Changing Faces – Typographic Research

Before looking into relevant type I first wanted to look into David Carson’s work. His experimental typography is really stunning and they cleverly convey what the piece is about.

David Carson is a graphic designer and art director. His most noticeable work was the magazines beach culture and ray gun in the 1990s which ‘brought a new approach to type and page design breaking with traditional layout systems’. Its said his influences are from his ‘lack of formal training’ combined with life experiences. ‘Growing up primarily in southern california I think gave me a somewhat more experimental, liberal and open-minded approach to design and life.’ Carson said in an interview. ‘Nowadays I usually work on numerous ideas at once for the same topic or project, getting progressively more experimental as I go along. Then I go back and fine tuning the ones that feel the most effective.’ This is a really interesting approach to be working on multiple piece at once. Perhaps giving myself this freedom in experimentation might help create some unique outcomes which aren’t my norm. I’m excited to try something different and hopefully I’ll learn a new technique in being more expressive through my work.

Above are some pieces I find inspiration and would love to take aspects from these to use in my project. One I find really interesting is the ‘Independents Day’ double spread. The use of three different text box sizes with three different point sizes is so unique and quirky. It’s such a standout feature for the page. Along with the experimental text above which is a challenge to read but eligible. The way Carson has used two different typefaces and merged them together is curious; were the some words meant to standout more than the others. In the hierarchy of the pages the image and word ‘day’ stand out most. Is this to convey that this is a very important day. Or perhaps the reference of the guitarist is why the word indie is in a separate typeface, to highlight indie bands maybe. I couldn’t find a readable article so I don’t know completely. Overall it’s an interesting design and I hope to have this sense of freedom and passion behind my editorial layouts.Text Trials

After doing this research I then turned to looking at the type I wanted to use. In the main body text I wanted a readable modern font. For a more modern feel I chose three typefaces without serifs and an overall circular smooth look to tie in with the modern/futuristic feel I wanted. I also set the leading at 18 because I feel it gives the text more space to breath and intern links in with the space travel images I will include. Having the main body text as justifies is because I think it is more aesthetically pleasing and looks more refined. The boxed off sharpness of the text also hints to the modern space theme.

For the headings they are a little different, two I have kept in a similar theme as the main body text to tie everything in. This include round designs, no serifs and an overall modern look. With the middle font, named Good Vibes, I chose it because I want to make some hybrid type and really experiment with two typefaces. The hard one to symbolise the harsh realities of dating in the modern world juxtapositioned with the soft calligraphy to link back in to the romantic side of dating. As in the article it references dating as good and bad with benefits and drawbacks so hopefully these two fonts will convey this nicely.


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