Design, because presentation is key.

I’m not entirely sure where to put this thread. I’ve noticed that many a good 3D project can fail due to poor design and I’m not talking about the design choices implicit in modelling. I’m talking about typography, use of space, layout, post production and general taste and style when presenting your projects. Why bother? Because to neglect the conscious choices of the designer is like offering someone a tiramisu and a dead kitten on the same plate (To quote Jeremy from Peep Show). There is nothing more sad than seeing the monumental effort in producing a beautiful 3D work and having it deflated by flagrant use of Papyrus or Comic Sans in your title (Designers and most creatives cringe when you do this). If anyone is interested, I figured this thread could serve as a gauntlet for anyone preparing to submit a final work and discuss font choices that suit and compliment your design and a handful of designer’s check points to make sure your final image is looking sharp.

I can also recommend some useful guides and sites for free, hand-picked designer fonts. Let me know if anyone cares or this thread will just get lost in the ether.

When I read the title I thought it was another post that denies the subjectivity of design. After reading the post I see you have a good point. The reason someone said “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” is because it’s human nature to do so. Good works probably do get overlooked for that specific reason.

Why ask just do it :slight_smile:
But yeah, i would love some advice on typography and what not.

Yes, please list the sites you like. Many noobs like to demonstrate their versatility by using many fonts at the same time, which is a mistake.

I was lucky, the first computer graphics company I worked for had it’s own font production department, so I worked with knowledgeable people who gave me some good schooling.

Well I’m glad for the response :slight_smile:

I figured while I’m doing some basic commissioned design work I might as well show some of the simple ‘DOs and DON’Ts’ of Typography and design. Now I don’t fancy myself a typographer, however I do know from experience and common sense that there are certain principles that when followed can lead to better and more appropriate design.

Yes, please list the sites you like. Many noobs like to demonstrate their versatility by using many fonts at the same time, which is a mistake.

In response to this: I do agree with you to some extent especially when multiple fonts are used with no visual homogeneity, however it is common to have at least 2 fonts present in most elements of design work such as in traditional editorial layout where a bold font may be used for Headers and a more suitable Serif font for the body text which is generally easier on the eyes.

For those of you who didn’t know (and a big apology to those who do): Serifs are those little pointy bits that stick out of certain fonts. This font I’m writing in now is a sans-serif font which means it doesn’t have any pointy bits. You will have seen serif fonts used extensively in various forms of editorial layout such as books and magazines. The reason being that they are generally easier on the eyes when reading at length because those little extrusions break up the symmetry of the font and create smooth transitions between letters.

An example perhaps?



LESSON 1

Typography must be legible, otherwise what the hell is the point?

next time on “What the @#$% does that spell?”

I’ll put up some logo examples and discuss Hierarchy, appropriate font choice, layout and use of space.

bye for now!

That was a good read. Thanks.

Funny how these forums don’t comply. Anyone who knows something about design also knows that san-serif fonts are harder on the eyes when reading for any length of time. Yet here, and on every other forum on the Internet, san-serif is used for body text in messages.

The worst is when you try to read online articles. San-serif everywhere! I cringe constantly.

omg you need font anti-aliasing :frowning:

They actually are, it’s just the attachments that are scaled down :slight_smile:

@wokjow Awesome stuff! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this thread - thanks for sharing!

Once again, thank you for the responses :slight_smile:

That was a good read. Thanks.

You’re very welcome!

The worst is when you try to read online articles. San-serif everywhere! I cringe constantly.

If the blinding screen wasn’t enough! Sheesh.

omg you need font anti-aliasing

What Philippe said.

@wokjow Awesome stuff! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this thread - thanks for sharing!

You’re welcome and thank you for the support

Just to be clear, there doesn’t seem to be any structure to what I’m sharing here. I’m just sporadically posting some pointers when they come to mind and I’m trying to avoid the air of douchebaggery that accompanies academic writing. Please feel free to share examples and even your own works with typographic elements for critique.

I was working on a logo for contractor and decided to use one of the weaker designs to illustrate a few points. Logos make the best use of typography, especially if typography is used conceptually.

These are some good examples of conceptual typography:

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/72-creative-and-smart-typographic-logo-inspiration/

Below is an example of BAD typography. I have purposefully screwed with it to illustrate some pretty common errors.


The first major noticeable issue is Hierarchy. In this example the font sizes descend vertically which is traditional with editorial layout and most typography design. Only in this situation the font weights are all wrong creating a backwards hierarchy and placing emphasis on the tagline instead of the main logo text. This is not to say that certain sized fonts can’t work together but that it is important to lead the viewers eye through the relevant information in your design in a logical way.

