This might be my favorite so far. Not quite a “modern” typeface being used here. It’s a display face modeled perhaps after signage or poster lettering circa mid 19th century. It’s a freebie font I acquired somewhere. The letter is quite appropriate for the day I have had a my day job.:)
Versal-tility number 5 and the letter ‘E’. Today I was thinking about how I’ve been fitting the designs for this series into to a square format. This is fairly typical of versals but not the only format. Some versal designs were long decorative bands that extended the entire height of the pages they occupied. I will probably not take my interpretations to such lengthy extremes but I decided perhaps that I ought to change the boundaries from time to time. Today I tipped the square 15°. Of course I wanted to maintain a background color so I created one with an un-rotated square background. Old habits die hard I guess. I will be switching up the shapes and boundaries as we move forward in this series, so check back often. Subscribe to the blog and follow me on Facebook and twitter to be sure you are the first to know when I post a new design!
The fourth letter of the alphabet, and the fourth modern versal in the Versal-tility series, Big D. The character is from the typeface Snell Roundhand Black Script. I chose to utilize two glyphs from the same font. In the upper left corner I used the asterisk and on the bottom of the design, rotated about 30˚ is the right curly brace. I thought it would be neat to experiment with using the other shapes from the font as decorative elements. Perhaps inspired by the other Circadian Creative series, Fun With Ornaments.
Today’s modern versal is brought to you by the letter ‘C’. Moving right along through the alphabet I give you number 3. The previous two letters were centered within the square frame I’m using for this series. Today I decided to offset the character to the right of center and use bands of color to frame it on the left, top and bottom. Classic versals contain a lot of ornamentation surrounding the character. With the modern theme the ornamentation should be minimalist and simple. That’s why I will generally use simple shapes, patterns or bands of color as the non typographical elements in these designs.
Here is design number one of a series I would like to do. I thought of this series, or theme, over the summer of 2011 while I was studying typography and the history of communication design. I thought it would be fun to design my own versals. For those who may not know what I am referring to, Versals are the large ornamental letter forms used to introduce chapters in ancient manuscripts. They were created by hand because printing was not invented yet. In fact in the early days of printing, space was often made available during the mechanical typesetting process of the page so that an artist or scribe could be commissioned later to hand render versals at the beginnings of chapters. This gave the printed book a traditional hand, scribed, manuscripted look and feel which increased the value of the book as well as calmed peoples apprehensions to the “new” printing press technology.
So I was thinking it would be good practice for me to actually create my own versals just for fun. Today’s submission was not hand rendered. As I began to choose a type face to use as a starting point I thought what if I made a versal from a modern typeface? What if I used a contemporary display face rather than a classical or ancient looking face? So with that thought I continued to experiment with Glaser Stencil, a display face designed by one of my design heroes, Milton Glaser.
Rather than use hand rendered, organic shapes to decorate the initial, I used the clean angled lines of the character to dictate the surrounding decor. Very clean, cold and modern, but a bright color palette warms and brightens the selection. I also added a grainy texture to give it an aged and analog feel.