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Font For Image™ Magazine

Issue One 20th October, 2009

Ghaaa! Run! Flee for your lives! What….No? Still here, fellow fontlover? Well in that case, you’ll have to be ready for an issue of ffi – and as always, the content is definitely worth hanging around for (but don’t literally ‘hang around’ – neck pain might prevent you from reading our great mag…) While you’re sitting there, queue some announcing trumpets in your mind while I recap the good news on what ffi is all about. We formed in 2009 from a group of type-crazy students at COFA (that artist’s asylum at UNSW, Australia) and this shall be our first monthly issue – the first of many, so get ready! ffi or Fonts For Image is composed of work submitted by each of our individual contributors – in this issue from our student selection, but we do hope to kidnap convince some fellow typography fanatics elsewhere to assist in the future. In case you misread the title (you were too excited), we focus on typography, specifically on type as an image - the letters and words we know so well (and perhaps those we don’t) becoming pictorial or graphical in some form or another. Colours, materials, lines and forms of all kinds will be employed to give type greater visual meaning and enhance its power. For far too long typography has been kept in the shadow of other art forms. It’s about time we showed off typography in all its beauty and glory. If that doesn’t get you going then just think of this publication as a form of type porn only without the engaging articles. So get reading! This issue is staggering under the weight of the good stuff inside, so much so that you could probably use this month’s issue to roll up and knock someone out cold - but at least wait until they have read the magazine. The Ed. Team


In this issue of ffi, we will be focusing on colour and

typography. As you should all know, colour is not simply a flashy shade to make your title look more impressive, but carries serious connotations of its own when and where it is used – for example, who has not seen the oft employed juxtaposition of dripping red type and blood. But colour is also more than that – it stands for something in itself. What are the thoughts and words that come to mind when a certain colour is mentioned? Would you use ‘yellow’ to describe ancient monumental power, or is it more suited to grey or white? What does black mean – deep and enveloping darkness, or dirty and toxic, or something more positive – power, firmness, precision? We don’t have the answers (we aren’t paid enough for that) but we do have a group here at ffi dedicated to giving you their mad, meticulous and magnificent versions of how they defined each colour within this issue. Yes, we have given each of our assorted slaves contributors a specific colour they are to focus on - (everyone gets black and white as well, aren’t we kind?). They have been tasked to use type in some form to help convey their definition and interpretation of their given colour. Materials will be an interesting aspect as it gives a sort of fourth dimension to the work – tactility, whether visual or actual. Our time-honoured type serfs can work in any medium they choose – 2D or 3D, computer graphics, drawings, crafts, renderings, and even the odd physical creation. Now, make sure you’ve gone to the toilet and get ready to behold the work beyond…


What is Typography? ................................................ 5

Ty Wilson / Brown ................................................. 11 Julia Chen / Orange .............................................. 13 Nijira Phukkanasut / Dark Yellow .............................. 15 Sonia Lee / Bright Yellow .........................................17 Chris Hale / Lime Green ......................................... 19 Peter Lin / Light Green ............................................ 21 Vesna Vujic / Turquoise............................................ 23 James Morton / Sky Blue .........................................25 Ana Ramos / Navy ................................................ 27 Pauline Jen / Purple ................................................ 29 Lauren Butler-Howell / Magenta .................................31 Dongjin Choi / Hot Pink .......................................... 33 Ell Carruthers / Peach ............................................. 35 Susanna Lee / Cream ............................................. 37 Patricia Stepiens / Ivory .......................................... 39 Kyle Primrose / Grey ............................................. .41 Carli Cohen / Burgundy ...........................................43 Matt Yuan / Red .................................................... 45 Contributor’s Page .................................................. 49


What is typography? Open your eyes and take a look. Typography is all around you. Believe it or not type is staring you right at the face as you read this sentence! Don’t try to challenge it to a staring contest, as many of the crew have discovered, type always wins. But let’s get back on track. Typography exists everywhere and we interact with it every single day, whether it is reading a book, following a recipe, taking a quick glance at a poster on your way to work or looking at the bus timetable. It has become a necessity. When one talks about the essence of typography, they are referring to the skill an artist puts forth to assemble text on a page. In our culture today, we rely so heavily on written communication, you may not even be fazed by it any longer because you are constantly immersed in it. Typography is used to create a subtle combination of a means of communication with artistic elements. An artist’s goal in using typography is to produce something aesthetically pleasing, coherent, and easy to read for the viewer without the awareness that this is being done. Typography is a lot like the curtain raising of a play or show. If done well, the show is able to run smoothly with the raisers seemingly invisible. Done badly it becomes glaringly obvious and laughed at by all, even by those guys playing the tree or the donkey’s posterior. In many cases, typography is used to illustrate a certain feeling, in which the viewer may be impacted on the topic being presented. A successful use of typography is used to convey a particular idea in a manner that is visually eective to the viewer. Typography is a useful tool in our today’s society, and will forever (that is until chimps and dolphins nally learn to cooperate to rule the world and possibly, the whole universe) be a means to visually communicate to those around us.


