Typography Practice

8 years

For the past 8+ weeks I have been studying typography. I have been learning valuable lessons on many ways to; express meaning, communicate clearly, organise information and how design has evolved (and continues to evolve). What I have found particularly fundamental to developing my knowledge has been both in exploring ways that words communicate to us, through typefaces (fonts), size, colour, contrast, alignment and much more. I have also fallen in love with the grid system and how it can be used to structure information easily and effectively. I am of course, by no means an expect. I am continuing to learn, discover and explore as much as I can, with my class and in reading a number of books dedicated to typography.

I decided to take a little bit of time outside my class work to create some typographic posters, a kind of experiment. I have found as part of my process, that I very rarely have one idea, and stick with it from start to finish. I usually create many designs and play with a lot of elements. Of course, my intention and purpose may be received in a completely different way and that is part of the learning process as well.

Here are some designs that I made.

posters5 posters6 posters7 posters8 posters9 posters10 posters11 posters12 posters13 posters14 posters15 posters16 posters17 posters18 posters19 posters20 posters21 posters3

My intention with the posters, was to encourage anyone that may be suffering with symptoms of mental illness, or just having a bad time, to seek help and that they are not alone. You may notice that I have used two different fonts. The first, that lists many of the symptoms/feelings/etc is a bit of a raw typeface. While the second is very precise, clean and clear. I tried to create a contrast between feeling and action. A few things that probably could have been better are the use of colour (mainly yellow). I could have done more research of colours that signify hope or connect with the psychology of anyone that may be seeking help. Yellow is probably too cheerful or optimistic and maybe not the perfect choice. Also, while the fonts that have been used might work on some levels, for clarity it may have been better to find alternatives that were not in all caps, so that it would be easier to read and not as ‘loud’. Like I said before, you keep learning.  🙃

  1. What is your interpretation of the posters?
  2. Have you ever studied typography?
  3. Do you have a favourite typeface or font?

25 Responses

  1. ?? typography captain here!
    I studied it a lot during university and based my final project on it. Up till today, I still love typography.

  2. I really like your typography work here Kya, I like what you’ve done it’s very inspiring and such a great message to put out there! I especially like the yellow designs because just looking at them puts me in a better mood 😀

    I am so indecisive when it comes to fonts, I love a lot of them!

    1. Thank you! 😀

      There are certainly a lot of fonts to choose from in todays world. Through my study of typography it has been so interesting to learn where many originate from and how often inspiration is drawn from the same sources, as well as the age of some of the typefaces that are used!

  3. I’m really proud of you for learning typography! my inner graphics designer self is so proud lol sorry for being such a creep. the grid system is one of the easiest way to study placements and arrangement. what i love about grid system is how it’s actually not as stiff as other people think. some would think that just because a grid system seems neat, everything has to be in fixed columns – left or right aligned, centered only and stuff like that. I have learned how to….make use of the grid system and modify its basic rule where I can create a clustered design but still looking organized – i call it organized chaos design. not sure if that makes sense :))

    one of my biggest pet peeves is when people only play with typography in terms of font family, sizes and colors and they do not pay attention to leading (or in web language, line height) for their body paragraph text. one of my favorite ways is to experiment with kerning (aka letter spacing) first and then leading / line height. finding a good combination of fonts is also very important for my eyes hence it kinda annoys me when people pair two or more fonts ignorantly. it makes me cringe and want to ask “why would you use like 5 fonts in 1 design???? why do you use 2 fonts if you can’t find a good combo for the headline??? just use 1 font family if you’re not sure!!!1!!!” I’m very picky, ain’t I… it’s just a practice that I’ve been shaped throughout my years of study LOL

    my favorite designs from you would be the 4th, 7th, 9th and 12th. I love that you use yellow, white and black! I love these color combos even though i’m not a fan of yellow. the yellow you choose makes a good accent color too and the dramatic font sizing is lovely 😀

    Yellow is probably too cheerful or optimistic and maybe not the perfect choice – not necessarily. color is a subjective form of expression for different people. though it is generally considered cheerful, in your design and based on your concept, I see the yellow as a sign of warning associated to psychological issues so I don’t think you picked the wrong color because I got your message.

    for clarity it may have been better to find alternatives that were not in all caps – uppercase can really make a difference though. it doesn’t have to be sentence case all the time. all lowercase / uppercase can make a design look good just fine. i personally think it all depends on how we utilize the elements like finding the right fonts to use 😀
    I personally think your designs are not intimidatingly loud though. it’s legible and it gives off the signal that you’re trying to make a voice of statement in ways you usually see a PSA would.

    anyway, phew.. sorry if I sounded like a know-it-all jerk. I’m still learning as well because I’m not a typography pro either.

