Category Archives: Typography

Typographic Map Process

This was another assignment in the graphic design course but this time in Typography. The purpose of this project was to design a typographic map showing the typographic character of a local environment. I used photographs I  took of type in the field, such as signage, as well as did a written analysis of the typefaces, their classification and why I believe that type face was used. This was an assignment That I had a bit of a harder time with as I wasn’t quite sure what to do. But sometimes that’s the way an assignment goes, you’re just figuring it  out along the way on step at a time. So after doing some research and looking at examples of interactive maps online as well as choosing an area to depict, taking some photos of type in the area and deciding that the character of the typographic environment I wanted to try and get across was of a historic feel, the next thing I did was sketch out some thumbnails to try and figure out the layout of my map and then drew out a larger sketch of my idea for my layout.

Scan 8 Scan 9

I then did a mock-up of a style guide. The style guide was meant to help me figure out what colours I might use, and what type faces I might use.

Style Guide

Now that I had a rough idea of the layout, fonts and colour palette I did my first digital mock up in photoshop.

Typograhic Map 1 Welcome Typograhic Map 1 Main Typograhic Map 1 Pop Up

However I really misunderstood the assignment. I knew I needed three pages but rather than having a welcome page I just needed an introduction explaining the purpose of the map and assignment. I also included a bunch of different elements that I didn’t need such as the header and the options box, and the colour scheme just wasn’t working for the whole historic theme. So I redrew the map, got rid of the unnecessary elements and tried changing the colour palette to a sepia theme to tie into the historic feel as well as added the intro and fixed the pop up to what it’s supposed to be, showing a picture of the type and explaining it.

Typograhic Map 2 Intro Typograhic Map 2 Main Typograhic Map 2 Pop Up

Now the colours just weren’t working, they looked to close together and were bleeding together. It also wasn’t clear when you were rolling over a marker. So I changed the colours again, made the title look more decretive, and made the rollover state much more clear as well as putting on other final touches.

Typograhic Map Final Intro Typograhic Map Final Main Typograhic Map Final Pop Up

Now this final design only shows one of the pop-ups, we needed to include eight examples of type, which means the actual interactive map would have eight different pop-ups, so I put together a document showing those images with their information.

Type Classifications

and that was the process that I went through to create this typographic map. I hope this has given you some insight into my design process.

Final Blog Post of the Semester: A Reflection on Blog Writing

My initial feelings of the blog assignment were apprehension. I realize that part of doing these blogs are to help us develop an online profile and give a personal perspective on these different graphic design related topics. Now maybe I’m an old fashioned kind of guy but I don’t really care for building an online profile. I’m someone who’s spent years developing my public speaking and communication skills. I prefer to communicate in person.

However I have learned a number of things. It’s helped me to learn about researching a topic, since with all of these different topics I would have to go read about them and find some images or links to social media to help support what I’m taking about. As well as posting links to this information to help support my opinions. Although it was sometimes a challenge to remember to cite everything.

If you want to know weather or not I intend to keep up with writing my blog outside of class assignments, I’d have to say I’m not sure. I’ve been writing this blog since last year and I’ve pretty much stuck to just writing for school assignments. And as I was talking about earlier I don’t care that much for writing a blog. But I may change my mind, there might end up being something I’m really interested in talking about that doesn’t have to do with a school assignment. Either way I’ve still got three semesters left in the graphic design program so I’m sure I’ll have to keep writing this blog for awhile yet.

Design Thinkers


This past weekend the students of the Graphic Design program were meant to attend this years Design Thinkers Conference. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get enough students who wanted to go to get a bus. So only a handful of students who could make their own way there were able to attend and I sadly was not one of them. But as a graphic design student I’m a student member of RGD which means I can access member features of their website, such as videos of presentations from previous years Design Thinkers Conferences.

RGD Logo

One particular video I would like to talk about is a presentation by David Berman called How to make the entire planet your client. Now if your not a member of RGD you won’t be able to watch the video for yourself but you can check out his website here:

check out his blog and take a look at his portfolio.

Now this is a fairly long video so I’m just going to talk about a few points that I found interesting. One thing he talks about is how designers can use design to save money. He gives this example of ecofonts, thick sans-serif fonts that have white in them, the purpose of which saves ink toner. Another example he gives are these trains in Germany called DB. They were designed in such a way that they are painted with a larger ratio of white to dark, which saved them a ton of money in paint, which paid for the entire design fee.


