Tuesday, 13 November 2012



In todays seminar we discussed type and character. Firstly, last week we were requested to identify a font and collect important information about it. In turn, we then each presented our information to our group.  I collected information on ‘Gill sans; which can be seen below.

‘Type is speech made visible.’

The arrival of digital pint fundamentally effected type and typography due to the ease and speed of production.

‘Who needs type if nobody can read?’
The increase in literate people created a demand for type, before printed news, town criers were responsible for informing people of current affairs.  

Type portrays oral dynamics such as; tones, accents, and volume essentially visualising the spoken word.

Type can portray character when used in relation to an image.

Colour can affect our perception of a font, such as the common association of red as a seductive, sexy colour.

Type Vocabulary

Font Family
Upper/Lower case
Sans serif

Typeface – A collection of letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation etc. Which have the same design.

Font – The physical means used to create the font, be it computer code, letter press etc.

Font types

Roman – serif fonts
Gothic – Sans serif fonts
Script – hand rendered looking fonts
Block – Display/header fonts.

There can be multiple fonts in a single typeface. Moreover, you can also have multiple font types within one typeface such as  condensed, extended or light type.

An easy way to define script fonts is to look for a change in weight. This often happens because of the stroke used to create the letterform.

Legibility and Readability

Firstly, legibility and readability are based on the special quality and knowledge about the relationship between letters.

One way we are able to define letters is by looking at the counter, which is the negative space left by the letterform whether fully closed or semi open. Moreover, negative space can also define a letterform or shape. A prime example of this can be found within the ‘FedEx’ logo below.

The logo uses the negative space left by the ‘E’ and the ‘X’ to cleverly create the shape of an arrow. This is a great logo design for a company focused on delivering goods.

However, this can also be done badly, an example of this can be seen in the logo created for the ‘Office of Government Commerce’

Sans serif fonts are more legible at 12-16pt size, whereas, roman fonts are more legible at 8-12pt sizes.

Legibility – The degree to which glyphs in text are understandable and recognisable based on appearance.

Readability – The ease in which text can be read and understood. It is influenced by line length, primary and secondary leading, justification, type scale, kerning, trading point size etc.  

Leading - the space between characters.
Tracking - is increasing the leading.
Kerning - is condensing/reducing the leading.

At the end of the session we were requested to complete two tasks. The first requested us to identify the all fonts belonging to the typefaces we collected and select the most legible. This will be documented and printed for the next seminar.

The first typeface I looked at is called 'Blackoak STD' this typeface has no font variations or lower case. Moreover, when used at a small size the font becomes illegible.

The next font I looked at is a serif typeface called 'Birch std'.

Next, I looked at a font called Calibri, this font had italic, bold and bold italic font variations.

Next, i looked at an elaborate script font called 'Edwardian Script'.

Finally, I looked at a bold display font called 'Hattenschweiler'.

Out of all the fonts I looked at Calibri was the most legible font. This modern sans-serif font would be classified as a gothic typeface, due to the lack of serifs and clean letterform. I believe Calibri is the most legible font because two of the typefaces are display fonts and ‘Birch std’ looks like it has condensed letters. Contrasting this, Calibri has even leading and a recognisable letterform, making the typeface perfect for small print and bulk text.

The second task required us to choose four new fonts stemming from the classifications of  block, script roman or gothic. These had to be arranged in 10cm by 10cm squares in both upper and lowercase. My chosen fonts were...

Rockwell Extra Bold

Gabo Drive


And finally, Mission Script

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