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Book Cover

Ben Stoddard

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Anatomy of Type

Anatomy of Type

Individual letter forms have unique parts which have changed in visual form over the centuries. A nomenclature helps identify major elements of their construction. The evolution of lettering styles over time is a result of optical adjustments to the basic components by type designers over the ages.

Overlaping different fonts reveals the huge variations between different typefaces. Even though all four fonts featured in the overlap below are 76 pt, they vary in size vertically and horizontally. The spaces between the letters are different sizes, and the letters temselves have a variety of differences in the letter forms; besides the obvious lack of Serifs in two of the fonts. However the four fonts all have Caplines, Meanlines, and Baselines.

Ascender

Shoulder

Spur

Stroke

Arm

Crossbar

Stem

Spine

Subaquatic
Descender Terminal Serifs Fillet Eye Tail

Apex

Capline Meanline Counter X-hight Baseline

Subaquatic Subaquatic Subaquatic


With Fill

Garamond Futura Baskerville Gill Sans


Without Fill

Legibility Word

Legibility Letter

Anatomy of Type: Single Letter

It is easier to read the word when the bottom half is covered as opposed to the top half, because English readers start reading at the top of the page and progress towards the bottom, so we are more accoustomed to the top half of the word.

As I removed parts of each letter I discovered the the word was often still ledgible. I challenged myself to cover parts of letters that would make them practically unintelligeable, such as the bottom of the q and the top of the t. By covering the t in a controlled manner I was able to make it look like an inverted J. I then changed my excercize to make the letters still legible while being covered.

Awareness of form, the physical shape of letters, and counterform, the negative space made by forms, is one of the fundamentals of typographic design. In the image below, the counterforms of the K in Century Schoolbook are made white against a black background to higlight them and show how they are their own unique shape.

Subaquatic Subaquatic Subaquatic

Anatomy of Type: Cropping Studies

Anatomy of Type: Counterpart and Counterpoint

Anatomy of Type: Counterpart and Counterpoint

Denotes counterpart relationship Denotes counterpoint relationship

Anatomy of Type: Counterpart and Counterpoint

Typographic Kinetics

When creating an image all visual artists must balance the harmonic elements (used to create unity in a piece), against their contrasting elements, which create emphasis and visual hierarchy. In typography this is accomplished through the use of counterpart and counterpoint relationships. Typographic Counterparts are elements of a letterform that have similar elements, while counterpoints are contrasting against these. Counterpoint relationships can be made through size, weight, color, tone, or texture.

Editing each letter in my word to create value shifts while maintaining the legibility of the word Subaquatic proved more of a challenge than I rst thought. I wanted to make each individual letter interesting, as well as show variety in case, scale, typeface (Univers, Garamond, and Century Schoolbook were used), and background tone. Initially I had difculty keeping the word legible, and keeping the value shift consistent in the center of the word, however with time I ended up with these smoother, legible examples.

One thing I noticed on the rst three words was that the c at the end of Subaquatic always ended up being very small in comparison to its background. This was necessary for the value shift. In the nal example however I was able to make the c weighty and signicant; contrasting with the three that came before.

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Anatomy of Type:

Cropping Studies

The Structure of Letters

The most basic shapes of letterforms are simple strokes that are based off of handwritten letters. All upper and lower case letters t into these strokes. Each is a unique combination of horizontal, vertical, slanted, and curvilinear strokes. These are what give letters their character and meaning. Weight, size, width, italicization, and serifs (or lack theirof) all come secondarilly to these strokes. The entire alphabet can be constructed with the six basic stroke combinations shown below.

EFHIJLT

fhijlt

KMNY

VWX

vwxy

AZ

Since the times of the Ancient Greeks, capital letterforms have been based off of the simple geometric forms of the square, circle, and triangle. The basic shapes of all capital letterforms can be made using

BCDPRU

abcdgpqru

this Roman template, found on the Trojan Columns, which is composed of a bisected square, a circle, a triangle, an inverted triangle, and two smaller circles.

GOQS

mnos

Typographic Page with Chair

Typographic Page with Chair

Using the initials of the designer, Michele de Lucchi, I composed the letterforms into designs that interpreted relationships the chair entitled First, which he designed in 1983. Afterwards, I repeated the exercize, using de Lucchis full name, the chairs title, and its production date, with the goal of discovering relationships in form and usage of negative space.

Weight, Face, Size

Size, Width

Typographic Page with Chair

Typographic Page with Chair

Weight, Size

Weight, Width

Weight, Case, Size

Size, Toanality

Typographic Page w ith Chair

Typographic Page with Chair

Size, Tonality

Size, Weight, Tonality

Weight, Case

Slant, Size

Chair Hang Tag: Horizontal

Chair Hang Tage: Vertical

There are typically two catagories of type: Informational, and expressive. Many layouts will have strategically plotted out both. Informational text, such as in a book or website, is more common. It is based in the long held traditional confentions in size, spacing,and organization on a page. Expressive text can be seen more often on a poster or in motion graphics.

When using both together, the designer must decide what the ratio of the two should be, keeping in mind the communicational needs. Hirearchy must be clear, so the roles each kind of graphic plays can be read. In design things are not equal in emphasis.
The story of my life is the story of my beard. I have a twin brother, and we look so much alike that I still have doubts if I am myself or him. My personal battle through life, until I was thirty-five years old, was just to be different from him: this is probably why I studied architecture in Florence.

The story of my life is the story of my beard. I have a twin brother, and we look so much alike that I still have doubts if I am myself or him. My personal battle through life, until I was thirty-ve years old, was just to be different from him: this is probably why I studied architecture in Florence.

During the radical period of Italian architecture Michele De


Lucchi was a prominent gure in movements like Cavart, Alchymia and Memphis. While at Memphis De Lucchi designed The First Chair, rearranging form, material and color into an asthetic object that was not subbordinate to the principles of function.

De Lucchi was responsible for the Olivetti Design department from 1992 until 2002. In 1999 he was invited to renovate the network of ENELs (the Italian National Electricity Company) electric power plants and stations spread all around Italy. De Lucchi has also been hired by different banks and national organizations in order to restyle

their public image, among them the Poste Italiane (Italian National Postal Company). However, despite all this aclaim and the large accompanying projects, his current passion is carving small houses out of wood based off of his own intricate drawings.

Wh at s tart craf t-orie ed as a sma nted of e ll xpe rime product trac ion n tal p ed b roje y his soo cts pen n pr cil v ove opp ery d to ortu be nity obje to m an cts ake Mila usin gies nes g te e ar on t Mic chit he m chnolo indu hele ect argin stria De a pa l pro s of Luc c rt of h ele chi duc the de L was tion mov a a . Miucc van eme piec hi c t-ga nt e of and reat rde this scu Mem s Alchy ed lptu aes mia phis the r t ew hetic yea dur ith obje rs o radic f the ing ct. Mat al e m e x o r ia perim st in d ls, f colo esig orm enta r an n. and tion d sh re-a s ape r rang are The ed a ger Firs n sub t Ch des ordin d no lo air w selv igne nate as es t d in them che o 198 t o le D h f fun e pr 3 by e incip c Luc Mila Michi is co tion. Th les n-b for t is ch nsid Mem ased c ered air pos omp he phis t-mo aw any , wh a st o dern rk o ir in o ca f art. the use in th d des e 19 ign 80s w orld .

in ra, Italy in 195 1, Ferra

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