Video Reflection: How to Identify Fonts || Typography

First few seconds in and there is already comic sans slander I can’t take it anymore–







we stan an overused and irregular legend! even though it is ugly i still love the typeface ironically


okay i’ve gotten my point across now on to the review:


I think I’m pretty good at identifying Futura now, after having done so much research on it for my presentation. I identify it through the capital A, lowercase j, and the very round ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘d’ ‘g’ ‘o’ ‘p’ and ‘q’s. You know, after my presentation on Futura, I can never unsee it.


Oh hey that’s Futura.”

“What’s that font? Futura? Lovely!”

“You know what would be a good font for these slides? Futura.”


Even though it is another legendary overused font, Futura has a more distinguished baggage of being a typeface icon of the 20th century, which is why people don’t hate it as much as comic sans.


For a beginner like me, i’m starting to distinguish typefaces using it’s broad categories, like Serif and Sans Serif, and it’s sub-categories like Black Letter, Geometric, Humanist, etc.


For specific names of typefaces, I still have difficulties, especially for those  that look similar to each other, like Didot and Bodoni.  However, I think through this exercise it really helps in training my eyes to be more sensitive in distinguishing typefaces.




Video Reflection: TED Talk || Typography

Wow! After watching this TED talk, it fund it super relevant not only to typography, but to almost all aspects of life. The main message of not compromising is very philosophical and really helps to turn perspectives around. For me, one of the examples that stood out is when the speaker starts to talk about the period on technological infancy in the mid 80s. The issue now was about the size of the fonts, and the way it was being designed using vector technology. For serif fonts, a lot of vector points were being used to create the elegant fonts, which resulted in the sans serif being more economical.


However, the speaker goes on to say that when he designed a serif without the curve, instead using polygonal, it became a design solution for a non-existing problem because the engineers had already solved that issue the week before using code, which meant that now they could have as my different types of font on the computer with no problem. While this meant that the speaker’s solution of the polygonal serif font might seem not needed anymore, he still did not throw it away, because later in the future when Microsoft contacted him, there was a new series of problems where they needed a core set of fonts to fact up to the problems of reading and writing, which was the coarse resolution display.


I could go on to talk about his story, but to me the main ideology behind this is that he never gave up, never compromised. Does creating a design solution to an issue that was already solved mean that his work was for no use? Does the limitations of technology/medium that he created at the time a compromise or simply just working around the constraints? I feel that working in constraints shouldn’t stop us as designers, rather challenge us to create more things out of the box.


To me, I’ve always believed in the age old saying that “a good craftsman never blames his tools”, which encourages me to find creative solutions to problems that were never that big in the first place, if you thought about it in a different angle, or maybe change your priorities when tackling a project. One of my favourite lines from this video is:


“Satisfaction in doing something that cannot be perfect, but still can be done to the best of your ability.”


It brings me back to a time when both my O-Level Arts and Malay Language teacher told me the same type of advice because i was more concerned about grades rather than learning, and was so afraid to fail. I was stressing out because i was also really bad at the subjects. I think that now, i have a new perception towards failing; Though it might not look pretty in my graduation script, I don’t think that it should matter now that i’m studying something creative. Instead, i should focus on my qualitative contribution as nothing is ever perfect and there is always room from improvement, and as long as you know that you’ve done the best that you could, that’s good enough.

Haiku Handout || Typography


I could write Haikus all day if you wanted me to; i’m so good at it. The Haiku above is:


Typography Class

My brain is not working now



This haiku captures the fact that i had a morning class, and i hadn’t had coffee yet, and only managed to get a cup when typography class in the afternoon started. For the poster, i was inspired by this Bohemian Rhapsody code below:



I felt that the non-linear way of writing the song lyrics was genius because i could still get it even though the actual song lyrics were not used, and the sentence structure was all jumbled up. To make this i went onto the OSS Typography class website, right clicked, and pressed on “view page source”:


It gave me a wall of code to play with. I wanted to go a little bit technological with my design because of the ERROR 404 at the end. The code that i wrote in the poster makes no sense, i actually wish i could make sense.

Expressive Words Opposing Pairs || Typography

For this short artwork i was inspired my insatiable need to keep everything in order and in check all the time. i use the word insatiable because i ALWAYS. NEED. ORDER. Well, i try to, anyway. I also put them in grids because that’s how I organise things as well; be it in a daily planner or my numerous cabinets to keep specific categories of things.  This is why i chose black, because its is a very basic tone and shows a no nonsense kind of attitude. This is how i choose to dress myself too; All my clothes are a monotonous black and white tone. Order is what I want to be.


As for the chaos part, I tapped into the part of my head where i was more diva-like, all fun fun fun! and a little loony. I chose the brightest pink I could find because it really speaks volumes about how much of a bimbo diva crazy woman that i actually am (in the inside)! Also because it contrasts with the black i used for the order part.


