2D Foundation II: Project 1 Research I


Well, what a way to start a post

But hey everyone, Val here!

So to kick start this new semester for 2D, we are moving into T Y P O G R A P H Y!

Typography is something pretty new to me. Coming from a comms & media background, I have little knowledge on this area of graphic design so it’s b a c k t o t h e b a s i c s

Before getting to that, here’s a video on the history of typography put together using stop motion. I thought this would be good to know!

The Basics

During my research, I stumbled upon this question: Is it a font or a typeface? I was also kinda puzzled when I first thought about it.


Typeface is a family of fonts (E.g Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Black)

A font is one weight or style within the typeface family

(Eg. Helvetica Regular)


Basically, A font is what you use, a typeface is what you see!

Rules of typography


Bad typography is everywhere. Good typography is invisible. 

Learning from mistakes is a good way to learn.

Here are just 3 of the many Typography mistakes to avoid:

Mis-judged Text Line Lengths

Diagram showing how short lines demand the eye to make more line returns.

Every reader’s nightmare- a huge chunk of words.

‘sweet spot’ for line length was around 50 or 60 characters – says Emil Ruder, the great Swiss typographer.

Is this also why twitter caps their tweets at 160 characters? Aiyo we’re getting so lazy.

Badly Paired Fonts

Four disparate Esquire cover designs

When paired or put together haphazardly, the legibility of the text is damaged.  The reader would probably not pay the right attention to the paragraph because of the difficulty in understanding the words.



“Leading” is the vertical distance between two consecutive lines of the text

Many designer fail to give the right importance to that feature and, as result, the lower line gets either overlapped or ends up being too loose, resulting in a hard to read text.

Solution: good rule of thumb to start with is 140% of the font size.

In addition to these rules, I’ve also found a list of typography commandments. Rules and commandments in design, really?? Why so serious?


And then, we are introduced to Dadaism


which breaks ALL THE RULES.



Hello My Name is Val and I am…


So I made a list and picked the ones I wanted to use for this project

6 Traits shortlisted:

  • Satirical – method?
  • A Music enthusiast –method?
  • A Rule breaker –method?
  • Trying to eat clean –method?
  • Love Good Vibes – method?

Reference Art


Trait: Rule-breaker

In conventional typography, we hold on to certain rules depending on the type of work ( formal business letter, magazine layouts etc)

However in Dada, we let it all go.

This movement began in Switzerland where it has a ‘no rule’ rule.

Conventions stick to a maximum of 3 fonts per page but Dada uses as many fonts different fonts.

Sentences and words are punctuated in unconventional ways and random letters are dropped

The idea of Dada uses abstraction to fight against the social, political, and cultural ideas of that time when it first came about.

The idea in this method still remains as we can see from this example here, which i particularly like.

Reference Artist: Raoul Hausmann

Trait: Satirist

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.05.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.04.53 PM







Known especially for his satirical photomontages

  • Uses photomontage to express views of modern life through images presented by the media
Russian Constructivism

Trait: Music Enthusiast, Good Vibes












Constructivism was the last and most influential modern art movement to flourish in Russia in the 20th century. Ideas were borrowed from Cubism, Suprematism and Futurism

  • Colours used are red, black or white

Reference Artist: Alexander Rodchenko

I am inspired by Russian Constructivism artist Alexander Rodchenko as his works portrays abstraction with a devotion to modernity.

I’m a fan of geometric art and Russian Constructivism themes are often of such, topped with an experimental kind of look.

Music seems to be a common theme for modern day Russian Constructivists.

More modern day examples featuring some subtle elements

Reference artist 2: Vladimir Mayakovsky

Trait: Want to be part of Advertising

All his designs use black and red colours and his elements are mainly geometric.

The works of Russian Constructivism artists show that objects were not created in order to express beauty but in fact more functional. (To express the idea of construction; experience of modern life – its dynamism, its new and disorientating qualities of space and time)


1920 Addition- Vyeshch (The Voice) by Vladimir Mayakovsky - Designed by El Lissitzky,:

Handmade Typography


Trait: Trying to Eat Clean

House and Leisure:

handmade 2


I guess we all love food and I’m also guessing we’ve all tried going on diets. Keyword: tried

I find these figurative meanings more eye-catching as its idea itself just shouts at you.

Possible Methods to try out

Satirical, Wants To Be Part of Advertising – russian constructivism

Music enthusiasts, Good Vibes – russian constructivism

Rule breaker – Dada

Trying to eat clean – handmade typography

Inspirations from the internet

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flying around fonts





Published by

Val Lay


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