Project 3 Final: Archetypes

During the first brief of this assignment, I had no idea how I would execute and show my type in referencing to the archetypes learnt. Hence, I started brainstorming and researching on brands to learn how they played on the chosen archetypes. It took me quite some while till I came up with a theme to form a unity. I have chosen to take on a theme of Disney Original Princesses to show the following chosen archetypes: Lover, Hero, Innocent, Ruler, Creator and Explorer. To make it more interesting, I went to experiment on a 3D shape to present my designed faces through a cube (in presenting the idea of a game dice). It holds the idea of a game for kids where you have to match up the two cubes together, in resulting the same connecting face/ archetype.

Initial ideas + process:

For each archetypes, I tried to find a scene from the movie to help inspire me with the layout and following design .

1. Lover – Anna, Frozen

(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Scene: Love is An Open Door

I chose this scene as I personally think it really sets out the archetype, the lover, well where she puts her heart on her sleeve and giving it to someone she just met.

2. Hero – Mulan

(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Scene: Reflection

Instead of choosing a scene that really captures Mulan’s heroic actions like the battle field scene or the end scene. I wanted to capture the beginning of a hero where you are still in self-doubt and an unquestioned identity.

3. Innocent – Snow White

I did not choose a specific scene for Snow White as I believe her actions and gullibility towards the bite of an apple shows it all. Thus, I went to form a bitten apple with type. Instead of choosing a cute rounded font, I went with a handmade ribbon font as I feel like it would suit Snow White better in the sense of innocence and sweetness.

4. Ruler – Elsa, Frozen

I referenced this picture for my layout to portray the swirl of Elsa’s powers. To add more elements, I placed snowflake letters, transform and distort, like how we learnt in class. It was truly an amazing skill to learn!

(Reference Image/ Inspiration)

5. Creator – Tinkerbell

Instead of choose a typeface, I went out to spice things a bit by using graphic forms of Tinkerbell’s tools in creating my type. Just like in the movie, where she creates a blueprint on an old textured paper. Thus, I used this idea to design my font.

(Reference Image/ Inspiration)

6. Explorer – Ariel, The Little Mermaid

(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Scene: Part of your World

Last but definitely not least, I build upon Ariel’s curiosity to explore the other world as my inspiration layout. Designing a ongoing tunnel- like layout like the image below. I chose to form a rounded tunnel to reflect the infinite curiosity and exploration the archetype holds.



FACES+ Archetype Pairs:


Response to The Grid System

The Grid System

Grids act as a tool to help give consistency and order to page elements such as images and texts. 

“It allows you to think less about basic design principles and more about finding a design solution. This allows you to design at a more advanced level, being more able to think about advanced concepts like page rhythm.”

Applying grid and format: 

  1. Define the size of the page
  2. Define where the text will be placed
  3. Choose a font (best to stick to one and play with the typeface) 
  4. Test until you are satisfied with the type
  5. Decide how many units/columns you want your grid to be
  6. Create and apply grid
  7. Redefine the type area – play with certain composition and layout 
  8. Check how easy it is to read, how heavy it looks and how the type is positioned. Check on the gutters and leading.

There is no set rule on the number of grids you can create. However, the less divisions you have the more articulate and minimal your design will seem. The more divisions you create, the more complex the grid becomes to work with in keeping consistency. On the other hand, the more flexible your grid becomes, giving you various choices to play with your composition. There are multiple grid systems in the design world, but they each have their unique personality and uses. The final choice is up to the designer to articulate and choose what fits their design purpose the most.

Column Grid
Column grids are good to use when discontinuous information needs to be presented. It can be dependent or independent from each other, and crossed over by images/graphics, creating a different visual layout. One column might be used for text, another for images, and another for captions or quotes. This gives the page layout flexibility when organising texts onto the page. You can separate blocks of texts by placing them in different columns yet show a flow between them. It should also be able to accommodate legibility, too narrow of a column can make reading difficult.

Examples of a Column Grid System:

A symmetric column grid has all columns the same width. For example, the most common symmetric column grid will be found on printed newspapers to help organise information and stories.

An asymmetric grid has columns proportionally thinner or wider than others.