Also, did you notice a fine grey outline of the word CHAOS in the bottom half of the white boxes? It was a way for me to show how the word CHAOS had a life and personality on it’s own, not wanting to be boxed in. That’s why the letter C went to the last line; it wanted to be with it’s other crazy friends instead of being all alone together with the borings. I didn’t want to make the grey lines too thick or else it would have been too convoluted. I used only one typeface for this: Helvetica. This is because i wanted to show the duality of an individual person, made possible just by how they chose to dress themselves (like meeeeeeeeeeeee)


From the feedback, I understand how it would have been better if the word ORDER was not part of the grid, instead stood by itself inside the box I created. It also would have been clearer if i made the grid lines thinner than what it is.



Thinking With Type || Typography

This article is good.











just kidding here is my review:

I think this is a good reading if you want to do Typography for serious serious. For me, i’m not going to study this like how I study for a chemistry test, but more like try to apply these terms in my normal everyday vernacular when talking about typography. I’ll get used to it, and one day i’ll use these terms and awe people with my in depth knowledge of typography.

This is a helpful infographic, gonna use the term x height and cap height appropriately now


I never knew superfamilies were a thing.

An example of a superfamily (I guess) would be Futura? (Sorry, I did so much research on Futura i can no longer unsee it’s over usage and I think i’m going to be one of the culprits). For example, in the Nike logo, there is only one font being used: Futura.

Typeface used:

  • Futura bold condensed oblique font
  • Futura medium? (i’m not sure, but i think that’s what it is)

From a site where you can download the entire Futura typeface (FOR A PRICE)


Also, my eyes are not that sensitive to typeface yet for me to know that pseudo small caps are a type crime. But from the article, i can see it now:

I also will now start looking out for FAKERS


In conclusion, this article really helps explain terms in typography that i never knew about before. There’s definitely a lot more that I learned from the article, the ones above are just some of them. I’ll probably print this out and put it in a folder so that i’ll have a point of reference! Thanks for the article Lisa ^_^



The Crystal Goblet by Beatrice Warde || Typography

Beatrice Warde argues that “everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than hide the beautiful thing which was meant to contain.” What this means is that typography should reveal the “context” rather than hide it with decoration, so that the words can speak for themselves, and that good typography is invisible. I agree to this to an extent because i realise that when there is bad typography, people comment on the typeface more than the content. 

I mean, when a lecturer uses comic sans for their entire lecture slides about forensic science and murder, you REALLY notice it.

I think that the article also makes a good point about not depending on print as the final artwork. In the article, it says that “calling everything printed works of art is not right; because this implies that it’s first purpose was to exist as an expression of beauty for it’s own sake, for the aesthetically pleasing. To me, I agree that calligraphy can now be considered a form of fine art, as the economic and educational purpose had been taken away. Now, it is really just a form of expression because we have better technology.


However, what I do not agree with is that printing in english will not qualify as art until the english language no longer conveys ideas. I feel that the better argument is that printing will only qualify as art when the medium loses it’s economic value one day. I mean, we’ve already started seeing this when better technology is available: no longer print, but now including digital media. Like how Ikea chose to replace Futura with Verdana when trying to create an online presence.


In the article, it also says that there are many practices to typography, and that printing is just a clue to guide you through the maze. It means that print is not the final artwork itself, rather, the content and message that you are trying to put out. To me, this makes a lot of sense if you are just starting out in typography, and are trying to really strip away graphics from type. For me, looking back at my final “typography” work in Foundation 2D, I find that my work really focuses on the graphic elements itself rather than the type. I mean, the objective of the project was the graphic elements, but I can see how my work would not have been suitable if the objective was about typefaces.

My work for foundation 2D: “JAN”


There is another quote, coming from the author, which i don’t really agree with it:


“The type which, through any arbitrary warping of design or excess of ‘colour’, gets in the way of the mental picture to be conveyed, is a bad type.”


While I agree with this to a certain extent, I can’t help but feel that this phrase is a little bit ableist. For my dyslexic friends, irregularity in typeface really helps them to read and recognise the words better because the brain is now forced to read the words carefully. I also have had good experience in “bad type”:

I read A LOT of Geronimo Stilton books when i was younger. For me, the irregularity in the typefaces really help me become more expressive in reading, and also sometimes understand the words i did not know just by the design of the typeface. See, it’s not all that bad!

In conclusion, I think that the author made some really great points that really shifted my perspective of what good typography is supposed to do, which is be invisible. I can also agree that bad typography is EVERYWHERE, because we suddenly notice something wrong with the thing that we usually take for granted for. However, I also feel that the author can go on to talk about a more tasteful use in “bad typography” (as how she has defined it) can have a positive impact in terms of learning.

Return here. Please carts, i’m begging you!

Thanks for reading!

