. LL f. GK kruptikos (as crypto-; see -IC)]
Font Legability When thinking about the legability of my typeface, my first thought was of the Snellen test, the reading test completed during an eye test. Whilst that is obviously to test eyesight over a distance, I want to use that idea to test my typeface at various sizes. As with the proper Snellen test, the first character is 88mm tall in the proper version. I certainly did not want to do something generic or boring and this could be an interesting way of showing legability whilst hiding a fun message in the piece. Although the idea is solid, it still needs work. The intial characters are too overpowering, I think the viewers eyes are draw up the page rather than down it, obviously not the intention of the test of the structure of Western text. At the moment there could be two solutions, either a slimmer version of the font, or to flip the direction of the font.
Font Poster A promotional poster for my font. Was created after being inspired by newspapers as I felt the font is big and bold enough. The message is of course hidden but I like the general structure. In general it shows a variety of characters and shows the structure of the letterforms. The coloured boxes and lines represent the structure of the newspaper, the shades of grey chosen to make black the prominent colour.