Wednesday, 28 November 2012


At the start of this session, we re capped our knowledge on readability and legibility, through looking at a series of sentences that were placed on the wall on the wall at the opposite end of the studio. The sentence read "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" in various typefaces and point sizes. There were some debate as to which sentences were legible and readable at certain distances and why. 

Many points were raised which we had and hadn't previously mentioned in other sessions.

'Regular' fonts are always designed first for readability and then for legibility. Distance has an impact on the legibility, but not necessarily readability. 

'Bold' and 'Roman' can be harder to read at a distance, but not up close. 'Block' fonts were originally designed for headlines, so they're meant to be readable at a larger point size, they are designed for headlines and statements to be high impact, attract attention, and be readable and legible at a distance, to fit the purpose. They are not designed to be readable at a smaller point size, with a larger body copy. 

'Script' fonts are designed for a particular point size and use. If enlarged or decreased in size, letterforms can merge, counters can fall apart and anatomy can breakdown, meaning they can be illegible and unreadable. 

Line length is important - If the ascenders or descenders are on more than one line, it has the same principal as 'block' type. It can be hard to differentiate individual letterforms. 

Italics can create a sense of dynamic movement, with gothic fonts and some roman fonts. They can 'take an eye across the page'. Italics are easier to read when printed in lowercase than in uppercase.

The most readable way to write out a sentence is with lowercase glyphs, as it reads as a 'block'. You read the shapes made by the cap height, baselines, descenders, counters etc, allowing you to 'read around the text'. This is a more legible way to write out a sentence than in uppercase, and this is for all type families.

In editorial design, gothic fonts are used for body copy, opposed to block, script and roman. Smaller text means more lines, and multiple line lengths opposed to a book (columns vs whole page).

Gothic and Roman fonts can be made bold, increasing weight, decreasing kerning and more tracking allowing better readability and legibility at a larger scale.

Modifying the anatomy of a typeface to fit in different categories for body copy, branding and type design. 

The Birth of a Font:

We were asked to bring in the A, B, C letterforms, in both upper and lower case for this session. We were asked to initially use A, and B to create our own letterforms by manipulating and moving round their anatomies. 

I took each individual glyph and separate the counter, stem and cross-bar from each, and re-assembled them in as many ways as possible to create a new typeface.  I am aiming to experiment further and have at least 240 variations of letterforms based on this session today. 

Separated stems, counters and cross-bars.

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