As a working reporter for a print newspaper, someone might think I would pay attention to the typography and layout that is applied to the weekly product I write for. Unfortunately, that has not been the case until now.
Maybe that is what is broken with the system. A reporter goes out to come up with material to fill the newspaper with, editors then take the material and mold it to their liking before sending it over to a production team who lays everything out before sending it to the printer. This is an oversimplified version of the process, but the reporters do not have much say in the layout.
This week, I read about typography, layout, white space and many ways these all work together to create a visually appealing product. I never thought about how typography comes into play when putting things together, but after the readings this week, it all makes sense.
Robin Landa, the author of the sixth edition of Graphic Design Solutions said the designer can enhance readability several ways (Landa 2018). Something as simple as using left justification for paragraphs and breaking text up into chunks increases readability while creating paragraphs with long lines, small text and leaving orphans and widows in the layout decreases readability.
Ultimately, the designer is the conductor of orchestrating the flow of information.
“You direct the reader from one typographic element to another by establishing a visual hierarchy and flow…by considering the space between elements, and by establishing a sense of movement from one element to another,” according to Landa (Landa 2018).
Typography is also crucial on the web, and readability can be improved by creating contrast between color and background, Landa says, and it can be crippled by using bright colors. Chunking, on the other hand, comes into play in both print and web.
My project this week was to take a word and illustrate it by modifying the text. The word I chose was BROKEN, because lately, I’ve been dealing with a situation with a person close to me who feels broken after going through two major surgeries in a two-week period.
The word BROKEN does not necessarily have a positive connotation, so I kept with a simple black and white color scheme. To be creative, I used a simple gray to white gradient.
Landa said, “Type should always be an active contributor and can, in fact, express the entire message (Landa 2018).
I intended to take the word BROKEN and make it appear like it was breaking apart into shards of glass. I found a video on YouTube created by Satori Graphics, where the artist used Illustrator to create such an effect.
To make the word appear like shards of glass, I typed the word, increased the size of the font, chose a san serif font and converted it into a vector object. Then I used the Pen tool to create triangles pointing into the word, found a way to separate all the objects and pulled the triangles out from the word.
Overall, I’m happy for my first attempt and believe I have illustrated the meaning of the word BROKEN.
Landa, R. (2018). Graphic Design Solutions, Sixth Edition. Boston, MA: Cengage.