The Invention of Typography

Have you ever wondered how we got the alphabet or how typography was created? The first writing found in history was pictographs. They were a set of pictures, which told a story. Ideographs were developed after pictograms. They were more like symbols and the Egyptians and Chinese used them too.

Egyptians created a system called hieroglyphics; they used objects to represent sound. The hieroglyphs turned into a cursive called hieratic. It was more freer and contained lots of ligatures. Then around 1200 BC, the Phoenicians created the first alphabet that consisted of letters. The Greeks used the Phoenicians alphabet and started developing their own. They created 5 vowels and did not use punctuation, spaces between words, or lowercases.

Next was the Roman Revolution. The Romans developed the alphabet more. They based it on the Etruscans Greek language and it consisted 23 letters. Romans also created serifs and were first to use thin and thick stokes.

Around 732 a guy named Charlemagne made a writing system called Caroline Miniscule. It was the first writing system that used lowercases. In the 1400’s Guttenberg created movable type. It was a huge improvement that allowed the world to print large quantities. In the 1500’s Aldus Manutius created the first pocket book; he also created the first italic typeface.

In France, Claude Garamond created a typeface that was based on geometric principles. The typeface was named after him and for the next 200 years. Garamond was the main typeface being used. In the 1700’s more typefaces were created overtime. To learn more about the great invention of typography go to .

More Resources:

Success In My Eyes

Success can be many different things. Being successful depends on a person’s goals and dreams in life. Anything someone accomplishes can be a success. In my eyes success can be good or bad but step-by-step your making progress and you don’t give up – it takes hard work and ambition.
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To me success means lots of things. On an ordinary day I feel successful if I get good feedback about my schoolwork, my house is completely clean, or if I have my son in bed early. These are just little things that happen on a daily basis. There are also bigger things that mean success to me as well.

Last weekend I bought my first car; this was success to me. For years I have wanted to buy a car, not only for myself but for my son too. I knew that this meant better time management and would help us out a lot in life. Another priority right now is getting good marks in school.

There are also things that mean success to me that wont happen until the future. In the future success to me is graduating from the graphic design program and starting a career. One day success would also be buying a house and starting a bigger family.

At the end of the day though, my son’s smile is the most important thing that makes me feel successful. Knowing that he’s happy is enough success to get me through my day. To me success can be the little things in life and it’s nice to be able to share them with loved ones.


Typography Class

Starting second semester I was excited and nervous. There were some graphic design classes I didn’t have in first semester and felt like I wasn’t going to remember everything I needed too. Typography was one of those classes. Although I need to work on my type hierarchy skills I made it through the semester.

Making a good hierarchy can be hard. This semester has helped me a lot though. I think I learned the most during typography boot camp. It consisted of 4 different type exercises – Pairing type, rags, hierarchy and grids. Boot camp lasted for 4 weeks; every week we had a lecture and a new exercise assigned.

When the class was told to write blog posts throughout the semester I was a little nervous. We had to write blog posts for Jamie’s english class last semester – they weren’t hard but just sometimes annoying. I have also never been that good at writing but in the end I think the blogs are helping.

Over the summer I think I will try to keep writing blog entries. I do think the blogs are great for increasing my writing skills and developing an online profile.

Overall I enjoyed typography class and can’t wait for next year!


An exercise from typography bootcamp I did.

Fables & Foretelling- The Crisosotomo Collection

Second year graphic design students at St. Lawrence held an art gallery March 27 – April 4th. As I looked at all the different work many pieces stood out to me – It was hard to only pick one piece.

My favorite piece was called Fables & Foretelling The Crisostomo Collection. The designer is Elda Crisostomo. I chose this piece because I really liked the layout and illustrations. I also thought the type hierarchy was great too.


