014. Resources: Creative Bloq

Creative Bloq has popped up in numerous searches that I have done for this blog. It seems to have an abundance of information including articles, opinion pieces, freebies, tutorials, and numerous other goodies all concerning creative industries such as design, web, and typography. Seems like a good site to check frequently.

Some of the items that I have recently read:

How to design a logo: 5 expert tips

Font of the day: Butler

How to bind a book: a 10-step guide

013. Resources: Luna

This isn’t necessarily type or design driven, nor is relevant outside the WSU community, but I thought it would be interesting and resourceful to my fellow students. Wayne State has a online visual library of art, architecture, and world history called Luna. I learned about it in one of my art history classes and it has come in handy numerous times during my studies in other art courses, especially when I need to find good quality images of art for papers or other assignments. There are tons of collections to search and browse through, and although I at times cannot find what I am looking for, more often then not something relatable is in the collection. Basically just a good resource as we work through our art degrees.

012. Resources: Thinking with Type… on the web!!

So go figure there is a website for Ellen Lupton’s book, Thinking with Type. I mean sure EVERYTHING has a website these days, but I would have thought it to be one of those book websites. You know the ones that really don’t provide much information on anything; maybe a super short excerpt from the book, maybe even a chapter, perhaps the table of contents. And THEN lots of where and when to buy said book, glowing reviews. I mean I can even envision what these websites look like in my mind. Lots of text, BIG titles, little to no images. Does anyone else know what I am talking about?? Well guess what. Thinking with Type isn’t like that! Okay, there is a rotating banner of glowing reviews at the top BUT the site is informational! While it doesn’t have the whole book online, it has numerous sections- look at all the sections:

thinking with type

– quickly available for reference. I’m thinking they’re really there to encourage one to buy the book, but for someone who already owns the book, the website is a great go-to-on-the run for information, when I do not have my copy with me. So excited to have found this!

PS. Check out the Type Crimes games!

Edit: I just read that the site was built as a companion to the book, so there are numerous lectures, assignments, exercises, and handouts. Which is even more exciting to me, so that I can practice and continue with typography well after this typography class is over.

011. Resources: ILoveTypography.com

ILoveTypography.com is a great resource for those who also love typography, or at the very least those who want to learn more about it. It appears to be a collection of articles on varying topics, and book reviews, and interviews, and history, and tips and resources for creating fonts. As a newbie in the world of typography, one of the areas I always look for on these sites is the basic type education. And ILT’s beginner articles are no disappointment either. You can find the main page of resources here.

 

Some of my favorite resources in particular are the following:

Who Shot the Serif? – A history and education on serifs, followed by part 2 which is The Return of the Serif which is quirkier dive into the topic of serifs.

Identify That Font – A collection of resources out on the web to help find specific fonts.

So You Want to Create a Font – Step by step guide to creating your own fonts. (Something I would love to attempt in the near future, time permitting).

There is also a list of recommended references too for typographic terms.

 

Some of the more interesting articles I read and appreciated:

The First Female Typographer

Beauty and Ugliness in Type Design

The Origins of abc

iFont, iPhone

 

All in all, ILT seems like a fun, educational, and entertaining way of learning and reading about all things type. With archives stretching back to 2007, I have lots of reading to do!

010. Inspiration AND 010. Resources: HOW Design

Every single time I Googled typographic or design inspiration since I have been writing this blog, HOW Design would pop up somewhere on the list and often. Honestly I eventually ignored any search results that came back to them because I was not impressed with their website. It seemed like a scam to me: lots of side bar ads, not the most aesthetically pleasing design (for a design site), and virtually no comments on any article or collection that I clicked on (where are all the people at?). Eventually they showed up in a search for something relatively obscure (this escapes me at the moment) and I started clicking around and actually was really pleasantly surprised at the content I found. This site is overwhelming with the amount of learning resources, design opportunities, and wealth of inspiration found here. This is just why HOW Design had to constitute two blog entries, because I just couldn’t pick the best category to file it under.

I did a bit of research- really I did poor research and went to Facebook- and found out that HOW was founded in 1985 as a print magazine. Not sure if they are still in print today (would really like to find out), but over the years their brand as expanded into an online source, numerous books, conferences, other events, awards, and numerous other products all designed in aiding the creatives in design out there. In fact their mission is: HOW is all about helping graphic designers be more inspired, more creative and more successful. If that doesn’t sound both inspirational and resourceful, then I don’t know what does.

If you were ever looking for a collection of “wicked cool 90s posters“, then HOW has it. What about “packaging design inspiration from around the world“? They have that too along with inspiration from all over the world in areas such as photography, type, design, packaging, and everything else in between. They have a HOW university with courses ranging from 40 bucks to 100 bucks, workshops, boot camps, conferences, tips on freelancing and pricing your freelance work(!!!), competitions, and job hunting tips. And since this blog is for a typography section, there is a whole section devoted to typography. I’ve read articles on hand-drawn letters, how one typographer reinvented several types, and a font marathon.

All in all I have found quite a few good reads, interesting tips, and numerous points of inspiration. HOW Design will definitely be bookmarked for further study.

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.

