Thursday, 29 March 2012

Colour theory

Laila Simonovsky  /  Spectrum

The goal of this card game is to build sets based on color relationships. Originally inspired by Kandinsky's use of color and its effect in contemporary graphic design, the aesthetic alludes to the color wheel in a fresh and playful way.


Theory into practice: Anatomy of a typeface

Anatomy of a typeface - Anatomy within type

To further my understanding of type i have decided to research artists/ designers who have used elements of the human body to design letter forms, i am intrigued by this approach as i have i would like to design my own typeface based upon modern fonts and their role in fashion advertising i would like to also illustrate the elements of fashion models into the design as a play of art and text. 

Geoffroy Tory

 Born in Bourges around 1480 and died in Paris before 14 October 1533, was a French humanist and an engraver, best known for adding written letters in French. His life's work has heavily influenced French publishing to this day.

He related the proportions in letters to proportions in the human body in Champ-fleury, auquel est contenu l'art et science de la vraie proportion des lettres antiques selon le corps et visage humain (Paris, 1529). 

Giovannino de Grassi

Medieval manuscripts, the early wholly drawings work of - Giovannino de Grassi

Bjohn Johansson

Kristin Bonnet

Intrigued by anatomy and physiology, this typeface was designed as a homage to the intricacies of the human body. The type specimen poster is representative of the style anatomical documentation. If existing only as letters, there is no cohesion, but, like the human body, if all systems are put together the letters are easily seen as such.

Aprile - The unfinished body typeface

"The alphabet compares our culture with medieval folk culture where life and death was the same thing and always happened simultaneously. Bakhtin argues that the grotesque ornament was the ultimate symbol for this, where human, animal and plant form intertwined."

Bone fracture alphabet

An Illustrated Alphabet by Jakub Konvica

Photocopied Hand Typography

Handschrift is an experimental typeface by designer José Ernesto Rodriguez out of Berlin who created each letterform with a single photocopy of his hands. (via typegoodness)

Wearable Lettering

Wearable Lettering is a project by designer Amandine Alessandra. She also created this niftyclock and website for Optimus Kanguru Kolors using the same concept of wearable typography. (via quipsologies)

The Person You Love Is 72.8% Water

A lovely print by Teagan White, available over at Society6 in a variety of shapes and sizes. (vialet’s love art)

A Hand-Painted Typographic Experiment by Tien-Min Liao

Handmade Type is a typographic experiment by designer Tien-Min Liao wherein shapes painted on her hands are transformed by gestures to create letterforms. However she gave herself a unique constraint: the painted figures on her hands for each individual letter had to be utilized for all variations of the letter, both upper and lowercase and sometimes even italic and handwritten. See more examples and the full alphabet over on Behance.

sources:    ******

Theory into practice: Illustrators and designers


Theory into practice: Typeface characteristics


Theory into practice: Typography

Typography (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefacespoint sizeline lengthleading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Type design is a closely related craft, which some consider distinct and others a part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. In modern times, typography has been put into motion—in film, television and online broadcasts—to add emotion to mass communication.
Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic designersart directors, comic book artists, graffiti artists, clerical workers, and anyone else who arranges type for a product. Until theDigital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users, and it has been said that "typography is now something everybody does.
Typesetting is the composition of text by means of types.

Typesetting requires the prior process of designing a font and storing it in some manner. Typesetting is the retrieval of the stored letters (called sorts in mechanical systems and glyphs in digital systems) and the ordering of them according to a language's orthography for visual display.
Type design is the art and process of designing typefaces.

Penmanship is the technique of writing with the hand using a writing instrument. The various generic and formal historical styles of writing are called hands, whilst an individual personal style of penmanship is referred to as handwriting.

