Typographic Character Forms 20

Well, This is the last TCF piece for the typeface Coronet. It is also the last one (at least for now). I am at a bit of loss for words on this one. I do like it a lot. I just can’t pin point exactly what I am getting from this one though. I would definitely be interested to hear what it’s doing, or not doing, for you.

typographic character forms 20

After today I will move on to another theme/assignment. I am thinking about doing some exploration of basic shape forms for awhile. I will start by using the simple shapes we first learned about in kindergarten (circles, squares, triangles), and then get more elaborate with the shape forms as time goes on. I will also continue to experiment with color as I go. I am hoping this shape forms project will help to get me back in touch with my roots as an illustrator.

I loved doing the TCF pieces and I will certainly revisit this project periodically during the year. I love typography and I feel like I have learned and benefited greatly for spending so much time on this assignment. I hope you all have enjoyed it as well.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is participating with me on this journey. Your comments and critiques are really helping me to see how things work from the viewer’s standpoint. This is valuable to me on so many levels. It helps to reinforce my perceptions of what is successful or unsuccessful as it relates to each design. Periodically I find that one or more of you enjoys a design when I thought it would be a dud. I encourage you to continue sharing your impressions with me. Even if you don’t like something, tell me why.

See you all tomorrow as I embark on a new assignment!

Typographic Character Forms 19

typographic character forms 19

Here is a cool dude. This piece makes me think of jazz music. I wanted to avoid creating an obvious picture with any of the TCF pieces. I really wanted to keep the forms arbitrary and abstract, letting the letter forms interact naturally and only evaluate appearances after completion of each piece. For example, TCF #13, looks like a face and I really made no effort toward this effect. I just kind of noticed the facial features afterwards. Halfway through this one I started to deliberately work it into a facial rendering. In fact I almost threw it out but decided that I like it too much, so here it is for your enjoyment. A jazz dude.

I’ll catch all you cool cats on the flip side. Until then, don’t be a square!

Typographic Character Forms 17

typographic character forms 17

I don’t have much to say about today’s creation. It gives me a feeling of fluid motion as if two of the characters are dancing. The character on the left (ampersand) appears to be pulling at the lower right character (uppercase Q, rotated 180 degrees). The 9 is just hanging out but is connected to the ampersand. The Q gives a sense that it is grounded and is perhaps the stabilizing force of the whole arrangement. What do you think?

See you all tomorrow!

Typographic Character Forms 16

Today I would like to introduce to you one of my favorite script faces, Coronet (also known as Ribbon 131). I was unable to track down a lot of interesting information regarding this typeface but I was able to find some basic information on the designer. His name is Robert Hunter Middleton born in 1898 and died in 1985. He was born in Scotland and moved to the USA in 1908. Middleton studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1923 he became a type designer for the Ludlow Typograph Company and by 1933 had worked his way up to the position of Art Director and served in that capacity until 1944. In 1933 he also founded the Cherryburn Press where he collaborated with many artists, designers and typographers. To be sure, Middleton’s name is associated with many common typefaces of the 20th century, both as the primary designer as well as a collaborator. Middleton was also a founding member of the 27 Chicago Designers as well as the Association Internationale Typographique. He was active with several other typographic and design organizations, such as Typocrafters. Middleton also taught at Transylvania Unversity, the University of Alabama, Yale, UCLA and elsewhere.

typographic character forms 16

I have grown to love Coronet for the casual elegance that it conveys. I first began relying on Coronet during my career at Weirton Studio/Newbrough Photo in Weirton WV. I was required to design many invitational and announcement related pieces in my work there. I have never been attracted to script faces as I find them difficult to read. In my opinion, Coronet generally does not suffer from this affliction. Coronet crosses a couple typographical boundaries as it is considered script, as well as calligraphic. I would also say it has value as a display face. It can pass in both an elegant and somewhat formal piece but it is not pretentious and has a certain casual nature in some applications. A good example of this diversity is that I can see it passing on a menu for both a high end restaurant as well as for a diner. I love that flexibility.

Finally, it is obvious that this typeface came out of the early, mid 20th century. Coronet was created in 1937 but, as with anything, it probably took a few years to become mainstream. To me the font gives a distinct 1940’s feeling. I was unable to find any obvious popular examples of it’s usage but I see it being comfortable on anything from that era ranging from announcements and advertisements to the a girl’s name painted on the side of a World War II fighter plane.

So that’s it. Hope you enjoy the design and I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
See you all tomorrow!

Typographic Character Forms 15

Today is the last day for our friend Garamond. The chosen characters for today’s design were initially picked somewhat randomly. I have been wanting to use the lowercase ‘e’ because I feel it is one of the more distinguishing characters of the Garamond typeface. The small counter (eye, or top portion) of the lower case ‘e’ is one of the giveaways when identifying this font.

typographic character forms 15

After looking at the the design more closely I guess one could say that this design is fitting. The ‘5’ signifying the fifth Garamond design. I have only been creating 5 designs for each typeface. So, perhaps the ‘e’ stands for “end.” The curly brace at the bottom looks a little like a book – perhaps about to close. Am I reaching yet?

