Typography Unit Snigdha Singhal

about our unit- typography

This unit was about typography. It was something I had heard about but never learned anything about earlier. It is an interesting topic to learn about, there is so much we can do using typography. We learn about the multiple typefaces around us, and what each one them mean to the world. We learn how to use them properly and much more...

Found Letterforms Posters

The first activity we did in this unit was to go around and observe our surroundings to find letterforms. It was our introduction to Typography, this way we observed and learned how typography exists everywhere around us. We had to take pictures of each letter we found, it could have been a regular water fountain that looked like a 'J', etc. There were many letters that were very common and easy to spot, but then there were some letters like 'R', 'Q', that were hard for me to find. Since we were supposed to find all the letterforms in the alphabet, take pictures of them in square format, to make posters of them using Adobe InDesign, the task became a little challenging.

Found Letterform Posters

Found Letterforms in School

This is the poster I made out of the found letterforms in school. It was easy to find the first few letters but then it got a little harder to find the 'R', etc. We also learned how to use Adobe InDesign to make the templates for the letterforms.

Found letterforms at Home

I think finding alphabets at home was easier. This could be because we are more familiar to our house than the school which is very big.


We watched a video about Helvetica- its history and why it is such an important typeface for the world. It is simple, comforting, accessible and easy to understand. The whole world is familiar with this typeface as they see it everywhere. It catches everybody's attention easily since it is bold. We made a mind map about what we saw, understood and liked the most in the video, which we would use to make a poster out of.

Helvetica Mindmap

Poster about helvetica

Using all the information we had gathered through the video and written down in the mindmap, we used some of the points and used Adobe InDesign to make a basic poster to get used to how it works.

helvetica distortions on paper

This was the next activity we started. It was all about Helvetica and how we could play around with the font. We used printouts of the word Helvetica in the Helvetica font on pieces of paper and then distorted it in as many ways as we could. We crumpled the paper, folded it, poured water on it to make dripping effects, and cut it out in many pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Then we photographed them in different angles to destroy it further.

helvetica distorted on adobe illustrator

We used the pictures of the distortions we had done of Helvetica on paper, to place them in Adobe Illustrator. We traced those images and some amounts of distortions of the word were visible. Further on, we expanded the object and used various tools to destroy them more. We used the filter gallery tool, liquify tool, and explored with many more tools.

First step of destroying Helvetica using Adobe Illustrator.
helvetica distorted using Liquify tool

helvetica poster Inspirations

To get our minds thinking towards ideas for the Helvetica Poster. We looked at some Typographic posters made by professionals on this website. We took many inspirations, so that we could later merge them to come up with our own idea for the poster.

by Sarp Sozdinler
by Marcos Faunner
by 'c2f'
by Mostardo em Po
by 'aaaa atelier'
by Max Kuwertz
Thumbnails for poster


To get our ideas together, we started to draw our ideas from the inspirations we had been researching about. We started to put the words we required in the poster - "Helvetica Destroyed. 1957- 2027. 70th Anniversary," into the thumbnails using those reference posters. We made printed out the inspiration posters and drafts of Helvetica destroyed drafts, in small sizes so that we could stick them on our sheet to reference while working on thumbnails. We drew as many ideas as we could think of kept developing them. Then we were supposed to choose our most liked ones to further develop on and make our final design for the poster. I think that the process went well for me, but I felt like I was running out of ideas very quickly, which made me take longer than it should have to fill my sheet.



After choosing my 3 favourite ideas, I developed on them and take them as a base to create better designs. I had mainly liked the geometric design, and the one where 'destroyed' breaks up Helvetica literally. I decided to further develop on them and get to a design that was most liked by me. I realised that I liked the literal destroyed Helvetica the most with added effects. I drew my final design bigger on the top right corner.

Typographic Portraits

typographic portrait

After, planning for the Helvetica poster. We decided to try something new. We learned how to make typographic portraits. We had to first take a picture of ourselves in a little sideway angle. Then we had to place it on Adobe Illustrator and type out all characters from the keyboard to use and place over the picture to make our typographic portrait. It was a simple process, with a lot of trial and errors. Practice made the typographic portrait better each time.

1st Typographic Portrait- Helvetica Font

We started the first portrait using Helvetica Font to relate to the topic we were doing earlier. The first portrait was more about learning how making a typographic portrait worked. It seemed easy, fun and interesting to me. I really enjoyed making it and even liked my first outcome. I know it doesn't look like me at all, but I knew we were going do more that would give me practice to get better. I don't like the way I made my nose or the hair, but after also looking at what my classmates came up with. I realised that instead of stuffing a lot of alphabets in there I could just use a few to make it look for artistic and readable.

