Typography I – Presentation – Avenir

group members

Niki, Si Hui, Amanda, Dominique, Dinis


Our presentation slides consist of mainly animated gifs. Some were done using stop motion and some, digital photoshop.

Niki printed out the text and photos for her slides on transparency, arranged them on a large piece of yellow paper, and moved them one by one to create the stop motion animation.

She attached her phone on top of her table lamp to ensure consistency in all her shots.

Then, she put all the images into photoshop and created frame animations out of them.

Si Hui and Dinis made gifs from digital manipulation using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Dominique prepared transparencies of letterforms from Helvetica and Avenir for the class to compare.

Amanda went around scouting for people to star in our snapchat videos. This is Yueling taking a snapchat with the ‘dog filter’, complaining about Snapchat changing their font. Clara was in another Snapchat video too and she walked in the light drizzly rain for it. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to document that.


  • Through the research I conducted, I’ve learnt to appreciate the nuances of letterforms: on first glance, Avenir looks to be a standard sans serif font similar to Futura, but with the slight curls and optical corrections that are at first indiscernible, on closer inspection it really is truly a unique and thoughtful font put together by Frutiger. Looking at process images of Frutiger working on designs as well gave a lot of insight into the intricacies of working on typeface and the precise calculations and measurements needed, especially when technology wasn’t so readily available.
  • I thought at first that the presentation was super difficult and a hassle because of the requirement of the presentation format to be unique to the typeform, but later on I learned to appreciate it as it helped us to differentiate ourselves from the other presentations. And also I’m glad to have had the experience of experimenting with more stop motion animation for a large part of my presentation, like the physical part of cutting the tiny letters, moving the parts and positioning the camera and having to deliberate over the sequences while working backwards. Apart from that there were also the technical aspects of putting everything together in Photoshop and finding out new tips and tricks to make the animation process go faster (like Tweening omg). It was a mad rush to complete the presentation and find rehearsal timings within the hectic ADM schedule, but I’m super happy that our presentation went smoothly. And also it was a really memorable presentation session with the other teams as well, seeing how much effort everyone put in to make it fun and interactive for the class! And it really was a good way to learn about the different typefaces and the contexts in which they were created. Who knew there was so much history behind the fonts that we scroll through everyday on our devices?
  • I really feel like typography is making a difference in the way I look at letters now, like my brain is trying to figure out which style of typeface different words are on signs and whether it was a good choice or not. It’s great to be able to approach letters with more confidence in scope of knowledge and justification now!
  • When first briefed about the presentation requirements, my mind had zero clue on how to make it interesting and different from just a regular presentation. Besides that, I wasn’t sure how presentation of different fonts were going to stand out from one another. After doing the relevant research, I realised that there is so much more to a font and typeface.
  • I looked into letterforms, thickness, thinness, shape of the end of the font more than I ever have in my life and I was intrigued at how little details can make a huge difference in appearance later. One less “tail” in a letter form can vary so much from one that does not have a “tail”. This goes to show that fonts play a huge role everywhere we are because they are literally seen everywhere – signboards, logos, websites, social media, posters and even when ordering food.
  • Avenir has always been one of my favourite fonts to use as it is easy to use and simple – applicable to many situations. I like using it for titles in presentations. After I researched on Avenir, it made sense why I was so fond of it. Its clean and crisp appearance along with its thick vertical strokes increases its readability and that’s why Avenir is used in a number of well-known company logos all over the world.
  • Through this project, I have come to appreciate typefaces and their forms instead of just seeing its aesthetics. I now understand that there are differences between many san serif fonts. I enjoyed working on this presentation with my group mates and coming up with unconventional ways of presenting!  
  • I think the greatest challenge of this assignment was framing it in a way that is creative and engaging, unlike the usual presentation format. It really was a struggle, in the beginning, to create a script/flow that was not too much like the conventional presentation, but at the same time not too casual like a skit. We wanted to create something that was visually engaging and very informative, so it realy boiled down to the research and the brainstorming we did together as a group.
  • Through studying the anatomy of Avenir, and comparing it to Futura and Helvetica, I am really able to see the nuances that differentiates the sans serif typefaces from each other. These 3 typefaces may all fall under the sans serif classification, but each of them portray different characteristics, and those subtle differences really affect our type choices as a designer.
  • Type not only plays an aesthetic role in our visuals, it also adds character and evokes different emotions from the viewers. It is very important to take into account the characteristics of each typeface as they communicate very different emotions and ideas, which could make or break a design. Being able to wisely choose a typeface really does separate a good designer from a great designer.
  • This presentation was definitely different from the ones we’ve ever done as it was to include a creative element, and one that was unique to the font we chose too. That was a struggle at the start as we couldn’t pinpoint a distinct trait about our font to base our presentation on.We thought of using Snaphat as the start but couldn’t think of how to integrate the Snapchat interface with the content of Avenir. It wasn’t until we thought of giving ourselves roles- we could be the employees of Snapchat! Then we looked back at our research again and remembered how Snapchat faced backlash when they changed their font to Avenir then. We realized that we could do a press conference format addressing this backlash and justifying why Snapchat used Avenir.
  • We really strived to make our presentation as engaging as possible, which required a lot of preparation beforehand- from the gifs and videos to the nametags and even colour-coordinating. It all paid off when we saw our final work and realized how cohesive and fun we looked as a team.
  • This project also gave me insight into the font Avenir, which previously to me was just a ‘pretty’ font I use for design works. If one were to ask me why I liked using it, I could only say it’s because it ‘looks nice’. Now I can answer that its due to its modernity and versatility given its san serif outlook yet it doesn’t look too rigid or harsh due to its humanist qualities.  
  • It was also interesting to find out so much more about its background, especially the story of how it was created, its purpose and definitely eye-opening to know about the many other works that use Avenir as their font, which I haven’t even noticed prior to this project.
  • Avenir has always been one of my favourite typefaces to use in any work because of how balanced, neat and legible it is and I learnt to appreciate it even more while researching about the history and design behind it for this presentation.
  • It never came across my mind that there was so much thought and precision behind the design of Avenir, but at the same time it was challenging to pick out what made it distinct from other geometric sans serif types.
  • What made this assignment even more challenging is the requirement to present it in a creative way, it was very difficulti spaghetti to design so many gifs for our slides and time our scripts to match the animations.
  • Avenir is almost like a jack of all trades but master of none, compared to other typefaces like Courier New and Comic Sans which are much more easily recognisable. But after going through all the presentations in class, I learnt that every typeface has its own purpose and not all typefaces are suited for all uses.
  • Now, whenever I walk past shops or posters, I cannot help but scrutinise the typefaces they use and notice the details in their letterforms.

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