Layouts for Lettering: Hierarchy, Composition, and Type Systems | Jon Contino | Skillshare

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Layouts for Lettering: Hierarchy, Composition, and Type Systems

teacher avatar Jon Contino, Creative Director

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      History: Illuminated Manuscripts, Art Nouveau, & Newspapers


    • 3.

      History: The 20th Century


    • 4.

      Hierarchy & Shapes: Thumbnailing


    • 5.

      Hierarchy & Shapes: Thumbnailing (Continued) & Laying Out Shapes


    • 6.

      Hierarchy & Shapes: Layout Exercise


    • 7.

      Type Systems: Queston #1


    • 8.

      Type Systems: Question #2


    • 9.

      Type Systems: Question #3


    • 10.

      Type Systems: Question #4


    • 11.

      Type Systems: Question #4 Continued


    • 12.

      Integrating Type with Image


    • 13.

      Explore Design on Skillshare


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About This Class

When creating lettering for a product or specific output, you must carefully consider images, illustrations, and negative space to communicate an idea in a defined area. This means that the layout is often more important than the letter work itself. Whether you are a freelance designer or simply hand letter as a hobby, taking your word forms and incorporating them into a practical layout is an incredibly valuable tool for your creative arsenal.

I have been fortunate to work on countless projects requiring a plethora of layouts, both with other brands and my own endeavors. From clothing to signs to sports equipment, each platform presents new challenges, but the underlying principles of hierarchy, composition, and communication remain the same. I am looking forward to sharing these lessons so your own lettering style can flourish on a multitude of platforms.

What You’ll Learn

We will go through ways to apply your lettering skills to a variety of outputs, using simple layouts to achieve beautiful results. Please note that we will NOT be going over how to hand letter. (There are plenty of other awesome Skillshare classes for that!) We’ll cover:

  • A History of Layouts. Important takeaways in poster, packaging, and advertising design from previous generations and today.
  • Hierarchy and Spatial Design. How to establish order and value when communicating written words, and how to use thumbnail sketches and shapes to create a map for your lettering placement.
  • Type Systems. Figuring out which typefaces work well together to support your lettering and communication goals.  
  • Integrating Type with Image. How to use hierarchy and spatial design to find a balance between photo, illustration, and type.

What You’ll Make

In this class you will hone your layout skills by creating compositional frameworks to support your lettering, including type and images. Each project step will help you think critically and systematically about all elements in your cohesive layout design. Have some fun with this!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jon Contino

Creative Director


As a New York native, I have been under the influence of corporate mass marketing and inspirational street art since my first breath. Not surprisingly, I have garnered considerable attention for my unique approach to design utilizing hand-drawn lettering and typographic illustration in conjunction with a modern yet minimalistic sensibility.

I received numerous accolades for my fusion of old and new world aesthetics and continue to influence modern trends in graphic design and apparel design.

I reside in New York with my wife Erin and daughter Fiona where I work as a freelance illustrator, and also as Co-Founder and Creative Director of menswear brand CXXVI Clothing Company.

For a complete list of my features and accolades, check out the information ... See full profile

