Thursday, January 29, 2015

Typography of Street Graffitii

Graffiti has moved from illegal markings and tags to a famous art form that has spread across the globe. Graffiti is full of beautiful free flowing forms that make up letterforms. Theres hundreds of styles of these letterforms. Each graffiti artists puts their own flow into these styles as well creating each piece and letter form unique. Graffiti has be come so popular that typographers have even created typefaces for programs that are based on these free form styles.


Thursday, January 22, 2015


Black and White images with bold type recently has been the trend with surf magazines. The type is bold and stands out against the photo that is exaggerated in the light and darks. This magazine in particular is heavily relying on aesthetics rather than "clever" typography that uses tricks.
As can seen below this surf magazine went through rebranding for the better. The image is more captivating on the right than the left because it makes the viewer hone into the surfer and creates depth. The image on the right on the other hand seems like it was taken by an amateur photographer who was lucky enough to capture a mildly interesting moment. Type treatment on the right is 
cleaner and echoes the image it's self with similar color to the image. The restraint in over designing and the clear direction in design is what sets these two magazine covers apart.
Incan is a type of seal that is used for official documents in Japan. A guy from Germany decided to completely redesign this ancient Japanese ornamental font into latin fonts with the appearance of Japanese fonts.  
The bottom book includes 24 different fonts. The lettering is a much more modern approach and uses strong vertical and horizontal lines. The cover below says the word "NIHON" which means Japan in Japanese. 

Typography-Inspired Instagram Feeds

As technology becomes more and more prominent in our lives, designers are finding more ways to showcase their art digitally. Many typographers have started creating Instagram accounts and have begun posting their work on this booming social media site. Being one of many smartphone users, I often look up things on my iPhone for inspiration. So when I discovered that typographers are using Instagram as a new form of digital expression I quickly jumped on board and began researching the most popular and interesting accounts. 

1. Typography Inspired

With over 100,000 followers, this popular Instagram account is filled with inspiring typography. What I really enjoyed about this account is the fact that it is a collection of many artists work. The site is overloaded with a plethora of uniquely illustrated fonts for everyone to enjoy. There is a wide range of work stemming from pen drawings on napkins to fully illustrated pieces. What’s even better is to submit work to this account, all you have to do is upload an image to Instagram using #typographyinspired. 

2.  Jackson Alves

Jackson Alves is a letterer, calligrapher, and teacher from Brazil. His Instagram account is filled with beautiful calligraphy as well as amazing videos that show exactly how he created his masterpieces. His work is unique and inspiring, especially for the aspiring calligrapher. Jacksons latest project is a calligraphy collaboration with Tiffany & Co., which he has been showing off on his Instagram! 

3. Goodtype

Goodtype is a trending Instagram account that features the world of a wide variety of typographers. The creators started this site in 2013 and now they have over 100,000 loyal followers. Goodtype not only features some gorgeous letterforms, but it also includes products that are covered in beautiful typography. This community of artists and admirers is currently creating a book based on work that was submitted to the site. You can submit work for the Goodtype Book on their website. 

4. Mike Perry 

Mike Perry is an artist that works in a variety of media including books, magazines, newspapers and films. Besides being the amazing typographer who created the title card for the popular show Broad City, he also has an Instagram account that features a multitude of his work. His color palettes on the account are all bright and fun and his hand drawn art is quite inspiring. Mike’s Instagram features not only his work, but work that inspires him as well. Make sure to check him out! 

5. Jessica Hische 

Jessica is a young illustrator, letterer, and type designer who went to Tyler School of Arts not so long ago! She is very widely known for the website, “The Daily Drop Cap” and her Instagram is simply an extension of her inspiring work. I really appreciate how although her Instagram has tons of beautifully illustrated type, it also has many pictures of her cat as well as her life. Her Instagram is a perfect balance of design and her everyday life.

6. Spencer Charles

Spencer is a typographer and letterer who is now living in Brooklyn, New York. His Instagram is filled with beautifully rendered typography as well as many interesting patterns. Spencer posts many beautiful letterforms as well as many videos of inspiring product design. Check out his Instagram account!    

7. Louise Fili

Louise works in New York at her own graphic design firm. She specializes in food packaging, restaurant identities, logos, and book design. Her Instagram is an extension of her work and features logos and design that inspire her. Many of her posts feature European restaurant design. Louise posts many images of restaurant names, all of which are very inspiring!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Inspiring typographic package design

Typography can be a curtail component of packaging design because it's essentially disseminates the information. Products have various information with little details and nuances that need to be displayed on the packaging in a legible manner to enable consumers to read and understand the information they`re looking at. 