In this second image you see a correct hierarchy:


The next major thing you will probably notice is how out of place the fonts look in the first image. They are not appropriate for this design and do not present a pleasing visual solution. “BOZZ” is a large, loud sounding name and is almost phonetically similar to “BOSS”. So this must be complimented by a bold, solid typeface because typography seems more appropriate when it enhances a concept. If I wrote “BOZZ
in a script font it would probably look like a perfume logo or a fancy clothing range but in this instance, we are talking about construction, big machinery, bold ideas etc.

Most people will recognize that second font in the BAD solution for it is the infamous Comic Sans. Another word to those who may not know.

Don’t. Use. Comic. Sans.

Unless you are using it ironically, you will get a very poor response from designers and artists for using Comic Sans. It may be suitable in some children’s birthday party invite, but it certainly doesn’t belong in your portfolios or your artwork and definitely not on your CV. In fact a good rule of thumb is to only use a novelty font when you absolutely have to, in almost any situation a well designed classic will do a better job.

Coming back to the second image: I used the same font as in the main logo text. It is good not to use too many different fonts in any given design and if you do, they aught to be similar enough to create a sense of uniformity.

The font I used for the tagline in the BAD example is a poor choice. It gives the impression that you’re being shouted at which is obviously not what we want. The font I chose in the GOOD example seemed appropriate for the tone of the statement. The loopiness and smoothness of the font makes the tone more light hearted and approachable.

The last major thing I’m going to mention is kerning (For info on tracking, kerning and leading look HERE and HERE)

For the majority of you, tracking and leading won’t be an issue. I have tried to mention stuff that pertains to the 3D end of stuff such as the typographic design you would use on the cover art for your animated short or as a title for a render.

Kerning is adjusting the space between individual letter forms and it is very obvious when it has been done wrong. When a word has good kerning, it means the volume between each letter form should be more or less the same giving the word a comfortable and pleasing look. Badly kerned words look like they have been attacked with axes leaving weird uncomfortable gaps between letter forms. The examples above show this difference.

I hand kern everything because I’m a little OCD. You can do this in Photoshop or Illustrator by clicking between two letters in a text field and by holding alt and pressing left or right cursors. This will close or widen the gap by tiny amounts and you will know when you’re getting a good result. Alternatively if you are lazy you can also open your character window in photoshop or Illustrator and under the dropdown by the kerning icon (hover to find it) select “optical” which will normally do a basic kerning job on most fonts.

Lastly, this is a website that features 100% commercially free hand picked designer fonts.

Certain novelty font sites will have many weird, unprofessional, incomplete and often just bad fonts. These are generally well designed.

Thanks for reading if you did and hopefully that was useful to somebody.

Bye!

Novelty font? Back in some of my elementary school years, we were actually required to use that font during various computer lab assignments, granted, school assignments are not product presentations, but it does teach students how to properly work on a computer.

And I disagree with the bottom font in the good example, the italicized loopiness of the font may not look quite as boring, but it makes the words harder to read.

And yes, in general I agree with not using too many fonts at once and not using large sizes in most cases outside of the title and the headers.

Novelty font? Back in some of my elementary school years, we were actually required to use that font during various computer lab assignments, granted, school assignments are not product presentations, but it does teach students how to properly work on a computer.

Thanks for the response :slight_smile: You’re entitled to feel which ever way you want about Comic Sans. I have seen that font used ad nauseum in virtually every situation, most recently in fact on a creative’s portfolio page which is why I did this. The simple fact is that it is a poorly designed font and in recent years it has become something that people love to hate. Don’t believe me? If you do a quick web search I guarantee you will find a number responses either insisting that the font be banned or giving you reasons why you shouldn’t use it such as this one:

http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/

And yes, it is a novelty font because it has an expressed purpose and it is of poor quality just like “chiller” that other horrible font that people love to use.
So I agree with you, the font probably has some suitable uses as you mentioned, teaching elementary students and the like which is just fantastic. However If you use it in your portfolio, CV or anything else to do with your professional creative pursuits, you are asking for trouble. Don’t endorse it.

Concerning the font in the example: To be honest I didn’t end up choosing that one for the final design and you are right, it doesn’t read as well a number of fonts available. It does however contribute the hierarchy of information in the design and as a result I felt it ok to use a slightly less legible font so long as it reduced the seriousness of the other fonts. The slogan is the least important typographic element and if the viewer has been caught by the boldness of the other fonts then he should come a little closer and see the slogan, at least I hope so :slight_smile:

anyway thank you for the input, you make a good point.