Another interesting thing he talks about is the four stages of sustainability in design. It looks something like this.
1. Financial = Prosperity
2. Environmental = Planet
3. Social = People
4. Cultural = Design

David Berman happens to be the guy who helped establish these sustainability standards in design, first in Ontario and now spreading throughout the world.

He also talks about how traffic signals can be confusing for people who are colour blind since they can’t really see the difference between green and red. But in Quebec the traffic signals use both shapes and colours which makes them easier to understand if you can’t perceive colour.Here’s an example of a universal traffic light.


David Berman is someone who is very passionate about using design to change the world. He’s got a lot of interesting things to say. Check out his website and find out what he can teach you.

RGD logo and Design thinkers logo are copyright Rgd and come from their website:

Ecofont image was found on:

Traffic light image was found on:


As a graphic designer, or a graphic design student in my case, when you take on a new client or new assignment you have to do your research. Now one of the assignments I’m currently working on is a brochure layout for a conference. There are several different categories and topics and my category is “Transportation Planning” and my specific topic is “Passing Lanes”. But this assignment is really all about accessibility and we have to keep that in mind when approaching design.

What kind of research have I done for this assignment? One of the first things I had to do was plan the layout of all the pieces of my brochure including text and graphics. So for research I looked up different examples of brochures to see different ways a brochure can be laid out. We also had to bring examples of schedules into class so we could all compare them and pick which ones we felt were the most effective. It’s important to pay attention to font size so it’s legible and the text is laid out in a manner that’s easy for people to read, especially if it’s someone that has some kind of disability since we’re keeping accessibility in mind.

SDE_CARD_BACK_4X6_FINAL Event-Schedule-TURKEY-2012-final

Given my topic of Passing Lanes I’ve also been looking at pictures of highways and passing lanes, as well as pictures of different kinds of signs that are used on streets and highways. One of the first things we did in class was put together mood boards. Mood boards help get a visual sense of what your piece could look like as it allows you to experiment with colours and fonts. Colours are important in helping to organize your information but again we have to keep accessibility in mind. Some people may be colour blind so you have to remember to keep good contrast so it’s easy for people with vision problems to read and to not strictly rely on colour. That’s why we use different font variations in our hierarchy.

Mood Board

When we hand in our final assignment we always have to include all of our process work, and later this year we will also be putting together process portfolios. And that’s why all this research is so important, it really helps you put together an assignment, you get marks for it and it will be important to the process portfolio later on. As well with all this talk of accessibility with new standards put in place it’s become something that’s important for designers and we’ll constantly have to keep it in mind when designing. What are some of your thoughts on accessibility? What kind of problems do you think you could run into and how would you approach design with all this in mind?

My Favourite three Typography Blogs

Today I’m taking a look at some Typography blogs I would like to share. As a Graphic Design student, Typography is a big part of the course and understanding how to design with type is such an important skill for a graphic designer to have.

The first blog I would like to share is called Typography Served:

First, I like the colours used in the design of this site. The black and yellow is really eye popping and grabs my attention. The site is laid out like a gallery, similar to something like Deviant Art. You can quickly see thumbnails for all of these designs people have shared. You can then click on a design to see a bigger version and read a post by the designers talking about the piece. Let me share one design I found on this site I really like.

Type design 1

I like that the design reminds me of a video game. They also put a bunch of pop cultural icons in this little city. See if you can spot Batman, Winnie the Pooh, Ryu from Street Fighter, Mario, Darth Vader, and Waldo of the Where’s Waldo books.
The second blog I would like to share is called Ministry of Type:

What I like about this blog is there seems to be all kinds of cool design related things the writer will share especially things related to type, typography, lettering and calligraphy. The writer also tags his posts with different category’s such as advertising, type & typography, pictures found online, and lettering making the blog fairly easy to search to find things that may peak your interest. If I may share something cool I saw on this blog.


Look at the cars in the lower left picture. It looks like a lower case b. I like it because it reminded me of an assignment we did for photography last year where we had to go out and find letters among things like architecture.
The third blog I would like to share is The Font Feed:

The reason I like this blog is because they have posts talking about fonts they recommend, they also talk about type tips and have tutorials, which is great for anyone learning typography. And they also give all kinds of examples of fonts that are in use. For example the fonts used in the main title designs of certain tv shows as they talk about in this post:
Well, I hope these blogs get your creative juices flowing. Hopefully there’s something that catches your interest or there’s something that you find useful. Remember there’s a whole world of creative people out there and we can all inspire each other.


Sale la primavera, salimos todos by Jose Alvarez Carratala and Alberto J. Saorin

Flying Cars photos from by Gerry Judah