Typography 1a – Drawing

WIP of first piece, with 1 serif and 1 sans-serif font.

Unfortunately, I decided it was very smart to drink ice milo while drawing, resulting in the following tragedy 😄

New piece, redrawn and tidied up (without iced milo on the table)

For this hand-drawn exercise, I decided to go with my chinese name simply because of the choice of letters. It was fun drawing the letter ‘g’ and while in the process of it, appreciate the different curves and structure of the type anatomy. I chose to use Didot Regular for the serif font, as I really like the contrast in line weight and curves within ‘L’ and ‘g’.

For the sans-serif font, I used Gill Sans as my reference.

While drawing, I started to realise the proportions, curves and weight difference of each line and stroke. To ensure the drawing was proportionate and well-aligned, I used measurements to mark out certain points before drawing them. With that, I also made sure that each letter sat nicely on the baseline so that there will be no ‘floating letters’. I also measured the spaces between individual letters to ensure the kerning was consistent. It was a little challenging with the serif typeface, but having a direct visual reference helped.

Overall, this exercise made me realise that the beauty of typography really lies in its details, and I can only imagine how intricate and careful the printers in the past have to be when they crafted the metal plates for each letter. I enjoy the aesthetic of the sans-serif font here due to its cleaner design compared to the serif font. However, I feel drawn to the design of the serif typeface for some reason, as it seems like there is a lot more space and potential to explore in designing one.


Typography 1b – Letter Croppings

For this project, we were tasked to familiarise ourselves with each letter’s individualities and recognise each of their unique form and structure, before cropping them into 40 x 40mm squares.

The result:

Typefaces used: Baskerville, Georgia, Palatino, Times New Roman, Bodoni, Didot, Futura, Gill Sans, Helvetica, Avenir

The Process

For this exercise, I really enjoyed the process of experimenting with the different typefaces and crop angles. It has helped me to better observe and appreciate the typeface for its graphical form, and it is quite cool to see these letters in a new way; as shapes and compositions, instead of just appreciating it for its functional aspect.

While experimenting with various fonts for each square, I got to be better acquainted with the intimate detailing of each letterform, and it was fascinating to see how the design principles were in play, even within each of their type anatomy.

This short exercise was fun, as we could experiment with how far we get to push the legibility of each letter before it becomes unrecognisable. 😈 (yay!!!)

My approach towards this exercise was to firstly visually deconstruct the letterform into shapes, and then identify the parts that gives each letterform its essence, bringing to attention the crop along those areas. I thought along the lines of:

“What makes ‘m’ an m?”

and… what makes “g” not a “q”?

During the process, I found the letters ‘g, G, K, a, s and R’ to be rather interesting to work with and these are some of my personal favourites as they seem to resemble abstract shapes rather than letterforms.

Some of my personal favourites:


While cropping, I also realised that visual weight do matter, in determining the legibility of a letterform. Some cropped compositions worked better with the letterform being in the dominant color, whereas for others it was the contrary.

For example:





Interestingly, the few that really appealed to me personally, have their counterforms in a seemingly sub-dominant color (in terms of color proportion) and yet managed to retain their legibility through their distinct counterform shapes.

For the crops, I also tried to do it with the various design principles in mind, such as the rule of thirds (… well at least i tried my best!!), symmetry and visual direction.

Ok that’s all for now, goodnight!!