I’m not a type designer (yet!) but recently I had the awesome opportunity to do a custom wordmark for a really exciting project (deliberate vagueness reflective of top secretness). After looking through all the modern Didone typefaces I could get my hands on, we found that none of them were fitting quite perfectly for the project so I made one. Since I only had to design one word to start, I took a puzzle pieces approach [cue a flustered Giambattista Bodoni smashing a wine glass in his hand], crafting my individual type elements first and then piecing them together. From there, it was just a lot of very, very subtle adjustments, like the serif above, which made for a very calming few hours in the middle of a busy day.
"So, son, that was the day I learned that one hundredth of a millimeter adjustments really can make all the difference."- Julie

I’m not a type designer (yet!) but recently I had the awesome opportunity to do a custom wordmark for a really exciting project (deliberate vagueness reflective of top secretness). After looking through all the modern Didone typefaces I could get my hands on, we found that none of them were fitting quite perfectly for the project so I made one. Since I only had to design one word to start, I took a puzzle pieces approach [cue a flustered Giambattista Bodoni smashing a wine glass in his hand], crafting my individual type elements first and then piecing them together. From there, it was just a lot of very, very subtle adjustments, like the serif above, which made for a very calming few hours in the middle of a busy day.

"So, son, that was the day I learned that one hundredth of a millimeter adjustments really can make all the difference."

- Julie

I’ve always been a bit of a classic film buff, I find great existential comfort in the resilience of a beloved old film against decades of cultural overhaul. Every Halloween I go into movie overdrive with so many incredible (and incredibly bad) movies to watch in such a short timespan. It really just doesn’t feel right watching Night of the Living Dead in April.

My favorite moment is the title card. Intricate or minimal, a good title card sets up so much anticipation, an entire film summed up in a few dramatic seconds of type, image and music. Some choice spooooooky examples above, and to see my favorite in motion, skip ahead to the 1 minute mark here.

- Julie

If h is a chair…

While Block Club brainstorms upcoming editorial themes, stories, and features for the magazine, our graphic designers Tim and Julie begin to explore the potential visual language of each page. 

As a writer, I am awed by the power of words. When used well, they translate through language, culture, age, and experience with an effortless weight of meaning. A finished story is similar to a thoughtful piece of art; each word is a vehicle of the story’s inherent meaning, breathing with purposefulness both on its own and as a function of the whole.

Typography, then - like the structures of storytelling - is a powerful vehicle in evoking a further, more abstract experience of meaning. Perhaps in a visual juxtaposition to a word’s typical connotations, or the way its design seems to breathe life into the very bones of an idea, typography allows for a creative assault from all angles. It is a layer of expression woven into the visual fabric of the word itself.

Above, Andrew Byrom, a UCLA faculty member and graphic designer, explores the typography of everyday objects in this TEDxUCLA talk: if letterforms are imagined as actual physical objects, how does this change how we view them, how we interact with them, and ultimately how we allow the message they convey to communicate with us? “If h is a chair, then what do the other 25 characters look like?”

- Maggie

Italian design studio n9ve has fun reimagining the alphabet, creating adorably tangible representations of the words its letters so often inspire. I love the explosion of “destruction” while the old school Fréhel track warbles on happily unaware in the background. Awesome. Check out some of the video’s making over here on n9ve’s tumblr.

- Maggie

Maps, maps, maps. As someone who has been known to get lost in the stretch between her apartment and her building’s front door, I can’t speak highly enough of them. These great Theo Inglis New York postcards may not have the exact specifics you need to find your way to dinner on time, but at least you’ll be in the right neighborhood, probably, as long as you’re not me.

- Maggie