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1. Trailer: My name is Jon Contino and I'm a designer. I'll be teaching a class in layouts for lettering hierarchy composition and type systems. What we're going to start with is the history of layout and composition, it kind of where it comes from in rather graphic design. Then we'll jump into a hierarchy and spatial design, and basically what would be the foundation of any graphic design piece just in general, then we'll move into type in lettering systems and families, and then we'll get into integrating imagery, and illustration. What this class isn't, it's not a drawing class, it's not a hand-lettering class, what this is, is a class to help you to learn how to compose properly. You'll be able to take your outside experiences from other classes and from other projects, and integrate them into this. Everything is based on foundations, everything is based on composition and space and hierarchy, and that's what we're going to try really gain a very solid grasp on. 2. History: Illuminated Manuscripts, Art Nouveau, & Newspapers: So, welcome to the class. We're going to do a little bit of a history lesson, and take a look at at what's existed in the past, what existed in the not so recent past, and what exists today. When you're dealing with layouts and composition, the simplest way that you could break it down is the fact that you are either going to have a small amount of information that you need to display, kind of a medium amount, and then a massive amount of information to display. It doesn't matter what time period you're referencing, it doesn't matter where your references are coming from, that's always been the case. Sometimes people have a little to say, sometimes people have a lot to say. We're going to look at the layout in terms of where things are placed, we're going to look at the sizes of each thing, what's bigger, what smaller. We're going to take a little bit to look at color, and how that's used to differentiate. We're going to take a look at how the final pieces wrapped up. Are there any little details that help really pull it all together? You can have a page of two words, you can have a page of a million things but what's the unifying factor? Each one of these things will have a unifying factor that tied them together. So, we'll make sure to go through all of those things and look at each piece of it. With the creation of books and the ability to start making these usable references using lettering and images, we we've definitely seen how design and foundational, compositional, aesthetics really start to develop. Especially looking at these images, you can see where the guidelines start making sense, how they are defining shapes, they're defining areas of importance. The concept of a layout itself was just beginning to flourish at this point. The use of a grid actually starts right now to. You really see where something that we're so familiar with today has its roots, these old illuminated manuscripts which they recalled really were the basic foundations of today's created layouts and today's basic compositional foundational elements. These Illuminated manuscripts, they were really kicking around the 12th hundreds or so.Thirteenth century is kind of a prime mark for these. They definitely exist a little bit before, a little bit after. But I would say the main point of popularity for these probably around 13th Century, renaissance period. They are very ornate, they're done beautifully. They're all done by hands, this was before the invention of movable types, so you really had no other way of creating a book like this. So, they are beautiful pieces of work, but the idea and the concept of hierarchy and legibility isn't necessarily addressed as we address it today. It's more about a focus on a particular drop cap or particular illustration as opposed to trying to digest all of the information in a very legible kind of quick glance way. That's something that came about in modern times. So, these are the foundations, this is where we all begin, this is the beginning of the evolutionary chain if you will. The next movement I really want to talk about is Art Nouveau. I'd like to jump to Art Nouveau because since we are concentrating a bit on lettering, this is where we begin to see the beginnings of graphic design as we know it today, and I think it's very important to realize that especially with some of these images that we see here, particularly the Job Cigarette Packaging which is by Alphonse Mucha. A particular favorite of mine. I think it's important to realize how graphic design is taking shape through this period. A lot of people will look at this and consider it fine works of art, but I personally and other people as well consider it some of the earliest stages of graphic design. They created beautiful illustrations in conjunction with beautiful lettering, and it's still simple enough that it's legible, it gets the point across. A lot of these stuff has to do with products, it's great to be able to understand that they are selling product, these are early advertisements, and it's beautifully done and it's done without going overboard or disrupting legibility or concept in anyway. It's a beautiful thing but it wasn't long for this World. Unfortunately, it died pretty early into the 1900. So, these are kind of the last pieces that we'll see from this particular style. So, in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, the Newspaper became something that was extremely important to graphic design. It was a lot easier to make, it was cheaper to make, and at that point, with all these aspects playing into it, we started to see a lot more stylization. The illustrations became more ornate, it became less ornate. Photo-realism started to play into it, it became a lot more of a focus on product. You see more of the Las Vegas Strip Times Square mentality start to develop, where things would be flashy and bold and big and eye grabbing, so that you would look there first. This is also kind of I think maybe we're capitalism starts to settle in. So, the idea of economics placed into why these pieces look the way they do. If you happen to look at this Ad, the first thing you notice is Coca-Cola. This guy standing here is holding a glass and Coca-Cola is right over his head. So, that kind of immediately leads you down to where you see five cents, here's how start reading a little bit about it and you're automatically selling a product. The use of this hierarchy is helping to direct to the viewer in such a way that it is creating almost a directive, where you don't even have to be there to tell the person which way there I should go. The actual layout the size of things and the position to them on the page is directing them for you. So, this is where composition and layout really starts to take form, and how important it is to kind of work with various styles and keeping a unified DNA because these Ads certainly works as one unified piece. You can see why it's important that it is the way it is. Because even today, even in the 21st century, we can still look at this and it accomplishes exactly what I set out to do. So, this is a great example of kind of where modern-day layouts and composition starts. You are seeing a variation and type styles, they're all grabbing your attention, you kind of don't know where to look first, but it's kind of a great thing. You can see how various type styles can live on a page and still not look completely like they're clashing. The entire layout works. So, as long as you have that consistent DNA like I said, it will still work. Then, if you move on to the Fall Foot Wear, you can see almost more of an updated Art Nouveau field. But instead of the focus being on the illustration, the focus is on the lettering, the focus is on the message. So, that's a great way to really bring into contrast how Art Nouveau shifted into what graphic design was becoming. It was more about selling a product, it was more about selling a brand, and you can really see here. Then, if you move on to the next one, the Ever-Ready Safety Razor, this is probably the most modern out of the four, because the brand is front and center, the image is really kind of like setback, it's not that necessary, it's showing you what it does, that's all the matters. I mean, this image actually might even be more comfortable to today's television commercial because the copy that's on there is something that you need to read in your head and it should have a particular tone. The way it's laid out, it has this tone that it's giving you an idea of what the Ever-Ready Safety Razor is. Just looking at this, you can almost imagine it as a television commercial, so this is a great forefather to modern advertising as a whole in any form of media, and then has a lot to do with the hierarchy and the way that the rhythm for the stuff plays out so it's great to kind of take a look at this one and see how it will become you know our modern template for what all sorts of advertising media is. 3. History: The 20th Century: As we move from the early 20th century into the mid-20th century, everything becomes super simplified. You're getting these designers who are starting to specialize in the art of design, in the art of layout, in the art of composition. It's become very clear how hierarchy, and rhythm, and tone, and this kind of shared DNA are important to advertisements. There's a variety of mediums that all utilize the same ideals, and it all comes down to where we started with these initial illuminated manuscripts and their grids. I mean, if you look at some of these, there are grids. Very present, but they're broken. These are people who understood the nature of the grid and how important it was, and understood it so much that they were able to play with it and manipulate it. If you look at some of these pieces, you'll see a lot of clever uses of positive and negative space. You'll see how rhythm is used to communicate a message. If you start reading through all these particular images, you can almost get a sense of rhythm. You can get a sense of how they should be read. If you look at the top, it says, "An Aquarian Exposition in White Lake, New York", the fact that the "in" is small, you know that it's not supposed to be emphasized as much as the rest of the other words. I think that's important to notice. These images here are a great jump off point to really start talking about what we're going to be talking about in this class. There's type systems, there's layout, and there's the integration of the image, which, in this case, is illustration. So, you can really start to see how these type