Thursday, October 29, 2015


After attending the lecture by John Newman, I was totally inspired to think outside the Epson paper boundaries when creating my designs. Even though this blog is full of 3D type ideas and designs, I still find myself stuck in the 2D mindset when it comes to my first round of brainstorming for any design silly is that? Thinking this way is completely limiting our design abilities, and no graphic designer should set limitations like this for themselves.  I've gathered a few designs featuring typography by designers who ditched the Epson printers and decided to get their hands dirty!

Type can be made out of anything you can think of you just need to try!

Here is great work by designer Lo Siento

D Typography was the result of orthogonally intersecting two protrusions from the same letter, allowing viewers to read it from at least two different positions relative to the letter.
Observers who would like to enjoy a particular piece of architecture are forced to move through and around it. As they do, the changing perspectives generate new spaces, in which light behaves in different ways. In this project, typography makes an effort to abandon its two-dimensional nature to act in a more architectural fashion. It does not resign itself to just a third dimension, but also takes on a fourth one for utmost readability. When the letters are hung, the reader can move around them to understand all their shapes.

Special lettering design for a features cover of “Wired” magazine in the UK.
We made the letters by injecting colored liquid into plastic bubble wrap.

 Ryuta Iida and Yoshihisa Tanaka

In their sculpture series “Oratorical Type,” artists Ryuta Iida and Yoshihisa Tanaka of art duo Nerhol have created an alphabet out of carved Japanese books.



Friday, October 23, 2015

The Golden Section: How It's Actually Used

Apparently the Golden Section is something that is used everyday in nature, but most of us still have no clue what it actually is or does, we just know the ratio is 1: 1.618. We also know that it creates a spiral with a series of rectangles.

The main reason we learned what the Golden section was is because we are learning typography. So, in typography, the Golden Section is used amongst the relationship between the headers, body, etc. Another way the ratio is used is for cropping images. Basically, the ratio always has to be equivalent to 1.6!!!

The Golden Ratio is also used in logos and of course, layout:

In reality: the Golden Ratio is really important and shapes our work around us but it is a really tough aspect to grasp!

To further your knowledge on the Golden Ration/Section, head to design taxi:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Amaze-Balls_Katlego Phatlane
Phatlane says he hasn't classified his style because he feels
he doesn't have one yet. "Thats why I am constantly experimenting,"
he says. "I'm not comfortable yet, which in many ways is a good thing
because I'm always pushing myself."

Katlego Phatlane

A South African
designer who really enjoys making 3D typography.

he goes by Katt
When he's not at work he is doing personal projects that are primarily type driven.

Though some of his 3D work does appear to exist outside of the digital world it is all 100% computer generated.

In some ways it reminds me of a mix of Lex Wilsons 3D hand lettering with elements of  Sabeena Karnik 3D paper sculptures. 

 He beings by drawing out his basic design then just goes nuts on the computer. Check out his process on his Behance page. Then check out the rest of his work on there as well.

Katlego Phatlane
Katlego Phatlane
Katlego Phatlane
Katlego Phatlane
Katlego Phatlane

Bodoni Bold: The Parmigiano System

In 2013 designers Riccardo Olocco and Johnathan Pierini bicentenary of Giambattista Bodoni. 
Both Olocco and Pierini were colleagues at the Free University of Bolzano in Italy, and naturally they were fanboys of Bodoni's work. The system takes its name from Bodoni's home city of Parma Italy. The two worked tirelessly and expanded the seminole typeface into styles beyond the typical modern type face.Bodoni was updated into formats beyond Bodoni's lifestyle such as slab and sans serifs. 
    Inspired by Bodoni's 1818 second volume, Pierini and Olocco channeled Bodoni's international state of mind and created non-latin versions such as Hebrew, Arabic, Tibetan, Greek and even Ethiopian. To continue the unconventional, the group incorporated performance art, multimedia exhibitions, and videography.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Lex Wilson's 3D Typography

Lex Wilson is an illustrator and graphic designer from Cambridge, UK. He is currently based in London and specializes in graphic design. typography, illustration, and experiments with 3D type. I think he has a pretty cool name too.

For the past two years, Lex Wilson has been drawing 3D typography that jumps off the page. Each of his words embodies the idea that they spell out, revealing clever metaphors and word-play to those who look close enough at his work. The Nottingham, England based artist creates each of his hand drawn works in "stolen time" between working at his paying job. He shares videos on his Behance page detailing the creative process that goes into each word's creation.

