Typeface Spread and Video

Communications Studio I — Fall 2017

Project Brief: Using an understanding of grids and hierarchy, create a two-page spread that introduces a broad and diverse audience to the typeface, Vendetta. Then, design a 60-second video that highlights the unique characteristics and personality of Vendetta in the context of its use and in relation to its larger type family, if that exists.


Development 1.0 — Research and Analysis

To familiarize myself with the typeface Vendetta, I researched its origins, influences, and possible uses. In doing so, I obtained the following key information:

  • Vendetta was created by the American typeface designer, John Downer, in 1998. Throughout his career, Downer developed ten typefaces, with the majority akin to Venetian old-style typeface. This can be attributed to his fascination with the methodologies surrounding Italian Humanist text and the more formal Old-Style Renaissance type.
  • Vendetta’s construction is an unusual merge of calligraphic and geometric features — this includes non-round, faceted counters and bowls, rectangular slab serifs, and flat bracket connections.
Type specimen
  • As a typeface, Vendetta is terse and succinct, and course and rich. Its movements are considered, not spontaneous, and its gait is slow and methodical. At the same time, it’s calligraphic features suggest a personality that isn’t entirely rational — there’s room for familiarity and play.
Essay summary

Development 2.0 — Spread Sketches

In developing the following compositions, I took into consideration, and questioned, three aspects:

  1. What information do I have?
    There are three chunks of information — History and Influence, Characteristics and Anatomy, and Personality. While sketching, I played with grouping that information and placing them in different locations, as well as unifying that information into one large body text.
  2. What information do I need to emphasize?
    The breadth of information present requires some form of hierarchical sorting. When sketching, I identified five visuals that required distinctive priorities — the typeface title, sub-headers, images, quotes/call-outs, and body text.
  3. What visual language can be incorporated to display the typeface’s personality?
    Information chunking, as well as explorations of image and color, contributed to my considerations when sketching. As I said above, Vendetta is an old-style type face with an unique construction — it’s terse and methodical, but can be playful at certain moments.
Initial sketches

Development 2.1 — Digital Iterating

Working with type: Heading, Sub-headings, and body


Working with type, color and image:


Final Process Iteration:

Final spread:

Overall, the above composition is not resolved — there still exists opportunity for rethinking the top-right portion of the spread. However, I do think the other quadrants are working more successfully — the image on top-right needs to be integrated into the visual language of its neighbors a bit more.

This assignment was informed heavily by the Typeface video, which was being worked on simultaneously. Although the spread is static, there were moments of tempo and rhythm that I only recognized once working with the video that I was able to bring over into the composition of the spread.

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