systems live in a fun place. For instance, if you look at the "Little Richard" poster, there is illustration and there is photography. It doesn't necessarily have to be one of the other. As long as an image plays a part in this, that's kind of what we're playing with. But if you look at the type, we have a big bold font at the top, we have a sign painterly script, underneath it, we have "Little Richard" itself. It's very big and bold, but it's jumping around. It's it's creating a tone. Underneath it, we have some smaller type that is not necessarily the most important, but it's still communicating a message. It's communicating to the viewer something that they're familiar with. On the bottom, to cap it off, we have another brush script that, kind of, fits in with the "In Person" at the top. The color, the way that the fonts are laid out, the size of the lettering. All of these things work together to create a successful layout, and it's something that is a great template to move forward in when you are designing your piece too. 4. Hierarchy & Shapes: Thumbnailing: For this part of the project, what I always like to do first, is to just get a general vibe of what I'm going to be doing, especially when the client gives you the copy that you need to use, which is most cases. You really have to figure out what things are most important, what is vital for the viewer to see immediately and what are the things that the client, not even so much the viewer, or the customer, whoever, the client feels is most important? So, what I like to do, is first type out everything into just on blank art board in Illustrator. I lay it out in the sense of the way that I imagine it reading from top to bottom. For this example, for instance, it's a book. So, book title, subtitle, author name, illustration, critics quote, all these things have to play into the whole idea. In that, I really like to see where the space sits on the page. I use these Field Notes dot grid books. They're little, they're cheap. I know people are always curious in different classes, what the teacher uses to draw on, to draw with, or whatever. It really doesn't matter. It's whatever you feel most comfortable with. For me, it's this that grid books, because it's a grid, but it's a less intrusive grid. You can use it to be geometric, you can be organic with, you can do all things. That's what I like about this. So, getting into it, the first stage obviously, would just be to sketch what it's going to lay on, what's the canvas. In this instance, it's a book cover. To get started, I really like to just draw a rectangle, just as the canvas, just as the book cover, it's really basic. The proportions aren't super important, so you can be a little bit off. This is just to give yourself a guideline. I like to leave myself plenty of space, because I know I'm going to be doing a bunch of these. So, basically, what we have here is, we need to make sure the title is important, we need to make sure the icon is there, the Martini glass, and we need to make sure the author is there. So, those are the three things that have to be very clear, very legible, because this is essentially going to become the brand of this book. Just really quickly, you have your basic rectangle, you have your Martini glass, which is going to sit somewhere around here, right? Then, your title. In this case, it's called the Drunken Botanist. So, it's two words, not short words. So, maybe we can play with something like this. A little bit of an arc, that's big. We can use the, would be up at the top. I'm just scribbling stuff just to get space, and then the author name. The author name comes across like this. So, right now, you see the main elements are there. We have the space for the title, we have the space for the author, we have the space for this, but we also have the subtitle, and then a few little bits and pieces that need to live within here. So, what I'm thinking is, I'm looking at this right now. The Drunken Botanist. All of a sudden, I started sketching this in. I feel like okay, I'm going to probably going to have to change this, because fitting the type into that. Just in a quick thing is already looking crammed, but I'll play with it when I come back to it. So, now we have the subtitle, which is The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks. Initially, the shape of the image here, the shape of the icon of Martini glass, leaves a lot on left and right. So, maybe we can do something like this, play with it here. But again, it's also very important to remember the beats of the title, of what you're reading it. When you read something, if you're watching TV, if you're watching a movie, or listening to a song, everything has a rhythm to it. So, in this case, it's the Drunken Botanist, The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks. If there is no space in between there, if there's no period, if there's no breath, it's one long run on sentence and where do you stop? You have to make sure that there has those beats in there. Those beats are very defined by the shapes that you create. Amy Stewart is the author, and then they want to make sure that it's denoted that she's also the author of another book which is a New York Times Best Seller, which is also something that we have to include there. So, it's The Drunken Botanist, The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks, by Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants, a New York Times Best Seller. So, it's a mouthful. So, what we're going to do here is, we have the title, we have the area for the subtitle, we have the author area, but then we have author of Wicked Plants, I can designate that with a line, a New York Times Best Seller. So, you see it's starting to get a little cramp there. So, what I'm going to do is go right next to it and draw another box, do this again, give it another shot. So, we have Martini glass right in the middle. Now, Drunken Botanist, I saw was long and didn't fit. So, I still want to keep that arc shape. So, maybe I keep this a little tighter and I make it two lines. The Drunken Botanist. It fits in beautifully. Nice and bold, nice and legible. This Martini glass. We still have, we'll deal with these later. The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks. So, we'll see if that works in a little bit. By Amy Stewart. Maybe we'll do something like this, squeezing in a little bit better. A little bit of an arc. Amy Stewart. Okay, that fits all right. Author of Wicked Plants, a New York Times Best Seller. So, now, this is start to make a little bit more sense. Now, we know what's going on here. So, now that we have the shapes designated and the space designated as well as the hierarchy, we can play with it a little bit, and make something a little bit more fun. With the subtitle here, this is something that we will play with as we get into more detailed sketches. There will be some changes to this. But it's good to know that in terms of content wise, it will fit. Here we go, Martini glass, and this guy right here, Drunken Botanist. We know that fits, we know this fits. So, we're already stylized here. There's some a little bit bored with. I think we can do better with this. So, what I'm going to do is maybe, instead of that, I'm going to come down like this. Make it mirror the top, and then use a little bit of a flag shape and tie-in author of Wicked Plants, a New York Times Best Seller together, because I think that they should be together. Author of Wicked Plants, a New York Times Best Seller, that's almost should be said in one breath. So, I don't want to break it up entirely with two separate lines, but I still want to keep it cool. So, I'm going to do a little something like this, which fits in with the theme. It's a little bit of a flag shape. It keeps the beats there, Author of Wicked Plants, Breath, a New York Times Best Seller, but it keeps it on one line. So, visually, you're looking at it directly across. So, it makes sense. You can throw in some little flourishes here and here. From this point, now, we start flashing it out a little bit. Now, we start getting into the style. This is the point where we can play with lettering. We can play with the illustration and we can use it to our advantage in the composition. There's one thing that I learned as a young designer from a lot of my teachers, my teachers did not work in the digital age. So, they did not have a lot of this stuff. So, when you were laying out comps, this was all tracing paper and markers, and you would do this over and over again. There would be straight lines and there would be boxes everywhere, and there would be also the shapes. This is what a layout consisted of in the old days. What it really does consist of nowadays, I mean, even if you look at web designers and developers, wireframe, this is what it looks like. So, you want to keep this in mind. Shapes, lines, this is what composition is. It's all about weight, it's all about positive and negative space. If you look through a lot of these, it doesn't look too jammed up anywhere, it doesn't look too crowded, but it also doesn't look vacant. You're utilizing your space properly, you've weighted. It's just enough on top, just enough on the bottom. Nothing feels like it's floating, nothing feels like it doesn't belong, you want to make this feel like a unit. Once, we get to this point and we've explored a lot of these options. We fill up a notebook with all these things, we pick the one that we think is the best. Again, if you're doing this for a client a lot of the times, this stuff gets emailed, they say, "We like, this needs, change this." It's stick, that's just comes with the territory. But for the sake of this exercise, we pick the style that we liked and we're going to go a little bit deeper with it 5. Hierarchy & Shapes: Thumbnailing (Continued) & Laying Out Shapes : Moving on, I'm going to go for a bigger thumbnail at this point because I do want to get a little bit more into detail. Once you figure out the space, it's a free ride at that point. It's all about the fun stuff, about why we got into doing this in the first place. So, a good way to do it, just to start, go back into our shapes. Here is this, I'm going to play with this, these arcs, this area right here, and then the author title, the author name, I'm sorry, here, these shapes right here. Again, it's all geometry. This is stuff that a little kid can do. It really is. When I say it's the basics, it's the absolute basics. It's the most important part. You nail this, you nail it all. Again, here's how it shapes, going to goes to this end - Drunken Botanist. Okay. Amy Stewart. It's still the