 The project was to create a book cover and spread for a classical themed book. The format of the book was 6 x 9 inches but printed at 88%. Some project parameters were to include two spot illustrations, and two letter ‘private press’ monogram, and use the “Lifetime OpenType Fonts” folder. The project schedule was:

Week 1:

  • Intro
  • Topic
  • Word clusters
  • Strategic brief
  • Research
  • Thumbnails

Week 2:

  • Critiques
  • Spread layouts & grids & linear
  • Begin illustrations

Week 3:

  • Critique
  • Cover linear
  • Monogram development
  • Pattern & ornament experiment

Week 4:

  • Critique

Week 5: Final critique

Week 6: Final Due

When I interviewed the designer, Elda said the biggest challenges were, “To use the J.A.van de Graaf’s canon layout so the 2 fables fit “proportionally” on the grid- because the length of both fables were so different. And trying to sketch the illustrations that matches with the history content, but in a way that looks engraving’s method.” She over came these by making layouts and grids to fit the J.A.van de Graaf’s canon layout. Elda also did multiply different sketches and research to come up with the perfect illustrations and found techniques that gave the effect she wanted. I think this can help with my own work by showing that all the hard work, and the long process is worth it and improves a design.

Overall I think the art gallery was a huge success and I can’t wait till next years! Below is some more work from the artist.

editted3      editted2

The Bauhaus Movement

In the 20th century The Bauhaus Movement (1919 – 1933) originated from The Bauhaus School in Germany that focused on fine arts and crafts of all mediums. The school offered things like a textile workshop, metalworking, and typography – by 1947 there were weaving, photography, and the fine arts as well. The goal was to make accessible and practical designs for everyone. Their priority was ‘form over function’.

There was many important professors at the Bauhaus school but the one that stood out to me the most was Herbert Bayer the school’s 1st typography master – he created the Universal Typeface in 1925. The Bauhaus style font was incomplete until 1969. The font is simple and practical, and suited the school. It also has no serifs. It was a good change compared to the German Fraktur typeface, which was hard to read.


Universal Typeface

The school moved to Berlin in 1930 and in 1933 closed down. World War 2 was extremely dangerous and professors moved to United States to continue their teachings. In 1945 Bayer moved to New York and worked as a commercial artist, painter, sculptor, and exhibition designer. The Bauhaus Movement influenced many things such as architecture, furniture design, and painting in Western Europe, United States, Israel, and more.

Typography from the Bauhaus school

It’s important for young designers to research type and design history because they can learn new techniques and improve their designs. They can also learn how type and design has changed and advanced over the years. It can also inspire students and gain their interest. I think it can improve my own work by having the knowledge to identify different typefaces and understand the history and theme of a font to pick better options.



Ayiter, E. (n.d.). The history of visual communication. Retrieved from

Lekach, M. (2015. February). Know Your Design History: The Bauhaus Movement. Retrieved from

Winton, G. A. (n.d.). The Bauhaus, 1919–1933. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from

The Ten Commandments of Typography

There are tons of different typefaces, and when it comes to picking out the right one for your design it can be a challenge. It can be hard only choosing one. Are you having difficulties picking out a font? If so, try following the ten commandments of typography.


(Evan Brown

The chart above from Evan Brown at DesignMantic helps designers by not having to scroll through type for a long period of time. A quote from Brown states, “Even though typography is an art and art is supposed to be subjective with minimal parameters, these rules can still be applied in order to save time and too much experimentation,” he explains. “It’s always good to know the few basic do’s and don’ts in order to save yourself the trouble of experimenting too many fonts on your design.” It is considered to be a great guide when designing with typography.

The ten commandments of typography go through different font families and show how to combine typefaces together. It helps with contrast and complimentary moods. It even tells you which fonts to avoid using such as, comic sans, curls, papyrus and more. It’s easy to experiment too much with your text, and this chart reminds us to follow the rules. This way your type won’t get distorted and it will be more appealing to your audience.

The ten commandments of typography can be useful for web design, advertisement, and much more. It will make typography simpler. It might even teach you something new. And always remember not to experiment too much.



Favourite Type/Design Blogs

Blogs are great for a lot of reasons. On my journey becoming a graphic designer, I have found several blogs to use as resources, references, and inspiration. Blogs can sometimes help with school and personal work. Some of my favorite blogs are mentioned below.

My favorite design blog is This blog has lots of different inspiration, tools, articles and interviews. It also has print templates and freebies. I think another important reason I like this blog is because it’s easy to browse and to find what you are looking for.

Another good blog is It has lots of different inspiration for type. The website was made in 2004 and is still posting daily. I like how this blog has multiply authors and has an archive. It also consists of a wide variety of type: There is hand rendered and digital work.

The last blog I want to mention is called This blog has lots of type reviews, articles, and books. This site allows you to preview lots of different fonts from different designers. I like how you can click on a font and it will tell you everything about it.

