Friday, March 5, 2010


Just for the record, I haven't meant to make this blog solely about "Brought to you by the letter...." I'm working on a lot of portfolio pieces, so expect more posts of me begging for critiques. I've also started taking more photos--which I guess should be published on this blog... but they're not, they're being published at my personal blog, Talking With Myself. I think just because I like the layout over there better. :) One day everything will merge together and their will be peace on earth. Until then, feel free to check out Talking With Myself.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brought to You by the Letter...

Today's letter is brought to you by the letter: F.
ITC Blackadder, Regular, lowercase f.

I haven't done a decorative type face in this series yet, but as soon as I saw ITC's Blackadder, I knew that was about to change. What I really love about ITC Blackadder's regular, lowercase 'f' is how evocative it is. With the flowing, long stem and rough edges, it's the perfect typeface to use when writing that message in a bottle. It's an heirloom, a relic of a time when people wrote by hand, sailed ships to new lands, and said words like wench and booty and Jolly Roger without pretension or irony. Something about the actual shape makes me think nautical. Is it the way the stem leans forward, like a boat that forges ahead? Is it the descended extender that imitates a hook? Or the ascender that evokes a hook for a hand? Or the whole shape that was clearly created with a new quill pen and the finest Indian inks over choppy waters?

I think ITC Blackadder does exactly what type should do--evoke a time, a meaning, a place. Sure, it'll more often be used poorly than well, but occasionally (Pirate Day?) it could be used perfectly. I found this example of a wedding invitation using ITC Blackadder. While the typeface does have a romantic edge to it, I think it feel romantic in a lonely, ennui way, not quite the best subconscious feeling for a wedding. What do you think?

Courtesy of and

Design Foundry: ITC International Typeface Corp
Bob Anderton

Date: 1996

"It was the eerie transformation of insurrectionist Guy Fawkes’ signature after he was tortured that inspired British designer Bob Anderton’s new typeface ITC Blackadder. Basing his design on hand written letterforms typical of the 16th century, Anderton captured the flurried scrolls and curlicues of the era and then added the sinister tremble that defines ITC Blackadder. This elegant, yet menacing display face is perfect for theatrical uses and scare tactics." -

Monday, March 1, 2010

Personal Branding - #2

Here are some things I've been working on. Feedback would be much appreciated.

The variations between these two are slight. Rather than being solid shapes, they're more dimensional in the second one. What I like about this look, is that I can use the shapes within the rest of the collateral to help create a cohesive look. For example, on the letterhead, I could have a row of little T T T T running across the top. (I don't necesarily want people to read the shapes. It doesn't really spell anything - ucatucd?, which is why I brought them down in value. I just want people to see the shapes. But I wonder if you all tried to read it? I got the shapes by removing the bottom half of the word HEATHER.)

I also wonder if all lowercase is better than title care? When I broke the logos down into their small look, the U with lowercase hv looked very bad. And it would probably be funny to mix the two, yes? And I'm still working out the color schemes. It's probably going to be some version of gray, or yellow or red.

Another sort of twist on the same idea:
This design actually mixes this new dimensional shape with an idea I had earlier, which was to make HV look like a pencil/exacto knife. When I pursued this before, it came out veeeery clip art. See below.

Below are two other previous branding attempts. The first I liked because it feels a bit more personable and less sterile. But it's a very tall logo which I was having issues with. The second one I liked at first, but then someone mentioned "jester" and I couldn't get that out of my head.
I'd really appreciate any feedback, critiques and suggestions. I think doing your own branding is the hardest thing.