Skip to content

Understanding the difference between typography and lettering

Typography and Lettering. What’s the difference?

If people are not familiar with the words, it is quite common to see them questioning about the difference between both words, and mixing up these two terms and concepts. For example, I bet you’ve heard someone say handwriting or hand-lettering, even from college professors at least one. But this is not typography. We explained why. Even though lettering and typography share the similar concepts, they are two completely different disciplines.

What is Typography?

Typography is the study of how letters (types) interact with each other on a surface, directly related to how the type will be defined. It is very common for people to refer to lettering as typography, but you should always avoid this when talking to a customer. Your client may not know the difference, but it is important to talk to them using the right terms, and it makes things easier for you and your client to understand.

In a very simple way, typography is the combination and arrangement of type. Typography must be integrated with the project concept. The choice of fonts, colors, and techniques should help define the character and style of the composition. All intended to help the reader gain a broader view of the concept of the project.

What is Lettering?

Lettering can be easily defined as “the art of drawing letters,” and has a simple concept: a specific combination of worked letters, for a single use and purpose. Lettering is, most of the time, hand-drawn, with pencils, pens, among others. But there are also those who work directly on the computer.

Lettering clearly has similarities with typography, but even though it is dealing with letters, the context does not use types.

I hope it has helped put an end to some doubts.

Lamborghini Mercy: A Hypercar that Pushes the Limits of Design

We’ve all heard of Lamborghini. The Italian SUV/sports-/super-/hypercar manufacturer is known for some of the most extravagant car designs that are rolling on the road. From the sturdy Urus to the full carbon Sesto Elemento, each of Lamborghini’s designs pushes the envelope in terms of creativity.

There’s one model in particular, the Veneno, that looks almost too wild for words. The hypercar is an ultra-rare, high priced model that gives a physical definition to the word ‘extreme’. With only five examples made, the Veneno retails for an impressive $4,500,000.  While not reaching the same speeds of a Bugatti Chiron or a Koenigsegg Agera R, the Veneno is one of the most wildly fanatical designs created.

The Veneno is actually a very high-end Lamborghini Aventador. Its full carbon body has the pointed edges known for the brand, but with an emphasis on aerodynamics and stability. Looking like something straight out of a Transformers film, the designers of the Veneno did not hold back. Getting right down to it, the Veneno is basically an Aventador that was converted to the high demand track racing circuit of Europe, and then made (barely) road legal. Carbodydesign.com gives a much more in depth look at the technical specs of the Veneno.

 

3D Printing as a Cultural Disruptor

Not only does the technology effectively minimize the need for human interaction, but it also decreases human labor from a manufacturing perspective.  From desktop printers to pens, 3D printing has invaded our lives on a monumental scale.  Riding the wave of maker spaces and artisan sensibilities, 3D printing is likely to continue to grow in use and popularity.  But at what cost?

3D printing has created a perception that all designing and printing is performed in-house, the requirement for designers is slowly depreciating.  End users are becoming more comfortable with design software like Adobe Creative Suite; the next logical step would be wanting to design and print their own materials.

One of the largest areas that 3D printing has the potential to disrupt is the manufacturing process itself.  3D printing effectively marries the design and manufacturing process thereby streamlining operations.  Companies will no longer need to receive shop drawings or specifications before producing their products in-house.  One example of streamlining this is “General Electric, who has started using 3D printing to design fuel nozzles for their new jets and Boeing who has created tens of thousands of 3D printed parts for its military and commercial planes.” (How GE).

The possibilities are seemingly endless, and with those possibilities are new frontiers for designers.  With 3D printing, the only limitation is your own imagination.

FR E SH A VOCA DO

It has been over a year now since the death of Vine, but it is remembered by many as the birth place of some of the most well-known memes. Only after becoming a graphic design major could I finally come to appreciate the classic meme, FR E SH A VOCA DO.

If you haven’t seen the original vine, the website knowyourmeme.com explains the premise of the video as “…a woman mispronouncing ‘Fresh Avocado’ after seeing them arranged strangely on the sign of a fast food restaurant,’ but as designers, we know this strange arrangement of letters as bad kerning.

When done correctly, kerning helps to improve the readability of text by adding or removing space between two letters. Bad kerning, also known as keming, leads to misreadings, and in the worst cases, incredibly bad (but humorous) misunderstandings.

I find it amusing to see the implications of bad design–bad kerning included–so that I can be sure to not make those same mistakes!

In the mood for bad kerning? Check out the keming subreddit!

Enjoy the idea of manual kerning? Check out the kerning game!

Like Adele, hate Comic Sans? You might find this kerning sad, yet funny!

Running Stores are Awesome, but what is with their Logos?

