The Journal

Lets do it!

There is no singel, ‘correct’ process for creating a typeface. The methodologies of individual designers are as unique and varies as the designs themselves.
The urge to create can be quite quite personal; the impetus might even be an extension of a historical, intellectual or cultural inquiry
— Karen Cheng

I read the that quote in her book designing type. Its a book that many type designers find it useful in the process of designing the letterforms of a certain typeface. Actually, I think that the quote is a bit generic, but, its also true. 

After having a small talk with Nadine Chahine and reading her article and few other articles here and there about designing type. It only makes sense that the very first step of working on any design, including type design, is to know the purpose of the typeface, and the intended function/goal of this typeface. In a simple language, I have to answer this question: What is the function of the typeface, and when/where it will be used? 

So, I have to decide if the typeface will be a display/headline or a text typeface. If its a text typeface, is it a book text typeface or is it a newspaper text typeface. Moreover, I should know if the typeface will be used in print, or digital platforms. I guess I will spend sometime tomorrow trying to write a design brief about it, and I will post it here. 


Here we go.. 

So, I declared my thesis on April 28, 2014. It is going to be a digital platform about Arabic type design. At some point, I thought that I trapped myself into this project. Why? because I never learned how to design an Arabic nor Latin typeface before. 

The very first thing I did is to enroll in Type@Cooper Condensed Program for the summer of 2014. My aim was to learn as much as possible about Latin type design as a first step. It was a five weeks program. It included many useful activities. There was a bit of history, museums and library visits, calligraphy and much more. Before starting the Condensed Program, I thought that my knowledge of type was average. I think I was mistaken. Its way below average.

Sketches and tracings for the final project - Type@Cooper 2014

Sketches and tracings for the final project - Type@Cooper 2014

Now that I've finished the program, I believe that it was a very good step. Its true that the program was intense, and I've spent a good amount of money on it, but its totally worth it. I will be sharing the main parts of the program with you sometime soon in another post.

After finishing the program, I took a break, I was an official tourist in NYC for a couple of weeks. Then, I went to Washington DC to attend TypeCon 2014. During the conference, I met with great deal of type experts, educators, professionals, and enthusiasts. I could not register in any of the workshops there, but the talk and the forums were awesome!

I was part of curator tour of A Thousand Years of the Persian Book which was one of the activities of the special events during the conference. There, I met J. R. Osborn, Ph. D. and we talked about my thesis project. Part of the discussing was about how to actually start learning to design Arabic type without having the time to attend a class/workshop. So, he suggested that I should start a blog/journal about the process, learn and post as I go.

So, I created this journal..