Flux —

How might typography be used for expression and display/artistic purposes?

How might typography be used for expression and display/artistic purposes?

flux_thumbnail2

TYPE

Typeface Design

TOOLS

Adobe Illustrator, Fontself, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Marker & Paper

TIMELINE

September - December 2017

Exploration

To begin, I started to explore and look for inspiration to create a typeface by creating a research diary and looking around me, at even the basic things, as well as the different forms that inspired me. This allowed me to look at things differently and even find letterforms from normal objects. From my exploration, I was able to create a few vectored forms of my observations. Below are some observations and experiments made.

To begin, I started to explore and look for inspiration to create a typeface by creating a research diary and looking around me, at even the basic things, as well as the different forms that inspired me. This allowed me to look at things differently and even find letterforms from normal objects. From my exploration, I was able to create a few vectored forms of my observations. Below are some observations and experiments made.

objects

Finding letterforms within objects

letterforms_one
letterforms_two

Interests & Passions

I’ve always been interested in letterforms and this inspired me to take upon calligraphy and handlettering several years ago. I realized that this project was an opportunity to expand on my passion and interest for handlettering. I decided that I wanted to base a typeface on a version of my handlettering. I started to look back at some of my work and wanted to see if there was one that I wanted to explore more deeply.

Below is some of my lettering work. Though I initially started with calligraphy, I found building a script typeface a project for another time.

I’ve always been interested in letterforms and this inspired me to take upon calligraphy and handlettering several years ago. I realized that this project was an opportunity to expand on my passion and interest for handlettering. I decided that I wanted to base a typeface on a version of my handlettering. I started to look back at some of my work and wanted to see if there was one that I wanted to explore more deeply.

Below is some of my lettering work. Though I initially started with calligraphy, I found building a script typeface a project for another time.

lettering

Process

I decided that I would create a typeface that would be a version of my handlettering. I started off by writing out the alphabet with a Crayola marker on paper. I used a few guides that would help with unifying the size of each letterform.

I decided that I would create a typeface that would be a version of my handlettering. I started off by writing out the alphabet with a Crayola marker on paper. I used a few guides that would help with unifying the size of each letterform.

From these photos, I brought them into Adobe Illustrator and traced over them with the pen tool. I traced over these letterforms in sections rather than going through it all at once. This way, I was able to make adjustments in the letterforms in case I wasn’t satisfied with the way I wrote it out on paper. Below is an example of how I traced out the letterforms, using the photo as a guide in the background.

From these photos, I brought them into Adobe Illustrator and traced over them with the pen tool. I traced over these letterforms in sections rather than going through it all at once. This way, I was able to make adjustments in the letterforms in case I wasn’t satisfied with the way I wrote it out on paper. Below is an example of how I traced out the letterforms, using the photo as a guide in the background.

After tracing out the uppercase and lowercase letters, I put them together to test out if they all looked like they belonged to the same family. From here, I made minor adjustments to make sure they visually look unified. Below is an example of how I laid out the letters to judge this.

After tracing out the uppercase and lowercase letters, I put them together to test out if they all looked like they belonged to the same family. From here, I made minor adjustments to make sure they visually look unified. Below is an example of how I laid out the letters to judge this.

letterforms

Creating the Typeface

I then used an Adobe Illustrator called Fontself to actually create the typeface. I took all the vectored letterforms and placed them into the program to the appropriate letter and character.

I then used an Adobe Illustrator called Fontself to actually create the typeface. I took all the vectored letterforms and placed them into the program to the appropriate letter and character.

batch

From here, I had to adjust the kerning between every possible character set. This was the most difficult part of the process since each character setting had its own kerning setting since my letterforms were so organic and are not all exactly the same. Since it mimics handlettering, it made sense that I had to kern every possible character set. I was able to kern each character set on Fontself and preview what it would look like (example below).

From here, I had to adjust the kerning between every possible character set. This was the most difficult part of the process since each character setting had its own kerning setting since my letterforms were so organic and are not all exactly the same. Since it mimics handlettering, it made sense that I had to kern every possible character set. I was able to kern each character set on Fontself and preview what it would look like (example below).