Other examples:

Modular Grid
Modular grids are like column grids but has consistent horizontal divisions from top to bottom in addition to vertical divisions from left to right. Between the column, row and the gutter creates a module. It allows you to arrange text in many various ways, thus this is good for complex projects that require more control than a column grid. The beauty of modular grid is that you can replace or add any module without affecting the rest of the system. Giving the whole page a consistent and structured aesthetic.

Examples of a Modular Grid System:


4 Types of Grids And When Each Works Best

A Quick Look at Types of Grids for Creating Professional Designs


Talking Type with Jessica Hische

There are bountiful intricately designed typefaces up to this day, but how do we choose one that will be the perfect fit for our project?

Jessica Hische’s article, Uping Your Type Game will just be able to help us with that! She gives a thorough discussion on how type designers are the underdogs. She provides step by step pointers on how to choose a good typeface that may be the perfect fit for our design work and how we should broaden our horizon by not having a favourite type (but maybe a favourite type designer).

  1. To analyse the weight of the type. To Jessica, it is important to have access to a wide range of weights. This allows the flexibility in designing with perception of type weight.
  2. Look at the x-height, where it is best to look for an x-height that allows you to set type at small sizes and still have it be legible.
  3. True italics
  4. Type’s personality: What does the type convey and what historical baggage does it carry? What is the meaning behind its design?
  5. Spacing. This affects the legibility, whether it is easy, smooth and fluent to read.
  6. Even type color. This is my first time coming across this term. This is to make sure the letters don’t feel optically heavier at the joints. “Consistent type color also has a lot to do with the counters, or the spaces within the letters. If counters are too closed, it can make a letter seem heavy or affect legibility and letter recognition.” This made me reflect on how precise and intricate type designers must be and I would never pay close attention to it until this reading. Truly impressive!
  7. Widths. This ensures that the type is legible and beautiful per-line word-count.
  8. Using sans serifs. Jessica mentioned that using sans serif could be tricky as a body text. She introduced the “I to i to 1” rule where a capital I, lowercase i and a number 1 are placed next to each other. “If you can’t tell the difference between these characters, you may run into some trouble when setting the text.” 

Besides these pointers, choosing a type means defining the right mood. One must read the content, write down the key points and visual cues. When pairing typefaces, Jessica recommended to choose within a super-family, same type designer or one that has similar characteristics. For example, when pairing a serif with a sans-serif, it is best to choose the ones with a similar skeleton or proportions. When placing the text, place the serif for your body copy and a sans for your headlines.

After reading the article, it made me more aware on these detailed elements a type carries. When and what is appropriate in different moods, pairings and design. However, the article only talks about the functional use of proper text base fonts instead of the decorative and fun flourishing fonts that one can create for a project. It is does not necessarily mean we have to stick to these pointers but rather to keep in mind, for example, when one is designing an editorial or information texts. Personally, I feel it is more important to have fun and go wild with experimentation without these rules, and then maybe come back to them when finalising the design piece. At the end of the day, it all comes down to context, mood and the appropriation of type for the project.

Response to Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style

In this chapter, Robert Bringhurst addresses many great principles on type design that has open my mind into agreement. I specifically like how he uses a musical performance as a metaphor for type, where it is an essential act of interpretation.

“Like music, it can be used to manipulate behavior and emotions.”

Bringhurst stated how we as type designers should FIRST “read the text before designing it”, as it is an essential task in correctly interpreting a text and to appropriately choose a design to communicate. Through the designed type it should determine and show its form, structure, tone and tempo. “The typographer is to the text as the theatrical director to the script, or the musician to the score.” Next we should analyze and map, creating an identity to the typographic form. To have the ability to convey the inner message on the outer surface, giving a sense of transparency.

“The reader, like the listener, should in retrospect be able to close her eyes and see what lies inside the words she has been reading.” This suggest the intricate thoughts a type designer needs to pour in when designing a type or even meticulously choose a typeface that would honor the character of text. To be able to achieve the ability of revealing the message clear and loud in the simplest form.

“Letters are microscopic works of art as well as useful symbols”. It is an art and craft holding meaningful bits of information and thoughts. “When the type is poorly chosen, what the words say linguistically and what the letters imply visually are disharmonious, dishonest, out of tune.” This is true. Each of the available typefaces in the world carries different baggage with history and meanings that can characterize texts in certain ways. It acts as a costume or personality wear to these texts – putting meaning on it that may or may not convey the right inner message.