Calligraphy (from Greek κάλλος kallos "beauty" + γραφή graphẽ "writing") is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering (Mediavilla 1996: 17). A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner" (Mediavilla 1996: 18). The story of writing is one of aesthetic evolution framed within the technical skills, transmission speed(s) and material limitations of a person, time and place (Diringer 1968: 441). A style of writing is described as a script, hand or alphabet (Fraser and Kwiatkowski 2006; Johnston 1909: Plate 6).
Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters (Mediavilla 1996). Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, at the moment of writing (Pott 2006 and 2005; Zapf 2007 and 2006).
Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design/typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, announcements/graphic design/commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions and memorial documents. It is also used for props and moving images for film and television, testimonialsbirth and death certificates, maps, and other works involving writing (see for example Letter Arts Review; Propfe 2005; Geddes and Dion 2004). Some of the finest works of modern calligraphy are charters and letters patent issued by monarchs and officers of state in various countries.
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmithgoldsmithprinter, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the RenaissanceReformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses
Our modern English alphabet is a child of the Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet, which evolved from a western version of the Greek alphabet approximately 2,700 years ago. The profession of typography was essentially born in Germany with Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of a movable metal type printing press in the early 1450s. The individual pieces of metal type that Gutenberg worked with were not letters, but letterforms.
Let me explain. There is a subtle but important difference in meaning between a grapheme, character or letter and a glyph, letterform or sort. A letter, character or grapheme refers to a fundamental conceptual mark that represents a spoken sound. (A phoneme refers directly to the sound.) A sort, letterform or glyph refers to a particular manifestation of a letter or character, one created by a type designer.
phoneme is a basic element of a given language or dialect, from which words in that language or dialect are analyzed as being built up.
A ligature is a single sort in which two or more letters are joined, usually to improve the space between them. There are a few ligatures that are still seen today, such as the connected fi, fl, the triple play ffl, and sometimes even the stylish ct ligature. A typographic diphthong is a glyph of two vowels spliced together, and it symbolizes a phonemic diphthong, two linked vowel sounds. Ligatures and diphthongs are also known as tied characters, tied letters, and sometimes quaints.
ct ligature
long s i ligature type, size 12pt Garamond.

Ligature, loop and stem.

The first typefaces were based on the manuscript handwriting of the time, and were intended to be indistinguishable from it. Typefounders, designers and producers of metal type, have subsequently reached to the Roman lettering of antiquity for inspiration, and now, in an era of digital typography, inspiration and references come from sources that were unimaginable in the past.

Since the invention of printing, typefaces have been classified historically. The earliest type is now known as black letter, blackletter, block, fraktur, gothic or old English. The humanist, or Venetian typefaces followed, a style that more closely resembled handwriting.
Old style, old face, or garalde type. Garalde, a term rarely used now, is a mash-up of the names Garamond and Aldus, referring to the notable typefounders Claude Garamond and Aldus Manutius. Old style typefaces are distinguishable from humanist types by the horizontal rather than oblique or sloping crossbar of the lowercase e.

Italic type is an old style variation developed in Venice around the year 1500 at Aldus Manutius’ foundry. It was cut by Francesco Griffo, and based on handwriting of the time. The dramatically condensed characters decreased the space taken up by the text, and with italic type Manutius produced the first pocket-sized books set in this new italic. The first cursive type also arrived around this time. Like italic, cursive resembles handwriting, but cursive characters are, whenever possible, connected.
Transitional type refers to typefaces such Baskerville, by English printer John Baskerville, and Philippe Grandjean’s Romain du Roi, which was created for the exclusive use of presses allied with the French Crown and then declared the only legal typeface. Transitional typefaces have more vertical stress than old style type, they stand taller, with slighter more contrast between the thick and thin strokes, and feature, not insignificantly, horizontal serifs. Transitional type, named in hindsight, was part of an evolution towards the typefaces of the late 1700s and early 1800s.
New face, modern face, or modern typefaces seemed to appear quite suddenly. Modern type has a very nearly vertical and horizontal structure and much greater contrast between thicks and thins than had ever been seen before. Bodoni and Didot, two representative examples, were created by and named for competing family type foundries. Both of these typefaces are also classified as Didones.
Slab serif and sans serif typefaces appeared in the early 1800s, the 18-teens to be precise. Both are characterized by a fairly even line weight, even into the serifs of the appropriately named slab serifs. The earliest slab serifs were heavy display faces, but these soon evolved into a broad range of weights and styles. Interestingly, sans serifs, easily distinguished now by their lack of serifs, at first resembled nothing so much as a slab serif.
There are other terms that describe not the history but the physical structure of a typeface. The width of a typeface can be described as broad, extended, expanded, normal, condensed, extra-condensed and slim. The posture of a typeface refers to its relationship to an imaginary vertical line. The vertically oriented letters are generally known as roman. Carefully crafted letters that resemble handwriting and lean to the right are generally called italic. Characters that have been mechanically or digitally redrawn to lean to the right—even sometimes to the left—are known as oblique characters.

