TYPEFACE vs. FONT: Is it the same thing?


Typeface vs. Font:Two terms all too often mixed up that make or break your credibility as a graphic designer. All too often do I see designers mix these these terms. These terms are as important as knowing the Rule of Thirds or CMYK vs. RGB. These are terms of the design industry and, like all industries, if you are to be effective within the industry, you must know your terms and know how to effectively use them.
An example of this confusion occurred the other day during a class I am taking at Butte College. The instructor of the class, who is guiding students through design basics before diving them into multimedia projects asked for students to identify the difference between the terms “typeface” and “font”. Being a designer for several years, an a typography enthusiast, I was the first to answer, eagerly wanting to prove my knowledge to the class. I answered correctly (very similar to this).

 

To my alarming surprise, the instructor slapped down my answer and proclaimed the right answer to be the exact opposite of the truth. Here he was, giving a group of over 30 impressionable students the wrong information with a loud sense of confidence to solidify his claims in their mindset. This is tragic. Not only is he wrong about important industry terms, but as a teacher, he is teaching future designers and artists the term with the wrong definition, thus furthering ignorance on these terms both in and out of the industry.

 

So, how do we counter this ignorance that is plaguing the industry? What do we do about teachers who are in fact wrong? What is the moral of the story here?To be honest, I have a few ideas but I cannot say for sure what is the best way to go about solving these problems.  The big question is this: Do you know the terms? Do you have any ideas on how to turn around this confusion that is plaguing the industry?

 

Talk about it.

 

References for additional info:
http://aboncha.wordpress.com/2008/06/19/typeface-vs-font/
aboncha.wordpress.com/2008/06/19/typeface-vs-font/
http://www.publish.com/c/a/Graphics-Tools/Font-vs-typeface/

 

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Logo Concept – Fall 2012


Logo Concept – Fall 2012, originally uploaded by innov8ional.

Via Flickr:
As part of a design challenge, I was to design an entirely new logo than the one currently in use. This was to be a challenge in concept, color, and overall execution. Here are the results.

Designed using Adobe Illustrator CS5. All rights reserved.

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CURRENT PROJECT: RMS Titanic poster (WIP)


RMS Titanic poster (WIP), originally uploaded by innov8ional.

Check out the latest digital illustration project currently under development. This poster is celebrating the beauty and majesty of the RMS Titanic.

Inspired by the centennial anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic sinking, this poster is the first of a series of pieces due to be completed throughout the rest of the year.

Keep an eye out for updates on this and future pieces in the growing series.

“Captain America” Salutes Great Poster Design


“In the future there will be a world with no flags,” proclaimed Schmidt, played by actor Hugo Weaving, as he tried to hold off imminent defeat. As some of you can already figure out, I recently watched Captain America: The First Avenger, the much anticipated film release from Marvel Studios. I will admit that I had a lot of skepticism about the quality of this film while going to see it. I worried it was going to be yet another corny, poorly executed action film that would that would lack the quality needed to be taken seriously, let alone be enjoyable. What did eventually bring me to see the “Captain America” was part of its promotional campaign: posters designed in the style of propaganda posters from the early World War II era – the period in which the film is set.

This clever use of the design style was a brilliant marketing strategy: it used effective graphic design which was also relevant to the film (see below for examples). This enabled the production of effective visual communication pieces that not only got the message of the film out, but it was part of the user experience that allowed the viewer to quickly get a sense of the world they would be stepping into with the film. This approach is far more clever than those typically employed with film promotion posters. These designs were not seen in theaters (as far as I saw) but circulated around the web. It is also to be said that not all films can use this strategy – or can they? I can recall several films who attempted this approach, such as Wall-E, but did it half-heartedly or gave it so little public exposure it was ineffective. (Examples). An example of a film that used this strategy and did it well? Cars 2 (posters by artist Eric Tan).

Captain America posterCaptain America poster 2

Captain America Hydra poster.Another brilliant piece by artist Eric Tan. See more of his work at http://erictanart.blogspot.com/.

At the end of the film also came another surprised relating to this promotional strategy. No, it was not the teaser at the end of the credits. The surprise was actually the credits themselves. To continue the user experience and tie the promotional material more strongly into the film (not to keep design geeks in their seats)  the film producers used 3D rendering, animation, and depth effects on classic American propaganda posters from the World War II period and tied them in with the credit typography. Bravo, Marvel, bravo!

___

So what makes propaganda posters so great in the first place? Simply put, a majority of posters from the World War II are some of the most effective examples of visual communications in existence. (Okay, a close tie to classic Swiss graphic design). As one of the best users of propaganda, Adolf Hitler said, “By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.” And these pieces achieve just that. See some brilliant examples below.

World War II Propoganda Poster, "Award for Careless Talk".

As the first poster demonstrates. There is a very clear and clever use of both the typographic and graphic elements of the design: the color choices are high contrast, the illustration and type provide an easy flow throughout the piece, and the copy is written very clearly however leaves room for to sometimes carry deeper meanings than initially found at first glance. The second poster “(2)”, which is from the same series, follows all of these design principles and takes it further by playing with the type for the word “England” and putting it onto an active graphic element within the composition thus better tying the copy, the graphic elements, and the meanings together in a more visual, yet stronger way.

