DESIGN ELEMENTS & PRINCIPLES

DESIGN ELEMENTS:  point line shape form tone texture colour letterform     FOR TEACHERS

DESIGN PRINCIPLES:  figure-ground balance contrast cropping hierarchy scale proportion pattern
INDEX   Members only
DESIGN ELEMENT
LETTERFORM   (now TYPE)


LETTERFORM :  An individual letter or character


HISTORY OF LETTERFORM
www.mediumbold.com/04_thinking/type/letterform/styles.html


The Romans and Egyptians invented the letterforms and numerals that we use today
and letters that they carved in stone were finished off with a
serif. The original purpose
of the serif was a practical one, to stop the stone from splitting beyond the main strokes,
but serifs also provide a visual barrier to the tops and bottoms of letters. When put side
by side, they create a horizontal emphasis that aids the eye in travelling along the line.

       SERIF                 SANS SERIF

Sans serif (without serifs) typefaces were around in the 18th Century but weren't widely
used until the 1920s. Type made from metal doesn't need serifs from a practical
standpoint, so they were dispensed with in the spirit of modernity and the ever present
quest for something different.

As sans serif typefaces don't benefit from the horizontal emphasis that serifs give, they
need more space between adjacent lines - leading. In recent years there has been much
debate about the readability of serif and sans serif typefaces for print. Research shows
that serif faces are generally more easily read but people from a technical background
that read modern books set in sans serif faces give the opposite response. It all comes
down to what you read most.

Where all these principles hold good for the printed page, text display on a computer
screen has different requirements. The 'normal' size for text in a web browser is about
twelve pixels high which gives a fairly minimal representation of a letterform. As you go
down from that size, the subtleties that help distinguish one letter from another start to
disappear and readability goes with it. The default font for most browsers is a version of
the ubiquitous 'Times Roman' originally designed in 1932 for the London Times
newspaper by Stanley Morison. Unfortunately, its translation to the computer screen is
not quite so successful. The only good reason that it is used is because it prints well on a
wide variety of computer printers and is commonly found on most systems by default.


Designing a typeface specifically for web use means throwing away all the old ideas
about letterforms. Just as it was right to put a serif on type carved in stone, it is right that
a font designed for the screen should be sympathetic with the square pixel grid of a
computer screen.

The above information is part of the content that appears on the following webpage
For more detail go to
www.wpdfd.com/editorial/wpd0698.htm

More history at
webpages.marshall.edu/~bruggemann1/typography_and_layout.htm
Letter forms are art forms ..... Cultures throughout history have appreciated the visual aspects of
their written language. In China, Japan, and Islamic cultures, calligraphy is considered an art. While
personal writing in the West has never been granted that status, letters for public architectural
inscriptions have been carefully designed since the time of the ancient Romans, whose alphabet we
have inherited.

www.webreference.com/dlab/9802/index.html
The World of Fonts
To be font literate, a designer has to study the history and the principles of font design

redsun.com/type/abriefhistoryoftype/

www.atpm.com/10.01/design.shtml?print




TERMS EXPLAINED
cit.dixie.edu/vt/vt1300/type.asp
Terms plus suggestions



DESIGNING LETTERFORMS

Noted calligrapher and designer Julian Waters teaches a core class to graphic design
students called "Letterform Design" which combines the disciplines of calligraphy and
digital design. This article explains CALLIGRAPHY, LETTERING and TYPEFACE DESIGN
www.calligraphersguild.org/julian.html


MOST OF THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW
Since the first recordings of letterforms the concept of the typographic form has evolved
into a seemingly endless variety of designs.
This is an excellent introduction to type
http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/type_basics/default.htm
Look at Introduction   Design    History   Family Classifications


Logos
Tweak a letterform
Often logos involve tweaking a letterform out of the ordinary. This can be a very simple
addition or subtraction to a character, or it might involve an illustrative technique.
Go to
www.peachpit.com/articles/article.asp?p=20939&seqNum=5

Michael Doret     EXCELLENT
This work blends elements of lettering, illustration and graphic design into a sort of hybrid
form which doesn't really have a name yet - although it's unmistakably oriented towards
letterforms. I don't start out by setting type and then tweaking it. So if you have a logo
assignment, I will not set type and then finesse it into twenty or thirty iterations, each
slightly different from it's predecessor. I consider this to be a waste of everyone's time,
and a way in which some design studios make it seem as if they're producing many
solutions, but are only padding their billing. I don't believe that it gives a client the true
variety of design solutions they're hoping to see. With few exceptions the letterforms
that you see in my work are unique—created by hand. The work and the letterforms
that you see here were generated from scratch specifically to solve certain problems, and
are one of a kind.
Go to
www.michaeldoret.com/doret/artwork/index.html



A Case Study
The brief for the typeface (letterforms) was to produce a non-joining script alphabet for manufacture
as backlit extruded plastic signage for the exterior store names
www.letraset.com/us/info/type_gallery/co-op.asp

Garry Emery
Garry Emery is one of Australia's best-known designers
"I have an essential interest in letterforms ........ ".
www.jyanet.com/cap/1999/0309fe1.htm

Keith  Philip                Not exactly letterforms but interesting
This font, ITC Keefbats, designed by Australian graphic designer Keith Philip, is a
collection of strange and highly likeable characters. The designs were sketched by hand,
according to Philip, who prefers drawing with pencil and markers. The sketches were then
recreated in a vector-based desktop drawing program.
To see 'Keefbats' and for more info go to
www.myfonts.com/person/Keith_Philip/



HOME
EXCELLENT
Animals made entirely from
letterforms
Click
here
may be slow to open
Flash required
IDEAS FOR ACTIVITIES
Using objects to design
letterforms
If you are interested in
getting your name "Ty-ed"
Click
here
FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION
GO TO
TYPOGRAPHY
IN THE NEW VCE STUDY DESIGN
CLICK HERE

19 APRIL 2012
CROPPING
EXERCISE
USING LETTERS

CLICK HERE