Just my Type

Simon Garfield‘s lovely book, “Just my Type” tells the history of typography like a storybook, is quite accurate, includes much fun trivia and even has info about stuff like why comic sans became so popular. Made me stop disliking comic sans : )

I really do highly recommend reading this book even if you know everything in it. It’s a fun and very good read and the book design will make you proud to display on your shelf.


key events in the history of computing

Here is the booklet I designed for the subject of key events in the history of computing. Made for my advanced typography class, VA 424, originally derived from the subject of a course I had taken in the Spring term of 2007-2008, Murat Germen‘s VA 210, introduction to multimedia. Here are some of the sample pages from the booklet (click on them to view larger) and you could download the whole PDF from here

New assignment

The newest assignment for my project studio class, VA 302 is making a multipage magazine that the fictional chinese fast food restaurant çubuk will publish. So one of the upcoming posts will be the proposal for the content of that magazine. I am pretty sure that this would be more exciting than the menu and I get to use Adobe‘s beatiful program, InDesign. Yay! I am posting the description and some ideas that my instructor Elif Ayiter came up with during class, and you will see my own ideas in a few days’ time once I finish organizing them into a snazzy PDF and then a blog post.

Design of multi-page documents

At least 20 double-pages where you flip the pages instead of making a large spread (like Sedef’s catalog)
Design a system that is consistent although the content varies. Example: Women magazines, in-flight magazines.
The advertisements are designed by other people, the content is designed by the art director. There are differences between the two. There is no design system with the ads for multi-page because they are not part of the magazine content.

There are two basic types of content in magazines.
1. Features (konu): happens only once, on a particular issue.
They are freer than the other content, but you cannot break the system.
2. Departments (bölüm): Happens every issue. For example:
Index page (contents / içindekiler)
Reader’s letters (okuyucu mektupları)
The department pages have to be the same in each issue.

These two types of content are treated differently. In-flight magazines usually don’t have departments, because they don’t have consistent readers.
Feature pages are much cleaner and legible. This is to emphasize that they are pages that should be read carefully.
The department pages are much more colorful and confusing.
But these two are in the same system!

Components of the system:

1. Designing the column system – the grid.
2. Typography.

Selection of typefaces
Typographic elements
Columns (flush, left, right)

3. Images (crop, silhouette)
4. Shapes (boxes, arrows, lines)
5. Color system

Ideas of content for çubuk:
food, lifestyle, urban life, travel, decoration, architecture, feng shui?, some stuff related to food, interview with a famous chef, a celebrity who likes eating chinese food, book reviews, chinese astrology…
Not just about food.

For next week:
Write a proposal in English for the content of your magazine, use your research and photos and post it on your blog. Online and offline research should be done.

Brano Hlavac

I love Bruno Hlavac‘s work. I know him since I saw him on popwhore, and I love how he blends art, photography, typography and graphic design. To fully understand what I’m talking about, visit his site, but below are some of my favorite samples of his artwork.

the goldfish protection

cover girl

three phases of genesis


digital amor



injured black rose

memories of sphinx

“What motivated you to become a graphic designer?”

Some quotes on “what motivated you to become a graphic designer?” answered by various graphic designers around the globe from the book Becoming a Graphic Designer by Steven Hiller & Teresa Fernandes. There are quite a lot designers who have answered these questions but I typed a few that I felt that I was close to. You can buy the book from here.

“I remember being starved for visual stimuli, even before I knew what that meant. I remember looking at every detail of every sign, poster, picture, page, book, newspaper, magazine, comparing the styles and distribution of information. And it wasn’t just words and pictures but also the shapes of letters that formed the words, the spaces between the letters, and the messages and feelings – the total combination of things conveyed. I remember being twenty-one and someone telling me I might as well be earning credits for being so visually obsessed and perhaps someday being paid to make things.” -Sharoz Makarechi

“I was always interested in design – in the old theater posters brought to me by my father from Poland, in the matchbooks and menus I collected as a teenager. I studied art and photography until I took my first typography and design classes, at which point my varied interests suddenly found form together and made sense.” -Kelly Doe

“As far back as I can remember, I was very interested in art, which to me consisted of the graphic illustrations in comic books, along with the ads and the amazing products that they offered. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, I’m not sure I had ever heard of the words graphic design until I received a catalog from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.” -Charles Spencer Anderson

“I was interested in typography since I was a little kid. My uncle was a calligrapher and he brought me some of those old Speedball lettering books, which always interested me. At the time, I thought those were all the typefaces available in the world – in that book. I practiced drawing them, but then I became a fine art major in college. Back then there was really nothing known as design. Most design, as far as a kid would know, was associated with advertising. I didn’t want to do advertising mainly because it seemed so commercial and so much of it seemed to be based on cleverness rather than artistic ability. So I went into fine art. I’d often mix type with my drawing in a sort of a juvenile, high-schoolish kind of way. And I was still getting the type from that Speedball book.” -Martin Venezky

“I used to collect shopping bags and labels, like hang tags from clothes, and put them up on my wall. But beyond that, I really didn’t know that graphic design existed until later on in high school. I always felt that I wanted to go into advertising; when I started thinking about colleges, that’s what I wanted to study. And graphic design, I guess, popped up about then.” -Michael Ian Kaye

“I liked the fact that design was disciplined and rigorous, that it was a part of everyday “real” world; the fact that you could actually make a living at it was reassuring for my parents.” -Jeffery Keedy

“I had to make a choice of what to study, and I had taken some art classes in high school that I really liked, but my parents felt that it wasn’t very practical. When we went to the university the teachers were proud to tell my parents that now there was this new field of graphic design where you could be creative and still make money. So everybody was happy. That’s how I got started.” -Rita Marshall

“What fascinated me about graphic design was the notion of organizing information in a logical and emotional way through the use of space, size, and color. I haven’t changed much; the same things still excite me today. My formal education was basically architecture, not graphic design. My first jobs were in every design area, too many to mention here. The most important notions I was taught as a student was “an architect should be able to design anything from a spoon to a city” and that “less is more.” My life reflects those notions.” -Massimo Vignelli