Type Savvy

Something I have to be wary of when designing a typeface is to hold back sometimes. Embellishment is lovely if done modestly and balanced well over the whole alphabet, numbers, punctuation and any other glyphs a font has; but it’s easily overdone.

The typeface I have been talking to you all about recently, called Swan, is distinguished by the swashes on most of the letters. However, it can be extremely distracting reading a whole passage of text which is set in an over-the-top font. The letters are legible, in that each letter is identifiable, but the whole piece would not be readable.

Sometimes I find myself getting carried away, and trying to add a lot of details to letters which simply don’t. need. it.

Because of this, a while back I decided that the best way to utilise my typeface would be to turn it into two styles; a regular, and a swashed display typeface. Some of the letters are exactly the same, but the more elaborate version can be used for headlines or posters, while the regular version is more readable for chunks of text. As an example, check these vs:

 

 

 

 

You sometimes have to be ruthless in choosing which letters make the cut; you can see below how many ideas for capital letters there are in my sketchbook:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But you can see that the G i have decided on is quite reserved compared to some of these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I’ve got twelve days to finish my degree so my posts may be sparse over the next few weeks, but wish me luck!

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