Typography SHOULD draw the reader to the text, slowly revealing the tone and meaning. It should show structure and order that links the texts with other surrounding elements – tying the ambience in the environment together. Typography is like a breathtaking musical performance where it builds the whole character, tone, mood, which eventually carries the inner message into our mind, heart and soul. Yet behind this beautifully scripted piece holds thousands of meticulous choices and thought in the tiniest detail.

In Class Activity 4: Expressive Words Opposing Pairs

In class we had to design a creative way to express relationships between a opposing pair of words and come up with 3 different ideas. I chose the opposing pair “Open – Closed” .


In Class Feedback: 
– Reduce the tracking so the group of letters have a sense of density in a line , which gives a closed off feel. With this said, you could take off the block of line on top of the word closed (unnecessary).
– You could disperse the “P E N” so it is not aligned, but disorganised and free.

Refinement of Idea #3 after feedback: Reflection/Thoughts?
Through this activity, we learned how to properly give a critique and feedback to help us improve on our works. It also helped us explore and challenge different ways we can perceive words and how others perception on the same word may be different- resulting a totally different outcome due the subjectivity of type.

Typographer of the Week: Neville Brody

Neville Brody is an English graphic designer, typographer and art director. In his student years, his designs were often criticised by his professors as uncommercial designs. Brody was highly inspired and influenced during the era of punk rock, but his experimentation was not met up to standards to his teachers. However this did not stop him into exploring the boundaries of graphic design, thus he began researching on the subject comparison between Dadaism and Pop art (which is reflected in his following works).

Brody started his career as a record cover designer but was recognised in the market through his work as an Art Director for The Face magazine. Thereafter, he gave direction to several international magazines, newspapers and even redesigned one of the top two leading English newspapers. His achievements has revolutionised and gave meaning to the media and the world of visual communication. 

Brody is also one of the founding members of Fontworks/Fontshop and has designed numerous notable typefaces for websites. Such as:
Arcadia, Industria, Insignia, FF Pop.

Some of his font design, such as Arcadia was influenced through the style of Art deco. It reflects “the great gatsby” period, capturing the vibrant spirit and the lush atmosphere of the Art Deco. It features a tall and striking geometric design with extremely condensed and contrasting forms. Arcadia’s elegance is used to display settings for advertising, packaging, invitations, or logos. 

Furthermore, Neville Brody established the FUSE project, which fuses typeface and graphic design in a magazine. The project brings forth designers, architectures, sound and film directors together through conferences.

Neville Brody plays with colors, form, weight and type that evokes loudness and eye-catching elements in order to push through the boundaries of design whilst playing with the unconventional. His work effectively hinders the line of rule breaking by creating a refreshing side on graphic design. Brody embodies the essence and the true meaning of design and to communicate visually, instead of falling into commercialism. One has to stand up in order for the rest to rise. 

Type Speaks 1948: Reflective Thoughts

“What if printing type never existed? and Is it taken for granted?”

Type Speaks 1948 is a short documentary on how a type was intricately dimensioned, engraved, scaled with height and weight. It shows a complex stage to create a certain type letter under a skilled craftsman. Yet after inventions and evolutions, type might be taken for granted.

To many people, typography is not art but a legible language to communicate. Typefaces and font families are just there taken for granted. However, if you observe closely, each letter is an individual design dependent on every other letter in the font. This is made so that when they are placed in every combination, it looks cohesive and constant. Furthermore, type craftsman considers the thought of creating a serif or san serif? How far down should the descending or tail be in a certain letter? The angle placement of an ear? The curved angle of a letter’s shoulder? and etcetera. (For example, like the image below.)

These are just a few of the macro design decisions of typographers. Further into the micro decision of the subtle differences in line thickness, curve, slant or embellishment. These far intricate process to create a type are past us, that we do not understand yet taken for granted. Opening a word document, picking a typeface and font to create our script. All we care is that is the legibility and the message the type can carry across. 

However, one thing that everyone sees type as is a language. It can be used in different situation and purposes to emphasise a certain message, depending on the typeface. It speaks the language. Thus, after watching this video made me realise and appreciate typography even more and how it was more than just a legible language. Developed and processed throughout the years, I could definitely say it is an under-appreciated art that people should know more about through history. 

