This semester I am taking a class called “Computer Imagery.” It is a pretty vague title, but so far the class has been interesting to someone intrigued by the intricacies of prepress file preparation and printing.
First & Second Project
The first two projects were connected. We were to choose a business that we thought needed an updated store front sign. Then redesign the sign in Illustrator and do a partial mock-up in Photoshop.
The biggest issue with project one was not knowing that project two was building on this and what the color limitations would be. We were introduced to Pantone Spot colors.
For this project we were to select two spot colors and create a stationary set for the business we selected in the first project.
After some back and forth, I decided it was best to eliminate the organic image behind the text and de-emphasize the “Paint Co” portion of the graphic element.
The lighter colors shown are tints of the chosen Pantone colors.
Last night I finished up working on my second project for Type Design. As you may recall, we were to pick fonts that somehow illustrated the names of five historic places. My final cut came down to Eden, Timbuktu, Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, and Avalon.
Timbuktu and Stonehenge gave me the hardest time. I found a font I loved for Timbuktu really early on in the process. The problem was when I went to add some decoration. My professor suggested I add an architectural element between the “b” and the “k” in Timbuktu. Researching Timbuktu’s architecture left me with some very sad looking results. The buildings aren’t grand ornamental places like the Taj Mahal. They are mud squares with some turrets. I did add an element, but after much fuss I still was not super happy with the results.
Stonehenge wasn’t as bad. I added in a light shadow to the letters and some “grass.” I was pretty happy with the end results on this one. Could have been better, but not bad.
Eden is probably my favorite. It went a little different direction than I initially anticipated, or even the look of my second go. Initially, I wanted to place a stylized leaf under the word mark. The professor didn’t like that idea. He thought incorporating an apple would be better. I put it in the second “e.” First I tried just making that “e” red and putting a stem and leaf on top. He didn’t like that either and suggested I put in an apple with a bite out of it. So that is what i ended up with. My wife didn’t like the roundness of the apple, but I think it works in this context.
Glad this one is behind me. Now… onwards!
The remaining two had some hand drawn elements, and I did not have time to scan them before submitting them to the professor. I will get those uploaded once we receive our grades.
Today in class, I showed my initial roughs to the professor. He was somewhat supportive. Somewhat. I think he liked some of the thoughts, but not the outcome I have come to so far. Below are the ideas I presented:
I was disappointed he didn’t like the Stonehenge at the bottom. I thought it was a creative approach. He suggested something I thought was a little more cliche. He did like the Taj Mahal, but suggested a few changes. I am going to pursue those tonight probably. He also liked the font I used for Timbuktu, but thought that the decorative element needed to be re-thought.
We were assigned our second project in Type Design. We have to pick from a list of mythological or otherwise historically aggrandized cities. The ones I have picked are: Avalon, Stonehenge, Delphi, Taj Mahal, Eden, and Timbuktu. Trying to narrow to just five. We were to take the names of the cities and knowledge of their historical significance and pick a font that somehow symbolizes each place.
This mythical city is associated with the legend of King Arthur. Avalon is a place (an island), whose name somehow means “Apple Island”. Avalon is believed to hold healing powers. The Arthur legend contends that the king was taken here after being near mortally injured in battle and fully recovered.
The first thought that popped into my head was to use a Gothic font with lots of embellishments. I even found one called Fancy Card that has an element reminiscent of a sword through the upper case letter forms. However, that seemed a little cliche.
Thinking harder about the name and the legacy, I decided that the word Avalon seems airy and somewhat whimsical. Even the legacy is lends to a feeling of un-earthiness. Something more playful and flow-ie seemed to be more in order.
The name conjures up thoughts of pagan societies sacrificing virgins or performing some forgotten rituals. A little research reveals that Stonehenge was most likely a burial site of sorts for an ancient Druid society. The site itself is composed of many “human placed” and very large stones. The ancient nature, the seriousness of the site’s history, and stones themselves evoke feelings of heaviness and perhaps even dread.
My first thoughts were to see if there were any fonts out there called “Stonehenge”. There are. The ones I found were very cliche. Most involved either some Gothic elements or one in particular, a graphic font, made up the letter forms from stacked stones. I even tried out a couple of Celtic-ish fonts like Rane Insular. It also seemed very cliche.
I did happen on a couple of fonts that look nice and seem interesting for this project. One is called “God of War” and the other is called “VonFont“. I think I maybe still looking though. Maybe even something space age to buy into the myth that Stonehenge is an alien landing port.
Delphi is a city in ancient and modern Greece. The ancient city is a place where mythology holds that Apollo defeated a Python and cast it into a crack in the earth. The Oracle of Delphi would then sit on a platform over the crack, and the scent from the decaying python would connect her with Apollo to receive messages from the god.
Hocus pocus and hooey balooey? Maybe, but that is why it is called mythology and not history!
At any rate, this story of Apollo and Delphi and Ancient Greece made me immediately think of a font reminiscent of Greek letters. The first idea is typically the worst idea, and this is the case here as well. Thinking a little harder, the thoughts of ancient gods, mystical oracles, and such conjured up some more romantic thoughts. Like the myths, romance is most times exaggerated accounts of actual happenings or probable happenings. Why not use something curvy and beautiful to represent this ancient city?
This ancient city is located in Africa, and was once on a very important trade route. During this period of time, the city rose to great prominence and was very wealthy. In more recent times, the city is in an area of high poverty and famine.
Since Timbuktu is an African city, I thought the font should reflect that in some way. However, I also thought about the fact that this place was also located on a major trade route through Europe. I didn’t want to push the African theme too far. I found a font called ArmWrestler than has some hints of African elements, particularly in the capital “T”. I also found a nice (really nice) looking font called Museo. The letter forms are reminiscent of a trail. Maybe even a partially missing trail. The letters seem to link together in broken fashion.
Also referred to as the Garden of Eden, is a mythological place referred to in the Christian Bible. This is the place where Adam and Eve dwelled until the partook of a forbidden fruit, and then they were cast out by God. These are truths I learned in Sunday School as a kid. Further investigation reveals that the word “Eden” is derived from an Aramaic word meaning fruitful.
First came the typical cliche ideas. Thoughts of apple or fruit shaped letter forms or perhaps some very curvy type that alluded to nudity or sensuality came to mind. These were all crap ideas. Way too obvious. The “low hanging fruit” if you will.
I thought about what time in American history was particularly “fruitful”. There have been several periods that were thought to be fruitful, the 1950s and the 1990s come to mind. However, I thought back further to the 1920s.
The 1920s were a time of fruitfulness for much of the developed world. Industrialization was on the rise. This gave people, even average citizens, an opportunity to have more free time than ever before while still living comfortably. Even though prohibition was happening in the United States, people were living the high life. We saw the rise of baseball greats like Babe Ruth, the birth of jazz, and the beginning of art movements like Bauhaus and Surrealism (two of my favorites).
I decided a font that celebrated the 1920s was where I wanted to take this portion of the project. I came up with the idea of using a nice serif font with Art Deco styling. Something that looked like it came straight out of The Great Gatsby.