TY WILSON I have always dabbled in different areas of design like furniture and interiors, but I never thought I would become interested in typography. I have a feeling it is the obsession with the minutiae of letters that appeals to me, getting lost in the detail. You can spend hours fine-tuning the typography of a design and give it a totally different meaning, so I think I like taking part in that influence of communication. I defined ‘brown’ as being the color of a cooked steak. I wanted to capture the greasy texture of the meat and convey the whole meal as being pretty unappealing. Its not until the type is applied that the meaning of the steak becomes apparent. It is not just any steak, but a dubious piece of meat that could really be anything. I was slightly influenced by Eric Schlosser’s ‘Fast Food Nation’, which investigates the unethical and unsanitary practices that are covered up in the meat industry in America and the UK. The type is a slightly cursive script, to emphasize the hand-made aspect that the scenario suggests, as well as the appeared spontaneity of the moment. It was written at a scale that conveyed possession or labeling, as opposed to protest. Appropriate color was used to compliment the brown of the background. The type (being the sauce) only exists because the hypothetical user wants it with their steak. But at the last moment this person has decided that they will no longer accept their suspicious meat without question. Firstly, I cooked a steak (well done) and prepared a salad to set the scene. I chose a cheap plastic plate and a checkered tablecloth to re-create that tired, truck stop aesthetic. Then I used a tomato paste mixture to write with, since actual tomato sauce was much too watery. From there it was just a matter of taking a good photo and touching up the colors.


JULIA CHEN I am studying a Bachelor of Industrial Design and am interested in typography because I am used to working and looking at things in three dimensions (product design) whilst typography concentrates on 2D design. I wanted to view design from a different angle. My assigned color is orange and since orange is the color used to improve appetite I linked my color to food. Color is very important when we purchase and eat food because the color of the food is an indication of how fresh the food is. Orange is a warm, vivid and fun color, which catches our attention so, I wanted my piece to be fun and lively. Since orange is a very vibrant color, I wanted to use less-structural type and a variety of materials which were unstructured. I chose to use bold type to emphasise the meaning of my piece. Even though the type I made from jelly is very structured, it is also very fragile just like life! In order to create my work, I used different shades of orange and different textures to create contrast. I have used smooth translucent jelly to create the text, a juicy and a porous slice of orange for the sun and various other materials to create the earth and soil.


Nijira Phukkanasut I’m currently in 3rd year of Bachelor of Digital Media and my personal interest is graphic design as well as magazine design. I love taking photos, illustration drawing as well as digital compositing using photo shop. In the future I want to work in a magazine field, I believe that typography plays an important role in magazine design therefore I began to study and do more research on typography (eg. how different typeface can reflect different meaning), and that’s when I started to fall in love with it. My assigned colour is dark yellow and the first thing I thought of when I saw this colour is a BANANA. BANANA is believed to be a fruit that represent a yellow colour really well. As I wanted to represent my colour with a banana, I decided to use a banana as my material to create a typeface. First, I cut the banana up in pieces without peeling it. Then I put each pieces on top on each other to create the shape that I wanted, in this case I created a vertical line and a horizontal line and then took the photo of them. I then used Photoshop to edit (rotate and flip) the photo to create the typeface that I wanted. After I got the word that I want, I use hue and saturation menu to adjust the colour.


