Friday, July 3, 2009

Expo board

This is my exposition board image.


It explains what I'm doing and shows the 10 book cover that I've designed.

Hopefully I'll have time to print out 7 of the covers coz half way through printing today I found out that my printing account wasn't credited £40. Only mine wasn't! Somehow I seem to be 'out of the system'. Same thing happened 2 terms ago when I was the only one who didn't have the timetable on NOW.

Sigh... Me, the black sheep.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cut & Paste


Surely, it is.

I've been doing some cutting and pasting lately.


And I must say it is really fun. Something different from what I've been doing; reading, writing, staring into the computer screen.


There's so much of freedom to arrange the layout as I want to. Add drop caps whenever I want to. Italic. Normal. Huge size. Tiny size. 1 column. 2 columns. 3 columns. There's just no end.


Now to the more serious part of the project. My book.

What is it about?
Typography. Which is the subject of typeface. I'm looking at the influence that was involved in their creation. Typography is not just type, it's more than that, really; It's where aesthetic meets engineering, arts meets maths, something that can be believed as a good cause. It was once craft based, created largely by skillful compositors/type designers. It has now move out of the print shop and has become a close connection to art, technology, literacy. It is now associated with avantgarde activities in communication and innovation. It was, is, and will be a subject to designers wanting to make their mark. Typography is the architecture of the written language & it is the centre of out culture. Typography is not just typography, it is language, technology, art, philosophy.

I've narrowed down from 100 years to 10 years. The 10 years I've chosen to focus is the 1920s.

Why 1920s???
Simply because it has so much of influence on Graphic Design! Even up to today the 1920s have influence so many designers; Neville Brody - influenced by Rodchenko from Constructivist, Ian Anderson from The Designers Republic - heavily influenced by constructivism, Cyberpunk - influenced by Futurism, Pop Art - influenced by Dada, just to mention a few. Also there are fonts that were created in the 1920s that are still being widely used today; Futura by Paul Renner in 1927, Broadway by Morris Fuller Benton in 1929, and many others still cover the design that are created today. The spur of growth of many art movement also happened in this decade and it gives a wide variety of influence to the work of art/design. Bauhaus, who could forget this name, set the standard for typography up to today. Jan Tschichold, New Typography, set the 'rules' for the usage of typography. No doubt there are various look of typography but it all started when the rules were set. To break the rules one must first fully understand it. Manifestos were written and practised during this decade. Manifestos that changed the appearance of design. Thoughts that led to the birth of advertizing industry. People who wanted to change, be separated from the past, to start anew, to adapt to the changes that were happening, to change for the better, to welcome in the machine age, to make a mark in history!

Influences in the 1920s.
After looking at the research I've gathered. There are a number of similarities that keep appearing. Machine age, aviation, dynamism, geometric, mass production, photomontage, technological advancement, bright colour, abstraction, simplicity, automobile. I'll be using these key points to come out with a cover for my book that shouts out "1920s!!!" at the first glance.


Food for thought.

I'm not just a designer; I'm an engineer, an artist, a philosopher, a lawyer, a creator, a linguist, a mathematician, a psychologist; I'm all of them because of something we all take for granted and it is known as typography.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quality vs Quantity

Everyone can design a typeface but not everyone can design it well.

Back in the days when typographers were kings only a few thousand worldwide knew and could design and make a font. It was something that needed professional skills to accomplish. Not anyone off the streets could be skillful enough to create a font/typeface.

Fast forward a thousand years and you'll find that anyone who has access to a computer (Mac or PC) with softwares such as Fontographer or anything similar could design a font. There are millions of fonts out there worldwide now. Then comes the question, does that mean everyone is a king?

I would say no.

Though the end product of both typedesigner, then and now, is the same; A new font is born. The difference lies in the quality of the font. The real kings would have place a lot of consideration into a type before 'giving birth' to it. Most fake kings would just make some changes, tweak a little here and there and *drumroll* you have a font! It's an abuse, really.
Disclaimer : I'm not saying all typographers now are creating worthless fonts.

With great power comes great responsibility - Spiderman (2002)

Type designers or should I say accidental type designers indulge themselves in the power of modern technology but neglect the responsibility that comes with it. There is enough of 'rubbish' fonts out there. There is enough of 'copy-cat' fonts as well. When will the abuse of power stop? It will never, I suppose...

Hence the need to make them understand why does a font look the wat it does. It is crucial for a 'real' designer to understand a font before using it appropriately.

I shall end with this,

Every designer can use a typefacec but not every designer can use it well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I now have my own domain. It's

The main page


From there you can access 3 pages

1. Blog


2. Design

I'll be uploading some of my design work there later. It's still under construction. Hopefully not for long.

3. Photography

I'll be uploading my best photos here. There are 2 categories at the moment. There will be more soon once I've sorted out my photos.

Coming soon : About me section, Contact me section.
I could think of 2 now, if there's more I'll include it.