Case alphabets, such as English, are those alphabet systems in which the letters have two distinct forms. The terms uppercase and lowercase come directly from the slim but heavy horizontal cases of metal type that were indispensable to printers for over 500 years, from 1454 to the 1950s and ’60s. When arranged for the process of handsetting type, the uppercase letters, also known as capitals, majuscules or versals were stored in the upper type case, above and resting at a slightly steeper angle than a second case of letters, the lowercase letters, also known as small letters, or minuscules. The term titlecase refers to the convention, often used in titles and headlines, of an uppercase initial letter followed by lowercase letters in each word.

Case mapping is the designation of uppercase, lowercase or titlecase in the editorial or typographic instructions. When specifying uppercase or lowercase type, designers and printers often use the abbreviations Uc for uppercase and lc for lowercase. When used in combination, the use of upper- and lowercase type is abbreviated U&lc or U/lc, and I have heard second hand of a C&lc, an acronym for, presumably, caps and lowercase.

The expression “mind your p’s and q’s” probably comes to us from the tedious and exacting job of sorting metal letters after printing a page and returning them to the type cases. The raised letter on a block of metal type represents a letter that prints in the opposite direction, so a metal p resembles a printed q and vice versa. P’s and q’s were particularly tricky.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Theory into practice: The origins of type