Sonia Lee My background area is Industrial Design. I chose to undertake a typography elective at COFA to improve my graphic design skills, which are particularly important for presentations. Having undertaken that elective, the importance of typography in graphic design has become much more apparent. Whilst researching it was quite interesting to find that such a bright colour had many connotations and meanings - both positive and negative. Different countries throughout history have contributed to different meanings, interpretations, portrayals and use of this color. I decided my work would employ a more positive portrayal of this color with the idea of light (or sunlight) often associated with spring and an important factor of life. My work was more about using bright yellow not as a particular tone of color, but employing the idea of the brightness of sunlight and how it affects everything around it - such as shadows. The typographic elements employed were firstly using lowercase letters, all in regular sizes. The beginning of the phrase “and then there was…” was completed with a different font than “light” because I wanted to not only emphasize that word, but also show the beauty and nature of light through this typeface. By using the font Tahoma for the first section of the phrase and its spacing, the words are read more abruptly which helps emphasize the word “light. The spacing of the words and characters allowed for experimentation with both light and shadows. My piece was created using lamps covered with black card in the shape of each letter, which in turn is covered with yellow cellophane in different layers to emphasize color. This was shone onto a white card and photographed.


Christopher hale My background is in landscape architecture and I have worked for an architectural practice for about five years. Typographic work, font use and page construction is an integral part of my presentations, graphics and report layouts - so you could say I have long since had an interest in Typography! After studying the subject at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, I now have a greater understanding and appreciation of Typography as a design field in itself. Given my profession, I felt I wanted to add a little bit of a landscape element to the color I was given and a unique input that related to my field. To me, ‘lime green’ is representative of a lush natural setting and hopefully adds to the broad spectrum of colors we were given. I wanted to be quite free with the design and incorporate typography as a design feature in, and of, itself rather than simply words on a page, as would be done when designing a physical space. In addition, given the option in the brief to do 3D work, I wanted to link the theme of three-dimensionality with both type and landscape. To create a typographic image, I used contour lines (which are an important communication of all things 3D in landscape architecture) which also further reinforced the idea of font as image (in lime green), hence ‘topographic typography’. I often like an ordered rational looking image, which I now understand comes from typographic practices such as the golden ratio and use of grid systems. In my piece I chose to ‘free up’ the design so it is less structured – not always easy. I used AutoCAD (a computer drafting program) to form the initial base and contouring effect and colored the image further in Photoshop and Illustrator for an added 3D lift and color vibrancy.


peter lin I’m a 2nd year COFA student who is interested in majoring in graphics. My first exposure to the possibilities of typography stemmed from the discovery of word art in Microsoft Word. But the interest really began here at COFA, learning about the history, its various applications and most importantly, how professionals and students work with it. I was specifically given light green and to me words such as “peace”, “relaxation” and “youth” immediately spring to mind. Obviously there are many variations of light green but I interpreted it as a very soft color displaying the qualities of youth and to a lesser extent, femininity and fertility. I decided to keep the type quite simple and write it myself using a tablet on Adobe Illustrator. I wanted the text to seem as if a child had written it without a care in the world in terms of typographic elements. Of course it is never that easy and it has taken me many calculated efforts to effectively emulate something that is reminiscent of a child’s handwriting. My whole concept derived from a scene from the Simpsons, where Marge and Homer are in a day retreat listening to a tape of a woman repeating the words “all is well”. I decided to use that as my typographic phrase and from there I eventually reached the stage of creating this vector drawing. The plane was actually supposed to be a real one falling from the sky, but I was advised not to do that. The whole thing was rather easy to draw, as Illustrator just makes it so easy to turn a bunch of simple shapes into something more sophisticated. I think the hardest part is definitely coming up with the concept itself. I find it much easier to work once you have some sort of vision in mind.


Vesna Vujic I have been doing freelance graphic design for over 2 years and through this experience, I have come to realize just how important typography really is. I have learned it is more than just choosing the right typeface for my given designs. It is a whole separate branch of design, one that requires a lot of skill and dedication. This is the reason why I wanted to extend my knowledge of typography. I believe it could add a whole new dimension of meaning to my designs once I master it. Given the fact that my interest lies with graphics, typography is an important part of that. In order to be the best I can be in my field, I want to extend my knowledge as much as possible. Ever since I was little, I loved the sea and water in general. It has this calming, relaxing effect that makes me feel very happy every time I go near it. Turquoise, as my assigned color, has this effect on me as well. In my mind, the color itself symbolizes the sea. It is also symbolic of happiness, calmness, emotion, purity, love and healing. To me, turquoise is a beautiful color - one that has a positive effect and is very pleasing to the eye. I wanted to incorporate three-dimensional text into the photograph that I had selected. The text is treated in a way that makes it look part of the image. I wanted it to look as real as possible. The type of the font used is sans serif, as I felt it worked best for my concept. I have primarily used Adobe Photoshop in order to create my piece. I incorporated photography within the design as I felt that would illustrate my concept better. With the use of an actual photo of the sea, I made the 3D text part of the image.


