Heartbreaks and 808s

Type: Rockwell Std
Song: All Falls Down by Kanye West
Original size is 18×24, so it got a bit squished to fit the blog.

About Rockwell Std:

Rockwell was derived from the first geometric Slab Serif (Egyptian), Litho Antique (originally produced by the Inland Typefoundry of St. Louis, USA in 1910). Morris Fuller Benton cut several new weights for an American Type Founders (ATF) revival of the design in the 1920s. The Monotype Corporation produced its own version, called Rockwell, in 1933/ 1934, with that foundry’s in-house design team working under the direction of Frank Hinmna Pierpont. Its precisely drawn forms feature very round counters paired with squared-off (unbracketed) serifs, and a monoline stroke weight. Rockwell was intended as a competitor to the German Stempel foundry’s Memphis Type, which was also influenced by Litho Antique. Due to an error in marketing, Rockwell was sometimes incorrectly referred to as Stymie Bold, and the two similar designs are still confused today. (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)

All the Beautiful People

Type: Apple LiGothic
Quote: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
(Not a song, I know, but this quote really resonated with me) as found on:http://bit.ly/jcJrg3

Creative Burnout?

Every time I start the project I feel like I won’t pull it off. In some ways I do, meaning I finish the project, but in other ways I don’t. I imagine people telling me letters are touching, things need to be tracked/ kerned, the layout isn’t right…but then I realize, it’s not meant to be perfect, nor should I focus on approval. It’s meant to be quick and dirty (ha!) and a mechanism to keep myself engaged with this beautiful art form and to test the creativity I am capable of.

But with a 24 hr-ish turn around time, you just gotta think: done, move on.

Type: New Caledonia LT Std

Song: You Gotta Be by Des’ree


If I wrote you a symphony…

I didn’t miss it yesterday, I was just too burnt out to post on my blog.

Type: New Caledonia LT Std

Song: Little Bit by Lykke Li

What is it that makes us weak?

Type: DIN

Song: Brutal Hearts ft. Coeur de Pirate

About DIN:

“DIN” stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung (The German Institute for Industrial Standards). In 1936, the German Standard Committee settle upon DIN 1451 as the standard font for the areas of technology, traffic, administration, and business as it was legible and easy to reproduce. Because DIN 1451 was used prominently in Germany on traffic signage, the letterforms became familiar to the masses, spurring graphic artists to make use of the ubiquitous design in advertising campaigns.

The variants of DIN were well suited for display purposes, but not for running text. In 1994, Erik Spiekermann met with Albert Jan-Pool, a student of the Dutch school of design initiated by Gerrit Noordzij. Spierkermann encouraged Jan-Pool to create a new version of DIN, one that would be more versatile in its applications. Jan-Pool developed FF DIN, a design that shares structural similarities with DIN 1451, yet differs in its weight distribution and naming conventions. FF DIN was refined to allow it to perform better in print and on screen. The original DIN Schriften in digital form and FF DIN are now both widely used across a variety of media. (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)

Forget English, talk body language

Type: Officina Serif
Song: La La La by Jay-Z

This one was a toughy. I’m starting to realize how ambitious this actually is. But it’s also a nice distraction because I’m focussing on creative solutions instead of other things. Double Plus Win.

About Officina Serif:

ITC Officina was developed by German design Powerhouse Erik Spiekermann and released in 1990, along with the matching Officina Sans. Originally just two weights with Italics, this par was intended for business applications requiring extreme legibility under less than optimal conditions. The serif variants in particular display traits of traditional typewriter text, but greatly modified to suit technological advancements. Upon its release designers worldwide took notice and the ITC Officina suite became an instant modern classic. Noting its widespread use by trendsetters in a variety of projects, Spiekermann collaborated with Ole Shäfer to add the extra weights and small caps necessary to make the typeface suitable for magazines, books, and advertising. (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)


Day 1

I promise future titles for the 30 Day Typography Challenge won’t be so lame.