Typographer of the Week, Paula Scher || Typography

Paula Scher is where things start to get really FUNKY! (In a good way). I’ve seen her work before, but never knew her name! i’ve always liked how the text were all in basic fonts, but still very musical because of the irregularity in it’s layout and sizes. I ASPIRE…

For Paula Scher, the big difference between her and Vignelli is the incorporation of photos to compliment the typography. I’m really amazed at how the photo is like a secondary point of focus, and the sans serrif text is what makes the whole image. I feel like that is because the photos are in monochrome, and even though the texts are in majority 1-2 colours, the “syncopated” design makes it stand out.

I think that it is really good advice that she says to trust your instincts when designing. when i design, i feel that my first few initial designs are always better than the ones i try to force out (like the third and fourth designs) because at that point im thinking way too much, and kind of lost touch with my initial reaction when getting the project brief. I have to be brave!!! and have more confidence in designing…..thanks Ms.Scher!

Type Speaks || Typography

This short film shows the process of creating typefaces in the 1948. It shows the painstaking process taken to be designed, painted, photographed, engraved. I never knew it took that much to create a typeface in the olden days, now that i have adobe illustrator and everything’s easier.


Do we even need to engrave typefaces in order to create new typefaces anymore?


I think that we as artists in the new generation, and have already eliminated all this pain staking process from the 50s, we have to redefine what typography means in the 21st century. Like, all the basics have been covered, from classifying the different types of font families, to creating the most “basic” sans serifs like helvetica that can’t be developed any further. I feel that now that typography has become more accessible to almost anybody, typography can now mean different things for our generation.

36 days of type

For me, i follow 36 days of type on Instagram. I’ve always wanted to participate, but i’ve been too busy to do so. ALSO, all the featured posts are so good, i’m scared LOL. but through this account, ive been exposed to so many different kinds of graphic artists who work different professions, like an animator, a motion graphics designer, a tattoo artist. I even found a local Singaporean university student through this account because one of his works got featured! All in all, i think typography has evolved now that we don’t have to do all the difficult things to create a new type, but now it is our duty to take typography to new heights.

Typographer of the Week, Neville Brody || Typography

The work from this typographer is where things are starting to get more interesting. For the past two typographers, their work was more about being modern, clean and practical, which is good for creating the basic “rules” of design, which set the course for the future generation of designers. As for Neville Brody, given that his work was created in the 80s, it is fun to see design transform due to the emergence of pop-culture and magazine design.


It was interesting to learn that his tutors at his university did not approve of his work as it was “uncommercial”, which in reality he was just being experimental with punk rock. I think that because of this, it cultivated his unique visual language as he never really tried to seek approval, which makes things more interesting.

For instance, with this magazine cover design, Madonna is the main focus. The red banner on the top with the bold white sans serif text makes the title of the magazine stand out from the low-saturation photo of Madonna and the rest of the text around the page. Similar to the previous typographers, the use of sans serif in this case really makes the magazine look more modern and bold, making the magazine appeal more to the younger audience who would want to read about Madonna. Right underneath the banner, the choice of a different typeface to spell out that it is the 10th anniversary special issue is done in order to make it different from the other black text that surrounds Madonna, so that the readers know that this issue is SPECIAL. Also i feel that even though the text next to madonna was mostly the same font, and is black, there is hierarchy in the choice of size, and the layout of the text. As such, i feel that the text and the photograph chosen really compliment each other.

Typographer of the Week, Jan Tschichold || Typography

Last year in year 1, i learnt a little bit about Jan Tschichold when I did a presentation on graphic form about the 1920s Bauhaus and Modern Movement, where he had a book called New Typography, which made typographers all over go crazy because he was so revolutionary. After reading his history, i found it interesting how he was a fanatic of the german blackletter first, for instance like the work of Rudolf Koch.

This was so different from what he was known for, which was his book Elementary Typography insert. American Typographgers recognised the functionality of his new ideas, providing the foundations in the modernism approach in American design.

For me, i feel like while his work is functional, it is boring. I can appreciate that he made the penguin books uniformed, which made it easier to publish and find. It also made the books more modern, instead of having illustration which made it look dated (below).

As such, i feel like his work was revolutionary for his time, which became the foundation block of design for future generations. For instance the use of layouts of text based on the size and shape of the paper was definitely important, as it was not just about pasting the same visual on different sized papers, but to create a more effective visual for different paper formats. Also, i feel that Jan Tschichold’s work is timeless because it’s very neutral.


But also, i feel that it’s a bit boring and difficult to differentiate between each other. i remember going to a used bookstore and trying to get a classic book, but all the covers were the same, and i actually had to spend time reading the titles to actually get the one i wanted. in the end i gave up and got another modern book instead. So yes, i think that Jan Tschichold’s work was relevant in his time, maybe relevant now for functional reasons, but not fun at all.