James morton Though my studies of industrial design I have had to present a lot of work in varying ways most of which involve the design of a page layout and typography, but this is an aspect of the course that isn’t focused on. This has fed my interest in typography, in an attempt to create work that best displays the contents in a manner that is clear precise and interesting. For me Sky Blue is a very light like colour we see it almost every day in the sky and for this reason is has a very neutral, inoffensive tone which seems endless and free. Through combining real world imagery with digital typography I’ve been able to embody and enhance the meaning of the colour by using this mixed media. The photography anchors the meaning of the words into a relatable context for the viewer, while the digital typography helps enhance and express the meaning of the colour. I began by photographing a number of balloons with string attached. With these photos I created a number of different arrangements; this was done so that I could create the effect of a sky full of balloons which was later done through arranging the photos digitally to create what is seen. Once this was completed with the string dangling and loops tied in the ends I digitally attached a number of letters to create those word associations I believe suit the colour.


ana ramos I became interested in typography because as a graphic designer, I realized that publication design is what I would be most interested in doing after graduation. As typography is a critical part of a good layout, I wanted to learn how to better my typographic skills because I still felt a little unconfident with them. At first I associated navy blue with three different things: patriotism, the deep sea and the night sky. I chose the night sky ultimately because it was the most significant to me personally. I wanted to demonstrate that although there are amazing and wondrous sights on Earth, none of them compare to the magnitude of the night sky. My typographic artwork consists of the single word ‘Night’ amidst illustrations of various identifiable landmarks from all over the world. ‘Night’ is placed in and among these images to represent the notion that the night helps bring out the grandeur of these sights even though its own beauty overshadows them (figuratively speaking). My process was primarily computer based, involving a sequence of trials and experiments within Adobe Illustrator. I continually tried different placements of the text and various special effects within Illustrator until I succeeded in gaining the look I wanted.


pauline jen As a child, I would steal my sister’s book on how to draw pictures from letters and numbers. I grew up to be an avid bookworm and bibliophile except now I steal my sister’s novels to read. Extensive reading and majoring in graphics has sparked my interest in typography. The colour purple represents ‘purple prose’. The term can be traced back to the Ancient Roman poet Horace who drew a similarity between pretentious social upstarts wearing purple patches and stylistically inappropriate and ornate writing. Purple prose suffers from one or combination of extravagant ‘flowery’ descriptions; laughable sexual euphemisms; and a knack for the melodramatic. I designed an italicised serif with sweeping curved spurs and letterforms, creating a lavish aesthetic, akin to the literature it depicts. This aesthetic is enhanced by the use of pictorial glyphs to form a pattern symbolising elaborate and ornate language. Cut ‘n’ paste, pop-ups, pulp fiction and Photoshop! I painted a purple wash over pages from a Mills and Boon’s style romance novel and Victorian literature to construct roses, 3D type and vivid decoration. I used Illustratr and Photoshop to add the glyph pattern, as well as a quintessential quote from one of my favorite writers in relation to purple prose. Quote: Orwell. G. (2004), “Why I Write”, Penguin: London

“I wanted to write enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of detailed descriptions and arresting similes, and also full of purple passages in which words were partly used for the sake of their sound.” – George Orwell


Lauren ButlerHowell So far my design practice has been mainly graphics oriented, although I am fascinated by spatial design, architecture and surfaces. I spend a lot of time looking at design publications, blogs and going to exhibitions, so typography has always stood out to me. I tend to be obsessed with detail and am drawn to typography as a means of expressing ideas – but more in the physical, tactile sense – so creating 3D type has been a really fun process! Magenta is a strong color that tends to have feminine associations – think Barbie dolls and Cosmopolitan magazine. The name magenta comes from the dye of the same name, commonly called fuchsine, discovered in 1859. It is believed to be named for the 1859 Battle of Magenta fought at Magenta, Italy and it most likely refers to the color of the uniforms worn by the elite Zouave French troops who fought there. I looked for something ironic. From a contemporary perspective, a magenta army uniform (despite being incredibly conspicuous and hence useless) could also be considered very ‘unmanly’. So I created an army of effeminate magenta soldiers and formed the outline of words with them.  It is a physical play on words. I chose a bold, gender neutral typeface – Futura – to echo the motto ‘MIGHTY MAGENTA’. The type forms are physically supported by a battalion of tiny (but nonetheless mighty!) magenta soldiers.


