Working With Text

As a working reporter for a print newspaper, someone might think I would pay attention to the typography and layout that is applied to the weekly product I write for. Unfortunately, that has not been the case until now.

Maybe that is what is broken with the system. A reporter goes out to come up with material to fill the newspaper with, editors then take the material and mold it to their liking before sending it over to a production team who lays everything out before sending it to the printer. This is an oversimplified version of the process, but the reporters do not have much say in the layout.

This week, I read about typography, layout, white space and many ways these all work together to create a visually appealing product. I never thought about how typography comes into play when putting things together, but after the readings this week, it all makes sense.

Robin Landa, the author of the sixth edition of Graphic Design Solutions said the designer can enhance readability several ways (Landa 2018). Something as simple as using left justification for paragraphs and breaking text up into chunks increases readability while creating paragraphs with long lines, small text and leaving orphans and widows in the layout decreases readability.

Ultimately, the designer is the conductor of orchestrating the flow of information.

“You direct the reader from one typographic element to another by establishing a visual hierarchy and flow…by considering the space between elements, and by establishing a sense of movement from one element to another,” according to Landa (Landa 2018).

Typography is also crucial on the web, and readability can be improved by creating contrast between color and background, Landa says, and it can be crippled by using bright colors. Chunking, on the other hand, comes into play in both print and web.

My project this week was to take a word and illustrate it by modifying the text. The word I chose was BROKEN, because lately, I’ve been dealing with a situation with a person close to me who feels broken after going through two major surgeries in a two-week period.

The word BROKEN does not necessarily have a positive connotation, so I kept with a simple black and white color scheme. To be creative, I used a simple gray to white gradient.

Landa said, “Type should always be an active contributor and can, in fact, express the entire message (Landa 2018).

I intended to take the word BROKEN and make it appear like it was breaking apart into shards of glass. I found a video on YouTube created by Satori Graphics, where the artist used Illustrator to create such an effect.

To make the word appear like shards of glass, I typed the word, increased the size of the font, chose a san serif font and converted it into a vector object. Then I used the Pen tool to create triangles pointing into the word, found a way to separate all the objects and pulled the triangles out from the word.

Overall, I’m happy for my first attempt and believe I have illustrated the meaning of the word BROKEN.

Landa, R. (2018). Graphic Design Solutions, Sixth Edition. Boston, MA: Cengage.

  • Hi Greg,

    Before I comment on your work, I would like to say how much I enjoyed your essay. I feel as though with the essay portion we are given the opportunity to connect with our audience, and you did just that! It feels as though you are having a conversation with your readers which allows them to get to know you. Additionally, I think you did a great job of incorporating the readings.

    Your work with typography is also really great! I love your word choice and what you did with it. The word is still legible, but the tiny fragments missing is a great touch. I think you definitely achieved your goal of trying to make it look like broken glass because that is the first thing I thought of upon viewing. There is not much I would change about your work, but I might have gone with a different font. The font you chose is very strong so I might’ve gone with something a little less bold. However, maybe that was your message– even the strongest people and things can break.

    Overall, I think you did a really great job. I cant wait to see what else you produce over the next few weeks!

  • I loved this design! I thought it was very clear what the word represented and I really liked your story behind it as well. What I thought was so interesting was there as an illusion to your design and it actually looks like the letters are moving! To me, it looks like the letters are pulsing, similar to how a person breathes. I would actually argue with Caroline and say that I think it was a good idea to make the letters bold. A lot of the times we relate broken with frail, but something seemingly strong can still be broken. The shading also helps because it doesn’t look like a fat bold surface to the text, it looks like the text is in between bold and faint, along with the sharp glass like edges.

  • Hi Greg! Your word BROKEN was presented in a very cool, and different way. Using inspiration from your friend to make the word design is interesting. I hope they are okay, by the way. The way that you have shaded in the words to kind of outline it was a great choice in my opinion. It stands out more even when you look at the shattered pieces on the word. Great job! I really enjoyed this.

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