way do. It's fleshed out. I mean, it feels like a book cover. So, what I want to do now is get a little bit more detail, focus a little bit more on the lettering, start fleshing it out some more, put some cool touches on it. I mean, working with lettering for years and years, you have an idea of how things are going to look, how they're going to play with each other, what is the leg of the organ of the soup underneath you, all these kinds of cool little things that we can do with lettering. Once this is done, you can decide; "Should I scale it back? Should I get a little bit more more detailed with it?" So, we throw in the martini glass right here, and then this is where you can start throwing in other details, too. Is there going to be a border? They will put a border around here. This could look cool. I don't know, is there a border, how is it going to interact with letters? Now, we can start playing with the subtitle. The plants, now, okay. This is a good point where you start analyzing what you're doing, right? The Drunken Botanist, figured it out, Amy Stewart figured it out; New York Times figured it out. This, we were waiting on because it was mouthful and was something that we had to work with. So, I'm going to sit here, and you just take a second and look at it. "The plants that create the world's great drinks." So, if you're looking at it, the martini glass, where we have chosen to put it, is creating a separator. So, it's going to create beats, whether you like it or not. So, our job is to put the words in where the separator is going to create the proper beats. So, "The plants that create the world's best drinks." Spatially, it works: "The plants that create the world's best drinks." Is it broken up too much? So, I'm starting to feel like maybe it's a little too disjointed. So, I'm thinking maybe we can even pull this and go over and use this to create one beat, and then this to create two separate ones, "The plants that create the world's best drinks." That has a better flow to it. So, now, we have all this negative space. Now, what do we want to do with it? Sometimes you leave it, sometimes you fill it for this. I feel like maybe this is a perfect opportunity to get a little bit more organic with it. Maybe, we can put some flourishes in here that mimic plants. We could throw some leaves in here. We're developing this world, we're developing this brand for this particular book and this particular project, and the way we've done that is to go from shapes and figuring out where the shapes lie to a little bit more style to figuring out the style a little bit more delicately without having to get into "Is this going to fit? Is this going to fit? We're playing with how we can make it better. We're testing it out. We're making sure that the weight and the composition is done well so that important things are big enough, not so important things are small enough. In terms of the thumbnails and the sketches, this is what you want to do. This is how you want to go about it. You want to make sure that all these things make sense, you want to make sure you're not omitting anything that's important to the client or to the piece itself or to what the view is going to see. I mean, your job as a designer is to also make sure that you're communicating the best of what you're given, and sometimes that means making suggestions. Now, no one made a suggestion to me that I had to put these flourishes in here. I just thought maybe it would make sense. When I sent it off to the publisher, they'll tell me, "That's a great idea." or "We don't want to go in that direction." In this case, it worked out and we did go in that direction, and it made sense. But going from this point on, we have to get a little bit more detailed and we have to get into creating a layout that's prepared and ready to get us into the computer so that we can start propping it for our final piece. I think it's important to just go over the fact of why it's important to work with shapes, just in general. You might think that it's just as easy to draw words, big and small, and get the feel for it, but the best way to think about it is almost more of like an elementary way to do it, where if you cut out shapes and you align them on a page or on a table or something, you're going to get a composition out of it. So, you could write a word really big, and you could write a word really small, and you can get the idea, but shapes help you get the concept down first and foremost without having to worry about that. Then you can you can put the words in, you can do the design, you do all the lettering, and all that stuff afterwards. But what do you want to do is you want to get the hard core aspects of what it is you're doing down in the most easy way for your brain to digest. You might look at something that has a big title across the top. What does it look like? It's the best way to do it, a big rectangle. It might have a small line of text at the top. A thin line right across the top would be great for your thumbnail, just designate that area. It might have an illustration off to the left that's oval shaped. So, draw the oval. It might have some texts that goes alongside of it that's a little bit bigger. So, we'll do slightly bigger or slightly smaller rectangles but slightly bigger than a straight line. So, you're defining these shapes, you defining these areas on the page, and here we go, some smaller copy here, maybe another little image here, shape like a diamond, circle, square. Whatever these icons are, whatever this lettering is, whatever it is, it's going to take up X amount of space. If you think about newspapers even, that's a perfect example. A newspaper is all about shapes and layout on geometry. They have the masthead right at the top, that's usually the logo, blah blah blah, the times. Then they have a little couple of lines right here. Then they have columns. Columns are just rectangles, and then this may be a big picture, then there's some more columns underneath. So, you're seeing what's important here, what are the things that we really need to focus on. Shapes are the best way to deal with. It's all about grids, it's all about using the angles and the basic geometry of squares, rectangles and their distant family and what you can do with them to create something interesting on the page. 6. Hierarchy & Shapes: Layout Exercise: Okay. So, what I want to talk a little bit about now is basically a good exercise to help you create the hierarchy, and the space, and all these fun stuff that helps really to separate your information and stylize it. What we're doing here right now, is have a little Illustrator document open up, and this is a good exercise to play with. This is something that I do first with quick little thumbnail sketches. When I say thumbnail sketches, they usually no more than an inch or two high. It's just scribble, it's just to get my ideas on paper first reference. But illustrator is a great help for this, because you can do things really quickly. So, what we have here is basically an 8.5 by 11 size, and I have one, two, three, four, five rectangles laid out. Now, these rectangles can represent anything. They can be a presentation line, a title, a subtitle, another piece of text, something, we can say this could be a book cover, this could be a magazine covers, could be a poster, could be pretty much anything. But for this instance, let's just say it's a book cover, and we'll have our little opening title here, our main title here, subtitle, author, and maybe a little tag on something like that. So, what we want to do is create a unique layer out of this, and right now it's not much of anything. I mean, if you're going for a modern layout, this could be a winner already, but let's try and do something a little bit more interesting with this, and we'll give it a little bit more of a vintage sensibility just because it's very easy to demonstrate how hierarchy can work if you work more in that world. So, basically we're working backwards to forward. So, what I'm going to do here is copy this and I'm going to start moving things around. So, now the authoring a little tagline here, I'm going to pull down because I want this to be near the bottom. I'm going to take these pieces and I'm going to pull them a little bit more into the middle, and I'm just going to start reshaping. So, right here the presentation line could be lot thinner, this not as important, maybe move this up. Maybe the title makes a lot more sense, to be big you want this to be bold and to hit people on the face right away, maybe the subtitle is maybe a little more narrow, but it's still a tool. Let's go with the author name right here, maybe we would go like this, and this is all arbitrary right now, it's just experimenting. I'm going to take in this little tagline here, and now all of a sudden, you've transformed a basic five box layout into something that looks like something. It looks like a design. I mean, if you're standing across the room, you can look at this and it looks like something, you can almost guess what's in these boxes. So, it's a good exercise to just do this, and just play around with this. I mean, you can take this piece, and you can you can change it again, you can say well, I want the author name to be pretty big, I want this tagline to be longer, and I want it to come up into a big part of this. I want this subtitle to be maybe something that it doesn't take up as much space, and I want this to be really minimal, and this to have a little bit more breathing room. So, this is, we can really do a lot to change for layout style, on the five for what we're working for, and it's all about shapes. Particularly rectangles, because with rectangles, like we've discussed, a its very easy to delineate where the text is going to go. We read left to right, top to bottom. So, you can see this is where letters could be. Letters can be right here. You can read this first, then you move on to this, and you read this way, then you move on to here, and so on and so forth. It'll come together to form something that makes a little bit more sense. So, now this is your more basic layout. This is something that can exist very easily in today's modern world, but we'll jump back in time a little bit and we'll make something that has a bit more of a vintage feel, and that that has a lot to do with manipulating shapes, and you can do that using the warping tools in Illustrator since it's a great technique to just play around with it, and just see what we can do. So, all of a sudden we give this title a little bit of an arc on the bottom of the baseline here. We can we can take this presentation line