Dongjin Choi In my opinion, one of the key characteristics of a type character is that regardless of the design, it passes the same meaning. For instance, when designing a type character “b”, there are many different ways to design “b”. However, regardless of the design, people still see it as the letter “b”. So, a type character is really a fascinating communication tool as it has hundreds of ways to express to its uniqueness whilst still retaining its uniform meaning. Hot pink is definitely NOT my favorite colour! However after I was assigned it, I thought it would be a great color to communicate across the ideas of femininity, sensuality and trendy design. Therefore, through the artwork I tried to convey the meanings of these three ideas. My approach was to create a picture of Marilyn Monroe by using type characters and my intention was to pass on the symbolic images of femininity and sensuality that I believe Marilyn Monroe defines. Furthermore, I chose to use a serif font typeface in the image as serif fonts have characteristics of classic use and elegance which well suits femininity. My design basically consists of many overlapped letters, forming an image of Marilyn Monroe. Firstly, my goal was to draw her face using characters and one of the biggest challenges I encountered was that it was very difficult to illustrate all the details with just letters. So using the paint program Adobe Photoshop, I increased the contrast of the background image to create a strong black/white contrast, in which then I then only needed to draw certain areas using the letters. I then used Illustrator to overlap these letters to form the lines and shapes.


Ell Curruthers I suppose as a natural part of being interested in art, design, fashion and culture, I developed an interest in typography. All those things are interrelated - they are all about color, proportion, juxtaposition, trends, and creativity. I particularly love typography because it is another very powerful medium to communicate a tone or message except its use is more subtle. To me, peach or peachy-pink is glowing and dewy like flushed cheeks or peach skin. I think it is a very fresh color. It always has a feeling of cloying sweetness, fragrance, warmth, moistness, intricacy and smooth texture - like a dusky sunset glow in a tropical place at twilight. It is a flower color, a sky color, a sun color, a skin color. I worked with creating type using imaginary drawn shapes and forms, trying to communicate that sense of subtlety, delicacy and a really remote, detached femininity. Pink is too often a “girly” color and I wanted to move away from that a little. In the end, my work is meant to evoke that warm sunset-like glow with all its tiny fluctuations. I wanted to hand draw my piece, so I started with paper and a lead pencil.  In this kind of circumstance drawing is easier for me than working with design programs on the computer. There is a more immediate connection between what is in your head and what you are creating. After scanning the drawing, I manipulated it digitally in order to accentuate the pink tones and contrast them with a warm grey.


Susanna Lee I am a third year student studying a Bachelor of Digital Media. I have a passion for web design, graphic design, 2D/3D animation, photography, sound media and digital imaging. I was interested in typography because I had a curiosity of what typography was really about. What I like about typography is that there are so many elements you need to consider within your work to not only make it look fabulous, but also to create an identity for a particular design. I believe, however, that the most important aspect in typography is communication, just like every other subject. Studying an elective at the College of Fine Arts about typography and publication design has improved my skills and understanding as a digital media designer. Cream is the color of most dairy products. It has a slight yellow tone to the white. The color gives me a calming and soothing feel because of its neutral shade. Cream shows harmony and it is pleasing to the eye which is why it is found in most bathrooms and kitchens. Cream is like a base color - it mixes well with every other color. Rhythm is the element that influenced my work. I decided I could get my text to signify rhythm by squeezing sweetened condensed milk onto a piece of paper. I attempted to create a flowing rhythm to the text that depicts my definition of cream as being calming and soothing. ‘Ice-cream’ is the word I am defining. I did not include the word cream to avoid redundancy because ice has the texture of cream, so the idea is already defined. I used sweetened condensed milk to create the letters because it had a true, physical smooth texture, and it creates a pearly and gleaming look. I then photographed the work and digitally composed it using the program Adobe Photoshop.


