Visual Language Week 2 Typography & Expression

For my boarding pass design, I first created a hierarchy of the most important elements. This helped me choose which details to make more readable and attract the eye.

  1. Destination & Origin
  2. Flight time & boarding time
  3. Seat & Gate
  4. Name

I used the font Bely which I found in the adobe typekit. Based on our discussions in class, I wanted to use one font. That way I could use size and capitalization to differentiate. I also chose to use the red and blue colors that are found in the graphics to help. With the color changes and capitalization, I thought two different fonts would actually confuse the viewer as opposed to help guide the eye.

I capitalized the most important sections like DESTINATION, ORIGIN, GATE, BOARDING, DEPARTS, SEAT, and NAME. These are all a 40pt size. I also made all of these red and am using a left to right viewing design across the board. The most important elements are on the left, capitalized and one color. The information contained in these sections is done in blue at the same size without capitalization. The second tier of information, mainly used for the airlines purposes are all at half of the size (20pt) with no capitalization and in black. I also kept the box around the seat number because it is definitely one of those things you are constantly checking and you need to find it quickly in the moment. I stole this from the original design as it was the only thing I really liked about it.

The only text that is floating/not in a section is TSA Prechk. This isn’t very important information but I think it is still a little more important as it is something the passenger might want to see and the airline will be checking for. I made it the same blue as the rest of the text but kept it at 20pt font size.

For the tab that gets ripped off, I realized there was too much vertical space. This would be hard to read and make things crammed. I flipped it 90 degrees in order to not confuse the customer. It is essentially repeating the same information so there’s no need to read it until it gets ripped off. The size of the tab forced me to change the dimensions of the font size to 30pt with the smaller words being 15pt. This allowed me to keep the same ratio while fitting everything in properly.

Expressive Type

For my first expressive word, I chose home. While I was typing the word home, it struck me that the ‘H’ itself could look like a house. I chose a very stylized and blocky font called Flegrei. This allowed me to accentuate the ‘H’ to make it look more like a home.

For my next word, I started to make elongated edges on the word slow-mo. I began to realize it looks more like dripping, so I began work on ‘Drippin’. I lost the ‘g’ in order to give it more of an edgy feel, and started with the tilda font, which i also got from the adobe typekit.

For my last expressive word, I chose hug. I wanted to do something simple but powerful. I think it also works well because I realized that hug has three letters. This way I could bring in both of the outside letters in to simulate a hug on the U. I also rotated the ‘U’ in order to give add another human element to it.

Visual Language Week 1

Design Analysis

This week we were asked to break down the design of our favorite movie poster or book cover. A cover that interested me recently was Cesar Aira’s book Birthday. This cover is extremely minimalist and was an interesting one to break down for multiple reasons. Firstly, it has raised edges which is something that does not come across at all online. One could argue this is the biggest setback of the design. While it feels and looks great in person it but does not come across well online. There are a lot of people who will be downloading it as an e-book who will not get the same experience. The design also relies heavily on different shades of white, something that also comes across well in person but does not translate. This could be accounted for by using different color modes for print and online.

Below is the online design.

I have broken down the design to show the area the egg takes up. In the upper left hand quadrant we see a fairly centered but rotated “Birthday” on one line, and then “Cesar Aira” below. The book itself is in first person and explores the idea of what a 50th birthday means. It begins simply and literally, soon evolving into a meditation on the author’s past experience with learning, literature, the ego, and death. It reads as a stream of consciousness but it is beautifully weaved through his past experiences and writing of the book itself. One key point is that as a 50 year old man, he didn’t understand the concept of how the phases of the moon worked. This made him question all of his learning up to this point and how that slipped through the cracks. I found this to be a powerful image as the egg could also be compared to a moon. I think the minimal design of the egg itself is very literal, but can be looked at metaphorically in the same way as the writing style.

The bold blue color in the text is a great way of getting the viewer’s attention, while keeping it small and understated. The rest of the cover is very simple, a cracking egg that takes up a considerable amount of the cover. There are only two things you need to know about this book. It is written by Cesar Aira, and it is about his birthday. Also note that this egg is not fully cracked yet.

To demonstrate the difference between the way the book looks online and in person, I took an image on my Iphone. This illuminates the better contrast of the whites seen in person. Also the etching is a tactile example of this. I think minimalist design can be extremely powerful. The more you have going on, there are more places for your eyes and your mind to go. This works in some cases but I think the most powerful decisions a designer can make are what they choose to leave out.

Another design element that is different between the print and the online version, is the fact that the drop shadow of the online version is very visible. In the paper version you can barely see the drop shadow, probably because of the raised edges in the print version. This might respresent that there were two versions made, which makes the online version’s coloring even more questionable.

This cover was extremely successful in its print form and continues to be one of my favorites. I attribute this to its elegance and minimal design, but most importantly it aligns with the concept of the novelette as a whole. This is the job of the designer, to get the point across in the most appropriate and poignant way and it was done effortlessly. My only critique remains the translation to online, as that was the base of the what I broke down in Photoshop.