Image Making Through T Y P 3


To get our brain up and running for this project, we learnt about why humans see faces in inanimate objects, which associates with a condition where one perceives a pattern in random things, called Pareidolia. It also follows one of the principles of psychology where “Human beings are social animals with a basic need to belong”, in this case, to find a face or language in order to relate with, decreasing the sense of unfamiliarity. Following on, we did a simple class exercise where we had to find alphabets in ordinary objects around the school. Here is what my partner and I spotted (can you spot it too?): 




Img1 Img2

Making a mind-map on my sketchbook, I came up with several occupations with mini-sketches that could fit into this project. The occupations that I came up with are the ones that I felt would best represent me, something I was passionate about or even my childhood dream job. I shortlisted it to the top four jobs and started to explore different factors by deconstructing and factoring elements that relate to the job.

  1. Poker Player
  2. Amusement Park Owner
  3. Kindergarten Art Teacher
  4. Astrologist

Research + Process

OCCUPATION #1: Poker Player

First, I decided to experiment with the deck of cards or poker coins to show the occupation, whilst, engraving my name. However, I wanted to show some consistency and the occupation itself. I decided to go by playing about with the set of the ‘Royal Flush’, which is the highest win in poker.  Changing the King, Queen, Jack into letters of my name D, P and H.

After placing the letters onto each card, it seemed rather plain and I was debating between to create a pictorial design or if I should play around with the alphabet itself. Following from my consulting with my tutor, it was better to place an alphabet since it is a typography assignment, additionally making it more clear and alluring.

OCCUPATION #2: Amusement Park Owner

Ideas+ Inspiration board:

Below, I experimented and created an A with the idea of a rollercoaster which can be found in an amusement park, inspired by the picture from pinterest above.

Instead of creating a consistent font of the idea of the rollercoaster as alphabets, I explored and created other fonts through different rides that can be found in the amusement park, enhancing the essence and elements of the occupation.

Over here, I changed the color of the D from more of a greyish tone to a blue-grey pastel tone to match with the other fonts.

Above shown is the two print, one (above) in glossy and the other (below) in matte.

OCCUPATION #3: Kindergarten Art Teacher

Before starting this, I broke down the components and aspects of a Kindergarten art teacher. Paper drawing, painting, simple boxes, dotted lines and animals. I went with a baby pastel and light colors to match with the theme of a child-like feel. I felt that by placing a face on the giraffe made it grab the viewer’s attention rather than the name, hence, omitting the face out.


OCCUPATION #4: Astrologist

I chose this occupation as my passion and curiosity towards astrology grows. Even though it might not be an actual occupation, it is one of my spare time hobbies to read about the horoscope and constellation set in the universe. I used signs within the world of astrology to construct my name. At first I wanted to incorporate LED lights within the piece but it looked a little messy and uncoordinated. This led me to think more of a pop-up style where I will use the 360 degree astrological chart on top of the cosmos background, and top it off with a reflective silver effect lettering for my name (in order to pop out from the background). I painted a cosmic background by using blue and white on a black background and photo manipulated it in photoshop.
D- Moon Sign
A-Taurus Sign flipped sideways
P- Libra Sign flipper sideways
H – Pieces Sign / Saturn Sign

When placed in this arrangement, I realised that it was quite hard to read my name in the order of my astrology sign, capricorn. Thus, I rearranged it in a diagonal order, not as boring as a straight line but something easy to read. 

While I was in Art Friends getting my materials, a reflective aquamarine lured me and I was wondering if I could use this instead of a reflective silver. Hence, I bought it to try it out whether it would fit and tie in the colors together but somehow it seemed off, leading me to stick to my original thought of using the reflective silver material as my font base.



My name isand I am a Poker Player.


My name isand I am an Amusement Park Owner.


My name isand I am a Kindergarten Art teacher.


My name is
and I am a Astrologist.

TO conclude, I felt that I have taken a lot from this assignment. Not only, did I get to brush up my illustrator skills, but also tease my brain to think more creatively and looking at fonts in a more pictorial yet typographic way. For this project, I used both photoshop and illustrator to help me project what I wanted and achieved. I enjoyed this project as an introduction to Graphic Form and is excited to see what is to come in the future!