08. Resources: What the Font

Someone recently suggested this site (? application? tool?) to me because I was stumped at finding a font similar to those used on manhole covers. It’s through the My Fonts website and is called What the Font. What it does is help you find fonts used in pictures you submit. All you do is upload an image with type in it (there are lots of tips for optimal images). Next you will get a screen with multiple thumbnails in it in which the tool (? generator?) outlines what it believes to be the type. In this example, I was given over 50 thumbnails with suggestions by the generator. You fill in the little box with the letter that is outlined. If there isn’t a letter, you leave the box blank. Sometimes it automatically recognizes the letter for you.

whatthefont_1

Once you make it though all the thumbnails and hit submit, What the Font will give you five suggestions of fonts they think are similar.

whatthefont_2

Unfortunately, I was not happy with the suggestions given to me, so I went the long route and ended up browsing font catalogs for the right font but I’d love to give this a try again, with a better picture (I obviously didn’t read the tips) and with more time. They do provide options if you are unhappy with the suggestions such as posting the image to their forums in the hope someone might recognize it or they listed this link: identifont.com, which upon a brief glimpse at, seems like something to take a longer look at.

07. Resources: Lorem Ipsum

Currently working on a project at work and was given the vague instruction of writing a descriptive paragraph for the event I was designing for. An event I didn’t even know existed before yesterday. An event I know absolutely zilch about. So I resorted to filler text, or some Lorem Lipsum, at least for the time being.

Of course I am a newbie at the whole InDesign thing and totally did not realize that there was a way (an incredibly easy way) to add placeholder text in the software. So I searched for a generator and came across lipsum.com. They had this great introduction to Lorem Ipsum and I realized that I had NO idea what this text was, I always thought it was gibberish, and was completely interested in the history behind it.

So basically Lorem Ipsum is a collection of filler text that has been used in the printing and typesetting industries for HUNDREDS of years, since 1500 actually. It was popularized in modern industries such as computer and design in both the 1960s and 1980s. The MOST interesting thing though about Lorem Ipsum is that although it looks entirely random, it isn’t. It is actually based on a piece of Latin literature from 45 BC. It comes from a book on the theory of ethics called “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero. It is from the sections 1.10.32-3 and a passage that begins: Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet consectetur adipisci velit. You can see the Lorem Ipsum bolded in the sentence. The translation is: Neither is there anyone who loves, pursues or desires pain itself because it is pain.

Lorem Ipsum is simply a jumble of Latin originally created by some unknown printer from way back in the day, who scrambled up letters and type to create a specimen book. Somehow and amazingly it has survived FIVE centuries to still be a rather large part of design today in terms of model text.

 

Resources:

lipsum.com

wikipedia.org

loremipsum.de

 

P.S. If you’re like me and still an amateur at InDesign, you can find the option to insert placeholder type (not quite Lorem Ipsum but very similar) by clicking on Type and then scrolling to the bottom of the drop down menu and clicking on “Fill with Placeholder Text”.

06. Resources: Ethics in Design

Recently and by the most random occurrence of chance, I discovered a piece of work that I originally was awe-struck and inspired by to be lifted almost directly from another source. This piece was intended for commercial use and then (fortunately?) rejected in favor of another. Still, this left me feeling a variety of things: shock, disbelief, amazed. It also leaves me questioning the other works done by this person. Was this a one time thing? Does this happen often? Is any of their work really theirs?

With the ease and quick access of the internet and most things technological, the chance to steal and “borrow” inspiration, ideas, fonts, illustrations, images, and anything of the sort is incredibly available and almost ripe for the taking. One of the most valuable lessons a developing designer SHOULD learn are copyright laws, rules of appropriation, the Creative Commons licenses, design ethics, permissions, and how to read/find/decipher other assorted licenses.

I am not sure if all of this is taught in the graphic design program here at Wayne State. I know that during the completion of my web programming associates, the topics of ethics and copyright were only briefly touched upon in my final web theory class. There really should be a course devoted directly to the subject and required early on in order to instill good practices in design.

The following are a couple of good resources to self-educate and read more about these topics:

Creative Commons

AIGA: Business and Ethics (to see a larger version of their publication/manual on ethics: click here)

ethicsingraphicdesign.org

05. Resources: Typewolf

typewolf.com

I mentioned this website in a previous entry. I accidentally stumbled across it and found it to be a pretty informative place for most things type. One of the most interesting aspects is that it is creator of the site is an experienced designer who was created the site from a designer’s perspective (rather than a type designer’s perspective) as someone who uses the typefaces on a daily basis.

There are guides and resources, a blog, and a site of the day. THE coolest part and THE largest wealth of information lies in the Font Recommendations section. Here you will find partitioned sections of lists based on categories of type: classification, fun, alternatives, favorites, and free. Each of these subcategories then contains top-10 (or 20, or 30) lists of fonts. The lists range from classic (Top 10 Sans-Serif Fonts) to fun (Top 10 “Hipster” Fonts). If this doesn’t sound cool already, it gets better. Each font in the list, when clicked, gives you a brief description and history of the font, real-world examples of the font in use, a sample (and not the boring “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”), similar fonts, suggested font pairings (!!!), and where to get a free alternative.

Totally worth checking out.