Our choices in typography are no longer simply trying to pick a font face that will look good or professional. Now, it is a way to communicate personality and taste. Similar to a brand, a typography choice says a lot about an organization or person. It is important to remember this when designing any document, but especially when working with a business. Remaining consistent with design choices creates uniformity across different types of communication, making your style decisions even more important. What will your typography choices communicate to others? For example, check out the typography for hipsters from Visual News.
Within the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures department, there is a large focus on the fact that words are a part of active, living documents. However, artist Ebon Heath has given that phrase a new definition with his latest typographical sculptures. His intentions are to “create a visual experience for the viewer in which they typography and the natural motions combine to tell the same expressive story.” Using laser-cut letters, he creates physical sculptures of letters and words. Heath says, “I want our typography to jump, scream, whisper, and dance, versus lay flat, dead and dormant, to be used and discarded with no concern for its intricate beauty of form, function, and meaning.”
Recently, we discussed the idea of using new technology to its full potential in the classroom. The way we learn, or even the way we teach, has been evolving, especially in these last couple of years. Now, we learned of a new study at the University of Oklahoma (OU) about how well students learn when reading from comics-format material for non-fiction and textbooks.
In the study, 140 graduate students were separated into two groups: the first received their information via traditional textbook, and the second through a graphic novel that covered the same material. Research showed that both groups understood the concepts of the text equally, but the comics group had much better verbatim recall. The creator of this study who is the strategic management chair of OU’s Price College of Business, Jeremy Short, said, “My experiences suggests that graphic story telling can serve as a powerful tool in higher education compared to the traditional textbook.”
This seems like an especially relevant topic for higher education. For years, students have been taught by pictures in books, overhead images, computer screen projectors, and chalkboards. Now, we are developing technology that allows ebooks to have videos and interactive images. Teaching by graphic novel seems like the next natural step along this line of visual learning.
We’ve heard about people creating Pinterest boards when applying for said company, but Philippe Dubost has taken it one step further. He designed his résumé as an infographic that looks exactly like an Amazon product page, featuring himself as the product. It details his experience, education, and skill set, while still maintaining a sense of humor. For example, he lists that this item is available to ship anywhere in the world—but you should hurry, because there’s only one left in stock. What are other creative and innovative ways you can set yourself apart for your ideal job?
Everyone can appreciate a nice play on words, but what really sets this series by Timothy Taranto apart is the accompanying images. Oftentimes as literature is being taught in the classroom, it takes on a very serious note of respect for the great authors being studied. What this picture series does is breathe a bit of life and silliness into the discussion concerning some of the incredible writers whose work we read. Perhaps I am wrong, but I have the feeling that if some of these authors could see this work, they too would get quite a chuckle out of it.
Photojournalist Sarah Fretwell has created a powerful photography project. She traveled into the Democratic Republic of Congo and captured photos and “statements from young girls and women who have suffered unimaginable sexual violence as innocent victims of war.”
Fretwell believes photography is a medium where we are given a glimpse and a small “insight” into “the lives of people who would otherwise never be heard.” Titled The Truth Told Project, Fretwell hopes it will “serve as a catalyst for change, offering survivors a chance at justice by enabling them to share their story with the world and making the human connection needed to garner the support of the international community.”
You might not think knowing entrepreneurial skills could help educators become better, but some might beg to differ. SmartBlogs recently released “6 Entrepreneurial Skills That Can Make Us Better Educators” to help educators apply these skills to become better at what they do best: educate.
One skill that is important and useful for everyone: “Develop relationships with mentors with different kinds of expertise.” Essentially, network with everyone and anyone.
“Entrepreneurs find mentors at different stages of their careers and in different fields.” It doesn’t matter what stage you’re in, you can always benefit from meeting and keeping in touch with new people that can help give you advice and new perspectives.
As Professional Writers, we have learned about graphic design and different types of lettering and typography. We are supposed to know what makes for a good graphic and how to design an appealing and inviting poster/brochure/pamphlet/bookmark/etc. But do we all know the difference between Lettering and Typography?
Smashing Magazine posted an article explaining the differences and similarities between Typography and Lettering, stating that many designers, despite making “their careers our of designing type or custom lettering,” have come with “a lot of misunderstandings of some of the terms and concepts that we use.”
You can read the very thorough article for yourself, but basically, it says, “Typography is essentially the study of how letterforms interact on a surface, directly relating to how the type will be set when it eventually goes to press” where as “Lettering can be simply defined as “the art of drawing letters.”” Confused? Lettering started out as being hand drawn, such as calligraphy or like those giant Bibles that monks spent years and years writing out by hand. Typography has much to do with setting and aligning the type. For example, “Instead of setting metal type and locking in forms [to create newspapers or books like they did with old printing presses], we use panels in [Adobe] Illustrator or InDesign to kern, add leading and align our type.”
The article also explains the history of typography and lettering, and gives tips on how you can get started on your own hand-lettering as well as a list of websites with lettering and typography designs.