I expected this to be much easier for me than it was. See, when I say I love typography, I should really be saying that I love looking at typography. Appreciation is easy, execution is frustrating at times. While working on the song for today, I was reminded that design is this intricate process, where the best solution usually doesn’t come until version…10 or something. Maybe v150.3 in my case. Seldom are my creativity and instincts so sharp that I can hit a home run on the first attempt (story of my life, actually). Nope, it’s try and try again. I originally started with a plan. I chose the song, the typeface, created a grid and then planned to rely on my typography and layout skills that I nurtured and developed in my undergrad. It would be bada-bing bada-boom! Or like the four game sweep Vancouver was expecting in the first round of Hockey Playoffs.

But! No.

Like game 5 in the first series, it didn’t happen that quickly or effortlessly. I started, put my elements on my page, formatted, edited, played around with the elements again, but always had a nagging feeling that something was off. The typeface didn’t really match the mood of the song, the structure didn’t seem right, and nothing felt organic or on point. I would change the font size for one element and then felt like the entire piece would have to be tweaked. Then I realized that was the beauty (and the frustration) of this challenge – I was learning how to use type to express personality and emotion, and there’s never really a “right” or definable answer. There’s a lot of trial and error and it’s subjective. This project also brought out my perfectionist tendencies. Part of my frustration was thinking that it had to be perfect, or spot on (I’m sure I can do a lot of kerning and tweaking still) but it is what is. Perfect, done.

First one done. Another 29 to go.

Type: Effloresce Antique found on dafont.com.

Song:  Roads by Portishead



30 Days. 30 Songs. 30 Typefaces.

An exploration of the impact, beauty, and frustration of typography. I decided to challenge myself to design 30 type pieces during the month of May. Nerdy? Yes! Creative? Of course! Insane? Ab-so-f*cking-lutely!

I’m excited for exercising the right side of my brain and spending time learning about letter forms.

Typefaces used:

30 – DIN 1452 Std

Day – Rockwell

05.01.2011 – Kabel Lt Std

Typography – Steelfish

Challenge – Didot

Just. Keep. Breathing.

[I’m sure the anatomy is horribly inaccurate, but it’s what I could find in the short time I was inspired!]

It occurred to me this morning that maybe I should stop, slow down, and actually try to enjoy this transition.

I had another tough night yesterday, where my tendency to extrapolate situations lead me feeling out of control, a bit angry and then sad.

I woke up this morning and started my day like I have been for the past few weeks (I won’t indulge you with the details, as they’re neither interesting or show me as terribly productive), but while I was mucking around on the internet, I thought that I really shouldn’t resist this, and, in some ways, I’ve been asking for this time . They say that if you can’t change something, change your mind about it. I figured since I haven’t changed my unemployment situation yet (and, oh! I’ve been trying) I should really see this as a incredible opportunity. When I thought about it some more, I realized that I wouldn’t have had time to rehabilitate my knee properly without the time off, I wouldn’t be part of really cool projects right now, and wouldn’t have time to just…do whatever. The amount of stress I’m putting myself through is unnecessary and I really need to learn how to calm the fuck down and breathe. I also realize how much guilt and pressure I put on myself because of my situation and I realize that it’s just silly, and…that I’m probably the only one (aside from my super traditional Asian mother who worries about everything all the time) who actually thinks there’s an issue. My financial situation isn’t ideal nor fun, and the frustrating part is that I feel stuck without a steady source of income (a girl wants to book her surf trip!), but I’m still getting by and I know that this won’t last forever.  It might last a bit longer than I want it to, but the items on my list will just have to be delayed.  And, well, this is a lesson in patience and (non-religious) faith. Things will unfold as they will. I have no control over what will happen. It’s also an adjustment not being on the go and consistently having a full schedule all the time.

I just need to keep breathing.

Did you know…?

via weheartit