Firstly i will begin my research by understanding how type originated and how it has progressed through the ages. 
The origins of type:
We see it every day on signs, billboards, packaging, in books and magazines; in fact, you are looking at it now — the Latin or Roman alphabet, the world’s most prolific, most widespread abc.
The Sumerians began to experiment with writing at the close of the fourth millennium BC, in Mesopotamia between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates (roughly modern-day Iraq). Like most writing systems, Cuneiform, initially scratched — later impressed by a stylus — into soft clay, started out as a series of pictograms — pictures representing words.
Cuneiform definition: Cuneiform script is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Emerging in Sumer around the 30th century BC, with predecessors reaching into the late 4th millennium (the Uruk IVperiod), cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs.
In time, the pictures of things came to represent, not only things but, sounds.
We use 26 letters (and the Romans used only 23 to create some of the most outstanding literature the world has ever known) while the Chinese, for example, have to learn thousands of characters to express themselves.
Below is an example of Proto-Cuneiform, one of the earliest examples of writing know to us.
While the Sumerian language ceased to be spoken after about 2000 BC, the influence of its written form (Cuneiform) is still felt today.
The writing of the Gods: Below is an image showing how the Egyptians developed a similar system of pictograms, one many of us are familiar with. Hieroglyphic inscriptions (literally sacred carving), like Cuneiform started out as pictograms, but later those same pictures were also used to represent speech sounds. 
The Egyptian pictographs evolved into a cursive style called hieratic that was freer, written more rapidly and contained numerous ligatures.
A yet later form is demotic, which represents the most abstract form of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Although written mostly in ink on papyrus, the most famous example is to be found on the granite Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone (196 BC), found by scholars who had travelled to Egypt with Napoleon in 1799, is important because it was the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is written in two languages, and three scripts: two forms of Egyptian (hieroglyphic & demotic), with a Greek translation.
The first alphabet: Until the discovery of two inscriptions (graffiti) in Wadi el-Hol, Egypt, in 1999, it was generally held that the beginnings of alphabetic scripts could be traced to around 1600 to 1500 BC, to the Phoenicians, a people of traders who lived on the coast of today’s Lebanon and Israel.
This strengthens the hypothesis there must have been ties between Egyptian scripts and their influence on those early Semitic or proto-Sinaitic alphabets. Moreover, it pushes back the origin of the alphabet to between 1900 and 1800 BC.
Phoenicians definition: They were famed in Classical Greece and Rome as 'traders in purple', referring to their monopoly on the precious purple dye of the Murex snail, used, among other things, for royal clothing, and for their spread of the alphabet (or abjad), upon which all major modern phonetic alphabets are derived.
By about 1600 BC in the region between the two dominant writing systems of the time, Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, we see the emergence of other more systematised alphabets like ugaritic script (14th century BC) that developed in what is today Syria. The ugaritic script employs 30 simplified cuneiform signs. And thus begins the story of the alphabet.
Note the difference between the signs of Inscription 1 from Wadi el-Hol, and those of the proto-Sinaitic script. The latter are just a little more abstract. Note too the simplified stick figure, representing a person at prayer. Cut off the torso and the head, rotate what’s left, and you will see in it the origins of the Latin E:
The evolution of E:
The Phoenician alphabet was probably developed for quick and easy to read notes that a merchant would make on his trips along the ports of the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians were traders who created a loose empire of city-states along the coasts they visited: Africa, Spain and Sicily. Carthage is probably the best known of these Phoenician colonies. They owed their initial rise to a simple snail that can still be found on the coast of Lebanon and that, left rotting in the sun, could be used to make purple dye — thus the Greek-coined Phoenician or purple people, fromphoiniki, meaning purple or crimson.
This simple and ingenious modern alphabet of consonants from which the last vestiges of pictograms had been erased, is indeed a merchant’s instrument: easy to learn, to write and to adapt. And adapted it was by cultures that we are generally much more familiar with: the Greek and Roman societies that form the base of modern Western civilisation and the lesser-known Tuscans.
The Greek scripts followed no fixed direction, being written left to right, right to left, and in horizontal boustrophedon. (Braille is set boustrophedonically.)
Boustrophedonically definition: Boustrophedon (play /ˌbstrɵˈfdən/ or /ˌbstrˈfdən/; from Greek βουστροφηδόνboustrophēdon “ox-turning” from βοῦςbous, “ox” and στροφήstrophē, “turn”; that is, turning like oxen in ploughing), is a kind of bi-directional text, mostly seen in ancient manuscripts and other inscriptions.[1] Every other line of writing is flipped or reversed, with reversed letters. Rather than going left-to-right as in modern English, or right-to-left as in Arabic and Hebrew, alternate lines in boustrophedon must be read in opposite directions. Also, the individual characters are reversed, or mirrored.
The Etruscans came to Italy from western Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). 
Not only did the Etruscans adopt much of the art and religious rites of the Greeks, but, most importantly for our story, they adopted the Greek alphabet. 
The tale of Z: The Latin alphabet that we still use today was created by the Etruscans and the Romans, and derived from the Greek. It had only 23 letters: the JU andW were missing. The J was represented by the I, the U was written as V and there was no need for a W. The story of the Z is particularly interesting. In the third century BC, the letter G (a variant of C) was added; Z was borrowed from the Greek, then dropped as Latin had no need for it — perhaps at the behest of the Roman censor Appius Claudius; G took its place in the line-up, until the first century BC, when the Romans decided they needed the Z for borrowed Greek words (when Greek literature became the vogue), they re-introduced it, and placed it at the end of the alphabet, where it remains to this day.
From the square Roman capitals (preserved on the plinth of Trajan’s Column (114 AD), developed the freer-form and slightly more condensed Rustic capitals. 
Uncial and half uncial: the entrance of lowercase
Uncial definition: Uncial is a majuscule script (written entirely in capital letters) commonly used from the 3rd to 8th centuries AD by Latin and Greek scribes. Uncial letters are written in either Greek, Latin, or Gothic.
Carlogian to gothic: The anonymous author of Carmen de carolo Magno refers to Charlemagne as ‘the venerable head of Europe’ and ‘the father of Europe.’ Though that’s something of an exaggeration, Charlemagne’s influence was substantial and long-lasting, and he succeeded in uniting most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire.
Writing and the alphabet: Writing and alphabets evolve for a number of reasons. We can explain the transition from pictograms to the linear, more abstract forms in terms of rationalization. Moreover, regional and national variations develop, their success, in part at least, owed to political and geo-political factors: A victorious invader brings its culture, including its language, both spoken and written. Context is also an important factor: text cut in stone contemplating the deeds of emperors is something different than an advertisement for a brothel scratched on a wall in Pompeii. The substrate, or writing material (whether clay, stone, wax tablets, wood, metal, papyrus, parchment, or vellum; and the writing implement, a reed, chisel, quill, broad nib pen — they all affect the form the alphabet takes.