Type Specimen project

From Colophon Type Foundry. On order.

Type specimens were created by foundries to communicate their type inventory to pressmen. What was once a sturdy working volume of sample glyphs and phrases has turned into a promotional piece for the type designer or foundry. With websites doing the practical work of showing glyphs and letter combinations, specimens can express the feel, intended purpose or aspirations of the type.

Your final assignment is to create a type specimen for the type family you’ve been working with this semester. One goal is to have the piece be a showcase for the type family — its feel and possible uses. But be careful not to be too reverent. A better reaction than “that’s such a nice typeface” is “I can’t believe what you did with that typeface.” The primary objective is to provide an open format for you to develop your abilities as a typographer. The type design is what you’re building your work upon — showing the type design alone is not enough.

Make the format receptive to a concept or the kinds of formal experiments you want to do and can be produced in the time remaining this semester. I would suggest that you continue working as we have been in the last two weeks of class — experimenting with the letterforms and discovering (creating) new forms from them.

Include the name of the typeface, the type designer and the year. Finding pre-written text may be useful. Please also note that the typeface was used with permission by Village Type Foundry and that it was made at RISD for Graduate Typography 1 in 2011. Note me as the instructor and Anther Kiley as the TA. Images are not prohibited, but probably not needed.

We will continue to compile web links for specimens documented online and will look at actual ones in class on Nov. 21st. The Providence Public Library has an extensive collection of type specimen projects both in broadside format and as bound volumes. I encourage you to take a look.

Specimen examples online

{ Nov 8, 2011    4 Type Specimen   

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