Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now, and perhaps without even knowing it, you will live along some distant day into the answers. - Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 5, Day 2: It's a Little Sketchy

I follow quite a few blogs, and one of my biggest pet peeves is getting something that says: 
"Fabulous Free Fonts"

I'm a sucker and I look at the fonts and say....

"You really think these are fabulous?  Really?  REALLY? "

Can you tell I got another one today and it really bothered me, but that's OK since this subject goes perfectly with my inspiration this week and has given me an idea for today's blog.

I'm not saying that all the free fonts are bad, but some (and I may mean most) really are not fabulous and they are not well designed! There are times when using a "not well designed" font is applicable...I have done it many time.  In fact, I designed this Character Traits T-shirt using a lot of "not well designed" fonts.  It was appropriate for the subject matter.

If you like the tee, go to Leave A Trace and make a request.

I guess you could call me a typographic snob! My opinions come from years of Typography and Visual Communications classes where I learned about the history of type, about fonts with serifs and fonts sans serifs. We learned the history of visual communications, and we learned about the old masters of typographic design. We were taught calligraphy very methodically and sometimes painfully repetitive. I feel like I know what I am talking about.  If that makes me a typographic snob, then snob I am. (I'm a design snob, too, just in case you wanted to know!)

This is one of the many calligraphy exercises
I did during typography classes

I also found this project which is a graphic
representation of serif and sans serif letters.

So just where am I going with this?  Well this week I am exploring typography and how we communicate visually.  For example on the t-shirt above, I tried to create a feeling of each word with the font that I used.  Was I successful? Mostly, there were a few that were harder that others.  Sometimes it's hard to find the "perfect font".

I digress, but I will keep it late night, when I was searching for the "perfect font," going to web page after web page when I decided it was probably like looking through mug shots for that elusive criminal.  What an analogy, huh?

Anyway, did you know that many of the old masters of Typography, and type designers today use math and engineering principles to design type? It's really interesting!  So for my sketching today, I decided to try to design a letter or two. Maybe one day I'll design a whole typeface, but I doubt it since it's not my cup of tea.

This is an example of a typeface designed by Philippe Grandjean from the 1690's:

Construction of the letter G

Romain Du Roi Font

I started to gather my supplies so I could sketch fonts, but I was missing a few things I really need, so I decided to do it on the computer.  I thought it might be easier, but it wasn't.  A pencil and eraser are much easier to use!

So I started with a grid

Then I figured it I could do an S  ...  HA, the joke was on me!  

Starting Grid

2 sets of 2 circles for an S

Subtracted small circles from large circles

Cut away sorta looks like an S, but not even close.

I'll try an easy letter....H.  

Now if I make a few changes, 

and adjust the height and width of the crossbar,

I have an A


Yes, I do have a sense of humor.  'Til tomorrow!

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