and maybe give this an arc somewhere towards the top. Maybe we want to delete this a little bit. So, it's basic shapes. I mean, just think about illustrating with shapes first and as you do that, you'll be able to have a better sensibility of how you want this conversation to feel. This is all composition, and if you're able to get this moving, it'll really, really give you a great idea of exactly where you want your piece to be in the grand scheme of things. Like right away, we've got something interesting, and it's great to be able to sit here and look at it and go, okay, this is definitely more interesting than the one above, and we're having a great play with the shapes, and you could just imagine the type running across this arc here, and the type having missed this cool rounded indent in the middle where the type will have to follow this baseline, it's already more interesting. Then we have this nice little flag shape down here. So, this can get as detailed as you wanted it to get, we can do all crazy stuff with it. I mean, of course it should be within reason and and it's great if the pieces can interlock in such a way that it still feels like it's part of some kind of grid. It still feels like this spacing makes sense. It still feels like there's a unity there. You don't want it to just be random shapes, like if we're pulling this out, if there's no rhyme or reason to it sometimes, just moving the shapes around, you can see it doesn't necessarily make much sense. I mean, you can do this maybe with some more basic shapes, but once you start playing with the shapes of manipulating themselves, you'll see an issue start to occur, and you don't want that. You want this to be legible, you want it to be clean, you want it to be readable. It's very important that all these things sit within that world, and of course you can take this, and you can do all things with it. It doesn't necessarily have to be a rectangle, it could be a diamond. Just start drawing shapes. I mean, this is basic illustrator stuff, and it'll do so much to help you with your work flow just in general. This can be, the shape can be this, that can be some type in there. There can be all sorts of things. You can start working in here. This doesn't have to be a rectangle, this could be a big ellipse, you could fit the type in there. Basically, anywhere that you can read left to right cleanly without altering the letters too much, so that it's still recognizable by the human eye, you're in pretty good shape. Again, the type doesn't have to fill this completely, this could just be a shape that the type sits right cross in the middle. It could sit just like this. It doesn't really have to be within the shape. This is just a great way to help define your composition, define what it is that you're looking to do. So, have fun and experiment with it and there's an endless amount of layouts that you can use utilizing this. You can just see what we just did six of them here very very quickly. Again, you just go in here, and just start playing with stuff, it doesn't have to be anything crazy. It's just a good way to start exploring using shapes and using composition. So, again, get rudimentary with it, get back to basics. This is kind of childhood stuff, cutting things out with construction paper and laying them out on a page gluing them down. I mean, this is how graphic design started. So, it's great to be able to sit here and do this in such a way that you can try to play some tone into it, try to place some vibes into it for your overall piece. If you can come up with this concept that you're very happy with, try to accentuate that, and try to use these shapes within this piece to help accentuate that. If you do that, you can really accomplish something great. So, make sure you keep an eye on that, and make sure that you don't go overboard either. It's very easy to go overboard with this stuff. I could keep throwing shapes in here for days, and I can keep filling it and it's not the worst thing, but it's not for every layout. Sometimes, a layout like this makes more sense. Sometimes if you're doing something, it could be as simple as here's a piece right here, here's a piece right here, and here's a piece right here. This is just as effective as this, as this, as this, they all have their own personality to it, and they all make sense for a particular reason. So, keep an eye on it, there's a lot of things that you can do, and don't just do it because you feel like you want to do that lettering style, do it because its appropriate to the tone of the piece, and make sure it makes sense, and once we get this laid out, then we can work easily into our type systems and really start playing with it. But this is the foundation, these are pieces of the foundation. Even if you do a bunch of them, it's always great to do a bunch of them, I always sit here and do a whole bunch of thumbnail sketches, a whole bunch of illustrator test because it's quick and easy, and you can really get a sense for what the vibe of the piece is going to be that way. So, if you can do that, that would be great, and you can take that and use that as a springboard to get into the more detailed stuff and to really start making this look like something. 7. Type Systems: Queston #1: Okay. So, once you've done figuring out your basic layout using your shapes and your composition methods that we talked about, we want to really get a vibe for what the system is going to be. What are we going to define is the system, the type system, the lettering system. There's a few things that you want to ask yourself while you're working with type systems while you're trying to develop them and when you're trying to pick a style. The first thing I always like to ask myself is basically, what is the overall theme? What's the vibe of the piece? What is it describing? Who does it appeal to? Basically, who's the audience? Who's the audience and what's the product? The next thing, is there a lettering or font style that immediately jumps out at me? Does it fit the particular theme of the work that I've identified? Is it fitting within the vibe of the piece? Based on that, is it a good thing to match it or is it better to contrast it? Is it better to do something a little different and to switch it up? After that, it's always good to think about is your lettering and your fonts. Are they going to vary? Are they going to remain similar? Are we going to go for different sizes, different styles, different colors? Are we going to do all this or are we going to stay a little bit more minimal? Then finally, how will these letter style choices support the hierarchy? We did the shapes, we figured out the spacing. What letter style is going to fit best in these shapes? What is going to really emphasize these layouts the best? That's basically the checklist I like to run through every time I start a new layout, and it works every time. All these questions are universal, they work for every piece of design that you're going to do and it's important. Keep these in mind, this is one of those sticky note things that you can leave on the front of your computer so you don't forget, when we make sure I do this, this, this, and this because it'll help you. So, let's get into that first question. Basically, what is the overall theme and the vibe of your piece? What's the overall vibe? Who's it appealing to and what is it describing? So, the best way for me to go through this for you is to go through a project that I worked on. This was a recent one that I worked on for Lincoln Motor Company. It was a commercial to help distinguish the history of the car brand and just run through a timeline. The first thing that I received was a brief from the agency that we're working with in. Basically, what they were saying is they gave me some title cards that I was going to be working on, some title cards that would be within the commercial that I would be illustrating with some notes. There's some notes with voice-over, we hopped on a phone call and we talked it over. Basically, what we're looking at here is I had to design for the year 1918 and the year 1922 and some supportive copy. So, basically, what we have here is, for the year 1918, they're looking for something distinctively 1918 and the same with 1922. Four years shouldn't really make that much of a difference. But when you're talking about design, a very small amount of time makes a huge difference. We can look at what we've been through in the past five years and see how much design has changed. So, you can only imagine. I mean, things really do change and it's important to do your research. In designing for 1918, I pulled a bunch of reference images and eventually came down to some of my favorites, and this is an example of some of them. What I noticed was it was still fairly decorative, but it was a lot more simplistic than I expected. The lettering styles were very geometric. You see a lot of circles, you see a lot of squares and triangles really feeling like they're part of the letterforms. The x-heights are pretty unique. Nothing is really split right down the middle. It's kind of the x-heights are a little higher or they're a little lower. Even in the cases where they are split in the middle as in the Roman Catholic Schools example, it still doesn't have that exact vibe. I mean, if you look at the R and the M, they're not what you would particularly think of as your basic R or your basic M. There's some feeling to that. You can see there's a general theme running through here. The O's are big and wide. The S's have giant balls on the bottom. The B is the same, the bottom part is a lot bigger than the top. There's a lot of these unique assets that have been worked into these letterforms that helped define this time period and helped define this feeling. Now, jumping into the 1922 pieces, it seems like it almost becomes a lot more sophisticated. We're moving away from a geometric shapes and we're getting more into enhancing the lettering to be more stylized. It's not just about circles and triangles and squares making these letters. It's a little bit less Art Deco and it's a little more modern basically. This is a four-year difference, and we're already seeing something that feels a lot more modern. You can really see this evolution of type and this evolution of imagery. So, another thing that's something I notated for moving into 1922. Also, you can see where the baseline and just the top of the letters really move straight across. That was something that I felt like was really important to notate as opposed to the 1918 examples, where you can feel like maybe you could start doing some interesting