Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische’s talk at the university…



movie posters all have the same basic design and layout, portrait with the image taking centre stage and the text kept small, generally located along the bottom of the image.

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The type used in most movie posters in known as Trajan the ‘movie font’- the design of the font is based on Roman Square Capitals and is an all capital typeface.

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Titanic uses Trajan Bold:

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Trajan text is featured on the poster for Lemony Snicket’s, A series of Unfortunate events.

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Typography can tell you a lot about the business.. for example, restaurants, a lot of the high end restaurants use a much more refined and sophisticated typeface compared to the cheap – whose dominant colour is red, an emotionally intense colour and is used as an accent colour stimulating people to make quick decisions…

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compared to the more refined type

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the style of type can also inform us as to what type of type of restaurant it is – either chinese, french, italian etc…

With business cards it is especially important to get the typeface right – this can have a massive impact on whether you’ll be hired, it can reveal a lot about you as a person – the example used was a yellow card with the name and occupation (undertaker) in black written with comic sans – doesn’t really fit with the occupation, does it? People would want something a bit more serious and sensitive – a better option may be a black card with the writing in a golden colour using times new roman.

Typography can used in movies, languages have been developed to be used in the film, they have been developed in such detail that people can now communicate using the fake language.


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A labelled diagram for type:

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 Mind your P’s and Q’s – came from the days of typesetting, when type was created with physical metal letters, it means don’t get your p’s and q’s mixed up, which did happen – after all they are similar.

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Upper and Lower case: comes from the days when the letters where kept in cabinets that the typographers would work at – capital letters where kept in the upper cases, lower kept in the lower cases.

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A few links giving explanations of typographic terms:


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A few typographers worth mentioning:

Eric Gill: creator of the Perpetua and Gill Sans typefaces

Gill sans font family (falls into sans serif category) – . Gill Sans became popular when commissioned to be used for the London and North Eastern railway as a unique typeface for all LNER posters and public material. It was modelled on Roman Capitals such as those found on Column of Trajan (also based on the Caslon and Baskerville type) –

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Perpetua font family –


“Perpetua is classified as a Transitional font. Transitional fonts are a subcategory of Serif style fonts. Transitional fonts exhibit a marked increase in the variation of stroke weight and a more horizontal serif compared to Old Style, but not as extreme as Modern. Perpetua is classified under this mostly because of its high stroke contrast and bracketed serifs.”

– source,

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Max Miedinger – creator of the widely used Sans Serif helvetica typeface

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The aim of the design was to create a neutral typeface that had great clarity and that could have a wide variety of uses.

Helvetica font family –

“It was created specifically to be neutral, to not give any impression or have any meaning in itself. This neutrality was paramount, and based on the idea that type itself should give no meaning.”

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Jessica Hische: link to her own website –

The little side project that had a dramatic impact on her career, causing her site to have more than 100,000 visitors per month…

Every day a capital letter was illustrated and posted to the site, visitors could then download it for their own use for free..

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Her style is very illustrative, there seems to be a flow to all of her work…

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She has collaborated with penguin books – penguin drop caps, the style of the work is successfully carried throughout the 26 hardback books and has a stunning illustrative nature to it.

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Marian Bantjes also has an incredibly illustrative nature to her work and is well known for the amount of detail she applies, there is a free flowing nature that carries throughout her work…

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She has created type using some short term materials, such as sugar and flower petals, even as a cake decoration – something that little bit different…

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Si Scott 

Si Scott’s work is just something else, his unique hand drawn style and innovative nature to constantly push the boundaries of his work creates some beautify imagery…

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The way he has combined images with patterns is impressive…

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Stefan Sagmeister: a New York based graphic designer and typographer with his own firm –

“if you want to be an original you must be able to take the pain”

“While a sense of humor invariably surfaces in his designs, Sagmeister is nonetheless very serious about his work; his intimate approach and sincere thoughtfulness elevate his design. A genuine maverick, Sagmeister achieved notoriety in the 1990s as the designer who self-harmed in the name of craft: He created a poster advertising a speaking engagement by carving the salient details onto his torso.”

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Sagmeister actually had an intern cut the lettering into his skin!

His motto is “Design that needed guts from the creator and still carries the ghost of these guts in the final execution.”

His temporary type is impressive, the innovative nature of the choice of material

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The scale of this last image is extremely impressive!

Below is simply a diary entry written while Sagmeister was in the Bahama’s that has been built into a chair, which he plans to leave where the entry was written…

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Erik Spiekermann: link to his blog –

The master typographer shares his process…

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One of my team members liked the idea of producing a magazine, so they have designed a cover page along with a possible layout for the inside.

The images below show a possible layout for the home page of the website along with ideas for packaging for the cards. What I love about these designs are the colours that have been used, they are vibrant and stand out, perfect for the children’s market.

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Typography designs

still thinking of how nature could inspire our typography element I considered how branches can twist and turn, almost imitating the fluidity seen in an earlier post



First version – this style didn’t really work for ‘warriors’ and to be honest I felt it could be improved so I didn’t carry on using this design but instead tried to develop it resulting in the below image



This font was a lot of fun to create, still based on nature, it is more the letters stand out more – they seem to act like trees, standing tall among the branches. Although I still don’t think either of these designs could be used within our world, after all they are superhero’s and the nature aspect doesn’t seem to be conveying this.



the image above was just a little bit of fun, I wanted to try something a little bit looser and it obviously wouldn’t work as it is too hard to read. Our heroes need something that is exciting, that conveys movement, will stand out from the rest of the page and be easily recognisable.



We could always take ‘Eco-warriors’ literally and incorporate nature into our typography, I do like the image above and how the letters seem to flow into each other but I’m not sure how well it would fit into the context of our world.

Below are some images I found of nature inspired typography that i quite liked but they probably won’t be suitable to our project.


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The Letterer

The member of the comic book creators who is responsible for the comic books text. The letterers use of typefaces, calligraphy, letter size and layout all contribute to the impact of the comic.

Display Lettering – again crafted by the letter, includes the story, title lettering, special captions and credits that usually appear on a story’s first page.

They may also design the letters in word balloons, draw in sound effects and even design logo’s for the company’s various titles. Although most marvel and D.C comics are now lettered using a graphics program with a font that resembles hand lettering. Computer lettering provides technical shortcuts, combines lettering work directly with the digital art files, eliminating the physical paste up stage altogether!



Although there are still some who prefer the traditional, long-time letterer John Workman still tosses between traditional and digital.

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