Friday, August 10, 2018

good posters take time... typography isn't easy... improvement is the goal

My latest poster, U MATTER, has very little typography yet it is just as difficult to finalize as any other poster that utilizes several variations. The type in this poster can't hide. I lacks all the distracting elements that many posters have to cram in like an event location or list of beverages being served at the event. I tried about 30 different hand drawn styles with nothing catching my eye. The only thing that hit me was that the stuff I was drawing was either too fancy or too thin or too something that made it lousy when sitting below the hand drawn U. I was left with the real problem every designer faces once in a while... quit or grind! 

Well, grinding isn't fun most of the time. Like the word implies, it's rough going. I'm not climbing Everest or anything, but I am trying to get to point B and B isn't in sight. You have no idea how far away the answer is lurking. All you know is that it exists.

After a bit more grinding... I just happened to quickly scribble some vertical lines together to build an M. And that was it. 40 to 50 variations and "whammo"... ya get it. I took a felt tipped marker, nothing fancy, and drew it serveral more times with that scribble-style to bold out the type. In the upper right corner, above, you can see it then took about 5 R's to get one that fit. 

I then scan it all into the computer and clean it up a bit (usually leaving it alone more than cleaning). The finished poster is simple... as simple as the statement. I gave it space to breathe and that was that. I did decide a black version would also work. I shrunk "MATTER" just a bit due to the brightness of the white. It could speak loudly even with a reduction in scale. Felt right.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

typography posters for your classroom finally on sale

This process has been quite a ride. The designing has easily taken long enough, but you combine that with attempting to make it cost effective, and you have a wonderful nightmare. I am happy it's over. Now the tweaking of how it can work smoothly is in the works. I opened an Etsy shop so folks can buy them if they choose. Finding a cost effective avenue outside of CafePress and Society6 has been a struggle. It all comes down to having this all be worth the artist's time.

Well... the time has come.

I am starting with 8 posters, pictured below. They mostly pertain to the Art Classroom but several can work in any classroom. This will also be the future of my designing. I will attempt to improve Art rooms as well as a general education classroom.

My goal was to have interesting graphics, quality typography and an authentic hand drawn look that invites young people to look and engage. If they don't look at it, it's a waste of money and paper! Over the last 12 years of teaching I have been boiling things down and experimenting with design elements to see which things kids react to and what holds their attention. 

My hope is to keep going and to keep improving. Teaching is getting harder and harder. I want these posters/tools to help you all in your rooms. I like looking at them and hope you and your students do as well...

comic about comics


do not invent directions

effort is everything

elements of design

please draw lightly first

art's equation

tools not toys

To purchase any or all of these, click on the link here or on the Etsy logo in the upper right corner of the blog... Thanks big!!!!!

ps... still trying to discount multiple poster purchase... yikes, what a pain!

Friday, March 2, 2018

local font find #32

My family and I went to support the Girl's High School basketball team the other night at our local University. A district game that they ended up losing and I will not discuss the inability to officiate the game by those who are supposed to be able to do so. Not only did I see four different fonts used to say the word "Mansfield" within the gymnasium, I saw this gem of a painted sign that hangs over the entrance. You only get to experience the full glory of these typographic mistakes once you are seated and able to really let it sink in.

The word "Country" was on the right side of the clock. Nowhere, could I find, any reason for the stem of the M to drop below the baseline. The awkwardness of that letter kept me peaking up from the court in between lousy calls... oops!, I commented. Then, the stencil or projector must have shifted during tracing as the curved leg of the R got crushed. The R is just plain bad on a whole lotta levels!

The outline of the word (white stroke around the black letters) is just TOO big. It creates this blast of white in the E's that is way too intense and teenie tiny slivers in the M, A, E's and R that bother me almost as much.

Other than that, it's pretty good.

Friday, February 16, 2018

even while absorbing the intense athletics of the olympics, great typography takes my eye and thoughts away from the action

Click on the TV. Straight to the Olympics. NBC stinks, by the way, at showing this incredible athletic event. I get way more talk from non-athletes than staight up competition (this whole gripe is for an angry strongo comic on another occassion). Ski Jumping!!! Cool!!! Don't know a single athlete. Don't care! It's the Olympics! It's all about the flag on the outfit. Very exciting. Then.... the mustache. This talented jumper has an old school almost handlebar that is mighty cool. He jumps amazing. Slides over to the camera, and as usual, pops the skis off and gets them into the TV screen as soon as possible. 

THEN.... The ski comes into view. It's beautiful. Clean. Gridded. Helvetica. Very Swiss. Even as I type this out and the image is before me, I keep glancing up and checking it out. Great spacing. Fits snuggly but breathes well. I would hang the ski in my house like any other piece of cool design that I may find. You can check out the skis and the typography used a bit closer at the Slatnar site here.
GO USA!!!!

Monday, February 12, 2018

a love of all things type

Over the past few decades, my sketchbooks have slowly switched from general drawings of my surroundings and random doodles to lettering. Letter forms are inherently beautiful when done well and inherently difficult to do well. That search for making something your own and making it hold it's beauty is a challenge that drives an amazing amount of people all over the net. My nerdiness isolated me prior to the Internet. Once I made my way into the modern age, I realized that my disorder is plaguing people all over the world. 

As an elementary art teacher, I am always looking for a way to inspire my students to look closer at the world around them and creatively analyze it. The "problem solvers" are what schools should be turning out. The art room is a great place to kick start this process. 

When the first two paragraphs mesh, you get student names/initials as design. Some students were asked their interests and others I took as a straight typographic problem to solve. Some choices were based on student personality while others are reflective of my state of mind at the time. (Sophie, the first one shown, is my neice, not a student)....