things. Especially, if you look at the lowercase in the 1918 example where it says, "As long as he lives," the G kind of hangs down really interestingly. So, it is also in the Roman Catholic schools, the "of" the lowercase. The Lowercase f is very interesting in the way that it's designed. In a 1922 examples, there's not so much of that. Now, if you look at my lettering for 1918 and the lettering for 1922 and even just the layouts in general, you can see that I really referenced the reference pieces very closely. For the 1918 one, I really wanted to go geometric. The O's are big and wide. The x-heights have that high-low kind of mentality to it. Even the small little subtitles in the opening titles where it says "Lincoln Motor Company", it has that very basic feel to it. It's not overly ornate and it's utilizing the geometry in a really interesting way. I'm not going to overboard with any of this stuff either, this is almost like a basic typeset but just done with that 1918 flare that I found in my research. Now, looking at the 1922, you start to see where there's a lot more decoration coming and there's some flourishes coming off the letters. We're playing with the baselines, we're playing with the heights of things, but it's all done in a much more elegant way. If you look at these two side-by-side, you can almost see how the 1922 version is a lot more evolved than the 1918 version. You can see where there's more of a simplistic 1918 and more of an elegant sophisticated 1922. That's something that I think was really important based on these various resources that I pulled. You can see how that's important and it's important to honor that. 8. Type Systems: Question #2: Now, we're going to get into the next question that we're asking ourselves. Is there a lettering or font style that matches the theme that we're working in? We've identified the theme, now we have to identify if there's a particular lettering style that matches. Also, how are we going to approach this? So, we're going to do it the way that we're we almost expect ourselves to do it, or we're going to try and break the rules a little bit? Let's take a look at some examples. This is some stuff that everyone knows. It's like okay, if we talk about these particular styles of design, we already know what lettering styles go along with it. The first one I'm going to go with is my favorite, baseball uniforms. I've always loved baseball uniforms. They're a great source of inspiration, mostly because they're extremely traditional. It's coming from a place where design and branding, and all these things were not important to the sport. The sport was a lot more rugged, it was very hobby thing. So, anytime that you saw lettering for baseball teams, it usually came from the same guys who did newspaper ads in the late 1800s, or where the guys who did signs on buildings. There was a consistent theme. If you look at the Dodgers example, that script with the Swoosh that goes underneath it. That we think about that as a baseball logo now, but that was not a baseball logo, that was just a general company logo that was very popular. That styles are popular in late 1800s, early 1900s. So all these things come from that area. When we look at this in terms of what they became, the lettering had to be bold, it had to be simple. Because you needed to distinguish team from team when you were on the baseball field. You want to be able to tell who's on your team. There's also the fact that a lot of these logos, or these lettering pieces were spanned across the chest, and a lot of times they were spanned across in an arc, or in some diagonal way, so that as the human body turns, it sits in a very natural way. So, you can read it, you can play, it's utilitarian in some sense. There definitely are of variation and styles there's the more blocky version, there's the more script version, and there's more Tuscan almost all time the Western feel. All of them are very traditional to baseball because they were very traditional to printing in that era when these things were invented. Unlike other sports, baseball has remained pretty traditional to that late 1800s, early 1900s aesthetic, there's definitely been updates. But for the most part, it remains, and the amount of decoration that's usually added is never really much more than a simple outline, or drop shadow here and there. Another good example is the military, the US military, or pretty much any military for that matter. When you think about military stuff, you think strong, bold, stencils, and it always feels like it's about the stencils. The reason that happens is because, this is utilitarian stuff, and even more so than baseball. These guys have a job to do. There's no time to just manufacturer these designs on these garments, on these on these products and bags, and whatever thing that they're using. Stencils are quick and easy. They're right there, you paint over them real quick, send the guy on his way, and that's what's so interesting about this military. If someone says army to you, you immediately think of particular style of stencil font, and that's the beautiful thing about determining your vibe and your tone for a particular piece, because if you have that association already, it makes your life ten times easier, and you have a great starting point. So, just run through what the military really has to offer in terms of the lettering. I mean, you're looking at simplicity, you're looking at very little use of decoration. It's not a fancy organization. The army is not anything fancy. The military is not fancy, it's based on utility and effectiveness. Anytime you're designing something, it's always great to be able to at least have some nod to what the utility is of what you're designing, whatever it might be soda, computer, cars, whatever clothing. As long as you have a little bit of a nod to it, whether you're going contrasting, or just like tonally, it's good to be able to reference them in some way. This creates an aesthetic that people will copy for novelty items and whatever but there's purpose to this, and there's utility in this, and that's what makes it look the way it does. This is where you take your knowledge as a graphic designer and the history that you study, and you apply it to something, and this is where aesthetics come from. Aesthetics come from how history has defined certain utilities. In this in this particular example, we know exactly where it came from. We know why it exists, and this is what we associate with it. I mean, anytime you see a stencil of this is one of the first things you'll think about. Then moving into the opposite end of the spectrum, we're thinking about luxury here. Luxury, whenever you think luxury always thinking script, you're thinking elegance, and decoration, and the type style is usually mimic that. It always seems very clean. The layout's always seem very clean. It's has lot of room to breathe, there is a lot of air, there is a lot of negative space. But that doesn't mean it's illegible either. The legibility of scripts, and depending on what type of script you're using, it could almost become completely illegible. But there's also the scripts helps to define a certain characteristic. It implies a certain amount of maturity and sophistication, whereas, you don't really need to be able to read it immediately. You're assuming that the person who's looking at this, is coming at it from a particular standpoint. A particular standpoint of refinement where it's like they have the luxury to sit here, and figure out what this beautiful script says. I'm going to soak it in for its beauty. With that, comes supporting lettering that is usually a lot easier on the eyes, and it's not only for utility safe, but also for aesthetics. I mean, if you have one beautiful scripts lettering piece, it's almost like an illustration in itself. So, in doing that, you wouldn't want to compliment one illustration with another. You'd want to compliment one illustration with something that's a little bit more useful. It's the perfect example to show how balance is important as well. So, your hierarchy stuff that you've worked on really comes into play when you work with something like this because it's all about that balances, it's all about that weight and the nature of how these decorative titles play with one another. So, using these three examples, you can see how utility and function, and history really play into it. In doing so, you can help identify where each lettering style fits in its particular environment. Once you're able to identify that, then you can make the choice, am I going to stick with that? Am I going to go traditional? Or am I going to go crazy and do something totally different where people don't expect it? 9. Type Systems: Question #3: Now, moving into the third question, we are going to have x amount of lettering. We're going to have copy. So, is it going to vary a lot or are we going to stay similar? Is it going to live within the same family? So, I want to show you two different examples that I've worked on. The one on the left is that chalkboard style that you've seen popularized over the past couple of years, and this is for the Rachael Ray magazine. Basically, what we have here is very ornate. We have a lot of different type styles. There's a lot going on. On the right side, we have the standard memorandum which is a notebook project that I designed. In doing so, I wanted it to be very utilitarian. It's a daily record books. So, the design of it has to stay out of your way so that you can fill it with your own things. Basically, what you're having here is on the left is you're having something very ornate which is supposed to feel personal, but in essence, it's a lot colder since it's in a magazine. Then as opposed to that on the right side, we have something that looks colder, but once you start using it, it becomes a lot more personal. So, you can see how the styles play off each other and how lettering styles can really affect how something looks. Just to get into it a little bit, when you sit here and you're starting to design something, you ask yourself, do you want this to be ornate? Do you want it to be minimal? How do you want to communicate these feelings? Is it going to be fun? Is it going to be serious? Is it going to be utilitarian? Is it going to be decorative? These are very important questions to start asking yourself. Is this going to fit in the vibe that we've worked so hard on at this point? It has to all make sense. It has to all jive together. If you do decide to use multiple styles, there has to be some common element to keep them together. It's mostly having to do with the