Cameron Thorne – Communication technology evaluation.
Upon receiving this brief, I felt a strong pull towards the realm of typography. I think I was mainly spurred towards this area after hearing Christian coin the phrase, ‘its what you need to learn as well as what you want to learn.’
I started off by diving into the usual comfort zone of Photoshop and began creating a few different types, based loosely on quotes I’d found scattered on the Internet. After my first Crit with Graham it was clear I wasn’t actually doing much but experimenting, which I was advised was good, but I also needed to look into the mechanics of typography and its application. I got a copy of ‘Type and typography’ By Phillip Baines and Andrew Haslam and it soon became apparent how much there is to learn.
While focusing on type processes such as attending workshops on how to use the laser cutter and how to layout using indesign, I also wanted to put a little bit of emphasis onto developing my skills in Illustrator, although this took a backseat as I got more to grips with typography. While working within illustrator I made sure that I was trying my best to show the development process I was going through, this was breaking it down into segments without making it too basic or irrelevant. I mainly focused on using the pen tool and how to use convert anchor point tool, I also learnt how to apply gradients.
Within my typography briefs most of my learning was through the type and typography book I mentioned, and I honestly feel like I absorbed a lot of information from that book. After completing my reading of it, I decided I needed to summarise my mass amount of notes I made, and break down the sections quite extensively, into a PDF file. This would also give me a chance to show the grids I’ve been working on, as I used grids to lay it out in Indesign.
Although I know I could have got a lot more out of this brief, I feel I have developed the need for learning typography into a want as well, which for me is definitely the biggest positive from this entire brief. As this brief doesn’t spell the end for my learning typography, I plan to continue to ascertain knowledge and skills in a much similar manner to the way I started my learning journey. This will include getting more books from the library, seeking advice from practitioners, as well as attending a 12-week typography course run by Graham Tannersley.
When undertaking self-directed briefs, I always had it in my mind to try and tailor the briefs towards what I wanted/needed to learn. Within my illustrator developments, this was quite easy to do, as I didn’t really have any founding knowledge in the software. I decided to enter a few competitions, including a t-shirt design contest at a website called Teefury, as well as a poster competition for a company called Whale and Pine. These helped me to work towards a deadline, and also whether I am to win or not, the most important thing is feedback, to allow myself to mature as a designer.
I think this brief was a huge eye-opener for me, as it contrasts hugely with my usual learning style. I normally approach a brief with little research, and little experimentation when deciding on an outcome, so it was hard to adjust to committing myself to books and other tasks I’d normally avoid, although it is definitely refreshing to feel like I’ve learnt a lot; and again, having the will to want to go on learning. I know that there is still a lot of room for improvement with my time management, but it really helped in the final two weeks when I set out a daily schedule of things to achieve.
One particular process I wish I allowed more time for was the pdf file I created. Laying out all the grids in Indesign proved to be quite time consuming, and I was also struggling with rivers appearing in my text, until I spoke to Mike flower and he showed me a few different techniques to combat it, including ‘hyphenation’ and ‘soft key return’.
In the broader picture, I feel a lot more assured that I’m now applying myself in the correct areas, and that there is a definite correlation between research and result. Although I know that technology is constantly evolving, most of the rulings with typography and grids have been around for a long time, and a lot of it seems to have a more mathematical approach, which is strange for something that’s seen as a creative role. Before this brief, I confirmed with Graham that I always seem to ruin my design work with my typography decisions, even though I feel like I had an eye for the aesthetic, I couldn’t apply it to my work. I feel a lot more confident in my decision-making, and I know that if I’m not getting the results I want, I shouldn’t settle and should ask people for advice. Overall I feel satisfied with my progress during this project, and although I know this is just the beginning, I feel more prepared for the workshops with Graham now, as long as I recognise the mistakes I make along the way, I can make a conscious decision to change them.
Structure for me is one of the most important aspects of typography, It’s what turns pure information into something designed for a purpose.
I believe in an earlier definition i found ‘The form of the message influences the readers interpretation of the content’, which is why i hold the structure in such high regard.
-Typeface. Text types (usually less than 14pt) should generally not draw attention to themselves, so that people focus more on the words rather than the typeface.
“A Bold may be necessary for headings or emphasis
but another typeface or style might serve the same purpose just as well.”
Cameron Thorne. C Thorne. Seafawn - yorkshrie accent.