27 February 2009

TYPE4: let's keep going!

Moving the new digital bitmap face back to analog, to smooth it out and 'make it pretty'!

25 February 2009

INFOARCH: final website designs?

Taking into account the background image beyond the popular screen size, with all infographics and text-based information (which you get to from the sidebar). 

First image: rollovers of main interface. When you rollover sort methods they underline yellow, when you rollover the thumbnail animals along the top, their name shows up next to the work "classify" above them, the larger watercolor animals rollover to a view of them with their "color" multiplied over them, and their name turns red.

Once you click on a sort method, it turns to a black bar, with the text knocked out of it.

Ten infographics below (I am planning on doing four simple diagrammatical infographics as well, just so that every animal can act as a button to their own related infographic. Right now, there are four animals that feel lonely.)

Text-based information (you get to this stuff by clicking in the sidebar). Rollover of sidebar buttons gives you a little triangle marker. There will also be associated photography for each piece of text, which I still need to photograph.

What the sidebar looks like with a button actually clicked (turns to red bar).

23 February 2009

TYPE4: destroying the grid

Here I began with folding grid paper along the grid, and then crumpling the folded paper. I then drew out a grid-based typeface that I created onto each crumpled piece, only marking on the parts that were visible. As I scanned each piece in, I began un-crumpling them, so as you move down to the bottom of the post, the gridded letterform is broken apart and destroyed.

Here, I took the destroyed grid-based letters, and rebuilt them digitally into the exact same grid, but they have now taken on completely new forms. I think it's really interesting how the letterforms can be totally trashed, but still are able to resemble their original shapes. I'm having fun forming new faces from the original gridded letters, and I like how my final letters are still grid-based, but they don't at all look like they are. 

20 February 2009

INFOARCH: interface revisions

In these revisions, my goal was to make it look more scientific, but still with a fun, bright feel to it. I took out the decorative leafy patterning in the background, changed the title, changed some labeling. 

16 February 2009

TYPE4: designer research

Wolfgang Weingart: the link between classic Swiss Typography and contemporary postmodern design

Wolfgang Weingart, born in the midst of WWII Germany, is credited as the “father” of New Wave Typography. His work is similar in aesthetics to such designers as April Greiman and Willi Kunz. Weingart took Swiss Typographic style, and later in life “blew it apart, never forcing any style upon [his] students.” It apparently just happened that the students under him picked it up, and misinterpreted, the so-called ‘Weingart Style’, and faithfully spread it around.

He began his typographic career in the early 1960’s as an apprentice of hand composition at a typesettign firm. He then moved on to the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, to further his studies, where he attempted to develop his skills in classical Swiss typography. Armin Hoffmann, the then-head of the school, admired Weingart’s work in Basel, and asked him to teach there. Since beginning as a design teacher, he has made a huge impact on the contemporary typographic landscape.

Weingart is not known for rejecting the basic principles of Swiss typography, which emphasize right angled grid structures, use of white space as an active design element, readability, and objective communication of information. Instead he is recognized for pushing these boundaries into completely new territory, developing richly textural posters and typographic experiments, which were expressive and intuitive, rather than objective. He didn’t understand why design had moved toward the tendency to present typography in a completely objective and “value-free” manner. He pointed out that despite designers’ efforts to present information in a clear, neutral tone, most content still has a subjective or otherwise emotional connotations for the viewer.

He realized that humans have a basic fundamental need for aesthetics and psychological stimulus, so his designs communicated in a way that fit those needs but are also based out of reason and logic. Weingart used typography in a way that could better express the content’s meaning, and in turn sacrificed pure articulate legibility for more visual intereste and appeal. He believed that certain graphic modifications of type can in fact intensify meaning. He once said, “What’s the use of being legible, when nothing inspires you to take notice of it?”

“Weingart’s work is characterized by his painterly application of graphical and typographical elements. The emotionally-charged lines, the potent, image-like qualities of his type, the almost cinematic impact of his layouts, all speak of his great passion of creating with graphical forms. His typographic layouts are compelling yet lucid, free yet controlled. Some of his personal work is almost akin to landscape paintings, only that his paintbrush is replaced by type, rules and screens. He doesn’t seem to perceive a divide between fine art and typography.” -Keith Tam

I find it inspiring how Weingart took such a strict rule set for typography and learned to embrace it as a diving board into so many new arenas for typographical experimentation. He did not turn away from the prominent style, and try to create something out of nothing, but expanded upon a solid, tried-and-true method, and in that way, his results were so much more lush and captivating.

keith tam

15 February 2009

TYPE4: crazy grid stuff

In my earlier post (from last week), on the pentagonal grid structure, I was trying to explore structures beyond something based on squares. It was interesting though that as I messed around with how they were overlapped and worked with, that they still took on a square form- they looked like 3d cubes. I morphed type into the grid, skewing every letter to fit, so that they too took on a cube shape. I thought it was interesting how they fit together, but I found it hard to push any further than that. I made a different kind of pentagonal grid structure, but hated how it turned out... so I moved on to something new. 

Here in this post I'm exploring gridded letterforms, creating some new faces, and trying to keep restraints and rules to follow, making a cohesive set. Then I began working with morphing the letterform by drawing it onto folded/crumpled grid paper, and then unfolding. I found it interesting how the pieces connected and formed something new, but I'm not sure what I learned from it... 

I guess what I'm saying is that I need some help, because I just feel like jumping around and dabbling in lots of different typographical areas- I don't know where I want to focus. I did come up with a list of questions before I began exploring, I'll post those:

How can a typographic grid be three-dimensional?
How can a strict grid become fluid?
How can a grid structure change over time?
How can a grid suggest personality?
How can multiple separate grids combine to create something new?
How would a grid be created out of shapes besides squares?
How can the grid 'cells' overlap?
How can an existing grid be manipulated into a new grid structure?
How can a grid structure be completely hidden?
How can a grid structure be not a grid structure?
How can found structures be used in typography?
How can a pre-existing typeface be manipulated to fit into a specified grid?