    1. yes I studied typography because it’s part of my major’s syllabus
    2. favorite typeface hm… for the basic serif one, I like Georgia but for the non-basic, I currently like Playfair Display. for sans serif, I find helvetica and helvetica neue is a good, versatile basic choice. Gotham is also good especially for logo design. I personally like monospace fonts like inconsolata 😀

  4. Great designs, and the third one is my favorite of all. I love seeing people with this kind of talent or skills. You guys give color and design to the world. For typefaces, before I got crazy over Verdana and Century Gothic. 🙂 But for now, I don’t think I have a favorite one. Although I think Montez, Matchbook and Lobster are pretty nice, they are something I would use on something else. I’ve never studied Typography. My degree is nowhere related to designs and such. Although I don’t think I would survive if I was doing anything art-related. 🙂

  5. This is great! I love the 2nd and 3rd ones best. I don’t know many people studying typography but I think it’s such an important element of design, so kudos to you for learning it!

    1. Thank you. My perspective have certainly changed, compared to when I first began studying it. I don’t think I saw typography has having such an important and large part of design, as it does.

  6. Kya, I really love your posters!!! Of course, the cause is very important, but your color choices were pretty awesome, too. When thinking about being sad and stuff, I don’t usually think of yellow-tones. I like that it caught your attention and I really like your font choices. This is an inspiring post, for sure! I need to get on the wagon!!

    Very nice work indeed 🙂

  7. Wonderful posters, I actually really enjoyed the yellow.

    This makes me really want to learn design. I actually really like the font you use here, on your blog. The small k is really visually pleasing.

    1. Thank you!

      It took me quite a while to decide on a font to use for the body text on my blog. But I do like this one (Imprima) because it is a bit quirky. 😀

  8. Oh my goodness! I adore your typography skills!!! The posters are clean and the message gets across without a problem (on my end at least). I love your creative skills!!! It’s good that you’re studying typography because you’re doing a really good job at it. Hope to see more awesome typography work from you!

    It looks like the posters are addressing the fact that we need to seek help when we don’t feel right. There are a ton of resources out there to help people out :). I never studied typography before, but it’d be a useful course for me!

    1. Thank you! 😀 So much of what we see in the world around us uses language and text. It is a very important aspect of learning, as well as understanding what people and organisations are trying to say (or sell) to us.

  9. I haven’t really studied a lot of typography but I consider myself to be very good at it because of the design and theory I studied around text and words in university. I really like your posters and the fact that you used different fonts to communicate the feeling and action. I think the distinction is great and shows transition. One of my favourites is the simple one that just has the huge yellow circle.

    You may remember my typography layouts from a while back. I really enjoyed doing them and I started out with a lot of serif fonts. My style was to bunch a lot of song lyrics together in different arrangements with different sizes of text. From there I moved on to really bold typography, using sans serif fonts.

    I haven’t done a lot of typography recently. I don’t know if I really have a favourite typeface, but for body text I tend to go for less round ones, and more tall, light and skinny ones with a bit of a quirk or a bit of personality. It can be hard to find the right one! I used to like very script like typefaces but now I like clean, more ‘professional-looking’ typefaces.

  10. I love them Kya! I think you have a really good eye for design principles. I think you are a great graphic designer!

    I think, if given the chance, I would love to spend time studying typography. I really like fonts that are easy to read, and not grungey.

    1. Awww, thank you so much! 😀

      Display fonts can be good if you want to have something to add interest or headings (like grungey ones), but when they are overused (and abused) it’s not a good look. owo

  11. I love the new look of your blog!

    And I love the poster idea. I think typography and design is amazing – especially looking at your poster, it’s amazing how many different designs and styles can come out of using different fonts, sizes and simple shapes.

    I like that all of them are simple and don’t take away the attention from the font!

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