Tutor feedback-Part 4




Tutor report


Student name Malgorzata Lewosz Student number 512571
Course/Module Graphic Design 1 Assignment number Four



Part four has focused on typography’s history and application. Overall your response has been great and you have shown enthusiasm and a thorough approach to your work and research.  The final assignment does bring together some of the key aspects you have learnt in this section, whilst also showing a bit more creative flair with regard to image-making and visual research.  Remember to continuously reflect on the work and question the design. What could you do to enhance it or make it more legible? Try to apply this type of questioning to all of the work you do in an effort to refine it further and ultimately communicate the required information/message successfully.


Overall Comments


Project: The visual word

Typography uses both written and visual languages, you were asked to explore this by visually representing a range of words.
You have interpreted this exercise well with effective use of typography and additional elements to convey many of the meanings successfully. Did you initially work with the cut out letters at all (as it mentions in the exercise)? This is designed to help you concentrate primarily on how the letters can be arranged, using the space of the page to help create meaning. For the digital versions I particularly like the interpretations of the words ‘stiff’ and ‘sinking’ with the latter involving a clever use of the ‘i’ to create air bubbles. Although you weren’t sure about ‘sordid’ I do think it works well because of the type, colour and slight unfocussed effect. With regard the word ‘sodden’ consider widening the typeface to make it appear as though it is saturated with water? For me, the word sophisticated doesn’t work as well as the rest, primarily because I do not associate Brush Script (?) with something sophisticated. For this I would expect a more classic serif or sans serif typeface that has a certain timeless appeal.


Project: Anatomy of a typeface

To explore your understanding of how a typeface is constructed you were asked to undertake a typographic jigsaw puzzle.


Well done, this is a great attempt and it’s good to read that it has taught you to look at typefaces differently, that they are built from many elements.

Project: Different typefaces
You were introduced to some of the ways typography can be categorized, asked to create your own sample book of typefaces, and identify fonts that you could use for a number of different design jobs.


The first example is okay and you have analysed the magazine article enough to help you select appropriate typefaces to use. However I do think the first version needs something else to help add some definition and gravitas. The Tahoma Bold version works best I think. Consider using uppercase only or having the type set at an angle etc to make it look dynamic and appealing. In the example they create added definition using drop shadows or accentuate the letters with additional strokes in alternative colours.


I really like the designs for the parish church, especially the use of collage to help add interest to the design. The second version, does work much better than the first as it reads more easily and the image is downsized to rightly allow the type more room for manoeuvre.  Perhaps try this is a sans serif typeface as well? Which is easier to read?


For the poster to advertise an after-school club maybe the warning sign style isn’t appropriate for this? Could it insinuate getting into trouble or be misinterpreted in this way rather than the way you intended (inspired by onomatopoeia such as the words found in comic books or graphic novels)? Aside from this, you are thinking along the right lines, maybe the colours just need changing to avoid the association with danger? The main typeface works well enough but consider adjusting the kerning so that the individuals letters are closer together (similar to the POW example). Also consider setting the type on a path or arc to achieve a similar effect to your noted example? For the smaller text try using a hand written style to also adhere to the comic book idea?


It is clear you are beginning to familiarise yourself with different typefaces and fonts, paying particular attention to their individual qualities and subtleties. You think carefully about your type selection and how it impacts on the design or end product.


Project: Typesetting

This section explored typesetting by looking at magazines in terms of how easy they are to read, and using Lorum Ipsum to typeset text.


There are some good explorations here. The use of Copperplate Gothic Bold (for the artist’s names) and Cambria Regular is quite effective but obviously different to the original layout. Consider trying extremes too so that you start to play and test the design layout, pushing the boundaries a bit. For example, try different alignment/paragraph arrangements for the main body of text, flush left or flush right depending on which side the image is. The first two and last two designs all appear very similar to the selected research image/design.


For the second example I think the top two versions work best. I think you should consider the weight of the typefaces more carefully, selecting appropriate fonts to help some information stand out more. For example, on the last version I’m not sure about the Cambria Bold font. It appears quite light and doesn’t sit that well with the type set above in Century Gothic Bold (perhaps because the type is too large and needs to come down a point size or two so it fits comfortably under the line ‘Day 2013’?)


You have done well to match the fonts with those you had available. This shows you are observing the designs carefully in an effort to replicate and understand them. Once you have some versions of each design consider playing with different variations of the fonts and the settings to help you test the readability of the designs a bit further.
Project: Hierarchy

You were asked to typeset headings, subheading and body text for three different pages.


These are great and observant designs based on the original, which is well analysed to provide you with ideas and information. It’s also good to see you use different fonts, which you have selected appropriately for each part of the overall design/layout. For the first design I think the subheading text could be increased in size or the quote text decreased in size so that there is no confusion between the two. Consider setting the subheading on a longer line under the main title so that it doesn’t use the same format as the quote? Where a section of the title (the naked truth?) lines up against the image consider moving this so that it either does not touch the image or overlaps it (as in the example you found). Which of the three designs did you think worked well? All three versions have sections that work well so try to identify these.


For the laptop review, I think the second and third versions work well as they do not rely on using a clichéd typeface and the subheading appears more up to date. What do you think about them? Which one in your opinion is the most successful?


