Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mobile Typography Apps

Current technology has opened up a new world of possibilities for designers in the last few decades. Now, there are apps that can assist with the design process from a mobile device.
Many of these design and typography apps are useful for designers, but many are also usable by people who are not. Some of these apps allow introduce people to type and allow them to experiment with it.
These are some of the best typography apps; they range from ones that designers can use, to ones for people learning about typography, to ones that anyone can use for fun.

1. AnyFont

lets you install any TrueTypeFont, TrueTypeCollection, or OpenTypeFont for use on your iPhone or iPad and can be used by any app that uses the iOS Font Book (Keynote, Pages, Office Suite Pro, and others)

2. Font Candy

mask photos with words and symbols; has a number of fonts to use. also allows users to add shapes and gradients, as well as layer images and utilize blending modes.

3. PicLab

another app that lets users add typography to their photos. offers many fonts as well as full control over size, positioning, opacity, rotation, and color. users can also add other design elements such as textures and illustrations.

4. iFontMaker

this iPad app provides a relatively easy to use interface for creating hand drawn fonts that can be converted into a .ttf file.

5. Path On

allows users to add text to photos along a path: just draw the path where you want the text to go, then type your message. this app also allows you to adjust the font, letter spacing, and alignment.

6. Fontroid

this Android app allows people to create and share their own hand-written fonts all over the world.

7. WhatTheFont

we've all seen a font we like and wondered what it was - with this app users take a photo of the word and it will identify the font being used, or give a close approximation.

8. Typography Insight

a very helpful app for anyone learning about type, Typography Insight utilizes the iPad to teach different aspects of typography and differentiate between fonts as well see the details in different fonts.

9. Fontli

Fontli is sort of a social media for type-lovers - users collect and share images of typography found in everyday life, and can even tag them.

10. The Font Game

this is a game for type enthusiasts, and is also good for anyone learning about typography. The game includes naming different fonts in a limited amount of time and recognizing terminology and different parts of a letter.

Petra Blahova

Floral Typographic Ice Cubes by Petra Blahov

UK-based artist Petra Blahova (from Czech Republic), created this stunning typeface, entitled “My Garden”, by freezing colorful flowers and fruits in alphabetical ice cubes. The whole project is inspired by the flowers all around when the artist walked home from work one day. Using everything from greens and ferns to flower petals and berries, she meticulously arranged them to fit the contours of each letter and create the tactile project. 

‘I like working in graphic design, illustration and typography. I particularly enjoy experimenting with different media in typography. I work as a graphic designer in Lake District but in my spare time I like to work on my own design which includes Children’s books, lino-cut print, screen-print and embroidery.
My inspiration and ideas come from everywhere – a conversation with friend, nature, architecture as well as other graphic & illustrative artworks. Although most of my work looks very digital, I always create everything on paper first. I can’t just go on the computer straight away. Doodling is the main process of my work.’

"One morning I walked from work and I was inspired by the flowers everywhere so I decided to create a typeface out off them. You can create typography from anything. "

Retro Science Fiction Typography Inspiration

Dave Addey, Senior Writer at Apple and blogger, created a blog called “Typeset in the Future”, in which he painstakingly analyzed “2001: A Space Odyssey” for every usage of typography in the film. From the title card to the user interface, to the type on the uniforms and the buttons on the consoles.

Looking at “futuristic” designs from the science-fiction of the past, it is easy to see that the visions of Sci-fi typography have changed with the technology available to those who were designing he future. Initially beginning with the type that appeared on dials and knobs, science fiction artists ran with each new technology developed, from CRTs to LCDS, from holograms to augmented reality.

Futuristic type has stuck with the angled forms initially influenced by the limiting factors of pixels, though these limitations are long past being a limiting factor.

While there have been many attempts to create simplified “future” fonts with the advent of computer technologies, as we move forward it seems that designers are more often than not using simpler, geometric sans-serif fonts.

OCR-A is “Optical character recognition”, and perhaps the font that people call to mind when they think of computer/futuristic fonts. Its angled designs were intended to be recognized by computers and humans.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

1980’s Horror Movie Logos & Typography    

Typography can be used to evoke emotions from feelings of elation and excitement to dread and horror. The typefaces that are used for logos and posters possess stylistic attributes or imagery that help depict a grim and unsettling story. An example would be how they use distressed type forms to portray malicious intent or a gory event. 
What makes these typefaces so fascinating is the atypical, yet still cinematic, approach to their design and the use of typography to communicate with viewers rather than conforming to other cinematic clichés such as displaying a large eye.

These examples from the 1980’s stood out within their time. They make the best use of typography to communicate with their audiences. Many of today's horror films, they rely more on imagery than creating an identity within their typographic logos to entice the viewers.

He Knows You're Alone integrates the imagery of a fearful woman with the typeface.

The Evil Dead uses angular and dynamic type that breaks its traditional forms.

The Fog illustrates the type slowly and eerily approaching through its transitioning size.
The Shining was and still is one of the most well known horror classic movies out there. Stanley Kubrick, the director of The Shining, wanted to complete and perfect his film by having a poster design created by Saul Bass, who worked on other film titles such as The Man with the Golden Arm, Vertigo, and Psycho. Saul Bass had an uncanny skill for his use of typography to impact his audience and instill psychological horror in graphic visuals.  

Many of Saul Bass’s ideas were rejected by the perfectionist, Stanley. 

 “Hand and bike are too irrelevant. Title looks bad small.
Looks like ink didn’t take on the part that goes light.”
“Hard to read even at this size."
"Maze and figures places too much emphasis on maze,
I don't think we should use the maze in ads."
Saul's humorous signature.