Posts Tagged ‘ calligraphy ’

More cycling inspiration

This lovely spread from Bike magazine present two contrasting typographic examples: The ceramic tiles on the pizza oven on the right proudly declaring the date of its creation, and the fluid calligraphy on the back of the t-shirt, lower right.


What the Dickens?

For an article about Charles Dickens, who was born 200 years ago this coming February 7th, Smithsonian magazine feature an illustration by James Victore. The portrait of the author contains some rather creative calligraphy.

Calligraphy for fashion designers

I’m certain this is a commercial typeface and not calligraphy, so I apologize for the misdirection. The closest match to the type is Kuenstler script, although the weight of the type is much lighter in this ad.

As a solution to a communication problem—how to represent the names of so many fashion designers—the page is elegant and stylish, and articulates the idea of high fashion without a hundred logos.

Calligraphy as illustration

This marvelous calligraphy originally appeared in an advertisment published in New York magazine. A great example of type as image.

This is real craftsmanship, and not something that can easily be done with software alone.

Calligraphy is not typography

In my April 9th post Typography hiding in plain sight, I called attention to poor typography on a packaging label for salt.

Sam Ricks was kind enough to point out the typeface used, Bickham Script Pro, contains many alternate characters. But how is this possible?

Welcome to OpenType.

This font software, launched in 1996, and jointly developed by Microsoft and Adobe, deserves a quick look. There are many advantages to OpenType typefaces, but the everyday user should know of  the two fundamental differences between OpenType and earlier Postscript typefaces.

1. OpenType is cross-platform compatible. Meaning quite simply that you can use the same type software on both an Apple and a WIndows computer. This is important because when files are shared between people on different platforms, type will appear on screen and in print the same way, allowing for seamless editing and design, as long as both users have the same typeface.

2. OpenType can contain thousands of glyphs in each weight of a typeface. Contrast this with earlier fonts which have only a couple of hundred possible glyphs. In practical terms this means type designers can add extra glyphs to a typeface such as alternative letter shapes, ligature combinations, old style numbers, small capitals and even ornaments. And for graphic designers, we can access these extra glyphs—such as the alternate letters shown in the example below—by simply opening the glyph palette in InDesign, Illustrator, and so on.

And that makes us budding calligraphers very happy. The examples below look calligraphic, but are created very easily on the computer by accessing those alternate glyphs: Look at the C, h, d, and y in the three samples, all of which are alternate letters, and there are many more:

A little trial and error is necessary as you experiment with the combinations. In fact some of the alternate glyphs are meant either to begin or finish a word, but it’s well worth spending the time seeing what works as some unexpected and delightful combinations will result.

One final note. In order to tell if a typeface is OpenType it will have the suffix Pro at the end of the typeface name.

You should only use two typefaces

“Use only two typefaces,” is a typographic principle that many professional designers adopt. It’s a rule with which I agree.

To be accurate, if you include the magazine title, and count the calligraphy as a typeface, there are three typefaces in this design.

But the large calligraphic type acts like an image. It’s a dominant, contrasting and dynamic element that draws the eye. The use of the primary color palette adds to the boldness of the design.