Type Design, Variable Font
For my first attempt at type design, I aimed to create a contemporary typeface with oldstyle flavour. The purpose of this project was to create a variable typeface for long reading on the web. After doing some research in the field—the York University Library—and looking at some of the old books from the early twentieth century, I felt that an oldstyle typeface would be the best direction to go.
Since I was designing an oldstyle typeface, I looked towards calligraphy for inspiration. When I first started designing the font I found that my letterforms were too rigid and chunky. Since I wanted it to have a juicy calligraphic feel to it, I opted to swap out the chunkiest parts out with looser forms. For the variability of the typeface, I decided to go with optical size because it was common for oldstyle fonts in metal type to have different forms at different sizes.
For the specimen website I wanted to play off of the historical nature of oldstyle fonts in a contemporary manner. So I decided to create my own contemporary twist on nineteenth century victorian magazines, trade journals, and print galleys. In order to get the feeling of an old letterpress, I created heavily structured grid layout for the content to live in.
I also opted to use several different sizes of type with several different snippets of literary work which I thought would work well to show off the qualities of my typeface. Then, after digging through issues of the Inland Printer as well as several Victorian fashion magazines, I got my hands on a couple of wood block illustrations that were in the public domain. I took each of these into Photoshop, cleaned up the lines, and added a vibrant punch of colour.