Typography Crimes

  1. Horizontal and vertical scaling (distorted proportions).
  2. Typefaces that work well large but don’t work well small.
  3. Minimal differences in type size.
  4. Pseudo italics.
  5. Pseudo small caps.
  6. Leading that is not adjusted (spacing between lines which appears uneven).
  7. Single family mixes: too close in weight to mix well.
  8. Multiple family mixes: two type styles that are too similar to provide a counterpoint.
  9. Mixing (weights) and squeezing fonts.
  10. Quotation marks that carve out chunks of white space rather than hanging and creating a clean edge by pushing the quotation marks into the margin.
  11. Tightly tracked (spaced) letters/text.
  12. Loosely tracked/spaced lowercase letters, especially italics.
  13. Auto spacing gives an uneven effect.
  14. Poorly shaped text blocks.
  15. Text columns that are full of holes due to justification.
  16. Bad rag (wedge shaped = bad; ragged edge = good)
  17. Lots of punctuation at the edge of text blocks.
  18. Stacked lowercase letters.
  19. Too many signals: paragraph spacing AND indents.
  20. Too may signals:for emphasis (example: using bold, italic, underlined, caps).
  21. Data prisons (data trapped inside cells).


Example of horizontal and vertical scaling:

IMG_7894 copyIMG_7902

Example of typefaces that [might] work well large but not so well small:

IMG_7904 copy

Example of tightly tracked/spaced letters (fresh peacock in the second one!?!):

IMG_7896 copy


Example of lots of punctuation at the edge of text blocks:

IMG_7897 copy

Example of too many signals (larger font size, underlined, bolder; also not consistent):

IMG_7905 copy


These don’t fit into a specific type crime necessarily but they still seem off:

IMG_7898 copyIMG_7899IMG_7901

This last one bothers me because it seems unnecessary to have such wide leading, the two columns of introductory text. It all seems unnecessary, a waste of space, and distracting to the awesome image in the background.

Oh and a typo:

IMG_7895 copy

Vernacular Typography

I just thought I would share this website/project that I found: vernaculartypography.com. It looks as though this artist has/had an idea similar to that of Jessica Krcmarik who gave us the lecture in class a bit back about her project: Gratiot and Riopelle. Both projects seek to preserve the old typography used in urban environments; Vernacular Typography on a global level, Gratiot and Riopelle on a Detroit level. The HUGE difference between the two is that VT seems more of a collection of images documenting the typography, while G&R is attempting to recreate the fonts used in these old signs. Just thought I would share for the similarities and differences. The Vernacular Typography collection is pretty neat to look at, especially those from foreign countries.

09. Resources: Fonts.com’s Fontology

Fonts.com‘s Fontology is a GREAT resource for most things typography. It is broken down into 4 Levels: A Typographic Foundation, Practical Typography, Numbers, Signs and Symbols, and Designers and Details. Each of these are then divided into sub-categories.

A Typographic Foundation is then divided into Type History, Type Anatomy, and Type Families. Aside from guides to the various typestyles, there is even a brief description about each letter in our alphabet and the origins of each letter.

Practical Typography is the area that I have personally found most interesting to read through. There are articles on Text Typography, Display Typography, Web Typography, Making Type Choices, and Type and Color. ALL of these sections seems to have great tips, advice, and guidelines for applying typography to various projects and in various mediums.

The Numbers, Signs and Symbols is divided into those categories as well as a Correct Marks section which details the proper symbols for the forward slash verse the fraction sign or the correct symbol for multiplication instead of using the letter x.

Lastly, the Designers and Details is separated into Fine Typography, Type Technology, and Influential Personalities.

All in all, Fontology seems like a good-go to source for quick and organized information which I will definitely be accessing in the future.

Spooky, creepy, bloody, hellish Halloween type… or not?

Every Halloween season we are continuously inundated with those fonts. You know which ones I am referring to; the typical blood dripping, finger strokes in blood, or scratchy, jagged, asymmetrical jumbles. How about the ones made out of bones or tombstones? Pumpkins? You see these everywhere from your local big box advertisements to haunted houses to the flyer for the Halloween party at the corner bar. But do we really need these novelty fonts to get across the point? Below are the advertisement/promotional posters and art work from some of the most iconic horror movies of ALL time. The may be cheesy or truly scary; they may be 60 years old or 10, but they all have one thing in common: standard, basic fonts. None of that stuff you find if you run a search for “halloween fonts”. Some are sans serif, some are not, color and perspective might add some dimension and difference but these types could be used just about anywhere, especially in areas outside of horror. And doesn’t this kind of make them just a bit scarier? A normal facade, hiding horrors beyond belief? Tricking you into believing that maybe they aren’t really that scary? Either way… Happy Halloween!

