02. Reflection: Font Mannerisms

When we were first introduced to the project of Font Mannerisms, I must admit I thought it was going to be relatively easy. And then came part two. And then part three. And then the task of documenting our processes. And then the creation of a book. So man I was really wrong. The entire project became harder and harder as it progressed.

Originally assigned Utopia, I had a hard time locating a download of it as to work at home (little did I realize this would only be the first of many technical issues to plague me as the project went along). Luckily I was able to switch up my font to Futura and this made me incredibly joyous and exciting. I don’t know what it is, but sans-serif fonts just excite me. They seem so simple, so minimal, and yet can vary greatly from font to font and across the families. Serifs seem to add such a formality and stuffiness that just does not appeal to me.

Supposedly Stephen King has said “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” Well he was wrong too. The thesaurus became my best friend during this project (so much so it has placed itself in my top sites in Safari) and a source of great inspiration. Too many times my process of work came to a screeching halt due to lack of inspiration in my word choices, in the words I wanted to use to express how Futura made me feel and what it made me think. The thesaurus was always there to give me numerous ways to delve deeper in my thinking and give me new and exciting ways of expressing the random and boring words that came to mind.

Other issues I had throughout this project, and when I think about it there seems like there was a whole lot, but here goes a brief summarization. I’ve had a hard time this semester getting on the same level as my design teachers. Not in a technical or talent way, but just in a way that I understand what they want or what they expect. Things I find aesthetically pleasing or things that I feel meet the requirements often fail to do so or fail to impress. I often drew a blank at how to differentiate and compare parts of the anatomy because I wanted to be creative and I wanted to think outside the box, but it just wasn’t happening (hello mid-semester, is it Christmas yet?). After the critique of the finished work, I realized that my expressive compositions didn’t seem to match up with the class. Maybe I did too much, though I thought I did too little. Maybe I didn’t get the point of the third project. I am pleased with my results wherever they fit in there and have added more expressionist typography pieces to my ever growing list of personal artwork to create (with no restrictions and parameters of course). I do wish I would have put more of an effort into my cover page. My peers really stretched their creativity with their covers and mine was simple and boring (although if I have to rationalize it now, it did fit with my minimalistic and scientific design to the whole layout). The technical issues I faced (which could be a whole blog themselves) I can only attribute to mushy school brain and desperate time crunches. As much as possible, I need to budget my time more wisely and clear my mind before working.

All in all, it was a great project to do, a great help in really studying a font up close and type anatomy, and a great way to think of type as art and not just letters.

 

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