Monthly Archives: May 2017

Brushed Lettering

A technique I found when researching brushed lettering was using 4 guides ( help create an even and structured look to letterforms, the 4 guides represent ascender line, x height, baseline and descended line. I found this really useful as it helped keep consistency in my work.

I wanted to find a short inspirational quote to use for this small brief. I came across the phrase ‘learn then earn’ which I thought was a clever play on the two words closely linked together. I liked the effect the brush gave to letters, especially on the last ‘N’ where the brush was quite dry but gave a really nice effect.



Mark Making

I want to use Indian ink to create some interesting brushed letterforms for my poster. Creating a page of mark making allowed me to experimented with different brush styles, flow of ink and just allow me to get to grips with how the ink acts. Making different sized strokes, letterforms and allowing the ink to run out to create a dry brushed effect were all things I tried. I used standard paint brushes of different sizes, pieces of cardboard straight and rolled up. This was definitely useful exercise to do before going into creating whole words with this technique.

My Own Brief: Typographic Project

I have chosen to undertake the third brief which is the small typographic project that shows your skills in the area. As I have two other briefs to juggle in  the short space of time I don’t think it will be sensible to undertake a detailed time-consuming piece as I can see myself being tied down by it near the deadline.

Something I have researched and like the look of is brushed lettering/typography, especially looking into works by Alison Carmichael and Mika Melvas.

My brief:

To create a typography poster using a inspirational quote experimenting with brushed lettering using a variety of different tools to create effect. Using digital applications to scan type into, experiment with type and photography (type being the significant part)


Design Volunteers – Digital Design

I opened up my image inside illustrator and began to use the pen tool to create a line illustration of my hand and pencil. I used a medium stroke and wanted to keep the illustration as simple as possible, keeping it to outlines only.

I used a bold sans serif typeface (Gotham Ultra) in caps for the ‘design part’ and a script flowing typeface for volunteers (stinkonthedeath). A technique I experimented with is offsetting the path (creating a thick outline around each letter) which I then cut put from ‘design’ using pathfinder, creating a simple cut out effect linking the two words together.

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 11.37.18


Here is my finished logo for Design Volunteers. I’m happy with my design process and final outcome within the timeframe and I believe is a suitable solution for the brief.

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 13.12.49This is my second digital illustration from my sketches. This idea was based on a pen tool that all designers will be familiar with. I wanted to create something like a trophy or reward that I think I have achieved. Using a mix of sans serif and serif typeface to link modern and traditional techniques for design.

I like the thought behind this design however I feel the design featured above is a lot stronger for what the brief is asking for.

Colour could be easily incorporated into each design,  a lot of imagery surrounding the idea of volunteering features a lot of colours to show diversity and support from everyone.

Design Volunteers – Sketches

IMG_6331.JPGWe had two hours to come up with a logo idea for ‘Design Volunteers’. Firstly I wanted to create some sketches for the logo before going onto the computer, this was really helpful to do as it let me quickly explore all the ideas I had roughly without spending too much time on them and not worrying about accuracy like I would have on the computer.

Keeping the idea of design and volunteer I thought of all the imagery that surrounds them:

Design: pens, pencils, computers, adobe applications, pen tool ect.

Volunteer: hand raised, hands together, hearts, check box, IMG_6300.JPG

So I decided to combine the two together. I wanted to create a raised hand holding a pen/pencil to show the aspect of volunteering and also offering design work.

I decided to use my own reference imagery and take photos of my own hand using holding a pencil. Not only did it give me control of how I wanted it to look but also avoid using online reference imagery.


Alien Type – Sketches

After completing some quick rough sketches for the alien type brief I found two that I liked and thought could work well. The first being with rectangles that represent a part of each letter, however upon looking at it now could seem quite obvious when there needs to be a translation for the audience at the end of the film.

I liked the idea of the circles which I thought could be linked to crop circles, hugely linked to aliens. Each circle would represent the corner of each letter

I like this idea and would like to experiment digitally with it on Illustrator with more detail added.

Arabic Characters

Arabic typefaces is something I want to research as the brief asks to look at non-latin letterforms. This lettering is very ‘alien’ looking to me as I have no sense at all what they could possibly be saying. Basing my lettering on some of the techniques used in this lettering, such as the dots above and below letters, the straight lines and sharp curves and looking at the joining of characters.

The brief states for 5 characters to be design, however this could also be a phrase if I decide thats how its translates as Chinese letterforms often represent a whole word.

Zapf Dingbats

TC Zapf Dingbats is one of the more common dingbat typefaces. It was designed by the typographer Hermann Zapf in 1978

This is an interested typeface to look into for the Alien type brief as it is a typeface that isn’t legible to the reader however each symbol does have a corresponding letters, something that I could design myself in a similar fashion.

David Carson, radical editor of experimental music magazine Ray Gun, lent the font a degree of notoriety in 1994 when he printed an interview with Bryan Ferry in the magazine entirely in the symbols-only font – the double-page spread was of course, quite illegible and would have to be interpreted like a cryptogram for those unfamiliar with the font. He said he did it because the interview was “incredibly boring” and that upon searching his typeface collection for a suitable font and ending at Zapf Dingbats, decided to use it with hopes of making the article interesting again.’


Chinese Letterforms

You decide what they are trying to say – but your designs must work in terms of a human film audience understanding the translation reveal at the end of the film. You must base your designs on having explored a variety of non-Latin letterforms, goldsmiths and printers marks and other sign and symbol systems.

I have decided to have a quick look into Chinese letterforms as they use symbols to represent full words, so the 5 letterforms I create for this brief could create a phrase or series of words that they are trying to communicate.

The image below shows some examples of this. There is a traditional and implied version of each letter, and also versions that have been hand written and versions that are digital created using straight lines and geometric curves.

Alison Carmichael

Alison Carmichael is a London based designer who studied at Ravensbourne college of design. She mainly works with advertising agencies, design groups and branding consultants but has also been called on to do exhibition signage, window displays, pop promos, embroidered lettering, body painting, writing with ketchup, sugar sprinkles, whipped cream, treacle, loose tea leaves and even full scale crop circles.
She is known for her huge range of diversity and versatility in lettering styles.