A month ago, my classmates and I were assigned a project in our Writing For Designers class. The project involved researching a company or store that required a redesign of their visual identity, including their logo and business suite, and writing a design proposal. I chose to write one for the Potomac River Running Store, and I was researching other competitor running stores to see if there were particular ones that had successful logos. The research process then became hoping to find a successful one as none out of the many running stores I looked up had successful, and not so original logos. Below are some examples:

It’s just the typeface style used for the running store logos; they do not make the logos look original. These running stores carry out the inspiring mission of creating a healthy community through running. Therefore, they deserve a rebrand of their logo and business suite to better brand themselves and, overall, a unique visual identity of their own like the big running shoe companies Nike, Asics, Adiddas, etc. have or much like the few running stores shown below; they have an element in their logo that makes them recognizable, like the blue shoe for Pacers Running and the simple rooster drawing in the Runners Roost logo:

That’s the visual identity the first five and many other running stores need for their brand: a simple image along with the store name that sets them apart from their competitors and makes them recognizable to their customers.

Designer Spotlight: Nick Chaffe on the life of a freelance designer

Nick Chaffe, a Manchester designer, illustrator, and typographer, recently sat down and spoke with Creative Boom on the pros and cons of his recent move to become a freelance designer. Chaffe has been working independently for nearly a decade, collaborating with companies such as Amnesty International, Lonely Planet, and the Guardian.

When asked how he has found such success as a freelancer, Chaffe responded that you have to “make your own luck, as they say. I really enjoy creating new things and self-initiated projects often bring in commissions.

I also feel really privileged to be asked to collaborate with people so I work extremely hard to make sure the I don’t let them down with what I produce.”

Chaffe also shared how there are hectic periods followed by slower periods. “You have to stay focused and be very organised, the best ways I’ve found to do this is by taking regular breaks with exercise,” he said.

With even more projects on the horizon in this upcoming year, Chaffe is an excellent example of a successful designer working independently in the field, and he is a good source of wisdom for new potential freelancers.

With Hopes In Mind

The role of design in corporate public relations is to maintain the visual identity of an organization and its values. In campaigns, however, the design must represent not only the candidate’s values but also their hopes for an entire nation’s future. It’s difficult to keep the traditional red, white, and blue unique with every campaign. 

The pressure is especially on for campaign designers to create something exceptional, inoffensive, and moving. The logo for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign is an example of taking traditional design elements and adding flair—reflective of the progressive nature of her movement. 

Behind the logo was a team of communication professionals researching Clinton’s target demographic, their values, and what would appeal to them. Through the campaign, they paint a vision of the following years that must be distinct from the vision the opposing party presents. Political design is often much more abstract than corporate design because the designs represent potential rather than what already exists within the companies. 

WHAT IS A BRAND?

For my Graphic Design Principles class I had to read a presentation by Marty Neumeier, an American author and speaker who writes on the topics of brand, design, innovation, and creativity. The presentation was on bridging the distance between business strategy and design. It was absolutely eye opening that I figured I had to share a little excerpt with you all.

Dispelling some myths:

  1. A brand is not a logo
  2. A brand is not an identity
  3. A brand is not a product

So what exactly is a brand?

  • A brand is a person’s gut feelings about a product, service or organization. It is a gut feeling because people are emotional, intuitive beings. It’s a person’s gut feeling, because individuals not companies, markets or the public, define brands.

 

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY IT IS.           IT’S WHAT THEY SAY IT IS.

The most useless websites ever made

Deep within the digital jungle of the world wide web lies an especially peculiar website called “theuselessweb.com.” It is a remarkably simple website consisting of only one page, with the words “Take me to another useless website,” and a button below doing just that. It’s not the website itself that’s magical; the dozens of other websites it takes you to are where the magic happens. One of my personal favorites is “staggeringbeauty.com,” a website that offers the user a stout, noodle-like character with two dot eyes. If you shake the noodle violently, however, strange things may start to happen.

You may be wondering why I would choose to blog about a website that literally calls itself “useless.” Why bother with it? Well, I believe that although “theuselessweb.com” doesn’t serve any productive purpose, it’s still, at the very least… amusing. It’s a nice time waster for you when you are bored. And, if we really want to get philosophical, “theuselessweb.com” may also help us grasp the sheer variety of websites out there. All the bizarre, inane websites that “theuselessweb.com” takes you to are just the tip of the tip of the internet iceberg. There are MILLIONS of website out there! Hopefully, you’ll get a kick out of this one.

http://www.theuselessweb.com/

One for your Bookmark Bar

Ok guys, this site is seriously AMAZING. There are countless top of the line designs on this site that can serve for inspiration and just to appreciate. The owners of this site created the site as a tool of inspiration for all designers. I was navigating page after page, looking at incredible designs from graphic designers all over the world. I have not been able to find a site this clean and well organized with tons of inspirational designs. Maybe I am overhyping it because majority of the designs are my style, but I really hope you can take some time to check out this site! I found some creative designs that are helping me take one of my current projects into a different direction. Plenty of visual ideas on how to present your work to clients, inspiration photographs and tons of other beautifully designed work.

Take a look through the Feed tab and enjoy!

Their mother site is also worth checking out.