Characters

capitals-01

Uppercase

lowercase-02

Lowercase

numbers-03

Numbers

punctuation-04

Punctuation

Introducing Flux

I decided to name the typeface Flux based on the definitions:
1. the action or process of flowing or flowing out.
2. continuous change.

I decided to name the typeface Flux based on the definitions:
1. the action or process of flowing or flowing out.
2. continuous change.

charactersets

Since the typeface is based on a form of handwriting, I thought that the name Flux would be appropriate as it is very organic and loose. In addition, the characters can also be mixed together for “continuous change”. For example, an uppercase can be used with a lowercase and the kerning would allow the characters to fit together.

Since the typeface is based on a form of handwriting, I thought that the name Flux would be appropriate as it is very organic and loose. In addition, the characters can also be mixed together for “continuous change”. For example, an uppercase can be used with a lowercase and the kerning would allow the characters to fit together.

Typeface in Use

Below are ways in which Flux is used in artistic and expressive ways.

Below are ways in which Flux is used in artistic and expressive ways.

Mobile

"We Find Love" by Daniel Caesar, shown in Toronto Design Director's Swash & Serif 5 Showcase

"We Find Love" by Daniel Caesar, shown in Toronto Design Director's Swash & Serif 5 Showcase

FullSizeRender 9

Reflection

CHALLENGES

CHALLENGES

Creating a unified typeface
Since this typeface was based on my own handlettering, there were times where it was difficult to create a unified typeface where all the letterforms looked like they belonged to the same family. There was also the challenge of not making every letterform look the same as I wanted each letterform to be unique in its own way. Beyond just tracing what I hand-lettered, I ended up fine tuning the vectors so that the letterforms would all fit and work together. 

Kerning
One of the biggest challenges of creating Flux was kerning each character set. This was difficult because I had to go through almost every possible way letters engaged with one another. It was a really tedious process but it was worth it in the end to see that I could properly write out a sentence and it would really imitate true handwriting.

Creating a unified typeface
Since this typeface was based on my own handlettering, there were times where it was difficult to create a unified typeface where all the letterforms looked like they belonged to the same family. There was also the challenge of not making every letterform look the same as I wanted each letterform to be unique in its own way. Beyond just tracing what I hand-lettered, I ended up fine tuning the vectors so that the letterforms would all fit and work together. 

Kerning
One of the biggest challenges of creating Flux was kerning each character set. This was difficult because I had to go through almost every possible way letters engaged with one another. It was a really tedious process but it was worth it in the end to see that I could properly write out a sentence and it would really imitate true handwriting.

WHAT I LEARNED

WHAT I LEARNED

Looking for letterform inspiration
Before I started the project, I started by creating a “research diary” and keeping a catalogue of objects around me that resembled letterforms. This was a method my professor recommended and I must say that it was an interesting and helpful kind of practice. It taught me to look at things different and find inspiration in normal, everyday objects. After this, I found that there are so many kinds of letterforms I can make and so much potential for different kinds of typefaces that I could pursue in the future.

Time making a typeface
Throughout this process, I realized that making a typeface requires a lot of time. I think it’s easy to look at a typeface and think that it didn’t take long because they’re just letters. However, I learned that a lot goes into the process and as well as a lot of fine tuning to make a well-designed typeface.

Looking for letterform inspiration
Before I started the project, I started by creating a “research diary” and keeping a catalogue of objects around me that resembled letterforms. This was a method my professor recommended and I must say that it was an interesting and helpful kind of practice. It taught me to look at things different and find inspiration in normal, everyday objects. After this, I found that there are so many kinds of letterforms I can make and so much potential for different kinds of typefaces that I could pursue in the future.

Time making a typeface
Throughout this process, I realized that making a typeface requires a lot of time. I think it’s easy to look at a typeface and think that it didn’t take long because they’re just letters. However, I learned that a lot goes into the process and as well as a lot of fine tuning to make a well-designed typeface.

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE/IMPROVE ON

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE/IMPROVE ON

Glyphs
If I were to go back and work on this project more, I think I would create more glyphs for the most common character sets. I feel that this would add more of a customized look and allow for more possibilities of my typeface.

Glyphs
If I were to go back and work on this project more, I think I would create more glyphs for the most common character sets. I feel that this would add more of a customized look and allow for more possibilities of my typeface.