why it's wonderful I - typography::

now that my 'antisocial' series about fall 2008 is over, i'll write 'why it's wonderful' posts about the winter 2009 semester. stay tuned, hopefully these won't be as spread out over time :) i actually wrote this one on april 23rd.

Day: Wednesday
Class: Typography
Time: 7-11.....pm.

you'd think, with that schedule (on top of the fact i had class/work on wednesdays from 8 am-3 pm, 5-7 pm, and 7-11pm) i'd hate the dang class.

i didn't.

i actually...absolutely loved it.
the class::
typography is the study of type as a crucial element of graphic design. we learned things like kerning (how close each letter is to each other), tracking (how close the spaces in between words are) and leading (the space between lines of type). we learned the anatomy of letters, such as the x-height (height of a lowercase letter 'x', used to determine height of main body of fonts), ascenders and descenders (parts that ascend and descend the x-height, such as the tall part of an 'h' or the bottom of a 'g'), and counters (the middle parts of letters with enclosed spaces, such as 'p', 'g', 'a', 'd', etc). we learned about specific typefaces and created posters about them after we researched them (i chose neutraface. good-lookin!). we took note of type all around us with our 'typographic journals'. we also learned what good type looked like...and what it doesn't look like. we even created our own fonts!

*all images copyright kristin gulledge, 2009

the final project::
our culminating project that took the entire last half of the semester was the magazine re-design. we had to take a lifestyle magazine and redesign the entire thing, including the masthead (the actual letters that make up the name of the magazine, giving it an individual feel.) i chose spin magazine, because it's a music magazine for really artsy music lovers. perfect for me. ;) (however, after researching a lot of them, i don't suggest reading it...not all the issues are exactly my cup of tea).

i worked for many long and grueling hours on it, and would have posted the progress, but i was so busy and exhausted by the time i'd be able to post so i opted not to. BUT...here it is. the final project.

i'd rather you see the final physical project; it was so time intensive...we had to print it and mount it on foam core, then crop it. it looks awesome in real life. i guess you can check out the details here though. enjoy!

*note: photographs (excluding the garage photo) were found on the web, and used for educational purposes only. magazine masthead copyright kristin gulledge, 2009.

the nitty gritty details::

for those who would like to learn more
  • we had to design the masthead, mine being 'spin'. i had a bunch of different ideas and came down to the one you see below and one in a circle. i chose this because it's more interesting, and my teacher made the observation that it's more interesting because we usually think of "spinning" things as circles...not rectangles.
  • i tried to keep this rectangle thing as a theme throughout the whole magazine: i slanted the headlines and call-outs, also the photo (do you recognize it?) for the table of contents. consistency is crucial.
  • we were required to have one department. each magazine has many departments, or similar types of articles in each issue.
  • we were also required to have a 6-page feature, which is what the focus of the magazine is on in any particular issue.
  • grids are essential to good design. i used a three-column grid for the feature and a four-column grid for the department.
  • call-outs, in magazines, are certain parts of the text that are set apart from the rest of the words to give emphasis. mine are red and black, slanted with varying font size. this was actually inspired from my blog stylization!
  • captions, in magazines, describe pictures and they are set apart from the text as well by a different design element. mine are smaller, always next to a photo, and gray colored.
  • dummy text, or greek text, is just nonsense text that we use to fill in where text would be in a real magazine. even this, however, had to be custom-designed to an extent.
my goodness. i feel as if i've told all my design secrets; i guess i have no more to share. now you can go out and design fabulous magazines as well. piece of cake.*

*this is, in fact, a lie. it's NOT a piece of cake. it's more like a slab of stone...a really really big hard stone that you have to carve with a knife. a butter knife. call me masochistic, but i really love doing it.


Alie said...

your work is awesome!! i suggest to anyone to actually see it in real life. it's AMAZING.

The Taylors said...

I love the magazine layout. So cool! and I love your sketching!

--jeff * said...

i subscribed to spin for a year in high school, which is why i was a little surprised that you chose it; yeah....

all the same, i'm stoked that tally hall is finally getting the publicity they deserve. i know they will someday, i'm just happy to see it starting.... ; ) shame about the greek text--i'd love to read the article.

seriously dang guitar picture. i'd heard about it, but suddenly i see it, and it's stellar.

all in all, this post has just exacerbated my fascination with typography, a discipline which, only a few years ago, i didn't even know existed. thanks for sharing your insights and learnings; i won't be outshining you anytime soon, but it's made me want to try some things out.

way to be awesome.

*except for some images copyright jeff gustafson's little jade honda's backside 2009

Zachary said...

Awesome! That was a fascinating post, just like all the previous recent posts from the anti-social series. I wish making a magazine were a piece of cake, because then I could make some that would almost be as good and cool as yours.

Your attention to detail is amazing and is a quality that I need learn and apply to everything that I do.

Typing this comment has me looking at each individual letter and how everything fits together. It's a whole new way to look at something that is so common in our lives and see it in an artistic perspective. I'll never look at fonts and type the same ever again.

K said...

I like it. It's clean, but it has energy. You did keep it consistent throughout the layout, but it didn't get boring - which is good. Off kilter isn't going to go static on you. But it wasn't enough to leave me sea sick either.

So you used the actual articles that were in that issue and just repasted them? Sorry I'm not into the Spin scene. But I did get a good chuckle over the fact that Tally Hall made the top line on the cover.

what I like about what you've done is the luminescence - that translucent feel that comes of the broad, white negative space and the wide shots. I'm impressed, actually. I'm not easily impressed.

Here's the funny thing: I learned most of what I know about typography from figuring out how to use Fontographer. And from medieval lit - m dashes and n dashes. Interesting it all is, and powerful on the subtle level.

Amy said...

You're incredible, Kwistin! I love it! It brings back memories, and I wish I'd done such an awesome job at these classes when I was taking them. You are FAR surpassing what I put together!