exercise: Text

March 8, 2014


This part of the exercise was mostly a challenge of staying focused and efficient while executing the mundane, a necessary part of the design process (until you can pay someone else to do it – wishful thinking!). I found that at both the smaller and larger font sizes, getting the first letter precisely dialed in to initially overlapping the template it was useful to abandon the selection tool (black arrow), and use the x, y, w and h coordinates in the top left corner of the tool bar. After that, kerning, tracking and leading could all be more precise. Of course it was frustrating to not be able to match the fonts exactly (even after a decent amount of experimenting), but trying to do so was invaluable practice in learning to memorize and absorb the individual characteristics of typefaces, and really start getting to know them.

Text exercise Part 1 (PDF)


This next part was a challenge for me, for several reasons. First, I usually normally I do A LOT of erasing. Second, I have a heavy hand when I draw (not from just being out of practice, I struggled with it even in my 4 years of art school so long ago). So even with the ball point pen, it was sometimes hard to modulate lighter and darker strokes and I started seeing that most of my thumbnails were one color only. I tried with the others to think out value placement a bit more consciously. Kind of the point of the exercise, right? Finally, I struggled with empty space, and found it hard not to slide into “filling up the space” mode. Some of the thumbnails are glaring examples of that struggle and sometimes, failure. Even now as I squint at all 24 thumbnails on the web page, they still have an overall sense of one text color, with just a few using 2 and 3 colors. Fortunately, there are a few of the one color sketches that have a more striking compositions to help them out. I’ll pick the three best and work with improving them in the digital drafts.

Note to self: I have already spent a little over 4 hours on homework and still have the 3 digital text colors and 24 poster thumbnails to complete, scan, print, and upload to site. Eeesh.

Text exercise:  text color (PDF)


Following are the three thumbnails I picked for the Conventional, Moderate, and Experimental Text layout exercises. With the conventional compostion I still wanted to have plenty of negative space. For the moderate, I crowded the bulk of the text in one shape, but attempted to find a balance between creating a dark/light/dark change in text color from top to bottom, without completely compromising the legibility of the text with the tracking and kerning. Finally, with the last, experimental composition, I was concerned more with finding an interesting two dimensional line drawing using the text, keeping it very simple, but using the excessive tracking to create the strong line strokes.

Text exercise Part 2 Conventional, Moderate, Experimental (PDF)

WAIT. What, you say?! You want EVEN MORE Conservative? You got it….this is vanilla as it comes dears…



Text exercise Part 2-4(PDF)


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