Here is some of his work below:

"That Sinking Feeling"









"Go With the Flow"

Here's a "speed drawing" video of his process of drawing "How Crude":
Also, here's a link to his website to check out more of his work:

The Typography of Horror

A good horror movie leaves a viewer scared and afraid to turn out the lights at night. But before your butt is in the seat—and before the first teen couple has sex in the woods and dies—you've seen a movie poster of sorts that got you interested in the first place. Each of these posters use imagery and text to cultivate a mood of fear and suspense.

Nosferatu started it all and began a trend of type treatment in 1922. If a movie is supposed to disturb and scare the audience, the title should do the same. The most common way of doing this is by distressing or rendering the text to give it that personality. "Nosferatu" is done in hand drawn type and given a shaky feel, like it was actually trembling.

As creature features became popular, they too were advertised prominently with large, hand drawn type. These titles often featured drop shadows and/or blocky, organic type. Posters from this era also made a point of emphasizing other information on these posters like the technology used and the actors and director. As time went on, this other information would be treated specially in the hierarchy to emphasize certain selling points. 

Saul Bass was notable at this time period for designing the posters and title sequences for many a movie. The horror and suspense films he did were more psychological in nature, and he designed them as such.

Bass' type treatment wasn't as heavy as those of the creature features. Instead, he made them slight and off-kilter like the characters in the films.

The next big trend in horror type was during the emergence of over the top slasher films in the late 70s and 80s. Since these films made a point of being violent and gory, the titles were designed to be exactly that.

These titles were done in thick brushstrokes that you can imagine being literally painted in buckets of blood, or carved in flesh. 

Today, horror movies utilize a variety of different type treatments because there is a wide variety of horror sub-genres. 

Now there is a trend of taking clean, traditional typefaces and contrasting them with rougher imagery 

or vice versa.

Horror movies and type treatment have developed a unique relationship that sets them apart from other movies and posters. We can recognize horror films just from the type treatment. Many of these cult hits have their own individual type treatments that are now synonymous with their franchise, and that goes to show how influential their typography is.

Other cool posters

Friday, October 9, 2015

Beyond the Latin Alphabet

At the heart of typography, beyond its history, craft, and creative uses, is communication. If we step back and consider the world around us, we’ll notice that it’s rapidly changing—more interconnected and globalized every day. With this in mind, I chose to explore what’s outside the familiar ABC bubble and found many things of interest and came up with a few questions.

Writing Systems

First, some history. Writing – marking a surface to record and share thoughts permanently – is arguably the most important invention of all time. All writing systems can be classified as alphabets, ideographic, or syllabaries. Alphabets follow the principle that one written symbol represents one sound in the language. Although Latin is not in use anymore, most European countries and their former colonies have adapted the Latin alphabet to represent their spoken language in writing, like ours.

While the English alphabet uses a few letters to spell out the sound of a word, ideographic systems use a picture or symbol to represent an entire thing, idea, or word. That’s why languages like Chinese are so mind-boggling to Westerners; they work differently. Compared to the 26 letters of the English alphabet, there are thousands of characters in ideographic systems that each represent an idea. [Source = Language in Society notes]

Ideographic Typography

The way ideographic languages work pose unique benefits and challenges to designers. Audiences can read both horizontally and vertically, so designers can lay out content to better convey its message / character. For example, vertical tends to be used for humanist / traditional things like novels, and horizontal resonates better for modern things like business and scientific documents. It also makes it possible to use space efficiently, like in complex publications and information design. [Source

On the other hand, there are not as many typefaces available to choose from, because of how time-consuming it is to design so many unique characters in a consistent style. Asked about what makes Chinese typography unique, typographer Archer Zuo replied, “Many things. There are 3000 commonly used characters, a national standard of 6763 and characters commonly seen in newspapers and magazines number in the tens of thousands. Every character is different such that you need to design each one in isolation. This may at first seem a weakness in terms of standardizing or forming a coherent pattern. But each character has to be unified within the system, to be in harmony with one another.” [Source]

In her book, Cultural Connectives, Rana Abou Rjeily used a typeface family she designed to bridge the Arabic and Latin alphabets. Comparing the two systems in minimal, imaginative spreads, Rjeily aims to foster cultural understanding in the reader. [Source]

Food for Thought

In his essay, Peter Bi─żak makes a good case for how academics and practitioners in the field seem to overlook the part of typography that’s not Latin. “Even today, typography as a discipline continues to be plagued by a Euro-centric bias. If any of the major typography reference books are to be believed, the development of typography has generally been limited to Western Europe,” he says, going on to discuss how the bias shows in how we describe certain fonts as roman or italic.

Is typography as a discipline biased towards the West? Should students and professionals be more aware of the history and issues of non-Latin typography? Is it important, being in a globalized world, or does it not really matter for people who don’t work abroad or deal with international clients?