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The type lockup we’re all here for. Photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/23099953@N00/3914098271

Re-learning how to talk about Design

How a single design decision shapes everything that follows.

Bethany Heck
May 30, 2018 · 12 min read
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The more traditional stress in Domaine Sans Display (left) vs the reverse-stress design. Both have huge weight differences in their thickest to thinnest lines, but the stress is on opposite strokes.
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Other dates I tried either created troublesome negative shapes or felt a bit monotonous.
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Before and after the vertical alignment tweak on the 7 and the 5.
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The name simply wasn’t long enough to properly balance with the date above, even with an extended typeface (and since the extended face is close in with proportion to Maelsans and has lower visual contrast, it also feels less visually interesting). A longer string allows for smaller text and more hierarchical and textural differences between the two lines.
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They look like they are chewing on a wad of tobacco with those clenched jaws.
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The typefaces changed, but the tight tracking was universal.
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Setting the line under the date aligned to the left edge of the flag would trap the negative space in the 1. Your eye is drawn in then has to jump back out to the start of the next line.
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The typeface I ultimately chose (bottom right) has some similar characteristics of Mabry (bottom left), but with much more detail, sharpness, and a visual contrast that helps it stand apart from the line above it.
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Notice how loose and expressive Mabry (left) feels compared to Söhne Breite, whose lowercase letters fill the space more evenly.
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Starting with “Mecha Oni,” you can see how Mabry reads more as points in a row than as solid lines in situ.
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In the middle example, the negative space in the center of the composition is “trapped” — It feels like something is missing. When the bottom of the composition has a gap in the center (left), it destabilizes the entire design, making it feel as if it’s wobbling on stilts. In the final version (right), there’s a channel for the negative space in the center to flow out of and into the margin, releasing the tension.
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I could probably write another 500 words about the cropping of the manga art in the background, but I’ll spare you and just say the giant fist grabs your eye at the top left, which is typically what you want, and frames the mecha’s face wonderfully. The lines from the face then lead you right into the type composition.

So, why bother going through all of this?

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