Comparing Contemporary Typography

Visit the following Web site http://www.swifty.co.uk/shop_fonts.html and choose two fonts. What do you think are the concept ideas behind each of these fonts? Of these fonts, which one do you think comes closest to being art and why?

The first font I chose was “ASTRAL FUNK” . I was drawn to the clean smoothing lines and the width of the letters.

I believe the concept with this font was to create a futuristic looking typeface that is very simple and easy to read. I can identify the simple basic shape of each character. The designer created a smooth a sans serif typeface that uses simple minimal strokes to reveal each letter. There is great consistency in the Capitol letters especially in the placement of the horizontal bar strokes. They all appear to be aligned except for the “A” character. The “A” has been aligned with the finial of the “J” character. In taking a closer look at the lower case of this font I find it interesting that the lower case characters are only slightly shorter than the upper case characters. The x-height has been pushed very high leaving it to be only a strokes width shorter than the capitol letter height. Do to the large size of the lowercase letters, the ascenders of the lower case characters rise beyond the capitol letter height.

Looking closely at the characters I would suggest the designer used the look of a rounded corner square shape as a guide or inspiration.

In conclusion I find this font to be a decent font design. I think the lowercase characters have come inconsistencies. For example the tail on the “j” should, in my opinion, be similar to align where the tails of the ‘g’ and “y” characters. I also think the ascenders should not be taller than the Capitol height. The font does have a futuristic clean look, but I question how the combination of capitol letters and lower case letter with ascenders would look. Is the font successful? Yes. The designer has a great clean futuristic looking font. However, if it was a little more consistent in the design I think the font would be much stronger.

Font From: http://www.swifty.co.uk/shop_fonts_files/astral-funk.jpg

The second font I chose is “DOLCE VITA”. This font reminds me of something you may see on a primitive tropical island. The letters appear to be carved with a sort of hand tool. I could see this font being used on a wooden sign where the letters have been chiseled out.

The letters are very blocky and primitive looking. The have a very casual personality. The strokes are not smooth, but more jagged and inconsistent in the counter and bowl sections. I notice that the lowercase is just the uppercase repeated slightly smaller. This also would make sense with primitive look.

I am guessing the designer was going for a fun island party feel. The design is close to resembled carved wooden characters made with primitive tools.

I see this typeface to be quite successful for this type of font. Since the personality is quite casual and primitive the inconsistencies I believe make the font more realistic and appropriate.
Font From: http://www.swifty.co.uk/shop_fonts_files/dolce-vita.jpg

Which Font Is More Art?
Of the two fonts I personally view “Dolce Vita” to be more of an artistic font. While “ASTRAL FUNK” does have more characters created by the designer with a completely different set of lower case characters, the “ASTRAL FUNK” font appears to be more geometric based from a square with rounded corners. The “Dolce Vita” font is more of an art form as it shows knowledge of how each letter could have been formed if one was using more primitive tools to shape them. The characters are all very different, yet have a unity that makes them work well together. In my opinion this is more of an art from, where creating a font based on geometric shapes, more of a scientific approach.


Typographic Character Analysis

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate your analysis and understanding of type characteristics and components.

Typeface: Jura - Medium
Author: Daniel Johnson
Category: Basic / Sans serif
License: Public Domain / GNU GPL

Jura - Medium - UPPERCASE

Jura - Medium - UPPERCASE - SUBGROUP - Diagonal Stroke -the diagonal portion of the letter form.

Jura - Medium - UPPERCASE - SUBGROUP Bowl -an open or closed circular line creating an interior space.

Jura - Medium - UPPERCASE - SUBGROUP Stem -the main straight stroke of the character.

Jura - Medium - UPPERCASE - SUBGROUP Arm -the short horizontal strokes on the top or bottom of the character.

Jura - Medium - lowercase

Jura - Medium - lowercase - SUBGROUP - Ascender -the portion of a lowercase letter rising above the x-height.

Jura - Medium - lowercase - SUBGROUP - Descender -the portion of a lowercase letter falling below the x-height.

Jura - Medium - lowercase - SUBGROUP - Bowl -an open or closed circular line creating an interior space.

Jura - Medium - lowercase - SUBGROUP - Shoulder -a curve at the beginning of the leg of a character.

Jura - Medium - Numbers & Symbols

Jura - Medium - Numbers & Symbols - SUBGROUP - Diagonal -the diagonal portion of the letter form.

Jura - Medium - Numbers & Symbols - SUBGROUP - Descender -the portion falling below the x-height.

Jura - Medium - Numbers & Symbols - SUBGROUP - Bowl -open or closed circular line creating an interior space.

Jura - Medium - Numbers & Symbols - SUBGROUP - Beak -the curve finish on the horizontal arms.

AIO Lecture Week 1

Choosing the Right Font?

There are now many fonts available, and new ones are being introduced every day. What issues confront designers when selecting fonts for a project?

For good designers selecting a fitting font can be the “icing on the cake” or the subtle touch that takes the design to the next level. The designer must consider many different things before an appropriate typeface can be applied. What type of text is in question? Is the amount of text going to eliminate certain typefaces? Does the font choice need to assist in establishing visual hierarchy? Is the text going to be repeating? Is the designer using an assimilation technique? What about legibility and readability? These questions and more are continual design issues that are evaluated when selecting a font for a project.

In some cases a designer can find a typeface that evokes and reaffirms the message a particular design is attempting to communicate or use the text in away to reinforce its message. I think the PBS show “Word World” is a great example of this technique. They use the actual names of the items to create the object. Mostly a very large bold font is used, but it is interesting how it is adjusted slightly to reveal the characteristics of the specific animal or word. Click Here to See the Example: http://wordworld.com/

A few more examples of this technique where the font is more subtle:

Fire -http://tutorialbeach.com/tutorials/images/fire_reflection_8.jpg

Smoke -http://photoshoproadmap.s3.amazonaws.com/texteffects2/20.jpg

While the technique discussed above is very appropriate for a more sublet creative environment, it may not be the best decision when trying to establish a certain visual hierarchy. Using typeface to help establish visual hierarchy is a will help in leading the viewer to see the key elements in the design. Considering the style, point size, position, and of course font of text can reinforce visual hierarchy.

See Examples:




Finally one key thing to consider is the tone that the typeface sets. The personality of a piece can be expressed through the choice of font. A designer may choose a specific typeface to show a specific time period or era. Notice how the font selected on this postcard reflect the 1940’s:

Even using an eroded or destroyed typeface that may be popular today will date the design to this current time period for future viewers. Many times a designer will attempt to use a more timeless looking font to not date the design. This is especially true when working on corporate branding. A doctor’s office would probably choose a clean timeless font over a trendy or playful font for their brochure. That is unless the doctor is a pediatrician and then a handwriting or even crayon looking font may be just the look a designer has in mind. Another basic example is how many times designers choose a script font to evoke romance or love. See Example:


There are some many things for designers to consider when choosing a font. In the end it usually boils down to two things to consider, which are readability and legibility. Legibility deals more with being able to interpret individual letters or words. It involves how quickly and easily the viewer recognizes the characters and understands them. Readability deals more with large sections of text and how easy it is to quickly and efficiently gain understanding from them.

AIO Lecture Week 1