Font’s Anatomy

When talking graphic design you very frequently get into typography. Therefore, as a professional, you should be able to speak about typography in an educated manner. Bellow are a list of terminology that will help you communicate with clients and your team members.

Font Family V.S. Font Style

Font families refer to the design of the font. Arial, Times New Roman, and Helvetica are examples of Font Families. Font Styles refers to the variations within each family such as Narrow, Bold, and Italic.

Font Categories

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Font Families are all categorized based on a few general features. This is a list of typical Categories

  • Serif- fonts that have lines extending from the main strokes of each character 
  • Sans Serif- SANS means WITHOUT in French. Sans Serif refers to fonts that do not have Serifs. 
  • Slab Serifs- Fonts that have thick Serifs 
  • Decorative- Fonts with ornate characters
  • Display- Fonts with really thick characters
  • Script- Fonts that are reminiscent to cursive handwriting   

Anatomy of a Font

  • Point Size- Actual size of the font: top of Ascender to bottom of Descender  
  • Ascender- The parts of the character that extends above the X-Height
  • Descender- The parts of the character that extends below the X-Height
  • X-Height- The main character body size
  • Base Line- The imaginary line that the text sits on, like imaginary lined paper.

 

Tracking

The uniform spacing between each character. You can squish text together or elongate them by messing with the Tracking. Here is an example: HELLO,    H  E  L  L  O. Just be careful, characters that are spaced too far apart or too close together can become hard to read.

Kerning

Kerntype

There are times where you want an uneven spacing between two characters, perhaps because you want to add emphasis between the connection or just for visual appeal. Whatever the reason, this alteration is referred to as Kerning. Kerntype is a web-game that helps you understand how Kerning works.

Leading/Line Spacing

Untitled-12Refers to the amount space places in between each line of text.

When there is too little leading the words get squished together and the text can become hard to read.

When there is too much leading then the readers eye may have difficulty connecting the end of one line of text to the beginning of the next line of text. The paragraph may become disjointed.

So you should be aware of the amount of leading between your lines of text. You can get creative and alter it, just do so with intent and consciously.

 

Happy writing!

 

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So You Think You Can Draw?

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher

“Practice makes perfect” is something we have been told at least once in our life. While it is true, we all know there is more to the story than that. We have to understand the thing that we are practising. You can bounce around in a dance studio for years, but until you understand proper technique you are run the risk of not improving much when it comes to your dancing skills. Though I suppose it depends a lot on what your definition of dancing is. 🙂

When it comes to drawing, in particular photo-realistic drawings, people often start drawing the objects and people around them. During your first few tries you may wonder what the deformed looking blob of lines on your paper has to do with the  lamp that you were trying to draw. But the more you stick to it the more and more your lines start to resemble the objects you are attempting to draw.

What enriches and speeds up this learning process is understanding the objects that you are drawing. If you are drawing humans it is extremely helpful to understand the human anatomy. Things like the muscles shapes, proportions and how each limb move…? Studying human moment and looking at human anatomy drawings can help with that.

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If you are attempting to give your drawings some depth, like in the images above done by the very talented Diego Fazio, you really need to understand how light works. You have to understand how light reflects and interacts on/through surfaces, how/where shadows are cast, and what visual qualities differentiates textures from each other. This may require a bit more research.

Leonardo Pereznieto has a series of tutorial videos on his youtube channel FineArtEBooks that does an excellent job explaining the theory behind drawing techniques while showing you how to achieve the desired effect. In his How to Draw a Water Drop Step by Step he explaining how light reacts with water and what techniques can help you achieve the illusion.

His channel has videos under 6 categories:

  • Uploaded videos 
  • People and Body Parts Tutorials
  • Tutorials with Textures and  Effects
  • Animals
  • Painting Tutorials
  • Art and Culture

There is a wealth of information in his videos and it is well worth your time to go through them. Keep in mind though that there are many different technetium and schools of thought methods and tools to use. For example Pereznieto encourages smudging with a soft brush where as others discourage smudging all together and suggest you achieve the gradient simply by controlled pressure of the graphite.

This video by TheVirtualInstructor quickly goes through a few different styles and ways to draw. All of them useful in their own way to achieve specific effect and or mood.

So in summary “informed practice makes perfect.”

London Art Studio Tour

This past weekend the artists of London, ON held the London Artists’ Studio Tour. The 27 artists involved opened their studios to the public so that they could show their work, their spaces and sell some art work. Work that was displayed varied from metal work to glass to paint to fabrics. This was a great opportunity for a new artist to the city to see what’s happening in the area and get familiar with the artists who work here. The tour was self guided and all free.