MV5BMjA0NDQ2MzMxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODg5MTkzMjE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMjA4OTc0NDEzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzI1MzAwMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMjE1NzI5OTA1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjg1MDUyMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_    MV5BMjIwMjM1MjM4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTgyMzUzMw@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTgxMjIyNTc5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjgwNDgwNzE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTI0ODQ4NDkwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQ3MTU1MQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTI4OTU2NjY5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTQ2Mzg3._V1__SX1633_SY917_  MV5BMTkyNzc4NjkwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzI2Mjc1MDE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTQ2MjAxODUyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTExMzUzMDE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTQ2NzkzMDI4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDA0NzE1NA@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTU4NjE2MjgwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjEyMTMyMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTUzNjI5NTUwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDAyMDQyMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTYxNTYzODU4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjEzNzIzMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BMTYzOTk5MDMwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE0MDIyMQ@@._V1__SX1633_SY917_  MV5BNjUyNjU0NDE0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzcwMzg3._V1__SX1633_SY917_MV5BNDMwOTk5MDgyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDgwNDgwNzE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BNTg5NjkxMjUxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk1NDc2MTE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_ MV5BODMxMjE3NTA4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDc0NTIxMDE@._V1__SX1633_SY917_

Images from imdb.com.

Typographic Lexicon

POSTSCRIPT: A technology developed by Adobe Systems. Developed primarily for printing on laser printers and is used primarily for desktop publishing. It is an object-oriented language that treats images and fonts and objects rather than bitmaps. Also called outline fonts because the outline is of each character is clearly defined and scalable fonts because their size can be adjusted with Postscript commands. (webopedia.com)

OPEN TYPE: A fairly newer font format developed originally by Microsoft and later joined by Adobe. It is a standard for digital fonts. Several advantages including single file structure, cross-platform compatibility, and advanced typographic functionality. Comes in both Postscript and True Type. (fontshop.com)

TYPEFACE: An artistic collection of alphanumeric symbols usually including letters, numerals, punctuation, symbols all for multiple languages. It is usually grouped into families and contains the various fonts of italic, bold, condensed, and etcetera. (fontshop.com)

CAP-HEIGHT: The height from the baseline to the uppercase letters. (fontshop.com)

FONT: A group of letters, numbers, punctuation, and other symbols used in terms of text.  Font is often used interchangeably with typeface. However, font refers to the physicality, while typeface refers to the design. (fontshop.com)

GLYPH: A single character in a font or typeface. (designorati.com)

CONNOTATION: The idea or feeling typography gives the viewer. (howdesign.com)

DENOTATION: The literal meaning of a word. (howdesign.com)

MODERN TYPE: Type family developed in the late 18th through 19th century. Characters based more on the engraver tool rather than the pen. Has extreme contract between thick and thin strokes, hairline serifs without bracketing, small x-height, and vertical stress in rounded strokes. (britannica.com and graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

TRANSITIONAL TYPE: Typefaces that bridge Old Style and the Modern type. Characteristics include: greater contrast between thick and thin strokes, wider brackets serifs with flat bases, larger x-height, vertical stress in rounded strokes, the height of capitals matches that of the ascenders, and numbers than are cap-height and consistent in size. (graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

HUMANIST TYPE: Developed in the 15th/16th centuries. Designed to imitate the calligraphic handwriting of Italian Renaissance scholars. Characterisitcs include: strong bracketed serifs, small x-height, moderate contrast between strokes, urgent and angled strokes. (www.typography1st.com)

SLAB SERIF: Also known as Egyptian. Born from the Industrial Revolution and used primarily for commercial purposes. Characteristics include: minimal variation of thick and think strokes, heavy serifs with squared ends, and large x-heights. (graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu)

SANS SERIF: A category of typefaces that does not have serifs (the small lines at the ends of characters). (webopedia.com)

Type 1: Misson

I could spend hours browsing for new fonts for my collection. When I’m designing, I often pick fonts that just feel right, if that makes any sense. By taking a typography course, I’m hoping to learn more about an area I have a deep love and appreciation for. I want to learn the history, the different font families, how to apply the knowledge gained in this course in real-world applications and design, and anything else I possibly can. I want to know more than just the idea of a (insert random adjective here: ________) font. My goal is to really just become more knowledgeable in this area so that I may be able to make better decisions when designing and using type and to understand why I am making those style choices.  I plan on accomplishing this by being an attentive student, completing the required readings and coursework, and basically becoming a sponge and soaking up and absorbing all of the information presented so that it may help me to become a better graphic designer.

This blog will hopefully document my progression through the course and become both an outlet to literally express by journey and as a helpful resource and tool to aid in my development.

Cheers to type and graphic design!