Patricia Stepien As a designer with a multidisciplinary background (graphics media, environments/ spatial and applied object), I have become strongly aware of the integration of a number of forms of design to develop rich outcomes that encompass a number of elements and concepts. Ivory unites the motions of being calm, the removal of stress, relaxation and the act of being silent. The foundation of this design is rooted both in the psychological effects of color and texture on the human mind and the proverb “silence is also speech”. The visual representation in terms of layout and use of typographic elements embodies the proverb yet the materials aspect deals with engaging a particular human behavioural reaction through the sense of touch. My design deals with the representation of silence as an empty space and the idea of speech through the use of quotation marks. The aim of this interpretation is to communicate that the space, or more so silence, can be in a sense ‘spoken’ – reflecting the idea that silence is speech despite the absence of letters and words. Further, the materiality of the forms relay a connection between an object and the human, in the same way that color is seen to encourage this. Like color and its psychological effects, texture also promotes reactions and interactions between treated surfaces and humans. This design presents a texture that encourages interaction to aid the idea of relaxation and stress relief, of being dependant on the materials used and their fragility. The quotation marks can be seen as graphical elements, but also as objects that pose as vessels for silent interactions - which in turn promote psychological and physical behaviours.


kyle primrose I am a trainee industrial designer, mild mannered, university student and potential Overlord of the World, etc. Typography is useful – understanding how to convey the essence of words and letters through interesting pictorial connotation will come in handy in my future propaganda for the masses! How did I end up here? Wandering home on a lonely road, a van – cunningly labeled “Fonts For Image” - pulled up and hooded men in black jumped out and dragged me inside… Grey is ancient, old, eternal. Grey is the color of times gone by, of fading memories, monuments and decaying dreams. And yet grey is resolute, strong, determined and powerful - the color of stone or concrete, from which cities are built. Grey is neutral but unyielding, refusing to bend to black or white. Grey is for rules that aren’t meant to be broken; for things that stand the test of time for all of time. Grey is eternal. Typography is the arrangement of characters and words. It has existed since the first written languages more than 5000 years ago. People automatically form things into patterns – there is no escape! It is eternal, and this is shown through the apparent ancient carved stone letters overawing the humble man. The font is big, bold and powerful (Impact), but is falling down as new fonts have emerged to challenge and replace the old. The letters and everything else was built from blue foam and cut with a hot wire. I then coated them in glue and sand to add “rocky” texture. However, I found I didn’t have any, so I spent three hours in my yard smashing sandstone into dust with a hammer to get a sand substitute – just like doing hard labour! I then gave the letters several coats of paint in progressively lighter shades of grey, using a “dry brush” technique to make them look like stone. Then I had to add the Lego-man, photograph the scene and do some Adobe Photoshop work to finish. Huzzar!


carli cohen As my university career began, I was unsure as to where I wanted my skills to take me. I enrolled in a variety of classes, trying to find what I fitted best into. One of those classes happened to be an ‘introduction to design’ class. It was during this time that I came to discover where my talents flourished. I was assigned the color burgundy. As I reflected on what this color meant to me, I found myself leaning towards the idea of wine. When I think of burgundy, I visualize a rich flow of wine leaving the bottle and entering a wine glass. This pointed me in the direction of creating a piece based on wine. I came to the decision to combine the use of typography and graphic illustration, which allowed me to convey the image I was trying to get across to the audience. I wanted to demonstrate that the use of typography can enhance imagery without having a body of static text simply placed on the page. With the limited use of color, you are able to see that the importance the color itself is intended to exemplify to the viewer. My process began with an illustration of a bottle of wine and a wine glass. Once I decided that I wanted the typography to be the actual wine pouring into the glass, I set about creating this affect with the use of the letter “B” (for burgundy). I arranged the letters to imitate the wine being poured from the bottle, conveying the elegance I believe the color burgundy illustrates.


MATT YUAN OH MY GOD. Typography is my life; I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is what I a bit but still, typography is my thing. I think I have always enjoyed the beautiful curves and cleanness of typefaces, even before I started my Design Degree at the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. I am currently in my final year at COFA; my two majors are Graphics Media and Environmental/Spatial Design. I defined the color red to represent life and our physical existence through this color’s close association with blood. It was a hard decision as I have found from my personal experiences and the researches done on red. It carried many meanings across various cultures, traditions and religions. From my own Chinese background, red has mostly positive connotations, being associated with courage, honor, success and fortune.   I wanted to create something that seemed to be all inclusive and consuming, that would represent the nature of life and the essence of our existence. Because life is everything, I wanted to create a space of red and incorporate the use of black to illustrate the path of existence from death. The typography in the image is created based on a grid system that is made by the points of Life and Death. The 3 dimensional type symbolizes our physical existence as we live in a 3 dimensional environment. I went through the traditional design process to create my piece in Adobe Illustrator. I used a gradient quite frequently in this piece to give it a sense of depth and dimension that it needed. 


