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Thread: Anyone else study Typography??

  1. #1
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    Wondered if anyone else here at Flashkit studied Typography at college??

    Personally I was at the University of Reading (UK) from 1990 - 1994 studing a BAHons in Typography & Graphic Communication. Course site (http://www.rdg.ac.uk/Typography/).

    Would be great to have some more detailed discussions about Typography and Flash...

    Cheers

    Tone

  2. #2
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    I studied Graphic Comm. at Uni and college from 1996 til 2000. I think it's a real challenge to make an interesting page solely (or largely) of text rather than take the easy route and add loads of spangly pics everywhere.
    One of fave fonts to use is Franklin Gothic.

  3. #3
    Senior Member flipsideguy's Avatar
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    I've had two different Typography courses in my curriculum. The first one dealt with existing fonts, and the second one dealt with creating your own fonts (in Fontographer). It's a shame that most designers out there don't even know what kerning is. I think typography is an essential part of design (sometimes the most important factor).

  4. #4
    Super Dominator killabry's Avatar
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    Kerning is the space in between letters right? I don't know!

  5. #5
    did graphic design at Medway College of Design in Kent - we had to do typography as part of the course

    most of us just took the pi$$ because the typo tutor was a bit of a "beardy weirdy" which with hindsight was a shame because, a)it is not only interesting but also an essential and integral part of graphic design process, and b) he was ok and wasnt into real ale or cardigans at all

    but i bet things havent changed - i bet a lot of graphics students these days are more keen to get stuck into photoshop than they are to learn about the finer points of typo

    [yorkshire accent]when I were a lad, back in the "good old days" before photoshop were invented, we were more interested in airbrushing everything to within an inch of it's life :-)) [/yorkshire accent]

  6. #6
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    Yeah, it's a shame not more emphasis is put on Typography at design colleges ... it is the main failing in any 'bad' bit of design.

    Guess my course was kinda unique in that we studied it not just practically, but also academically .... did trips to Rome to study inscriptional lettering and the birth of the 'roman' alphabet .... (Trajan's column, great typeface for that classy look) ... and to Germany to study the Gutenberg bible. I even learnt how to set metal type by hand!! Add to that lectures on subjects as wide ranging as data storage mechanisms, aesthetics, legibility research and biscuit tins, you can see it was very comprehensive. Glad I did it though, the things it taught me gave me a very solid ground to tackle a wide range of design jobs.

  7. #7
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    I studied typography at Algonquin College. The first year was great the second was kinda wonky. Ultimately I left wanting to know more about typography, it's history, typography masters etc.

    Maybe we could start a running dialogue on this stuff.

    As for students and bad design, considering some students spend their life up to design school surrounded by questionable design (and unable to discuss what good design is) it's a wonder they can produce anything worth while at all. Let the de-programming begin.

    Of course, I work in IT, so I shouldn't talk about worth while design.

  8. #8
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    Well I'm happy to share the knowledge I gained (well the stuff i can remember anyway!)

  9. #9

    resolved I design in Fontagrapher...No College!

    Geez have you guys ever really designed in Fontagrapher? I do all the time even though it's VERY ANCIENT! Macromedia was really stupid to stop work on it cause there's a lot of bugs in it that I have found. I have pulled my hair out a few time using it but it does get the job done. I'm always learning new stuff with every font I create and I try to have fun with it. I bought a Wacom Tablet that works great with Fontographer....makes my life a lot easier. Although I sometimes like designing them in corel better under certain circumstances none the less. I really get inspired by other designers like larabie, that guy is awesome! Anyway, just adding my non-college knowlege...

  10. #10
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    I do have Fontographer, although I haven't had a chance to really use it. At one time I wanted to design a typeface of my printing to use with illustrations. Never got to it...

    Anyway, typography is not just designing typefaces, it's designing with type.

  11. #11
    Senior Member flipsideguy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ryeman

    Anyway, typography is not just designing typefaces, it's designing with type.
    You're absolutely right. Creating typefaces is more like engineering (unless it's like a hand drawn font). Great typography comes from understanding all aspects of letterforms, and what makes them recognised as that letter. One really interesting project we had was to create a typeface, reducing it to it's most basic form, without losing recognition. I found that project extremely helpful. It's amazing how a letterform can still be legible even after removing like 75% of it.

  12. #12

    Even more interesting is Bitmap Fonts....

    I have been very intruiged by examining Bitmap Fonts... I don't really know enough about them I feel as they seem to have a certain mystery to me. Even though I get the general understanding but I still find it very amazing that these little Tiny Bitmaps can look great even at large sizes. I feel there is a lot to learn from them but I can only find little information about them. So please enlighten me if someone here can elaborate more about them.

  13. #13
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    Typography is like painting, you tend to get more respect for your work if you can show traditional skills before being experimental. Well kinda, some creatives can just delve straight in and be Gods.

    I often get involved with class preparation for a Graphic design course in Sydney. Typography is an essential part of the course. Students tend to get bored in the beginning with the history and traditional methods of using type because computers can do too much for us.
    How do we bring about a respect for typography ?

    Does anyone else believe we're also losing respect for photography and Illustration thanks to the age of digital art???????
    [Edited by Marg on 06-05-2001 at 01:46 AM]

  14. #14
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    Good design is good design, regardless of how it is created. You could hand sketch everything for all I care, and glue macaroni bits on it. If it was designed with the basic principles of design in mind, it'll stand up.

    That said, the computer isn't creating bad designers necessarily, just impatient ones.We have an unimagineable selection of tools before us with the computer, but as good designers we need to know when to use a tool to arrive at our design objectives, and when to never use all of them together at the same time.

