Ever played one of those ‘Guess the logo’ games? At the beginning they’re easy enough to get and as you go towards the harder levels you have to start puzzling together the less known logo names by guessing what the letters are. You imagine what shapes could go in the gap, which would be the most likely. Well today has definitely taught me I need to go back to playing them some more as I need to pay more attention to the letter shapes!
On the left is the sample text we were given, from this we were told to write ‘cadbury’ in the same font. Bellow you will see my attempt at doing so.
As you can see my photography skills needed some work, focusing on the text though one can tell immediately that i did not track ahead of time. Another thing I needed to improve upon is the proportions of the letters, as the bowl of the a is much too high. Once we compared the attempts to the actual font it also became apparent I needed more weight at the top of the c and the y was more linear than curved. Moreover the top of the letters only have serifs to the left not both ways as I did on the u and y.
Having looked at my previous mistakes we tried another type of exercise. To find the hidden part of the letters. We were given the template on the right. Where do I go from here? I attempt to visualise the rest of the word of course! I had my logo game training, so I can see it’s obviously adell! Wrong. Luckily someone discovered that upon highlighting the word and right clicking it asks if you want to look up “aden”, mistake averted. Knowing the actual word then made me look back and question how I could have thought it was adell… the spacing between the two stems is much to far apart, it has to be an n.
I used the letter shapes present to trace and check then letters I created before colouring it all in black for better contrast. The result can be seen on the left. From the d I traced the angle the a needed to split into a separate stroke and it’s thickness, tracing the first part of the allowed me to flip it in order to see where the second part should be. I also used the d to create the top of the n as I did for the bottom half of the a. Whilst it’s still not the exact same as the font this attempt is much closer to it than my previous attempt. I also downloaded a scanning app to improve my photography and overall am quite content with the outcome of todays project. I also decided I should play more guess the logo games again in order to sharpen this skill further and pay more attention to individual letter shapes.
1) Choose one of the three suggested fonts. Using the letters ‘c a d b u r y’ draw how you would expect these letterforms to be presented in your chosen typeface.
2) Choose one of the three suggested fonts and complete the partially hidden letterforms.
- Task 1: When recreating this typeface it was really helpful to have a scaled example directly above it. I was able to draw many measured reference lines which helped me to get proportions such as line width and x-height as accurate as I could. Where this helped me with general dimensions such as x-height and tracking, there were some elements of each letter which I did not figure out accurately. For example, I provided the ‘y’ in the first task with a very round and curved descender but this typeface actually has a much more straight descender such as is presented in this blog post. Furthermore, I drew a single story ‘a’ as opposed to a two story ‘a’, which was incorrect for this typeface. Though not perfect, I am quite pleased with the contrast on each of these letters and I think they are rather well proportioned to one another.
- Task 2: This task I found much simpler. Different sections of each letter were removed and we had to fill in the gaps as accurately as we could. Having observed what many of the letterforms should have looked like after finishing the first task, I had a much better idea of what to recreate here. Similarly to the first task, I drew out reference lines after measuring the scale of these letterforms. Whilst the proportions are quite accurate, I missed some very simple but key details within the letterforms themselves. The crossbar of the ‘e’ is presented slightly too thick. This could have been an error in technique when going over my sketches in fine liner. I also managed to overlook some subtle detail in the letter strokes of the ‘d’ and ‘n’. When compared to the official font, the strokes taper inwards slightly at the ends of the stroke next to where the shoulder joins. Additionally, my letter ‘a’ is too a-symmetrical. This typeface also adds a spur to the ‘a’. I found this to be quite uncharacteristic compared to the rest of the typeface which is why I unknowingly missed this detail.
This project taught me to look, look again, then look again harder, especially when something seems rather simple to begin with. There is such a huge variety of typeface available these days, but no two are exactly the same and so it is important to be able to pay attention to the minute detail as it all comes together to create the unique font.
For Gerry’s project we were given several examples of sans-serif and serif type. The type had been deconstructed, only leaving small parts of the letters anatomy such as the stem with a spur. The remnants were left to serve as a reference point of how the letters might modulate in weight and structure. The letters had originally spelled out a word and the task for today was to experiment with different ways to render the forms.
For task one I picked the rendition of ‘Aden’ in the sans-serif face. The word had its letters deconstructed, forcing me to analyse its remaining anatomy as reference points to then draw the complete letters. I found this particular hard, I found I kept having to change the weight modulation in letters such as ‘a’ and ‘d’ due to their bowls. I thought that I had finally got the weights right but after filling them in I could see how they were still too thick and oddly shaped. I was also too generous with where shoulders and bowls would join the spines, whereas they should have been much thinner.