It was interesting to see the different approaches to art and to studio spaces. Some artists work separately from their home, some with a store front, and others with studios in their homes or renovated backyard sheds. The tour was really interesting and a lot of fun! It was a great way to raise awareness of the artists that are working in London, how they work and where the interest lies within the city. Below are some pieces that were on display on the tour…

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Art Journaling

A good way to unwind and clear your head is to get a few ideas sketched, written, or explored in your sketchbook. If you’re a perfectionist this can sometimes be stressful because of worry about not getting a good sketch or final style work on the page. This isn’t really what sketchbooks are for, they are for getting all ideas (good and bad) out onto paper and out of your head. This will make room for more ideas, concepts, methods, and styles.

If you’re not sure what you can do with your sketchbook or not sure where to start, explore!!! There are many different resources available online displaying different artist journals, how they use them, where they take their ideas and what they do with them later.

Here are a few examples of what is out there (click on images to view the sites):

The Smashbook

The Smashbook is my new favourite! Charissa provides images of her posts, online classes, and has recently introduced ‘Prompt Friday’ to help those of us who get stuck every once in a while. She also has a great list of 50 journal prompts for those who can’t wait until Friday.

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Balzer Designs

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An Uninterrupted View

P1020968[1]Don’t be afraid of ruining your sketchbook, it is there to help you out. Who knows? You could come up with a brilliant idea for some line work by looking at that new rip on the page. Set you and your sketchbook free! Journal it all!!!

Please take some time to check these artists out and please feel free to share any other link or artist that you use for your journaling inspiration.

 

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The Blank Page

 

Does Your Resume Actively Reflect You?

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There is no question about it, your resume has to have a visual appeal. It has to stand out. How much it stands out depends on the field you are in and the particular firm/company/office you are applying for. Obviously there are some universal does and don’ts, such as editing. But there is flexibility in how your resume is presented, especially if you are in the market for a creative position. It is important that your resume, cover letter, and portfolio (if one is required) represent you and your personality not just in terms of the information but also in its visual appeal.

imagesNaldz Graphics is a Design Blog that dedicates itself to providing useful information, inspirations, tutorials and resources to the Design Community. There is a well of information there.

Here are three links that go over some basic dos and don’ts for a graphic design resume. However, these tips are great for EVERYONE. Even if you are applying for the least creative job you should pay attention to the way you present your information. A little extra effort can go a long way. Obviously an accountants resume should not be in a booklet form with colours and pictures. But the layout of the information, emphasis, and font still matter.

Best Practices to Bear in Mind for a Graphic Design Resume

10 Graphic Design Resume Tips

Mistakes in Creating a Graphic Design Resume

Also it is very worthwhile to look around to see how others have approached and personalized their resume. A simple “creative graphic designer resume” image search on google will give you lots of inspiration. So get creative and do not miss this opportunity to show the hiring party who you are before a single word is read. It will make all the difference.

The Pasta Killer!

Hello lovely readers! A North Bay film team needs our help to make their dream a reality!!!

My friend Josh has been part of the development of the film noir mini series entitled “The Pasta Killer”. Now the team is looking to develop the story into a feature film AND it’s going to filmed in NORTH BAY,ON! But, they can’t do it alone, they need our help with donations in the form of props, money, locations, costumes, and MUSIC! Anyone out there who is willing to help out please visit The Pasta Killer website and get some more information on how you can help.

Status

Hello blog world. I hope March was a creatively productive month for you all. For me it has proven to be very interesting and fun. Social media was a big focus for me this past month. This upcoming month is all about Nivå6 project. Project 4 has been posted for a while and I have not given it the focus it needs up till now. Project 3 (which is a running project) needs attention as well. 

Updates on Personal Projects

01 Journey on Colourful Waters

This project is such a nice de-stressor  I am really taking my time with it.

03 Goldcrock

I have been brainstorming/sketching a bit for this project. I have little to no experience with drawing and creating superheroes so I am really having fun with this one.

07 PULP: Paper Art Party

I had been talking to a few people about coming up with a paper art installation proposal for PULP as I was not in a position time wise to do it on my own. Besides working on light projects like this tends to be the most fun with a group of people. Unfortunately most of the people were not in a position to commit to the project so I decided to focus my energy elsewhere. I will still be attending the party and you should as well. It will not disappoint.

09 Social Media Craze.

I have had so much fun with this. It has really taken up a huge chunk of my time getting me to be very active, especially with taking pictures. 

Twitter: TheGoldieK    

– I am using Twitter as a social media connector of sorts. Anything that is related to any of my social media activities gets posted on Twitter. You can check out what I am up to on a more frequent basis there.

Instagram: TheGoldieK

– Instagram has really pushed me to get out there and re-discover my city. I am really enjoying this platform. I have actively been posting pictures for two weeks and I have been getting good feed back. I have just above 200 followers and I have found so many amazing photographers and instagramers who inspire me. Here are what I have posted so far. Some of them are taken from the Duck Duck Goose and One Angry Swan and  the Feeding the Birds series.