These blogs have been useful for me in many ways. I think blogs are also a great way to learn new things. There are tons more design and type blogs. To find your favorite I suggest browsing different blogs and maybe something will inspire you.

picBy: Vincent Rhafael Aseo



Compositional Poster

When it comes to projects, I have learned that you can’t leave things till the last minute. Unfortunately, I was sick for a bit and fell a little behind. It’s the night before my project is due, and I’m stressing out if I can get it done on time. 5 AM comes around and I’ve finally finished my last drawing. I can barely focus anymore. I think to myself, maybe I can close my eyes for just a couple hours. Tossing and turning, I’m still worried about mounting my poster together. Barely getting any sleep, I was ready to get out of bed and couldn’t wait till I had my project finished.

I thought the mounting would only take an hour or two. Turned out I was wrong – it took me all afternoon. I couldn’t believe how hard it was. I felt like I was finally getting good at mounting and then this project I completely messed up. It really bothers me that I have messed up my project but in the end I know I’m still getting better.

Our project was to create a compositional poster made up of eight 3’ x 3’ squares and one 3’ x 6’ rectangular drawing for the middle. Each 3’ x 3’ square we drew was different from one another and we had certain steps to follow. The middle image is a realistic drawing from a magazine image we found. After drawing and coloring all squares, we were to mount the images in a certain way to create a poster. I missed the day my teacher talked about mounting and had a very hard time following the instructions. I ended up doing it my own way and my mounting came out crooked and sloppy looking. I was majorly disappointed.

When I was completing my drawings I had no problem at all. I felt my images were strong and my coloring was smooth and bold. I had great contrast, and my realistic drawing turned out better than I thought it would. But when it came to mounting, my horrible job took away from the rest of the good work I accomplished. Instead of my 3’ x 3’ squares lining up perfectly straight, my poster was uneven and had gaps. I wanted to try to fix it but knew that I would mess it up more. By this time I ran out of time and my project was late.

In the end, I have accepted that my mounting is not well done. Even though I messed up the final step, through out the project I have learned many useful things. We learned compositional analysis, positive and negative imagery, and cropping and scaling techniques. I look forward to getting my project back and finding out my mark. I now know to never assume something is going to take a certain amount of time. Overall, I’m happy with my drawings and excited to start the next project.

Color Schemes

Every color has a significant or symbolic meaning behind it. When you use colors together it creates a scheme. In color theory class we are studying different color schemes and what they represent. The three main color schemes are monochrome, complement, and analogous. Color schemes can be used in print, painting, interior decorating, and more.

Monochrome is an image created by different shades of a single hue. It’s created with tints, tones, and shades of one color. Complementary are any two colors that are directly opposite from each other on the color wheel. The colors combine to enhance contrast and make a vibrant look. Analogous are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. The colors usually match, making it harder to create a strong contrast but the schemes are often harmonious and can be found in nature.

For project 8, we were requested to create a folder and find three examples of each type of color scheme. After collecting all our images we had to write a written analysis. For the written part we had to choose our favorite photo, and explain the color scheme and what it represented. The piece of work that I chose was a portrait. It’s two photographs that’s are each monochrome by themselves, but when put together they become complementary. I thought this was really cool. I tried to find the photographer, but I can only find the image on a couple different blogs. Trying to find the artist I found out the image is at least two years old, and has been re-blogged several times.

I think the photographer wanted to use basic color schemes to make his work stand out more. Sometimes less is better. They used two monochrome images to make a complementary. I like the contrast that is created by the way the images are blended together. The complementary colors, blue and orange, also make a nice contrast and help the images stand out from each other. I think the photographer wanted his audience to think about what was happening to the woman, rather than just looking at another portrait. I feel the image of the woman expresses emotion and movement. I think the portrait has a feeling of being free. The woman looks very calm, relaxed, and relieved. I think the two colors the photographer chose are good. Not only does it show contrast in the image but also contrast with emotions. Blue represents trust, security, and peace. Orange represents warmth, happiness, and optimistic. The colors seem to represent similar emotions, but orange is a very adventure full and risk-taking color, while blue is predictable, inflexible, and non-threatening. I think the two colors can show how the woman is stuck in between emotions.

Overall, I think color schemes are a great tool for graphic designs to plan their artwork. I think planning a color scheme is helpful for choosing the right amount of contrast and the emotions you want portray in your work.