For the book review consider making the ‘Books’ much larger so it perhaps covers a lot of the grey space at the top of the page (you have started to do this in version three but try it even larger so it perhaps is lined up along the top edge of the page as well). I would also try it set as uppercase too. I do like the fact you have positioned this on the edge of the white space, which is a nice lead into the main article. I think the main body of text should be split into more paragraphs so that it doesn’t appear too long and uninviting for the reader. Make the font smaller to account for this or play with the leading as well. The article title and subheading work well on the first and third versions. On the second version I think the use of the typeface Courier New doesn’t work as well, try alternative fonts. Also try playing with the kerning to give the impression the line of type is more dense and intact.


Well done, this has been a successful exercise with some effective design layouts created based on close observation and some experimentation with alternative fonts and settings.


Assessment potential


I understand your aim is to go for the Visual Communications / Creative Arts Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment.  In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.   


Feedback on assignment

Creative and analytical thinking, Visual and Technical Skills


For the Show Me… assignment you produced a cover and short article for a magazine on typography.


There is some initial research, which has clearly inspired the work. I like the fact you have decided to use an image that is pertinent and nostalgic, based on your own experiences. As you have decided on one image and stuck with it I do think it would be a good idea to develop some alternative solutions and ideas to expand your visual vocabulary and test your creativity a bit more. There are some nice visual explorations of typewriters on the blog; these evolve into a more digitised version although I do think the first two versions also work nicely. I particularly like the scribble effect as it harks back to days when mistakes were visibly corrected on the page. It’s also great to see some type experiments in your sketchbook rather than heading straight onto the computer, I think this is important and allows you stay in touch with the way a typeface is constructed. The final ‘type’ works nicely and I like the use of a continuous stoke and also the symmetry you pointed out (the tail of the letter ‘y’ and bowl on the ‘p’). These are effective details that help enhance the aesthetic of the overall design. The idea of the typewriter producing a handwritten font is great and a nice twist to the design, as you mentioned, keeping it playful. On viewing the compositional sketches I think the versions that offset the typewriter and title (so that only a section is visible) look like they could work nicely and I’d like to see these mocked-up so that you can compare and contrast with the original design. You can easily do this using, for example, the crop tool in Photoshop. I was wondering if you considered photographing a typewriter with a print out of your type page in? This would also be a good experiment to see and compare with your drawn version. In the finished version I do think the article titles could be better presented, did you try setting them in white onto the textured background? Although I like the fact you have given thought to such details as the crumpled paper background I do however think this creates a strange segregation between the actual type page and this bottom section. I’d like to see some alternative trials before you settle on the final composition. I do however think that overall, the feel of the design is good and slightly nostalgic (as you wanted it to be).


I agree that the first attempt for the article design is a little inconsistent but this settles down in the second version which looks much more inviting and easy to read. I do think that it would’ve been beneficial to try and make the article design consistent with that on the front cover, perhaps taking elements from the front cover to use in the page layout (for example, the background or crumpled paper look?). Did you consider handwriting any of the headings and subheadings? I also think that the different typefaces used are a little confusing as they do not necessarily relate to those being discussed in the article – maybe this distinction needs to be clear? The headings set in various shapes do have too much space around them and do not fill the shape adequately. As they are also set side by side this makes them quite distracting so try to think of ways to alter this. The idea of the coloured boxes to break up the text do work quite well but again, be mindful of where they are placed in the layout, consider having one on each page rather than one after the other on the same page? Did you try altering the alignment of the paragraphs at all? As the blocks of text are quite short in length you could try them flush left.  Consider some illustrative elements within the article too, to help promote interest.


Overall this is a great effort and you have clearly been informed and used the work done throughout this unit. I think the front cover and designed font is effective but could still do with some experimenting and minor alterations. The article is fairly resolved although I’d like to see you consider some of the smaller aspects mentioned above to help make it more consistent with the cover and also to promote better readability. Well done!


Research and idea development, Context


There are various sketchbook pages depicting ideas for the final assignment. It’s good to see these so add more to the blog when you can. You do appear to stick with one idea much of the time so try to use your sketchbook to explore alternatives.  Remember to use this as a space to help plan the composition and layout (as you did in the assignment) of a design.


Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical essays
Research and idea development, Context


Your research points asked to find out more about an area of typography that interests you, as well as documenting some vernacular typography.


Good general analysis of various designs formats and the way the type is set. You have used this research to inform your work as required. I think you should remember to reflect on the work once it is completed and consider aspects that could possibly be improved or altered to enhance the design further. For different versions of designs compare and contrast them.


Did you manage to find any examples of vernacular typography? What about an area of typography that interests you?


Suggested viewing/reading


Alan Kitching

Build (www.wearebuild.com)

Émigré (http://www.emigre.com/)



Bruno Monguzzi


Aiga (www.aiga.org)


Non-Format http://non-format.com/

Area, 100 Graphic designers, 10 curators, 10 classics (by Anthon Beeke) – this is a great book just to browse through for some visual ideas and inspiration.


Pointers for the next assignment


The final part of the course focuses on layout by exploring how to design leaflets, flyers and posters. This is an opportunity to use your sketchbook to help plan and develop the work. Try to maintain a creative and exploratory approach to the work as you have demonstrated for the magazine cover, which shows a clever use of type and image. Remember to reflect on the work continuously in order to help you edit and enhance it.


Tutor name: Laura Scott
Date 27/01/2015
Next assignment due 07/04/2015



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