type style. You need to see some common elements. In the Rachel Ray piece, you see I'm working with that kind of early 1900s vibe with the x heights are different. They're not straight across. There's a lot of x heights that are up. There a lot that are down. You can see how there's a common bonds in a lot of these styles, a common DNA, but then it's also offset with some scripts and some flourishes and some little pieces here and there that help to bring it all together into one unified piece. So, what you're seeing, again, is almost like an illustration. Again, it's more of that illustration vibe as opposed to that cold typographic graphic design style. If you're doing this without any rhyme or reason, it will start to look sloppy. It'll look very messy, and you'll lose the harmony that you've been developing through your shapes and your hierarchy and your styles and your study of the resources and the history. The more lettering styles you add, the harder it gets to make it look good. So, if you are going to do this, make sure you're comfortable. Now, when you get into some more modern layouts, and the more modern layouts really see that history of the mid 1900s to today, it's all about cleanliness and space and the ability to let your design breathe and be legible. Even something that is as simple as this can have just as much style as something with a ton of different typefaces. So, the best thing that I can illustrate in the Standard Memorandum notebook example is the fact that the hierarchy is clearly defined. You can definitely see where our shapes were used in the design of this. You can see how it was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 rectangles. You can just go from the top and just go straight to the bottom and count them out and you can see exactly how they were stretched and pulled and moved around to create the layout that we have there. It serves the exact same purpose that the lettering piece on the left serves. The two layouts are completely different in how they're approached, but they're accomplishing the same exact goal in being unique and interesting and creating a personality for the piece that it's representing. So, this is where your choices really start to affect what your work is going to look like. Just remember, you do not have to use a thousand different styles. You do not have to use one style. You can use two or three styles. This is all based on all these things that we're working towards. It's all based on the history. It's all based on your resources and in your brief and the tone of the piece and everything. Just make sure that when you are working in your type layouts and you are choosing what type styles you're going to use, just make sure it's appropriate. The name of the game is appropriate. You have to make sure that it just works. You can get into all these different styles, but if it's just not working and it's not making sense with the reason that you're defining this message, then what's the point? The basic aspect of this is that it all comes down to the fact that this serves a purpose. Design, in general, serves a purpose and that purpose is to communicate a message. So, it's great to be able to decorate the message, but first and foremost, you have to communicate that message and you have to communicate it clearly. So, make sure that when you are choosing your type styles, it's in a very clear way and then when you are comfortable, you can start adding and subtracting and doing some interesting things with it, but always make sure that you are clear and you are concise and you are appropriate. 10. Type Systems: Question #4: Now, the last question I'd like to ask myself when we get to this point is, how are these letter choices going to support the hierarchy? Now, this is where it's really kind of coming down to the end and you're really picking exactly what it is that's going to define style. To do that, I wanted to run through one of my poster designs for the national. To just kind of jump right into it, I knew that just with a name like the National, I wanted to do something kind of presidential kind of American. It's a fun style to work in. It really kind of creates a great visual and it has a great visual history to pull from. In doing that, I wanted to do a really big bold presidential serif style for the lettering. It was really prevalent in the 19th century and a lot of the government posters, Uncle Sam era, it's got that feel to where it almost feels a little primitive, because originally, they had that same vibe as the San Serif fonts do today, because the Serifs then were a lot more decorative. I'll get into that in a little bit, but I really wanted that. It's a big bold font that has the DNA of a San Serif but it still has Serifs and some decorative line work within it. When I go from there, I ask myself, "What's the next most important part?" The thing I jumped to is the date, of course, you know the band that you want to see. The next question is, "When do you want to see them? The date is super important and I wanted to make that big and bold. What I did was, I took the same kind of style that the National was in but I removed the Serifs and I removed the decoration within it. So, it's still the same style, but it's kind of dumped down a bit, and it's moved around the page a little bit. When you look at this, even if you squint, if you can stand back and you squint, the first thing you'll see is the national and next thing you see is the date. It's incredibly important to make sure that that's very clear. You want to be able to ingest that information quickly and do so without overshadowing the header or the main headline. They look different but that DNA is there. If you look at the pieces that are the same, it's the line way and it's the x-height. They're very similar. If you just remove some of the decoration on that Serifs, you have almost the identical font. Right then and there, those two most important pieces have a bond that are created between them. It really helps to unify it right off the bat. So, kind of minimalizing it a little bit and not using the Serifs on the date really show that it's almost subordinate to the main title treatment and you should like the Nationals, is the thing that deserves attention because it has the more decoration and you move on down to the date and you know it's important because it does share that same style but it's missing some of the attention to detail that the National has. So, you can see just in making those little choices, how you're able to develop the hierarchy of your piece. After that, the next important thing would be the special guest, that's the next most vital piece of information. The special guest will be Owen Pallett. What you have here with the Owen Pallett typeface style and I use typeface font lettering interchangeably because not everyone is going to be using lettering, some people could be manipulating fonts, you could be doing some lot of ways. Looking at Owen Pallett, we're seeing a lettering style that's still within the same stylistic period as the rest of these pieces of the puzzle so far. This time period, this 19th century Americana has amassed a great amount of of stylistic assets that you can pull it from. In the creation of this poster, I wanted to try and utilize a lot of them and kind of have like this overarching feel of National. In order to balance out the lettering styles that I used for the National and the September 30th, I wanted to do something that's a little bit more stark in contrast that will still grab attention but not be overbearing. What I did was, I went for a thinner line weight and I went a little bit more innate but I still kept some similar stylistic choices. If you look at the National type, we have some spurs coming out of the middle towards the x-height. The same thing happens with the Owen Pallett face, except it's a little bit more innate and it's a little bit more magnified. So, we're actually seeing some more of that style developed even further. This is a great way to play with the styles that you're choosing, you're going thick and heavy and then thin and light. It's great to be able to balance the weights of the fonts that you're using or the lettering styles that you're using and to use that in your hierarchy and then once you get past that point where you have your information that's 100 percent necessary, then you can start playing with the other stuff. For this it's a band poster. This poster was probably hung up in the venue that you were going to, that you were at, that the band was going to be playing at. So, you kind of already know where it's going to be so, it's not as necessary. When you can play around that especially live obviously, these are all little pieces that help decorate the poster. So, I decided I want to have a little bit more fun with this part of the project. It wasn't necessary for it everything to be completely obvious, it didn't have to be super legible, but it could be stylistic supports to the rest of the poster design. It doesn't have to take up that much of the visual landscape. This doesn't, I'm not suggesting that you completely throw out the style guide and just kind of go crazy with this point, it's still important to stay within the general theme that you're working in but you can have some fun with it. If it's not going to take up that much of the visual landscape, you can go a little nuts and you can have a little fun with it and do some interesting things. In this example, I really chose to use various other lettering styles from the time period more as decorative elements and not so much as communicational elements and that's what you see with some of these pieces that have a lot of type or a lot of lettering. Not everything is super important so, you can have some fun with it and that's what I did with this piece. 