For task two I analysed the word ‘Hesion’ that was rendered in a sans-serif typeface. We had to analyse its characteristics before attempting to sketch out the word ‘Cadbury’. Cadbury was chosen as it has enough contrast in its letters forms, allowing us to recreate almost all similar anatomy that would be inspired for other letters across the alphabet in that face. I decided to draw out the baseline and x height on a sheet of layout paper, allowing me to overlay my work with the example word. I would then try and incorporate some elements of letters into similar ones, helping me get more of a reference. for example I recycled the shoulder of the n to recreate the same modulation that I think would occur in the ‘u’ and ‘r’ of the face. I also tried reconstructing the bowl of the ‘a’ by using the thicker and broader part of the spine in the ‘s’. I feel like my result wasn’t too bad and was similar to the actual rendition. I noticed that the bowl of the ‘d’ was actually higher than the bowl of the ‘b’ instead of the other way round like I previously thought.
This session for design practice was taught by Gerry and was a very technical session where he explored different typefaces and analysed their individual properties. I thoroughly enjoyed being taught the effectiveness of how we should hold our pencil and the techniques that to use which can improve our sketching. For the morning exercise we had a look at the word ‘hesion’ which had been presented in three fonts and try guess what the letters would look like in the word ‘Cadbury’. I chose one font and tried analysing the way it goes thin in some areas as well as where it is thick or bold. My attempt was a little bit off from the correct version but from Gerry’s feedback I could see where I had gone wrong. I also learnt how to be a bit more precise when using fine liner pens. For the afternoon exercise we did a similar task however we were given some bits of the word ‘aden’ and we had to fill in the rest of the areas in the way we thought was correct. I found this time I had completed the take well but messed up some of the thin and thickness.
Mind the gap
Gerry gave us two tasks for the day. The first was to look at the typeface that the word ‘hesion’ was written in for us, and to then imitate this and write ‘cadbury’ in the same font below. This was trickier than I thought as we had to imagine what the letters in ‘cadbury’ would look like, by using parts of the other letters in ‘hesion’ and analysing their shape, size and features. For example, one of the fonts had serifs and the other one didn’t, so I tried this task in both ways. I learnt that the most effective way for me to achieve the best outcome with my letters was to start by sketching out each letterform until it looked right. Then I would draw the outlines of each letter using a fine-liner and a ruler to sharpen the edges, and finally to fill in each shape using a thick marker pen. This way, I could achieve good, solid letterforms.
The afternoon task Gerry gave us was to fill in the gaps of letters which were only half printed and had missing parts. So we had to take what we could see from a section of each letter and use this to design the rest. There was some room to be creative, but we also had to make sure that the letters looked natural and each part blended in well to the other.
I liked this mini project, as it involved more hands-on sketching and enabled me to practice drawing different typefaces while encouraging me to look more closely at individual letters, rather than the font as a whole.
This task was quite straightforward as all the brief was, was to write the word ‘Cadbury’ in the typeface provided. This proved more tricky than I’d anticipated as I chose a serif font, so the structure of the lines was a lot more organic when compared to a sans serif font. This meant that getting the proportions right for every stroke involved was quite hard.
I thought I’d done a good job, but as Gerry pointed out, my serifs were way too pointy and my stroke width was very inconsistent.
For the second part of the task, we had to fill in the remaining parts of the letter from what we were given on the sheet. My serifs definitely improved this time but again, maintaining consistent stroke widths was hard.
For Gerry’s project, our first task was to create the word ‘cadbury’ in the same font as the word hesion above it. I found this particularly challenging. Mimicking a typeface with only the option to view a very selective range of its characters is something I have never done before but I gave it my best shot. Gerry pointed out my U in cadbury should look more like an upside down n with a stem.
For the second task we were given some letters that looked as if each character had been cut in half, It was our job to fill in the rest of the figures. It was interesting to see the different interpretations of the first letter, only the top half of the character stroke was revealed so I incorrectly thought it was a C, others thought it was an S, when it was in fact an A. I added some serifs to my letters just to make them more interesting.
For Gerry’s project, we had two tasks. Firstly, using the provided letters ‘h e s i o n’ , to give us clues on the characteristics of the typeface, we had to draw the letters ‘c a d b u r y’. We had to pay attention to the contrasts of stroke sizes as well as the x height and many other aspects of the typeface. Overall, I was pleased with my outcome for this task, all though, there are definitely a few letters, such as the ‘a‘ and ‘b’ that needed alterations.
For the second task, we had to draw the missing parts of the letter forms. My outcome for this task can be seen below.
I found this typeface design project interesting as I was able to look at letter forms in more detail. I inspected the dimensions and angles of each character and discovered the relationships between different letters.