First Typographic Portrait (Helvetica Font)

2nd Typographic Portrait- Serif Font

The second portrait I made was using the Serif font. It turned out to look slightly more like me, but still not very close. I think the Serif font was easier to use for a typographic portrait since it is less bold and easier to fit in. By the second portrait I had understood that it looked better if I used one character for a certain section than crowding it with multiple alphabets, it looked neater. So I tried implementing that thought, but I think that the left side of the portrait is not as proportional since I added a few alphabets that are smaller in size compared to the other side. This makes it look uneven. Many other such aspects I observed were to be improved on later.

Second Typographic Portrait- (Serif Font)

3rd Typographic Portrait- (Trajan Pro Font)

This is the third portrait I made, we were allowed to choose our own font for the third portrait- and I chose Trajan Pro. I like this font, it looks a little like Serif but gives it a little historic feel to it, in my opinion. I think I made this portrait a lot more even than the one before. I quite like this one but there's still a lot more to improve. Like give it a more abstract look.

Third Typographic Portrait- (Trajan Pro Font)

4th Typographic Portrait- (Gloss & Bloom Font)

This is the final typographic portrait I made, using the font Gloss and Bloom. It was another font of choice, I really like the font since it gives the portrait and artistic and free feel. I think the paintbrush effect of the font really makes the portrait stand out. I really like this portrait, I think it is the portrait that looks the most like me so far. One thing I think I lacked in all of my portraits so far was the abstract feel of a typographic portrait. So, the next portrait I make should be mainly focussed on that aspect.

Fourth Typographic Portrait- (Gloss & Bloom Font)

Discovering the Gradients and Colour Pallets.

After we had made our final typographic portraits, we added some colour contrasts and gradients to make them stand out more. To test the colour contrasts and understand what went well with each portrait.

Typographic portraits lino prints

I had never done manual Lino printing before this, so it was very exciting to find out how it is done. The first step was the get our typographic portrait first laser cut, to make like a stamp of them. After that we spread printing ink onto the cut outs. We put it an A4 sized sheet over it and start using a spoon to spread the ink on the page. Since spoons help spread the ink evenly across the sheet. To get a darker print with less grainy effects on top, we had put more pressure and make sure we did not miss any spots.

First Lino Print

This was the first Lino print I did, and it came out okay. The print didn't come up out to be very opaque but it wasn't as bad either. It has a lot of grainy effect on the print which means that I didn't apply enough ink for the print to take the perfect black colour that was aimed for. Also, I spent too long on spreading the ink around, that it started to dry up and stuck to the other paper. That caused a small tear at the top right corner of the print. This taught me to spread more ink, apply more pressure, and not take too long spreading the ink.

First Lino Print

Second Lino Print

This Lino Print came out way better than the one before, but I missed out at the bottom bits, leaving them giving the same grainy texture again.

Second Lino Print

Third Lino Print

This print came out to be a little better but again I missed out the small spaces at the edges.

Third Lino Print

Text effects

We added text effects to our typographic portraits, like we had to our logos in the previous unit. It was really fun, we read the instructions and made many text effects that complimented our portraits.

1st Text Effect- Watercolour

This was the first text effect I used on the portrait. I think it is a decent and gentle kind of text effect which works well with the font that I used on my portrait. Gloss and Bloom font gives the portrait the watercolour brush style together with the blend of a few colours. I really like this text effect but I don't think it really stands out that well.

First Text Effect- Watercolour
Second Text Effect- Burn

2nd Text Effect- Raindrop

This is the second text effect I used, it's called Raindrop. It looks okay on my portrait, but I don't think it is the best text effect for portraits since it doesn't really make them stand out that much.

Second Text Effect- Raindrop

3rd Text Effect- Burn

This is the third text effect I used on my portrait and it looks pretty good and definitely has an impact. It gives the right leather effect, works well with the portrait and it's font. I think it's the best one yet.

Third Text Effect- Burn


I really liked this unit a lot. There's a big range of things that are there to learn about Typography, as it lives amongst us the whole time and it is a forever requirement for the society. My favourite part of the unit were the typographic portraits since they were the things I had never tried before at all, but always admired looking at.

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