My website would be like a place to host my work/portfolio.

I've chose to keep things really simple because that's the way I like to work. Minimalism. Less is more. Therefore I felt it is important to reflect that on my website.

It's still work in progress but at least it's up! And it wouldn't change much if I need to do any changes.

Do take a look and give me your feedback, comment, critique, etc.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Doubt Attack!

After a really unproductive day (yesterday), I had a serious case of 'Doubt Attack'. Random thoughts, unwanted thoughts and the 'what ifs...' flew around my mind. To which I persuaded myself and conclude that there is no more what ifs. It's too late for all those and definately too late for any changes. All I can and have to do now is to push on forward. Put my all, if not, my majority into what I'm doing now.

Reflecting on my feedback, I feel that I'm not sure how to move forward in certain areas. There seems to be a lot of road blocks. It somehow reminds me of 2 sentences in the song 'My Wish' by Rascal Flatts. "If one door opens to another door closed, I hope you keep on walking til you find a window". I'm going to have to find my window to move on.

Questions, questions, questions. What are the questions I should be asking? How deep should my questions be? What about professional design that I need to ask? How contemporary is contemporary? What, How, Where, When, Who, Whom, Whose, Which. Questions!

I feel taht I'm so far behind some of my classmates. It makes me wonder if I could ever chase up to them. That really isn't a valid question because I know I have to. No more wasting time and I have to keep my level of unproductivity to a minimal. [Note to self : Time management!]

How could I challenge the established parameters? How could I be original? Critical debate? Analysis? The two things I feel are my main weaknesses! What actually is the idea behind my project??? The need to educate people on how to use text? or why does a typeface look like how it does? The latter seems to be what I want to say but how should/do I commnicate it across? Again, it pours down to the relationship between visual and text. Which could be strengthen by critical debate and deep analysis. Ah... 天啊! Help! I somehow know what I think I want but to communicate it our proves more challenging than what I expected. [Note to self : Just gotta work harder!]

Struggles... struggles... struggles... Never seems to end. With so little time left, I need to work harder if I want to achieve what I want to achieve. I need to know how to put my thoughts down to pper and then to design. I need to analyse my research further and deeper. (我的天!) It's tough for a 'non-thinker' like me. [Note to brain : Please work! Don't dissapoint me!]

In terms of design, I need to :
- develope more page layout
- develope more typographic design
- understand my audience
- show what I understand (in my mind) to paper (design)
- appreciate current aesthetics in book design

To do list for this term :
- developement & exploration
- back to the bookstores
- be in the mind of my audience
- translate my mind to paper
- analyse deeper
- be not so personal with my design (it's for me but not for me)

Closing note, I've gotta push myself more!

Message to self :
Adui... kenapalah aku pilih untuk menyeksa diriku? Saja untuk keseronokan? Untuk sekeping kertas? Aih... walau apa sebabnya dah terlalu lewat untuk patah balik atau tukar fikiran. Jalan yang boleh ku pilih hanya satu, iaitu ke depan. Berusahalah! Yakin pada diriku! Aku boleh!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Work in Progress

During my work in progress presentation I showed a few designs that I've done









I felt that it is too unexciting and plain.

After the presentation, during the last session with Jon Barnbrook I asked for his opinion/feedback and he gave some interesting feedback that I might be using in creating my work for the next presentation.

I showed him my presentation slide and he said it was much more interesting than my actual work! (我的天!!!) And he suggested that I be more experimental with my work. Have a couple of drink before I start working. (Erm...)

During my tutorial, my tutor mentioned that I was wasting too much of space with some of the layout. And the information was too informative and other people would/might have known/read about it. My peers in the tutorial group also added that I should consider adding some examples of work (which I think I would) in the booklet. I shared my idea of making the book more interesting by making my work look like the way things look back in the decade but my tutor was quite concern if I could make it happen especially with the amount of time left.

I decided that I would give it a go. I hope to be able to come up with some mock ups before the actual presentation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Work in Progress

After gathering all my information. I decided to do a booklet.


My plan is to divide the booklet into 2 parts.

Part 1 : Chronological
Information that might be included (under consideration)
- Timeline of influencial Type Designers
- Timeline of art historical period
- Timeline of when a type was 'born'

Part 2 : Thematical
Information that might be included (under consideration)
- Political (war, propaganda, etc)
- Technological (letter press, offset printing, computer/mac, digital, etc)
- People (influencial people, their work, etc)

Methods to create the booklet
- Purely Typographical (text as text, text as image)
- Include image/poster/example (deconstructing the poster, self explanatory?)

Right now I'm thinking of the content. What words to put in.
At the same time, I'm also thinking of the layout. How to place my words.



Just as what Robert Violette said "Content determine Design, Design determine Content but both always serves the aim"

My aim is so that designers, Graphic Designers in particular, would understand the importance of using the right type at the right time for the right purpose.
Not just using a font because of the reason "I like it that way" or "It looks nice that way"