This is going to be a little bit long, so just bear with me.
Today I spent the day in Starbucks. I had a 2:15 meeting where I was told that my CV was excellent and then band practice at 7pm where I suggested a song and now they want me to lead it. But anyway, I had to find somewhere to wait out of the rain between the two and I used the wait as an opportunity to draw and think. So whilst I was sitting there, sipping on my Venti Caramel Machiatto I came to a realisation about typography and, I guess, myself.
Typography first, then. I was sat there and started on something and then that sort of drifted into another though and then I had idea jumping to idea flowing to inspiration (although inspiration might be putting it a little strongly.) That is why today’s is so long as I’m going to cover as much of it as possible.
It started out with me trying to draw the Quality,Speed and Cost triangle. The basic idea is that You can pick two from the following:
- A product that is of good Quality
- A product that is delivered Quickly, or
- A product that is cheap.
Distilled it’s something like this.
There are pictures, but this is going to be a long enough post as it is already and they probably aren’t that important. I wanted to write the word Quality in a nice font and decided to draw my own. My idea was to draw a nice font with a double line and so I started sketching. I thought a capital A would be a good place to start. Good old A. (Why I didn’t just write ‘Quality’ I don’t know)
It was about this point that I started wondering if two lines was too complicated for me.
Does the cross bar overlap the primary triangle (I’m sure there are official names for these). Does only half? If only half does the one touching the outside lines (the longer one) go above or below the shorter one? Do they only overlap on one side? Does only one of the cross bars on one side cross? Does the inner line stay inside or cross?
Does each one tell me something different, a new story? Which shouts quality more and which showgirls? Does one make it look more African and one more refined? If each line were a different colour does it look like a drop shadow, or a copy? Or a psychadelic drug trip? Hell I’ve not even looked at the ANGLE of the damn thing, let alone the angle of the two outside (primary?) lines.
And is any of it original? Should I care? Can there be an absolute of originality or just a scale? Does a scale imply an absolute?
And I’m not even using Serifs.
B was filling me with terror by this point.
I swear that I just about gave up, then and there but I realised something, fear is the only thing that is stopping (good?) design. I’m afraid of doing something unknown and not knowing the result that I will finish with so in a way I’d rather never start.
So I stopped, took a deep breath and decided on a rule or three and came up with the below as something to work from and I was going to finish it no matter what.
I’m not happy with what I got, but it’s a point to start from. I tried to make the “Primary” lines vertical open at either end and no overlaps. I’m not completely happy with the result as you can see with the t,i and l that I tried to redraw. But it’s something and it’s a starting point. I don’t think it looks that classy so from that point of view it’s a failure, but from another it’s a starting point.
I got a little creative at this point and tried to come up with a font that uses as little of the letter form as possible whilst still having the letter recognisable. Needs work. But as you can see I got past my block and started thinking creatively (I hope).
Moving on I then started thinking about the form of the letters and out of nowhere a thought came to me about using letters only, to draw a scene and I’ve got two here I want to work on further. (The second one is the little one up in the top left.
Last but not least I started on the A-Z of Graphic Design idea by just writing down every word I could associate with it. I’ll post up the list tomorrow, it got quite long but I’m pretty sure I didn’t cover every letter.
What I learnt today is to get past my fear of the thing not being as good as you are hoping it will be and to just do and it will lead somewhere good. The other thing I learnt is that WordPress thinks that ‘learnt’ isn’t a word.