Thinking with Type – Letter

How did computers change typefaces? How were they made before computers? And after?

Computers changed typefaces by including them in Operating Systems, so they can be readily accessed and designed.  Before computers, one needed to draw the letters themselves, and then proofread for suggestions/revisions.  Now they are designed in computers through Photoshop and Illustrator.

What is the anatomy of a typeface? What are all those little bits of letters called?

Anatomy refers to the various parts of a letter as well as their relationships to each other. The bits and pieces are Stem, Bowl, Serif, Descender, Ligature, Finial, Ascender, Terminal, Crossbar, and Spine.

How do designers choose what font to use?

They choose fonts based on the intended purpose of the writing using the font. If the purpose is for titles the font will be rather delicate and have lyrical forms. For regular texts, fonts tend to be with heavier strokes. In addition, an overall affect might influence the choices of fonts.

What is a type family? What are its parts?

A type family is various forms of the same font. This includes roman, italic, small caps, bold, and semi-bold forms.

Remember one font from this reading, or elsewhere, that you like. Find the name. Think about why you like it.


Resnik’s Design for Communication

The most surprising thing I learned from the article was the need to follow a general outline for coming up with a good design.  Normally, I associate visual design with pure intuition and no pragmatic approach for it because I think it takes out the creativity.

Now that I read the article and thought about it, it has become apparent that though intuition is a major part of design, purpose and focusing on the purpose is also important, especially in a professional context, in which one’s asked to design for an audience.

I find “The Design Process” to be very similar to “The Scientific Method” with emphasis on research, brainstorming, and critique (analysis in the scientific world).  Additionally, I found “thought mapping” to be new and helpful as I always used to just list words down, but without their connections to one another, which masks my train of thought.