Reflections on type:
In general, I have learned a lot about type which means it is hard to start but here I’m writing down what I have learned from every project because in every project we have learned something new. As a graphic designer, I never thought we have to learn about type. I rather thought type is a type but I realized that type is organic and is a fundamental tool for a graphic designer. I Learned about characters per-line, hanging punctuation, taking and kerning. Learning about type makes me focus more on the text than things around me.. I realized that most of the book has a bad text and lengthy character depiction, which make the reader feel dizzy! Honestly, I never buy a book without looking at their text style because looking at words in a book sometimes makes me feel dizzy! But now I know the exact reason why – their definition, when over tight tracking and over-kerned makes me feel dizzy. Type plays a big role in reading and it has a way to be attractive to those who do not like to read. Only if books use the right way of playing around the characters: em space/ en space/ column break/ paragraph return.. etc I will be a book reader. I believe that type must have intentions and must be appreciated. Furthermore, type must have reasons and add value to the design itself. The grey area is a part/ an area of something existing between two extremes and having mixed characters of both. However, the grey area plays a big role too in making me understand and know why I do not read books because most have dark font that makes it exhausting for eyes. I have realized that making mistakes has really helped me improve and have a better outcome. Every experiment done was about something new we have learned. This has been demonstrated in the way we have come to understand each other’s points of view and share comments and remarks.
– The project sounded interesting and easy. It was about connector! It was about appreciating the letters for their semiotic, which is about puzzle pieces to connect, but I realized it was hard to play with Arabic letters. I understood the letters form and learned a lot about the typeface shapes, the rules; 50/50 – Recognition, how to deal with the recognition rule, to observe the essence of each letter, to find ways to combine them, to focus on the form itself rather than overlapping letters, to notice small details and to make that negative space be less. Furthermore, I have realized that making mistakes has really helped me improve and have a better outcome. Receiving critiques from professors and students really helps me improve and have a better outcome. Feedback is all about learning what is good and what is bad and needs improvement.
– For the word project, it was all about designing a word without using the original fonts because most of their designing are not good for a graphic designer. I have learned a lot about definitions, synonyms and antonyms. Moreover, I have known different meanings and quantity of meanings and new words and more meanings associated with them in both Latin and Arabic. Latin words have many other perspectives and Arabic words had many other synonyms. I have learned how to control the word by using inDesign, because the computer by itself places some letters closer to each other.
Learned more definitions, synonyms, antonyms and I learned how to control the word, because computer by itself places some letters closer to each other.
– We spent more time on sentence, which help us to improve for the paragraph. I have learned to design with different : Fonts/ Sizes/ Kerning and Alignment/ Traking. Paying attention to placements, tracking, character length and other things. Moreover, I have learned about alignment, grid and organic, intention, emphasis, informed decisions, colored and different typefaces. In additionally, I have learned things that grab your attention to the text > Tension and contrast + visual balance and I actually learned by researching in books, magazines and newspapers and knew what was right and what was wrong. That exploration helped me know my mistakes. I have got a lot of critiques and learned the obvious mistakes from Law. I have realized that the spaces between sentences matter and learned how to deal with the spacing and placement of the words in the sentence. It sounded easy to place a sentence on a blank page, but when I started doing it, it was confusing and it was hard to place it. I have learned a lot from that awesome project I learned a lot! I have learned that quality matters over quantity and that the appearance of a sentences could affect the way people read it. Moreover, I knew that trading a word makes the reader read it slowly to sense a certain feeling and the placement of the sentence on paper plays a BIG role and the space around it can play a big role too. Knowing that center in text is boring and stultifying and letters should breathe, and how margins are important. I realized that more limitations lead to a more creative outcome. I learned how words in bold that are enlarged in scale can help catch the viewer’s attention. I have known where to place my sentence to make it look interesting and good! After critiques, I started to look at the sentences differently. However, I found it easy to measure the space between the text and the edge of a page, which can make a difference while looking at the page. I keep feeling it will be good looking because it has not been in a random place and it shows that a thought has been put into it. I learned that more experimenting with different placements makes it more interesting. Experimenting with sentences helped me understand type better and helped me to do much better in a paragraph. I have learned specific vocabulary used in typography and knowing less is more!
– The paragraph project had the same way of thinking for sentences applied for paragraphs by breaking them up. The difference between both ways was that I could not play around as much as I did with the sentence because a paragraph has more words and it is a way of not making it look confusing and messy. It was about all what I learned in the type course and more. During the paragraph project, I have learned how to divide the content in logical and organizations the information and to make the reader engaged several ways. Knowing that the dramatic effect in a paragraph, which is out-dent and I have learned that justifying does not work at all times. Furthermore, using bold and other similar stuff should have a strong meaning, not something to play around with only because if it does not have a reason then the paragraph will not make a sense and will look meaningless. Paying attention to professors and others’ feedback helped me a lot avoid some certain things for the paragraph. I was able to learn more about paragraph styles and researching and looking around me it helped a lot! Furthermore, I was able to learn about character style; that is by placing character on lines and using grid, I also learned how to move characters and spaces between words, from top and bottom. Playing around with these small stuff makes the paragraph readable and clear. Moreover, I have learned about tracking, kerning, metric, optical and manual. I realized that tracking, manual and kerning are cumulative. I can first adjust individual pairs of letters then tighten or loosen a block of text without affecting the relative kerning of the letter pairs. I realized that the old kerning is not the same as the word spacing option in the justification dialog box. Through what I have learned in the sentence and paragraph project, I realized that I am more capable and aware of where to place my words on a blank page without being confused while knowing if it is wrong or not. I have been a deeper thinker, which makes me look more into typeface details and whenever I see a mistake like close letter and not been playing around with trading and kerning I keep asking whoever around me if it sounds weird to them! When I go more in explaining what I’m saying, they get surprised how these small details can change everything and why they have never noticed it before! Yes, I’m a graphic designer.
Overall, for each project I realized that the thing that helped me most after researching is the critiques! Critiques are something I never thought about – I just keep doing my work till I’m done. Furthermore, I realized typography: has a perfect impact on the design and that without critiques, I will not able to see what everyone has done. Knowing their mistakes makes me improve by knowing how they did it because we cannot ask each student individually what they have done. I have realized that paying full attention to it helps me improve a lot. It helps me by looking at other peoples’ work, listening to professors’ comments and knowing what to do and what to avoid and asking my classmates for how I did and if it needs something to improve. I realized that by exchanging information, I am able to know more about the project that I’m doing. Critique sessions are the most important thing that can help improvement by understanding, knowing others’ mistakes and knowing what to do and what to avoid. However, in type we need others’ feedbacks because while we are working, all what we focus on for a long time is the words, which makes us unable to notice our mistake. Feedback would help identifying and fixing my mistakes. I have learned a lot by attending all my classes and focusing on them without missing them or missing the critiques.
- Flush left/ rag right
- Justified/ rag right
- Flash right/ rag left
- Character per line
- Hanging punctuation
- Drop Caps
- En space
- Em space
- Tracking vs. Kerning