11. Type Systems: Question #4 Continued: I just wanted to run through one more example of how letter choices support hierarchy and I wanted to use this Dockers project that I worked on. Right off the bat, my brief included the logo, the logo had to be front and center. In my particular style of hand-drawn lettering, working with a clean vector logo is not always the easiest thing to do. It's tough to mix them together. So, that was my challenge right there, the logo has a defined style. However, the campaign that this was a part of was more or less a very human campaign, had a more hands on feel to it. If you remember back to our lessons early on tone and theme, a lot of this stuff comes from the creative brief. So, if someone says, "Here's the logo but it has to be human" this is where your brain starts churning and the gear start going and you start really thinking about, "Okay, how am I going to solve this problem?" The actual hands on field to it is different than what the logo would suggest so, how do I really accomplish this goal. How do I make it so that this feels like a unified piece? So, my my decision was to go with a more serif approach. The Dockers logo itself even with the illustration icon that accompanies it, is sans-serif all the way it's a single line weight, it's basically one thick stroke throughout. So, I wanted to kind of mimic that a little bit. So, with the title of the campaign, Men of Style, I went with that in one single line weight, that one single stroke, except I added a bit more decoration to it and added some serifs. I put it on an arch and and I gave it a little bit of a drop shadow. So, it still stands out within the composition of the piece but the Dockers logo itself still is the primary focus. So, you're right away seeing the number one and the number two pieces of our hierarchy puzzle. When you look at this composition as a whole, you really see the sans-serif logo pop because it's surrounded by all these serifed lettering styles and this hand-drawn border. It's great to be able to define the essence of a campaign just within these little contrasting back and forth. This sans-serif of the logo is really bold when you look at it, as compared to all the little details that come off of serifs in general. I mean, once you're using a serif, you're letting go of a certain amount of control and a certain amount of authority that the letters are demanding, because there is those little bits of details in there. So, if you are to contrast it with a sans-serif, you're definitely going to see some interaction between the two and in this case, it's the the logo itself popping in and being at the forefront of the design. It is important to note though, that the line weight does remain pretty consistent throughout. I mean, I think the subheaders, which would, Get dressed like you mean, is a little bit more varied but the two major things, the Dockers, and, The men of style and the Dockers icon all have that consistent line weight. This is again, similar to the National where the National and the September 30th we're very close but in that case it was almost reversed, where I went from serif or sans-serif. But really what it comes down to is that we're working from the same type of letter font DNA, it's all still there, you're able to tie it in and it looks like it's part of it. Even though it's hand-drawn, there still is that relationship there that makes it work. When it's used in context, the viewer doesn't even notice it, it just becomes its own piece, it's own mark and that's what you really wanted to do achieve, this clean Dockers aesthetic mixed with the gritty nature of everyday people. That's where the brief was headed and the human elements of imperfection mixing with that perfect nature of a manufactured pair of pants, really gives us that theme and really brings us to the forefront and the viewer and the customer, whoever might be looking at this, the audience, will get that vibe. 12. Integrating Type with Image: One of the last things I want to talk about is integrating type and lettering with an image. There's a lot of times where you can get away with doing only type and that's really fun and really great, but most times that's not the case. I mean, especially if you have clients, there's products that they want to sell, imagery that they need to put out there, there's photography that needs to be shown. There's a lot of times when image is important. So, you have to decide how your typing and your lettering is going to integrate within that image, whether it's photography, whether it's video, whether it's product, it doesn't matter. You have to figure out where it's going to sit, and there's a lot of different ways you can do it. It can either interact directly with the image, or it can interact indirectly with the image, and that's a choice that you can make based on the tone and based on the rhythm and based on the overall feeling that you want this particular project to have. I want to go through just a couple of examples and show you how I worked through them. Both of these examples are for a campaign that I did with Bing. The first one I was given was a photograph of bicycles, and the title was bicycling. So, right away I'm looking at the image and it's softer tones, muted colors, it's very serene, subdued, relaxing, all these things are starting to go through my head, I'm making notes of all these things. Everything feels very organic, but the bicycles are front and center. So, it's rigid and geometric at the same time. So, there's a certain architecture to it. So, it's almost like looking at a cityscape, or anything like that compared to nature. You have a certain amount of human architecture that's being utilized within an environmental, organic situation. So, there's contrast right there. So, again, I'm thinking serene, relaxing, but now I'm thinking contrast as well. Just in general, the photo itself just feels very light and airy. So, I have a lot of negative space to play with. So, should I use up all that negative space or should I let it continue to be light and airy? That's where the ideas start working and that's where the thumbnails start coming in as we start sketching and trying to figure out exactly where it should be. So, you can see right here, this is my initial idea of what I wanted to go with. I knew I wanted it to be something that was organic feeling and very flowing because you have the beach, you have the waves, and then you have the bike. Once you're on one of these beach cruiser bikes, it's just, you just sit there and you just flow through them and it's very relaxing. I wanted the type to feel very flowing and very free, but once I did this it just felt too heavy. The piece is very light, very airy. There's a lot of breathing room and the type itself just felt too heavy. So, I scraped it went back to the drawing board and I came up with the next piece, and this is what ended up being the final. It's more of a single stroke feeling, it feels more like it mimics a bike frame and yet it's still organic, and it still brings in the airiness of the nature behind it and the flow of the waves. So, I really tried to incorporate both into this piece and still not overshadow the photo itself. So, the type sits behind the image a bit and gives it a little bit of dimensionality to it. So, it's nice to be able to look at this piece and not feel overwhelmed by any one thing. Instead, it feels more balanced, and it feels more like something you can actually look at and ingest and say okay, bicycling, as opposed to just being hammered with too much visual information. The same thing goes for the next one. This one was, you can see a few people in a raft in there, it's whitewater rafting in there. They are right there with the whitewater and it's looking pretty crazy and it's looking pretty hectic and they have life jackets on, they had helmets on, the water is very choppy. You can see this element of intensity and almost masculinity too, just the rugged action that this photograph is capturing. Also, once you look at what negative space you have to play with, it's a rugged terrain. If you squint and pull back again and you look and see what kind of shapes start to appear to you, you can see that negative space of the water is cut into by the oars and the people's heads and the people's shoulders and the raft itself. So, you're stuck with an interesting sense of negative space and what am I going to do to get into this vibe. So, on the flip side of the bicycling, this one is very intense, and it's not light and airy. There's a lot of visual stuff going on. There's texture and there's pattern everywhere, and it's something that is very distracting to the human eye. So, if you're going to start throwing lettering in there, it's only going to get more distracting. So, my first choice was to play off the idea of the waves and how rocky it was, and I ended up going with a lighter type style to sit behind, similarly that I did with the bicycling piece, but it ended up getting lost. It got lost very quickly. It's a very busy piece and that fine detail just gets lost in all the detail of the water and the waves and everything that's going on. So, I had to go back and I had to figure something out. So, what I thought of was, a good way to really bring this to a good place was to make the type really heavy and really thick and take up a lot of that negative space and really make it fill it up so it's almost claustrophobic feeling, because it helps to ignite that feeling that the photograph is trying to give off, where it's just, there's no where to go. You're in this little raft and it's really crazy and I wanted the type to mimic that. So, I took the type and I started designing it so that it would take up almost as much negative space as it possibly could. I made a thick, so it was bold and easy to read, and I made the style a little bit more rigid. It's not so free-flowing and there's not a lot of curly cues and this and that. This is not just a day at the beach, this is something really intense. You can imagine the feeling of being in this raft and being thrown back and forth. If you were to be in a raft and go over these letters, it would have a similar feel because there are some hard edges and there are some sharp corners, and that's something that ended up making this piece successful., was to to re-evaluate what the tone was and really take into consideration what the image was trying to portray. That's a great thing to be able to do is, if you do have the time and the ability to sit there and say, "Okay, what is this image telling me and how can I express that and how can I make it just in general, better for the audience, the viewing audience?" It's great to be able to tell that story, utilizing a photograph that someone gives you as part of the brief and you're answering right back with something just as vital and just as important. That really helps to create the composition in a meaningful way. It's something that will take practice and it's something that you'll need to work on in order to get right to make the right choices, and it's okay if you make the wrong choices because you'll learn from them and that's what this is all about. But just taking a look at these and seeing how they work together, you can see how you can utilize all these things that we've talked about and create some really beautiful pieces of work. 13. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.