Typeface Event Poster

I chose to do the poster for WordCamp in Toronto. It’s a WordPress event. I wanted a minimalist approach to the poster, mostly because there’s not too much to go off for the event in terms of images. I also really liked the swatch colours that appear in the poster. They’re bright and attention grabbing.

The designs for WordCamp over the years have been quite different from  year to year. This gave me a little free range to design something different but not too different from what people were expecting. The 2014 website is here and the 2015 one is here for comparison.

For the logo, I chose contrasting typefaces. I liked the sans serif in the logo, so I looked up sans serif fonts for the body text. I found the body typefaces on Behance. I really liked what the designer did with their presentation and decided it’d go really well with what I was trying to achieve with the poster. Big John and Slim Joe typefaces are available for free here.

Originally, I had the WordPress logo in the middle section, but the poster looked a little too plain. I traced out the Toronto skyline to add some detail  but also keeping to the minimalist design.



Type Pairing Assignment

Originally I wanted to stick to an older style, so to use a lot of serifs. These fables also remind me of handwritten manuscripts. I hoped to find a typeface for a cool drop caps, but ended up just sticking to the Google fonts for the assignment—I especially like the W in Woodman. I sourced an image with water since the fable has a river in it.

I realized after I began doing the layout that the actual story was pretty long so I had a lot of different layout designs going to try to fit the text in the space and over the image. It turned out more modern than when I began brainstorming.

Here’s my take on the type pairing assignment.


What Is Good Design?

Good design—and not just good book design—stems from mastering the basics. Once those basics are mastered, a good design is achieved when the designer goes beyond those parameters yet effectively combines them all. Puja Khurana illustrated five core layout design principles as book covers, which are the basis of most designs.


Book Covers

The New York Times published a list online of the best covers of 2015. Unlike fantasy and scifi covers, which I’ll talk about next, these book covers have a strong connection between the graphic and the typography. Creating a design that flawlessly intertwines images and typography, and that ultimately relays the designer’s message through design, is what good design is about. I’ve found that designs like this bring something new and very cool to the table. They make you stop and say, “whoa.”

“When considering the book as a whole, I prefer that the interiors contain answers and the covers ask questions.”


Fantasy Book Covers

I read a lot of fantasy novels and that has influenced me in many ways. Good fantasy covers pair an artist’s style with the book’s story. For these types of covers there’s definitely a bigger consideration for the artwork over other layout principles. The artwork brings the story to life. You can find some excellent examples of fantasy and scifi book covers at Tor.com.

Ultimately, good design stops you and makes you pick up the book.

What Inspires Me?

I love clean and colourful designs. I guess a lot of the designs that draw my eye can be categorized as girly with their pastel and pink colours, floral patterns, and cursive fonts. Rifle Paper Co. has great printed designs and their patterns and illustrations are cute and fun.

Print products are my weakness so a lot of my inspiration comes from that medium. However, inspiration comes from many channels. On instagram I follow bakeries and food blogs. Places like Sweet Philosophy, who combine delicious food and creative design, can also inspire ideas for colour palettes, design layouts, and even packaging.

Video games can also be another avenue for creative brainstorming. Ori and the Blind Forest has amazing visuals.

I like order and clarity in design. I appreciate design that’s complex and busy, but it’s just not something I enjoy in my designs. Good design is when every piece of it falls into place and creates a seamless whole image, it creates something new and interesting and wonderful.

If you want to see more of what inspires me, check out my board on Pinterest.

Helvetica Reflection: Typeface in Book Design

Every book genre has design conventions that are there to help the reader recognize the book’s genre, and in turn, these design conventions create an overall mood or feeling. For instance, poetry covers usually rely more on typographical designs,  rather than image-based covers like those of fantasy novels.

Here’s a poetry cover:


And here’s a fantasy cover for comparison:


Additionally, looking at book series will reveal a static design throughout the covers to connect each book in the series.

Typeface brings together the design of a book cover with the image creating a connection to the genre and story. When used unconventionally—something done outside the expected cover design like Matt Sumell’s Making Nice cover—the design stops readers and prompts them to pick up the book to read the back cover. Typeface is especially important for readability on the cover and spine. If you’re browsing books in the store, the font size has to be legible from across the room.


Typefaces for Book Layout

I prefer using certain typefaces for layout design because they’re popular in interior book layout, such as Garamond.


For design that’s more text heavy, Garamond is a nice default choice because of how it appears on print. It has a traditional feel to it and it’s easy on the eyes when printed. Garamond was created by Claude Garamond in 1495. This typeface reflected the “elegance and legibility” of the French Renaissance.


Other popular fonts for interior layout can be viewed here.

Helvetica‘s Lessons

I agree with the designers in Helvetica that said looking for a specific font for a design piece is time consuming. I find myself spending so much time looking for typefaces that never really quite work. It’s frustrating and so I resort to using fonts known to me.

Re-watching Helvetica reminded me that design can change the feel of a typeface depending on the audience it’s designed for. The beauty of Helvetica is its wide range of uses in so many different designs. From government signs to store displays to ads, Helvetica is diverse in its representation of the designer’s vision. Even though some typographers said the typeface is bland, I think that in the hands of a skilled designer it can be used in a way to give it individuality and expression.

So maybe I can expand my creativity on how I use my default fonts, but I also want to expand my inventory to create a library of typefaces that work in my designs.


About Garamond – http://www.linotype.com/3474/garamond-font-feature.html

Feature image from – https://litoole.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/typeclassificationdesres2.jpg

Image sources are linked in the image.