Category Archives: Research

Helvetica notes

These are the notes which I made from watching David Carson and Massimo Vignelli’s interviews in the film Helvetica.

I found that the film highlighted key differences in both designers’ attitudes and approaches to typography and how it should be used as a tool to communicate a message to the audience.

I also found the film rather good overall, having never really noticed how much Helvetica is actually used in everyday life.

I find, personally, that Vignelli’s style is actually better than Carson’s because it is so straightforward.

In Carson’s designs the type can become illegible at times- which I accept is sometimes his approach (“just because something is legible doesn’t mean it communicates”)- but I find it frustrating.

Yet, that is just my personal preference, I tend to prefer things to be to the point and not somewhat interpretive. Although, some of his work does look quite nice.

Notes I made on the film
Notes I made on the film

Citations

[Helvetica (2007). Film. Directed by Gary Hustwit. (DVD) USA: Plexifilm]

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far

I can’t honestly say that I found this book very engaging. I did find that some of the little aphorisms useful, then most of the others were common sense, which annoyed me as well as there being no page numbers. Unfortunately.

I did find that his take on typography was kind of interesting, and he used an interesting array of materials to create his designs.

I was able to make some notes on Stefan that I found could relate to Carson as he worked with Tibor Kalman who was also viewed as a “bad boy” within the graphic design community – like Carson. (Carson was seen as a “bad boy” due to his lack of regard for those graphic designers attempting to bring a structure to the profession, although he claimed that he had been unaware of it until many years later when someone explain why he caused such upset with his work.)

Things I Learned In My Life So Far
Things I Learned In My Life So Far
Notes I made
Notes I made on the book

[Sagmeister, S (2008). Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far. New York: Abrams. Front Cover.]

[Sagmeister, S (2008). Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far. New York: Abrams. p-not numbered.]

Graphic Design School

I read this to get a better understanding of Graphic Design (it helped that it was on the reading list) and then made notes related to typography.

From studying English Language to A-level I knew a bit about the affect typography has on the audience but I had not anticipated the large amount of factors to be considered when selecting an appropriate font and the impact those decisions can have on the message communicated to the audience.

I actually find the whole topic rather interesting.

Graphic Design School, The Principles of Graphic Design. Cover.
Graphic Design School, The Principles of Graphic Design. Cover.

DSC_0131 DSC_0132 DSC_0133 DSC_0134

I was telling my friend Jordan (who I made those stop motion animations with) about typography and he asked me  about the difference between “typeface” and “font” and for a minute I sort of thought it was obvious but then I couldn’t actually explain it, so I looked it up and found a pretty decent explanation.

Distinguishing between "typeface" and "font".
Distinguishing between “typeface” and “font”.

Citations:

[Dabner, D. (2004). Introduction to Typography. In: Thompson, D Graphic Design School, The Principles and Practices of Graphic Design. United Kingdom: Quarto Publishing Plc. Front cover.]

[Dabner, D. (2004). Introduction to Typography. In: Thompson, D Graphic Design School, The Principles and Practices of Graphic Design. United Kingdom: Quarto Publishing Plc. p 40-47.]

[Dabner, D. (2004). Introduction to Typography. In: Thompson, D Graphic Design School, The Principles and Practices of Graphic Design. United Kingdom: Quarto Publishing Plc. p 48-51.]

[Dabner, D. (2004). Understanding and Selecting Typefaces. In: Thompson, D Graphic Design School, The Principles and Practices of Graphic Design. United Kingdom: Quarto Publishing Plc. p 80-83.]

[Dabner, D. (2004). Typography. In: Thompson, D Graphic Design School, The Principles and Practices of Graphic Design. United Kingdom: Quarto Publishing Plc. p 80-96.]

[The FontFeed. (2008). [image online]. Font or Typeface?. Available: http://fontfeed.com/archives/font-or-typeface/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2014.]

[Mark Simonson . (2005). What is a font?. Available: http://www.typophile.com/node/14701#comment-84393. Last accessed 10th Nov 2014.]