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Typography is a tricky art-form, and it can be hard to take your typography from good to great. However, hopefully the pointers below will encourage you to explore some new ideas when it comes to your typography!
The best typography doesn’t regurgitate old ideas. Rather, it strives to be original! When you’re coming up with typography, try to take inspiration from unusual sources, rather than ripping off other designers. Try to create something personal to you, and it will more likely be original and unique.
Like any form of design, the quality often lies in the details. Even if your typographic design is seemingly simply in terms of structure/layout, it can really pay to spend some extra time on the details. Whether that means slightly adjusting your kerning, or going in and retouching single pixels to get things looking perfect, it’s worth it!
The above example is a great example of details paying off. At a distance the letters appear fairly standard. However, the closer you inspect them, you find hidden layers of complex vector designs. Thus this composition can be viewed as a perfectly legible font, or a richly textured vector masterpiece.
When you’re working with typography, try not to be limited by the concept of the font. We’re used to applying fonts in fairly typical ways – in word documents, in websites etc… Try to totally break free from these restrictions. View your typography as a living thing, as a natural entity, as whatever you can imagine!
The project shown above is a great example of breaking away from the standard view of fonts. The author has taken the idea of dissecting letters, but into a very real, 3D realm. The hospital settings and actual 3D models result in a project that’s truly engaging.
When working with typography it can be all too easy to restrict yourself to the digital medium. Try branching out and including mediums such as sculpture, pen/pencil drawing and collage into your typographic work.
Just like any other type of design, typographic design often needs to fit a brief. Even with non-commercial work, try and always consider the purpose of your typography. Who is your audience? What type of mood are you trying to evoke? Questions such as these should help guide the visual aspect of your design.
The example above is a project for Heston Blumenthal’s cookbook. The artist perfectly captured the ‘fantastical’ theme, using glorious golden typography, with plenty of elaborate flourishes and details.
This whole point of these Thursday Theory posts is to encourage discussion and let you have your say on pressing design issues.
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Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.
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