Question 2. Research and written assignment (observation and analysis)
- Document one day of your life acting as an observer of typographic design. Produce a comprehensive diary of the typographic experience of your day from ﬁrst thing in the morning to last thing at night.
Keep this diary within a research folder or sketchbook. You should be prepared to use photography, photocopying and other means where necessary to evidence what you ﬁnd, as well as collecting ﬁrst-hand examples of typographic design.
Make notes or comments to reﬂect on what you have collected and documented. Your notes should help you to consider what kind of design it is that you are recording. For example, a cereal packet may have some large obvious lettering / typographic device on the front of the box, but there will also be typography in the form of information design within a “nutritional information” table on the packaging. So are you looking at promotional design/branding or information design? Or are you looking at typography? Is it lettering?
Here’s some examples what I collected to my research folder. Interesting day. While you do see the text every day you don’t pay so much attention to the typography, what it presents and is it readable or not. It definitely gives character to the brand and makes it easier or harder to read the important or small texts.
As you can see the collection includes:
– larger and/or more decorative lettering for the brand/promotional designs and look, display types
– smaller informative text written in smaller. Usually san serif typefaces, both all caps and lowercase letters used. Text types.
– very large and clear text that includes important information that needs to be read in hurry, from the moving vehicle and/or just needs to be recognized, obeyed and not to be missed. Those are usually in san serif fonts with good legibility.
2. Choose two examples of design that you have collected that you consider to have either good or bad qualities. Try to analyse these further in terms of their typography. Can you identify the typefaces being used? Does the typography communicate successfully? If so, why? If not, why not?
I chose an oatmeal can and a wine bottle. They both were a bit different what you see in your daily life.
The oatmeal can is divining my opinion. I think it’s really busy (with 7 different typefaces) but the similar display typefaces in used different weights makes it unite somehow anyway. What helps is that all these typefaces have a bit same kind of serifs. It has an old fashion feel and look. The one which is used in capitals and has a big variations between the thin and thick stroke (as modern typefaces have) has decorative bigger first letters in some of the words. It’s used on the top curved, in the award label and again in the bottom part. In the bottom part it’s combined with a san serif typeface which is not written all caps but italic. In the bottom there’s a weight in san serifs and the text behind (Cooking directions) is written in the same sans serif typeface.
The second example is a wine bottle. I like a lot it’s clean, balanced and modern look. In the front the brand name is written in geometric sans serif typeface. Under it is a slab serif font with lag of contrast between the stokes and serifs are square. Under it is again a san serif where the letters are almost squares each of them, taking the same space. It’s wide so the text needs a lot of space. Under it is again the same slab serif as before. In the back side all these three typefaces again as been used and then the body text is in Grosteque sans serif, used both in lower letters and all caps.