Saturday, 26 September 2009

Tip: InDesign kerning

If you want to adjust the letter-spacing on something you have typed in InDesign you can use the alt key; place the cursor between the letters whose spacing you wish to adjust and, holding down the alt key, press the left arrow to delete space or the right arrow to add it.

Going to preferences>units & increments will allow you to alter the amount of space you affect with each press of the arrows. (Making the units smaller will give you more control over how much you change the spacing).

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Type hierarchy

Robert Bringhurst’s table is a useful guide to well balanced typography. If roman lower case is used, for instance, small caps, full caps and bold lower case may be chosen as further alternatives. Swash and sloped caps, though, should not be paired on its own with, say, roman lower case.

Play 01

Monday, 21 September 2009


I wonder if it is a result of lazy typesetters that many designers love to force type into rigid shapes; in my own typesetting experience I did find it easier to lock the shapes down if they were in a nice tidy block. The sheer number of occasions I’ve noticed type forced into a quadrilateral shape has baffled me.

The above posters by Kurvers and Wijdeveld are attractive on an aesthetic basis but reading them is another issue entirely. The difference between Wijdeveld’s Bind Werk poster and Max Bill’s work, below, in terms of typesetting is that Bill has not changed the letter-spacing in his text but his word-spacing. Bill has chosen to keep all letter-spacing and text sizes the same; where feasible, Bill begins text from the left and ends a line at the right edge of the box. He does not increase the text size to ensure a word ends at the right edge, nor the letter-spacing. His text box was clearly drawn to appease the subject of the poster (the cream-coloured area) and allows the orange circle to attract the viewer’s eye to its left edge.

An example of modern use of justified text is in the type design of Costa Coffee. One visit to a Costa café will no doubt give you square eyes. Justified text has clearly become a typographic style of the café’s visual identity but does not seem to serve a useful function. Mostly, the text of their sales messages appears to be forced into blocks and this sometimes abuses the nature of text sizes; a larger word is usually more important.

No doubt the frequency of instances today where text is forced into a quadrilateral shape (by text sizes, letter-spacing and word-spacing) is an off-shoot of the over-use of ‘centred’ text. ‘Typographic form must be organic, it must evolve from the nature of the text’ — Jan Tschichold.


My favourites from the NY photographer

Beckford Tower

In Bath, 2008, I visited Beckford Tower one day on a whim and learned something interesting about the street I walked along every day to uni. The tower itself stands a couple of miles outside town, up one side of the valley. The original building was linked by a track to a house much closer to the town centre (a house I passed every day). It turned out that William Beckford had lived there, having conjoined two houses with a private walkway corridor (which, today, over-arches the entrance to the car park). Here are some images of the place; the tower is accompanied by a graveyard for friends and relatives of Beckford, and, of course, himself.

The tourist’s obligatory arty staircase photo.

It’s difficult to appreciate it knowing it was paid for by slavery.

Belgian Coin

I came across this really interesting Belgian coin in a little box of foreign currency we have at home.

I’d like to know more about the design but have been unable to find much on the internet about it. I wonder if there is any similarity between it and Müller-Brockmann’s Beethoven poster in the way the panels enlarge toward the edge of the coin.

Poems of William Blake in txt speak


N did thOz fEt in Anshnt tIm
Wlk upon Englnd’s mwn10s grEn?
N wz th holy lam of God
On Englnd’s plesnt pastures sEn?
N did th cwntenance divIn
ShIn 4th upon hr clwded hilz?
N wz Jeruslm bilded hEr
Amng thEs drk satanic milz?
Brng me my bO of brnin gold!
Brng me my arowz of desIr!
Brng me my spEr! O clwds, unfold!
Brng me my chariot of fIr!
I wll nt Cs frm mntal fIt,
Nor shll my sord slEp in my hnd,
Til we hv bilt Jeruslm
In Englnd’s grn n plesnt lnd.

REds of Inocens

pipin dwn th valEs wild,
pipin sngs of plesnt glE,
on a clwd I saw a child,
n he lafin sed 2 me;
‘pIp a sng abwt a Lam!’
so I pIpd w/ mery chEr.
‘piper, pIp tht sng agen;’
so I pIpd: he wept 2 hEr.
‘drop thy pIp, thy hapE pIp;
sing thy sngs of hapE chEr!’
so I sung th sAm agen,
wIl he wept w/ joy 2 hEr.
‘piper, sit thE dwn n writ
in a buk tht all mA rEd.’
so he vanishd frm my sIt;
n I plukd a holO rEd.
n I mAd a rurl pen,
n I stand th water clEr,
n I rOt my hapE sngs
evry child mA joy 2 hEr.

www Blanka

I found this website a few weeks ago;  a good collection of old and new graphic work.
➔ Please do not copy any image from this blog without permission; I keep proof of ownership on all of my work ☺