Graphic Design Case Study on Futura Font

Set up:

An assignment I was given by my Writing for Visual Media professor was to create a poster that effectively communicated my favorite typeface. My professor strongly believes in being able to not only design visual media but efficiently communicate visual media through our writing. We were given a series of tasks to complete before understanding what the final project would be. We were responsible for effectively communicating our favorite typeface.

This project began with establishing what our favorite typeface was and why by providing reasons that were based on what the typeface represents and how it relates to us personally as well. We then moved on to create two posters which different emphasis. We were given options in how we would go about communicating our chosen typeface in one poster. The options were to either focus on the name of the typeface or use 90–100 words to describe the typeface based on a previous task we were given. The other poster solely focused on a glyph. Ultimately, one poster had to be chosen that would showcase why that particular font was our favorite font and to communicate why.

For this project, I chose Futura as my favorite font. In all, this project allowed me to have freedom to design a concept that I felt would communicate how I felt about the typeface. In some ways the project was limiting in some aspects which was in hindsight beneficial because it is guiding my process to being a graphic designer.

Process:

I began the process by writing down what my favorite font and explaining why in terms of its structure as well as how it is used.

“I like the font Futura because it looks really crisp and forward. The line weight is not too delicate and the letters all share the same x-height making the font very uniform.”

“I like the font Futura because it looks really crisp and forward. The line weight is not too delicate and the letters all share the same x-height making the font very uniform. My favorite font is Futura because of how it is used in brands. Brands such as Dominos and Best Buy are classic brands that communicate well with their audience and attract them. In addition to these two brands, Nike also utilizes this font. As one can tell, Nike’s logo is one that is rather captivating. These brands are hard to miss or forget and often times the brand is associated with the logo which in this case the logo contains the word. This font can be changed to fit a brands needs such as the weight of the word and the leading/tracking. Having this flexibility with the word is extremely beneficial. Sometimes fonts with serifs and frills can become too overwhelming and are good for creativity.”

After explaining my reasoning behind choosing the font I chose and how it is applied in the real world in 250 words, we were then tasked with expanding on that to about 400 words. Within that piece we chose two words we felt embodied our favorite font the most. In my opinion, the two words that best captured the essence of the font, Futura, were effective and classic. This 400-word piece was then shortened to 90–100 words that best described the font. Futura is an effective font because it is clean and uniform. Because the font is classified as geometric sans serif, it is geometric in shape with glyphs based on circles and triangles. The next task was to choose a words we felt best described the font. The word I chose was classic and we then created a brainstorm web.

This brainstorm web then led to mockups for the posters I was assigned to create. As mentioned before I designed a poster that would either focus on the name of the typeface or 90–100 words that describe the font but both elements had to be on the poster. I decided to focus on the name of the type. In doing so, I chose to put the word extend the letters F and U because at the time I thought it would add to the classic feel. I also oriented the word at a diagonal. By making these decisions I do not feel as though I stuck with what I was attempting to portray.

In the second poster, I focused more on the glyph. By focusing on the glyph and encasing it within the 90–100 words, I felt as though it would again emulate the classic feel I was going for. The use of a solid black background was to allow for the f to be seen as negative space. This would portray the effective aspect because it would be allowing for the viewer to understand what I was trying to communicate through my visuals.

In class we were given time to critique one another’s work. The comments that were left on design, made me take a step back and look what I had designed with a critical eye. This allowed me to see value in the comments that I was given and make effective changes. I noticed the small flaws such as how the diagonal alignment of the first design was not effective and did not portray the typeface as clean uniform. There were also large gaps between the words which takes away from what was being communicated. The same can be said about the second design. It was not centered and the way that the text went around the f made it seem like both elements were the focus in the poster.

Results:

After the critiques our professor then asked us to chose one design and make final edits on that poster. In order to effectively use the comments given and remain true to how I felt about the typeface I changed a couple of aspects. These changes were more intentional. By extending the baseline on the letter f, I am introducing more shape to the design, seeing as though the typeface is based on shapes. I also reduced the amount of space within the text so it looked clean. In all, the design in classic, effective and clean. All of which are characteristics I used to describe the typeface.

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