If you check me out on Instagram let me know. Its always nice to hear from “familiar” people

LinkedIn: Golrokh Keshavaz

-I am relatively new to this platform and I have yet to really put it to use the way it is meant to be used. But from what I see it is truly a powerful platform for networking. Looking forward to get into it. Find me there as well 🙂

GK

A Productive Creative Process.

The creative process can sometimes feel frustrating. It can be very easy to get deterred by the task and end up wondering around in circles and over think everything until there is nothing left. The thing is, everyone has a tendency to get lost with out a map. Of course the navigation can become second nature with practice but that does not mean that there is no navigation.

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I came by an article entitled Saving the Spark: Developing Creative Ideas written by Mark Boulton and published in Graphic Design in 2008. Reading this article really made me think about how I work as a designer and artist.  I was already following some of the steps and others were done subconsciously but I was much more productive when I was conscious of steps Boulton lays out. The article broke down the process in  a series of steps and guidelines, to making the process a bit more manageable. I re-read the article and “summarised” it. I basically added in some of my own experience as well. The article is still highly worth reading.

  1. Identify the “Idea Brief”. Basically one or two sentences that identify the problem/question that needs to be answered. 
  2. It is now time to start answering the Idea Brief. This process takes time and plenty of work so please allow yourself that. A very effective way to do this is through a Brainstorming Session. Keep in mind, at this stage the more ideas you get out the better it is. The point is to get as many ideas out on the table as possible so that you have plenty of things to consider and play with. Depending on what you are working on and how you work best you may opt to write down the ideas or record them.  If you are working alone (for a school project or something) be sure to document everything that comes comes to your mind. If you are working within a team setting or for a client, it is important to make sure the team dynamic is benefiting the project instead of against the common goal, namely coming up with the best solution. Boulton suggests the following elements to be crucial in a successful and productive Brainstorming Session. The following can also be helpful when working by yourself as well.
  • The project team (unless you are working alone on your own project): Having the key stake holders (the client) as part of the initial Brainstorming Session is important as they are more likely to receptive to future developments and also because you can weed out ideas that don’t work for them earlier on in the game.
  • A Good Facilitator: An impartial person who is trained in creative facilitation should be a part of the Brainstorming Session. They are basically in charge of ensuring that the conversation and development progress goes smoothly and in a timely fashion while giving everyone a chance to speak up.
  • A Running Order: To keep everything on track. The running order is a check list and guideline of sorts for the facilitators. An example of one is:
    1. Attendees introductions / ice-breaker: To help everyone feel comfortable in the setting
    2. Reveal the Idea Brief—the aim of the day: Everyone has to know what the problem is before they try to solve it.
    3. The rules of brainstorming: To keep things orderly and productive.
      • All ideas are equal
      • We’re here to have lots of ideas
      • No judging
      • Analyse the ideas later
      • Everyone’s equal (no pulling rank)
      • Have fun
      • Keep to time
      • One idea at a time
    4. First Burst: Ideas start being shared.
      1. everyone gets a chance to say what their ideas/and thoughts are about the project. These ideas tend to be “primitive” in that they are only the initial stepping stones for the final result. The ideas also tend to be the most obvious solutions to the Idea Brief.
      2. it is important that the group does not get hung up on a particular idea or direction at this point. All ideas are welcome and equally important.
    5. Stimulus—the Four Rs: The facilitator is actively engaging members to expand and explore on the ideas brought about during the First Burst. Again it is important not to get stuck on or analyse a particular idea. Moving forward is important. The Four R’s is one method used by facilitators.
      1. Revolution: Turning ideas on the head. For example what if a four legged chair had no legs?
      2. Re-Expression: Putting yourself in the shoes of the user of the product. For example if you were a young mother, what would you be looking for in an everyday shoe?
      3. Related Words: List words that are related to the subject at hand and see how they can play on each other’s strengths. For example running and healthy eating: What elements of running can promote healthy eating?
      4. Random Link: Forcing a link between two completely different things that offer their in order to come up with one product that offers both benefits.

6.  Passionometer: 

  • The last step of the brainstorming session. The facilitator reads every Idea out loud and allows for everyone to rate each idea. The best ideas get passed on to the next stage which is usually focused more around a central idea. It is more controlled rather than a free for all brainstorming session.

These steps are very helpful in group environments but can be used for personal projects as well. They will help you move forward with your ideas rather than getting stuck, over think an idea to the point of killing it, and/or becoming frustrated with your self or your team members. If you would like to read the article the above points are based on please click on the flowing link Saving the Sparkle: Developing Creative Ideas