Intro to Visual Communication    |    Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus    |    Al Wasco email

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Working with type

There are lots of things that you can choose and/or adjust when working with type, even if it's a single word:

This interactive explanation of the basics of typography will help you understand these. For more help, go to the Paul Baker Typography site and click on links to Setting Type, Letter spacing, Word spacing, Leading, etc.

When it's not just one word, but a few lines, paragraphs, or more, you have still more things to think about:

This short movie shows how Gestalt principles relate to typography. You'll see how similarity and proximity have a big role to play in how we read and understand type.

If you want some help learning the words and terms related to typography, visit this Typographic Glossary.

As with all of human life, fashions change in typography: the 80s and 90s were filled with tortured, distorted, grungy type, while more recently simplicity and clarity seem to be in style again. To understand the role of typography in visual communication, read an excerpt from the classic The Crystal Goblet by Beatrice Warde. Regardless of the current graphic fad, it's hard to go wrong if you take her advice.

Typography in action

Letters, logos and see the world through typography

See how many you recognize: The Retail Alphabet Game.

Explore Havana via typography on signs, posters, graffiti, and more throughout this Cuban city.

Typography on storefront signs in Chicago: Typographic Signage Project.

We have 'em too: Cleveland signs.

More Chicago signs from Mildred's House of Signage.

Storefronts and more by photographer Mark Eastman.



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