Over here at ffi we could go on all day discussing the (almost) innite possibilities of typography. Like any other art form or craft the opportunities of type design is bound only by the designer’s imagination. However, for the sake of getting our very rst issue out on time we’ll be focusing on a few, whilst still recognizing the endless amounts of dierent methods. One of the oldest ways of conveying visual information comes in the form or drawing or illustration. They can either be technical and precision focused or highly expressive. Traditionally, designers would have illustrated by hand on paper or whatever surface they could get their pencils/pens on. There is a wide range of dierent mark-making mediums to choose from, such as paints, pencils, markers and charcoal just to name a few. The proliferation of the PC and specic hardware has made it possible to illustrate in even more ways and formats. The benet of this is that less room is needed and the software is now so advanced it can replicate many of the traditional art mediums. However, designers should all know that nothing beats the real thing. Not so good at drawing? Consider yourself to be someone craftier and hands on? Typography certainly doesn’t discriminate and there’s something to suit everybody’s needs. If you can’t draw or paint something, try making it! You can form your type out of almost anything, from melting ice to computer hardware. Whatever the case, the designer must be aware of how the material communicates the meaning of the given text.

For those who love to think in three dimensions but lack the model making skills, don’t fret! 3D doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create it by hand. Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs have provided designers the possibility to form their ideas quickly without having to use up precious time by creating a mock up. Changing the color or the form of an object can literally be done with a few taps on the keyboard and mouse. Last but not least we have photography. Since the early 20th Century photography as an art form has grown immeasurably. The options for photographing typography may seem limited at the surface, but there are many design elements that must be factored in. The limitations are certainly a challenge to designers, but ultimately leave a great reward for those with the patience and skill. The introduction of computer programs such as Photoshop and Light Room have also brought an unlimited amount of options of altering photos to better communicate your desired message or even change it. The above mentioned are just a few outcomes that can be reached. However, one of the most important things to remember is that the medium should always express the message. What is it you are trying to communicate the viewer? Is it a happy or sad message? Who is it for? These are the questions every designer should be asking themselves at the beginning and throughout the entire creative process.


ffi would not have been made possible without the help of a great bunch of dedicated people involved. It’s been an exceptional eort by all, considering the amount of time allocated to this project amongst other commitments. So, in order of armpit odour strength, we present you the contributors of ffi:

Managers Being a leader probably isn’t much fun. Having to form a team and create an online publication in a short amount of time can be quite the task. Thankfully we’ve been blessed with two extremely capable managers, who have made this entire process painless, and yes even a bit enjoyable!

Styleguide Team You could say these guys were responsible for the “skeleton” of the publication. Without them probably would’ve ended up as a oppy mess, unable to stand on its own two feet. Tasked with all the little things such as what font to use, where to place the text, what size leading, the styleguide team have carefully thought out all of these things making everybody’s job much easier in the long run.

Publication Team If it weren’t for them you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. These brave young souls have donned the re suit, exposed themselves to the big bad world of the internet and have endured all the ame wars, waded through all the spam, ignored all the trolls, and bypassed every crappy Kanye West meme out there to spread the word. You’ve done us proud guys.

Web Design Team Responsible for creating a nice safe home for to reside in for many years to come (hopefully). Web design can be tricky, especially when it’s the rst point of contact for all potential readers. The site not only had to have an interface easy enough to navigate, but also had to reect the image and message of the publication.

Graphics Team These folks are responsible for providing the eye candy and helping us look respectable by masking that musky early-morning smell of ours. They’ve also been tasked with huge responsibilities such as determining the shape and form of the logo, cover and all the gap pages (not being sarcastic, as it really is important!). They say to never judge a book by its cover but ours is pretty damn impressive and it’s all thanks to the graphics team.

Editorial Team Last and least smelly are the people behind the content of . Not only were they in control of writing up the articles, but also scouring through each written piece making sure they were all grammatically correct and contained no remnants of any funny white powdery substance or illegal animals. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Very special thanks go to our tutor Wing who has guided the team throughout the entire process, helping the project stay on track. It was as if someone had sent an angel from above. Sorry just couldn’t help it.


Fonts For Image Publication