    If people are losing respect for photography and digital art (which I believe as well), take a look at the huge stock houses dishing this stuff up like it's air, and ask yourself if that hasn't had a more negative influence than the onslaught of the digital age. Not only do they cheapen the arts, they give no respect or credit to the artist and designer who created their product in the first place.

    I think building a respect for typography is difficult. My only solution (after not thinking about this for very long) is to appeal to the students want to be different. "You are designers, and what sets you apart from all the other yahoos is this knowledge." By stroking their egos you should at least perk their interest, hopefully long enough to get them hooked!

    My first year of College, we never touched a computer.

  15. #15
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    That's what I'm really getting at. Thanks to computers, it's just too easy to pump stuff out in bulk.
    ROYALTY FREE IS EVIL!!!!!
    LONG LIVE MACARONI CRAFT!
    Sorry I've come off the track of Typography just a tad!
    In my first year of study we didn't touch computers either. We sent our specs for copy etc 'over the hill ' for typesetting, how special is that?!

  16. #16
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    Re: I design in Fontagrapher...No College!

    Originally posted by StoneCOM
    Geez have you guys ever really designed in Fontagrapher? I do all the time even though it's VERY ANCIENT! Macromedia was really stupid to stop work on it cause there's a lot of bugs in it that I have found. I have pulled my hair out a few time using it but it does get the job done. I'm always learning new stuff with every font I create and I try to have fun with it. I bought a Wacom Tablet that works great with Fontographer....makes my life a lot easier. Although I sometimes like designing them in corel better under certain circumstances none the less. I really get inspired by other designers like larabie, that guy is awesome! Anyway, just adding my non-college knowlege...
    Could you just tell me how to generate a font in fontographer please? I made a font, and i go to generate font, but in like microsoft word, i go to the place in the alphabet where the first letter is of what i titled my font...and it isn't there. please help. thanks!

  17. #17
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    What exactly is typography?

    Originally posted by flipsideguy
    Originally posted by ryeman

    Anyway, typography is not just designing typefaces, it's designing with type.
    You're absolutely right. Creating typefaces is more like engineering (unless it's like a hand drawn font). Great typography comes from understanding all aspects of letterforms, and what makes them recognised as that letter. One really interesting project we had was to create a typeface, reducing it to it's most basic form, without losing recognition. I found that project extremely helpful. It's amazing how a letterform can still be legible even after removing like 75% of it.
    I am not up to college yet...and I have not the slightest clue as to what it is. well, maybe a tad bit, but you get the point. if you would, in just a couple sentances...what it really is, when you use it, for what, etc. thanks so much!

  18. #18
    Senior Member flipsideguy's Avatar
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    Basic Fontograoher Tutorial:

    You either draw each character in fontographer, or you draw them in a vector package (Illustrator, Freehand...).
    This is what I do next:
    *copy the x letterform and paste it in Fotographer in the box for x. Now you set your x-height and all that good stuff.
    *Next I copy a set of characters into Fontogrpaher.
    *IN there I select all the charcters and scale them to fit my set x-height from before.
    *copy each character into it's own designated box.
    *Kerning. Now you need to make sure all charcters are kerned correctly. This takes a lot of tweaking. I won't go into much detail here - it's too comlicated if you haven't worked with Fontographer before.

    It's been over a year since I did anything in Fotographer, so I don't remember exactly how to export the font.

    Hope this helped.

    TO JJ1186:

    Typography.
    *the study of type
    *using type
    *creating type

    When you design a piece and you write something on it, you are using typography. Using a totally inappropriate font for a work of design, is considered bad typography. There's many ways to improve on your type skills. One way is to look in a lot of Magazines. They usually use type in a tasteful and clever manner. Try drawing your own fonts on paper. There are also many good books on typography. Maybe you could go to your local Barnes and Noble or Borders...

    Maybe other people have some suggestion on good typography books?

  19. #19

    Generating your font in Fontagrapher....

    Hi there jj1186,

    Here's what you need to do. Once you have your font to your liking in fontographer, go to File, then Generate Font Files. To make sure you save it correctly, select advanced. Make sure these settings are as follows for Windows TTF:

    Computer: PC
    Encoding: Windows 3.1
    Format: TTF
    Set Directory: (C:\jj1186s_folder)

    *You will need to install the font from the fonts folder in the control panel after creating your font. I do NOT advise Setting the Directory to (C:\Windows\Fonts) as it may not be installed correctly.

    **Be extremely carefull when changing the font information from the Elements pull down menu before generating your font. This is where Fontagrapher gets really buggy. Stay away from making BoldItalics fonts unless you really need them...there is a workaround for it though.

    Try double clicking on the font to view it 1st...if it all displays correctly then it should work. If it's not showing correctly then go back in Fontagrapher and try to fix the problem before installing the font. If after intalling it still isn't working correctly, again, fix it in Fontagrapher. Reason: Fontagrapher is old and very buggy.

    As far as learning Typography? Me, I have been creating signs and banners for 4 years. It comes with much practice, so my best advice look all around you. Try to study why particular fonts were used in those magazine adds, CD software in the mail, Movie posters when going to the movies, Everytime you see an advertisement you should be asking yourself...Does it compliment the pictures? Does it flow with what's being said? And is it easy to read on your eyes? These are the questions you will learn to ask yourself in time....but don't be afraid to ask yourself more questions....everything in Typography is done for a reason. It's up to you to realize what that is. Only then will you become Jedi...Hhhhmmmmm?????

  20. #20
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    Typography deals with shape, balance and color. You can treat individual characters as abstract shapes and use them to design beautiful forms, maybe a logo or an illustrative shape. A block of text can be as much a graphic element as a photograph is, it can balance and add interest to a layout. Ultimately, the use of type can become very illustrative.

    We need some good inspiring examples. Anyone? Got an link?

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