In addition to conveying information, typography can be used for marketing purposes. Often most appealing products are not those that are the most functional and practical, but the ones whose packaging attracts the buyer the most. 

Typography alone can be used in this sense, by bringing aesthetically pleasant characteristics to any packaging design. Sometimes a typeface is so excellent, there is no need to embellish it with graphic treatments. Only a slight, unexpected alteration is enough to send home a desired feel for the product. 

Here are some inspiring examples of packaging design that heavily rely on typography.

Brie Bistro by ID Kommunikation

Adams & Harlow by Designers Anonymous

Hand-Drawn Text by The Manual Co.

Peter Wetzer Wines by Laszlo Mihaly Naske

Alice Pattullo Packaging

Brooklyn Fare Packaging by Steven Jockisch

Nagging Doubt Wine by Brand Ever (Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi)

Princess Bride Custom Wine by Helms Workshop

Sepp Moser Wine by Hans Renzler

Artisan Wine by Public Creative

BFrank Wine by TACN Studio

Sandro Desii by Lociento Studio

Christmas Absinthe by Stranger & Stranger

Reishunger by Funny Paper

Slingshot Coffee by Good South

Panettone and Pandoro from Milan by Panettoni G. Cova & C

Williams-Sonoma's Thanksgiving Food Assortment by Cult Partners

Revitalizing, Re-purposing, and Re-living the “Ghosts” of Philly.

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the forgotten beauty of withered and once vibrant signs. Like a faded-decades old tattoo, they represent a time in history, a feeling, a culture or simply a small business. Some are considered "Ghost signs" generally defined as painted signage, at least 50 years old, on an outside wall that publicizes a defunct business or product, according to Lawrence O’Toole, author of “Fading Ads of Philadelphia.” Highly intriguing these signs are an intersection of art, history and commerce. Some, like us designers, are captivated by the fonts and graphics, representing the nearly lost tradition of sign painting. While others appreciate the ads as history, telling stories about how things used to be, the businesses that once powered a neighborhood or the provenance of a building. Philadelphia has no shortage of ghost signs, left over from its two centuries as an industrial juggernaut. Some have been reincarnated in surprising ways.

A resurgence of interest in vintage signage has influenced the popularity of some trendy typefaces. The often student forbidden, however stylish type collective, Lost Type offers quite a few of these styles that are extremely similar if not a direct nod to the unique and often hand-done type faces of ghost signs. 

Some examples of some trendy type and photos local vintage signs that I have taken, see the similarities?  

More recently these signs are often re-vitalized at the hands of The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program or at least in partner with them.  Just last year Tyler's own Robert Blackson created a partnership with the PMAP to resurrect ghost signs around North Philadelphia.  In 2013, Blackson walked into the store of John Henssler, locksmith and owner of the century old business and simply asked if her wanted his sign repainted. Henssler thought he was pulling his leg, but Blackson said that he was inspired by the signs fleeting beauty as he passed it everyday on his way to Tyler. This then sparked the start of the ghost sign revitalization project, with other sites on the to-do list. This not only renews the vintage art that once stood prominent on the dilapidated walls of the city and creates something that is visually interesting, but creates a a renewed civic pride for the neighborhood.

The Philly Mural Arts Program and Tyler School of Art partnership's first gig:
Robert Blackson (Tyler), Nathaniel Lee(PMAP), and several Tyler Students
Henssler Locksmith sign, North Philadelphia

Speaking of things like local pride, supporting small businesses, and partnering up with The Mural Arts Program, The Famous project "A Love Letter for You" immediately comes to mind. One of my favorite things in the city and a sign painting and typographical masterpiece takes viewers that ride the EL train on a journey through the poetry of Stephen Powers and the story behind this is just as interesting. Steve Powers, somtimes known as ESPO (exterior surface painting outreach), is a world re-nowned public artist and sign painter but it wasn't always this way.  Powers grew up in the Overbrook section of West Philly and in the 1980's when The Mural Arts Program was hard at work to cover up the "unsightly" graffiti that littered the walls of the city, Powers or ESPO at the time was battling against them.  This relationship continued until years and many accolades later he returned home and contacted the Philly Mural Arts Program to created a "typographic poem of the complexities and rewards of relationships", which also acted as an ironic nod to the story between him and PMAP.  It consists of 50 murals that were painted traditionally, meant to deteriorate with time and weather, one day making them ghost signs themselves. The walls that words are painted on are all small local buisnesses of a community that is suffering in hopes that it would bring a revitalization to the area. 

see the youtube video of A Love Letter for You here and here and here

-Dani Birnbohm