What I’ve learned from Garamond is that it was at times more difficult to create an abstract design from it’s characters. It has been noted in some of the facebook commentary that the designs seemed more “formal,” “fancy” or refined. Trust me, it wasn’t necessarily my doing that made that look happen. It is just that Garamond exudes that sophisticated feeling in and of itself. It is a classic and will often render that formal and elegant feeling to the reader or in this case the viewer.

Thank you Garamond, we’ve had a lovely time. Tomorrow I will introduce you all to a script font which I have been partial to for some time. See you all then.

Typographic Character Forms 14

I said in a previous post that brown was not my favorite color. Somehow in this design it is working for me. I get a warm comfortable feeling like I am looking into a nice warm cup of coffee, watching the swirling colors as I stir in some cream and sugar (even though I take my coffee black most of the time). For those of you who don’t go for coffee, perhaps it’s a cup of hot chocolate. Or perhaps you think of something completely different. Let me know what you think!

typographic character forms 14

This is perhaps my favorite of the Garamond TCFs. Can’t wait to see if I can top it tomorrow. See you all then!

Typographic Character Forms 13

Aarrgh maties! I’m here in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I always see a lot of pirate stuff at the beach. No matter which beach you go to, you are bound to find a good selection of pirate stuff. Anyway, todays design kind of reminds me of a pirate. I wasn’t intending it that way but by the time I finished I stood back and said “Arrgh!”

typographic character forms 13

I will let you all guess what character’s I used. But the total image gives me the feeling of something or someone being mischievous. Squinting one eye perhaps, sort of like a pirate. The color motif is nothing specifically inspired. I am just trying to use different color palettes each day and keeping them simple.

See you all tomorrow!

Typographic Character Forms 12

Well Garamond is initially proving a bit difficult for me. I see Garamond as a formal typeface so it has been difficult for me to arrange the character forms of this typeface to create an abstract design, or any design. Both this design and the TCF 11 took a little time for me to complete, but the experimentation is fun. I played around with several different characters yesterday evening and finally I settled on this arrangement.

typographic character forms 12

I don’t have much to say about it. I chose some bright, fun colors. Perhaps I am thinking of the beach. That’s were I am headed today. I will be on the road this weekend but have prepped some ideas and will be updating from Virginia Beach. So, stay tuned and check back daily.

I also want to thank everyone for their comments, both here and on Facebook. It really helps to hear what you think whether you like a design or not. So, thank you for participating.

See you again tomorrow from sunny, humid, Virginia Beach, VA!

Typographic Character Forms 11

Hello everybody, I would like you to meet Garamond, a popular old-style serif typeface. The story of Garamond begins in 16th century Europe with a type designer named Claude Garamond. Garamond (the man) was commissioned by the French king Francis I to create a typeface for a series of books by Robert Estienne. When Claude Garamond passed in 1561 his type punches and matrices were sold off to the Plantin Press. This allowed Garamond’s fonts to flourish in printed materials throughout France and Europe.

The typeface we know and use today is altered and more asymmetrical than the original created by Garamond himself. These alterations first took place in the early 17th century by a French painter named Jean Jannon. Following a government raid of Jannon’s printing office, his version of the typeface soon became the house style of the Royal Printing Office and was called Caractère de’lUniversité. During the early 19th century, the French National Printing Office adapted the Jannon typeface, but labeled it the work of Claude Garamond.

Garamond (the typeface) experienced a revival in the 20th century. At the 1900 Paris World Fair Jean Jannon’s typeface was introduced as “Original Garamond.”  In 1919 the first 20th century redesign of the typeface was created by Thomas Maitland Cleland and Morris Fuller Benton, and was called Garamond #3. Throughout the 20th century modern versions of Garamond surfaced most notably with the onset of computers and desktop publishing. These versions are generally preceded in name for their creator or foundry – Adobe, Monotype, Simoncini and Stemple are common versions of Garamond. The typefaces called Granjon and Sabon are also considered Garamond revivals.

Notable usage of Garamond in recent decades can be seen in the original typsetting of the popular Dr. Suess children’s books, most of the Harry Potter series books, Nvidia, Inc.’s spec sheet documentation, Adobe Systems branding during the 1990’s, and Apple Computer’s Macintosh branding from 1984 through 2001.

typographic character forms 11

Todays design is done using Adobe Garamond Regular. I chose the lowercase ‘g,’ the numerical character ‘3’ and the pound sign (#) to represent Garamond #3 (g#3). About the color scheme, browns are not really my favorite colors but I chose to use them more or less to face my fears and work with something that I am not comfortable with. Since I was so long winded on the history of the typeface I will just leave you with that for today.

See you all tomorrow!