World War 2 Propoganda poster "Careless Talk"

(2) World War 2 Propoganda poster "Careless Talk"

What these posters are doing is what every piece of advertising you see everyday attempts to accomplish: a clear message, a well executed image, and something clever for the mind to latch on to and thus increase the retention of the message. Think about it, does a lot of the advertisements you see achieve this? Sadly, no. The execution of many pieces seen today is ruined by artists adding fluff (effects, too many graphic elements, etc.) to the visuals and as minimal copy as possible.
The visuals here are well executed, and often well detailed, but were done so with great care given to the delivery of the message. Follow the illustration of the arm in the next image – it provides a very clear direction for the eye to travel. Even down to the vain in the hand plays a part in moving the eye through the image and connects it to other details in the composition that can be used to move the eye from the top left corner of the poster to the bottom right. Even the details play a role in achieving a successful execution all the while adding great visual detail. See below for even more great posters that demonstrate these concepts.
To conclude this all together – referring to classic print design pays off. The execution of the propaganda style promotional poster, which both fit the time and style in which the film was set, brought a skeptical consumer and converted them into a paying consumer. Which means someone’s marketing dollars were well spent. I hope more designers take notice of this strategy, and the artists who do it brilliantly, and move in this direction. It helps start the customer experience far before stepping into the venue. However, when doing it, look at the classics and understand why they are just that. Step away from pretty details that don’t contribute to the experience of the end product. Remember, the promotional poster is to drive the user experience of the product in which it is promoting, it is not to drive it’s own unique consumer experience. And to those who are curious – yes, I enjoyed Captain America. Go see it! 

"Buy War Bonds" World War II Propoganda PosterNazi Germany World War II propaganda poster.

"He May Never Get There" World War II Propaganda poster.

Sources:
Quote: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/propaganda/2.html
Images: Various sources all found through this search on Google.
Eric Tan posters: http://erictanart.blogspot.com/


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I Don’t Feel Creative Today


So lately I have not been feeling creative. Why? Well, I recently was injured on my leg and it turned into a severe infection. Literally. Overnight. Due to multiple procedures, medication, and the general stress of the process I have felt zapped of energy. I have several articles in development and hope to get them out on a scheduled release soon. Please have patience.

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy a quick image I threw together. It helped me get through the day.

I don't feel creative today poster

"I don't feel creative today."


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The Hidden Seductiveness of Cooper Black


Cooper POP Poster macro shot

A macro shot of my Cooper Black pop art inspired poster.

Cooper black – it is everywhere. It is popular. We know it for it’s big curves and it’s bouncy playfulness that cannot be taken seriously. It is a typeface that many mom and pop small businesses use to try to express a fun, welcoming feeling.

In a project, I was asked to take Cooper Black, which everyone knew I loathed at the time, and make the glyphs within the tyepface more serious and striking graphic elements in a series of posters. I will not deny that at first I had my doubts, but I soon learned there was beauty in this funny typeface.

Cooper comparison poster

A timed peace featuring Cooper black and Century.

The typeface Cooper, incase you do not know, was designed by famous type designer Ozwald Cooper. Around 1919, Cooper was approached with the challenge of designing a typeface that was easy for people to read. In particular, he was to design a typeface that would help those with poor vision. At the time, Chicago, like many large cities, had a mass of type-based advertising. It was everywhere and everyone was clamoring to have their message seen. Cooper produced a typeface that not only delivered a message successfully to the straining eyes of Chicago, but stylistically it stood out. Boldly. Today, Cooper Black, the iconic weight of the typeface, see’s a lot of use. However, for years following it’s release, Ozwald Cooper developed many weights and variations of the typeface including a beautiful variation inspired by Bodoni, known as Cooper Modern.

WAR Poster

A poster made entirely of typographic elements.

To the right is another exploration with Cooper black I undertook during the project. This poster, “WAR: Magisterial | Fuselage” was a timed piece where I had to race against the close and make a composition entirely of glyphs from Cooper Black. I used Cooper black throughout the entirety of the piece. Okay, except on one element. (Can you find it?)

Below is the cover to the book of posters. This was the piece where I found that the curves of Cooper black could be sexy, even seductive. This was an amazing project and I hope to see more use of this typeface in a seductive, serious way. This is a gem many graphic and type designers tend to over look. Trust me folks, Bodoni, Helvetica, and Futura is not all where it’s at. Scroll down to see more pieces of my work produced during this project.

Please share your thoughts and comments as well.

Cooper Black cover page

Cooper Black cover page

The Birth of Cooper Black

The Birth of Cooper Black painting (D.M. Anderson.)

Cooper Black pop art poster.

Complete copy of the Cooper black pop art poster shown above.

Like this poster? Check it out and my other products on my store hosted by Zazzle: http://www.zazzle.com/innov8ional


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