Typography Rene KOIKE

In this unit of typography, we incorporated typography from real life, as well as sketching, designing typographic posters/ portraits on Adobe apps. We used a few Adobe apps in this unit: Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

To start this unit, we started from learning typography in our surroundings, like the last unit where we took pictures of logos at the very beginning. This time, we collected each alphabetical letters by taking pictures in school and at a chosen place of your own. I collected 26 letters around and in my house first.

Typeface from outside of school

For this typeface, I used varying sizes for all my pictures. Though it was a simple process of just putting pictures in squares (InDesign), it took me a while to figure out how to fit all 26 letters perfectly. Also, it first took me a while to adjust the pictures in the frames, and changing the sizes.

Typeface from UWC

This second typeface took less time creating a poster using InDesign. I used more of the same size of squares so they look more organized than the first typeface. However, this letterforms took me more time collect and I spent more than two hours at school finding all 26. I probably took more time as home was a more familiar place for me to find letters easier, and we first talked about this task I already thought of some letters I could find around my house.

Helvetica: The movie

We then watched a movie "Helvetica" where the font Helvetica is analyzed and described by several designers. There are many opinions and perspectives on this font, but now very common in society. After watching this movie clip we drew mind maps based on the key ideas of Helvetica.

Movie"HELVETICA" Mindmap

After making a mind map of the movie, we made a poster consisting five key elements of the movie using Adobe InDesign. It took a while for me to get used to InDesign as it was my second task using this Adobe App. I made this as simple as possible without using shapes or extra designs to show that the font helvetica is very simple on its own. All the five key points I put in this poster were in helvetica, but to make the poster look more attractive and creative, I used various colors and formats of the font.


Destroying Grungevetica

I made more patterns of helvetica cutouts, but I chose these eight best ones. This task was interesting as there would be endless patterns by a little difference. We used cutter knives to cut printed papers written "Helvetica" and made our own distortions by different patterns.

I also used a scanner for distortion. I had to retry more than ten times to get these nice distortions. We did this by moving around the paper with the word "Helvetica" on it across the screen while it is scanning the image. It was challenging to not have our hands within the scanned images, and many were just blank, or scanned an unchanged "Helvetica". The scanning process takes only a few seconds, and I learned after some tries that I had to move the paper at a good timing, vertically, because when you move them horizontally, it processed blank images.

These are the distortions I made in Adobe Illustrator using the distortions we already made. I noticed that there were unnecessary spots, hard to erase. This was because I took the pictures on a green mat and shadows were created between pieces of paper, instead of gluing them on a paper.

Liquify Tool

These above are the distortions I made using liquify. In liquify, I mainly used three or four tools such as clockwise twirls and zooming in at one spot. In each of the five distortions above, I used more than one tool for each. I like the outcome of these liquify distortions as they look very different to the original helvetica font we worked with but also legible.

I tried many filters and warp tools to create different textures. These are some of the distortions I made using plastic wrap, collared pencil, glowing edges and ink outlines. Few of the ones I tried did not apply very well to my helvetica distortions: sometimes it made no difference or did not suit well to the font. I first worked with the warp tool to make several distortions, then added filter from the filter gallery, and I edited the background colors after applying both. This process was fairly easy as I just needed to add few things to helvetica.

Filters + Warp tool

typographic posters

Typographic Posters

From this website: https://www.typographicposters.com, we each picked interesting posters relating to typography from our own perspectives. I found all the posters on this website interesting, but I chose the ones that I personally thought would help me the most with my designs.

Thumbnail of my typographic posters

Typographic Portraits

Sans Serif

We moved on to making our own typographic posters. We took pictures of our selves and traced our faces with letters (font: helvetica) on Adobe Illustrator. I initially found this very hard when I couldn't find any letters to fit my face parts. I ended up having to use more symbols such as lines or brackets.


For my second typographic portrait I used a serif font called Lucida Bright. This portrait looks quite unique because I tried to use different letters to my first portrait. This portrait has a more bold impression from the thicker letters. It also reminds me of paintings using black ink with thick brushes.

Harry Potter font

My final typographic portrait uses a Harry Potter font which I downloaded from dafont.com. I like this last portrait the most out of the three. I really like the simplicity of this version, and the way I used blank spaces to fill the portrait. I took a new picture for this portrait, facing the left instead. Though I prefer this one the most, it also took me the last time to make. I took about two hours to make my Serif portrait, but for this, it only took me less than thirty minutes to make.

We did printmaking with our flipped stamp. I had four trials on this, first on the left and second, third, fourth to the right.

We spent a lesson using a stamp with our portraits carved in to make inked portraits. We first put some ink on a table, spread it out with a roller and put the ink on our stamp when the ink starts to become sticky. Then you place it, with the non-inlet side on an A3 paper, and put an A4 paper on top of the inked stamp. After that, use you hand to gently rub it, then use a spoon and another tool to copy the ink on paper. For my first stamped portrait, I put too much ink on the surface of the stamp. I should have spent more time on this one.

For my second portrait I used less ink than necessary. I spent more time rubbing the spoon on the surface of the paper, but as I used less ink than I should have, the ink started to dry while I was inking the paper. You could tell that I did not use enough ink from the gray color instead of black.

For my third portrait, I put a good amount of ink on the stamp. However, I spent too long pressing the stamp on the paper that the ink dried out almost completely. It became hard for me to take out the stamp from the paper because the ink was dry, and the paper ripped in the middle.

My last portrait was the best out of all. I would not say it is perfect as there still are few small dots in the inked part. I gradually became better with this printmaking after repeating the same process. I think my portrait matches well with this black ink as my letters have a lot of edges instead of curves and the black background makes a cool design that suits to this font.

Text Effect of my portrait

I did a few text effects of my Harry Potter font typographic portrait. By far, I liked this lightning effect the most. I spent quite long making this effect. I watched this tutorial to make this text effect https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrq8ii4Cc2U. I found it complicated at times because I had to work with more around fifty layers and I was unable to detect the layer where I wanted to edit. It also took time to add a lightning brush, then mask, and repeating the process for each lines.


In this unit, I learned that we are involved with typography in our lives even when we are not deliberately associating ourselves with them. The designs of our fonts are very important as they all give different impressions. Here we learned how to distort our typography, to further improve our skills with Adobe, by making typography portraits and text effects.

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