Category - Graphic Design

T is for Typography

Typography is the study, use, and design of letterforms but there are so many different subcategories of typography that it is hard to really say that that truly covers it all. Typography began about 3000 BCE with the advent of written language in Mesopotamia and has changed and developed immensely over time.

Before I went to school for graphic design, I went to college for creative writing and took many anthropology courses. I learned a bit about typography through our sections on linguistics and loved it. Because of this, I was excited to get to the module on typography and I was definitely not disappointed. The development and evolution of written languages is amazing. If you are interested in learning more about type, I recommend reading Exploring Typography – 2nd Edition by Tova Rabinowitz Deer. It was the assigned textbook for my class and has an immense amount of information about the history of typography. It’s a great starting point!

Aside from the history of typography, there are many different aspects of type that one must learn in order to fully understand typography. Typographic terminology is a great starting point after learning some of the basic history as it allows you to understand terms as you continue to learn. These terms will help you learn about type family classifications, readability and legibility, layout and grids, and designing type.

Designing your own type can be really fun. There are technical aspects of course, but sometimes you can just play around and make type out of anything.

Here is a fun alphabet I created out of paperclips for an assignment:

Paperclip Alphabet - Typography

Have you ever tried to create your own type?

S is for Sketching

Sketching is an important step for any design project. It helps you weed out the generic design choices and stretch the limits of your imagination.

I use graphing paper for most of my sketching as this allows me to better gauge the proportions of a design. I also always use mechanical pencils. This is so that I never have to stop to sharpen my pencil — I just have to give it a click — and I can erase mistakes.

A great thing about creating sketches is that you don’t need to be any good at drawing. Most of the time, these sketches are going to just be for you to work out a design before moving to the computer. And really, most people will understand that the sketches are for idea generating and not a statement about your skills!

Here are some examples of sketches I have done for various projects:

  • Business Card Sketches
  • Sketching Bottles
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches

If time permits, do as many sketches as you can before finalizing your idea. Sometimes the hundredth sketch is the perfect choice!

R is for 6 Rules of Good Design

I don’t know if the correct word for these is “rules” but I’m going to go with it…

Here are 6 rules of good design!

Focal Point

Every design should have one focal point. This is where the viewer will look first. Without a focal point, the viewer wouldn’t know where to look first.

To create a focal point, make sure to pay attention to size, extravagance, and position.


After you’ve created a focal point, you’ll want to control where the viewer looks next. In other words, the movement of a design.

To create a sense of movement, you can use the flow of lines. Whether they be literal lines, or objects that follow invisible lines.


Contrast creates visual stimulation. There are many ways of creating contrast. The most obvious is way is to use filled and empty space. Colour, value, patterns; they can each be used to create contrast.


A design should be visually balanced. This doesn’t always mean having a symmetrical design (although they can look quite nice and formal). Asymmetrical or radial designs also can be created with balance. Play around!


A pattern is created by using repetition. By repeating various aspects in a design, one can create a sense of rhythm. This rhythm can create a sense of movement through a design, so pattern brings us back to movement.


Unity means that all parts of a design must work together. Everything in a design should look like it belongs together. The rules above all play a part in creating a sense of unity.

Don’t forget, rules can be broken when there’s a purpose. 😉

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