Back to Basics | Skillshare Projects

Frazer S.




Back to Basics


Firstly, my name's Frazer and I'm a graphic design student from Leeds University, UK. I'm taking this class to literarly to back to the basics of typography to build a solid foundation to use on typography based projects in my future studies.

10 words, 10 typefaces

Here's the "10 words 10 typefaces" examples, most were already on my system and some (like Bariol or New Athlete) I had to go hunting for but I'm glad I've got them in my arsenal for when a project demands a certain style!

Analyse a brand


The typefaces use in the Colgate branding are very clean and neutral, this added to the little use of colour makes it look very sterile - seeing as it's for toothpaste they'll want it to look clean and sterile to reflect the purpose of the product.

Next up is this bottle of Nivea Men's shower gel. Being a product for men and tailored towards sport, they've used dark, masculine and manly colours in the design and the typography looks both sporty and clean which reflects the purpose of the product and the sporty line of shower gel


Bebas Nueu is a typeface I use a lot because - like futura condensed - it's a nice, condensed headline font but as it's a free font it has terrible kerning! On the is it's default kerning and on the bottom is my editted, tighter kerned attempt.

Next stop was tackling some kerning exercises on Kerntype, I'd suggested this game to lecturers and colleagues before on typography based projected and got mocked for making extra work for everyone (you now how students are...) 
Anyway, I consistently got above 80% which is promising!

Alphabet sheet

Some were harder than others - especially the M!

Own type

Attempt 1#

You can download (for whatever reason) my first attempt at type design HERE

Attempt #2


This reminds me of a brief we had in our first semester, we had to choose from a list of quotes and produce an A3 poster illustrating that quote. Here is the Edwin Land (polaroid founder) poster I produced, I'm not very proud of it although I guess it does show off photoshop skills in my portfolio. I didn't take any thought into the typographic composition or hierarchy when designing it, just how the idea of the quote could be shown visually so I think I'm going to start with redoing that and then maybe choosing another:

Other quotes from the brief and ones I may consider are:

  • Train how you race and race how you train (something our rowing coach always shouts to us at training)
  • Creativity comes form the conflict of ideas - Donatella Versace
  • You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have - Maya Angelou
  • The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt - Sylvia Plath
  • Practice safe design, use a concept - Petrula Vrontikis
  • When you give me a brief, I wont give you pants (a funny quote I heard from a studio, I may pinch it for my personal website)
  • Pressure is good for you (an age old saying that I live by)
  • Only your best is good enough

Heres a small moodboard of inspiration

First, I played word association and made a list of words that relate to my subject to get an idea for how to illustrate the quote:

Here are some layout sketches:

Then I hopped onto the computer and let my ideas run wild to create 4 mockups. I kind of like #2 but it could do with being more illustration-like and I also like the circus idea of #3 so may build on that idea more.


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