You are here

Lesson 2

2. Typography

  • instructor

- Ash Thorp

  • apprentice

- Jama Jurabaev

  • apprentice
  • learn squared

- Florian Aupetit

  • apprentice
  • learn squared

- Tim Zarki

Choosing a relevant typeface may seem like a simple task, but it can make or break a project entirely. Ash will show you how much thought should go into a decision like this, and begin laying out quick frames with type placement in mind. From here, you will learn to craft a moving story to match the progress made during the previous lesson.


Adopting on of the sample themes provided, created three (3) cast and crew type layouts using one (1) type family.
Extra Credit

Using as many type families as you wish, create at least three (3) cast and crew type layouts for three (3) of your favorite films, games, or television shows.

Student Gallery

Here is my type exploration. I explored both typefaces, the reasoning behind each as well as type treatments and the conceptual motivation behind those as well.

My choice for this assessment was Western property called Crux. Heavily influenced by movies like 'The Good The Bad & The Ugly', Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, and some can argue whether Mad Max and Logan could some what be considered a Western/Fantasy films. It was difficult finding the right typeface to capture the premise of this film. The slab serif font was a strong and bold choice. The texturizing and coloring of the letter forms to convey heavy violence and aggression, as the distressed white background gives a nice contrast with the type and graphic elements.

I thought the Closer theme had an interesting concept, and although it's titled a romance, I wanted to interpret it as a kind of twee cult love affair, think Wes / Gondry / Spike.
My concept was to play on job relocation, by using the Katakana of the English titles to interweave and displace the crew's roles in the film, and as a way of pushing the Latin characters apart. Katakana is essentially the Japanese alphabet for slang or non-Japanese words, subtly acknowledging the premise of the film.
Developing the concept, I liked the idea of punctuation, and how I could use it to structure the design. The polarity of the square and circle helped me to further the contradiction of cultures. The circle could be interpreted as a full stop or a break, whilst the square gives a feeling of space.
Outlining the roles was partly aesthetic, I felt there needed to be more balance and allowed negative space, but if I had more time I feel like they could work as neon lights, endorsing the bright city lights of Tokyo.

Here's the film blurb if this makes no sense:)
A couple is relocated to their new job located in Tokyo.
As they explore their new surroundings they slowly drift apart.

Learn Squared was and is one of the best learning experiences I've taken.

- David Tilton


I struggle a lot with fonts and types and consider my self a newbie in Illustrator, so this excercise was pretty hard for me. Definitely need to make more of this and dive deeper into fonts.

Homework II
01_the Grid:
I chose the DIN Demi Font because it's a sans serif font, it's a decent font which fits the idea of the future. The title is a Tenby Seven type. I liked the clean lines and it's not too playful but not too straight. Looks a bit like a computer font but there are still some roundings like in the G or A.
The Idea of the style frames is that the extra lines between the names open a portal/gate which allows somebody to travel through it.

02_Murder Maps:
Synopsis: This is a drama/documentary series which takes us back in time to the most shocking and surprising murder cases in history. This series guides into the world of the killer as we see how police ingenuity and early forensics helped bring them to justice.
Here I chose a mix of Courier New, Henrik and Helvetica.
The Courier New underscores a little bit the documentary style. I like the names written in Henrik and Helvetica, I accidentally copied an effect to the Hendrik font and it became this little handmade touch. It makes it a little more human with a bit of imperfectness. Because this show is about death, murder and forensic police work, I thought pictures of injured organs or broken bones would be a good idea, also added some lines circles and clinical instruments to show the forensic part of the series.

The Tale of Leon.

Found it pretty challenging as I got inspired to go for a script pretty quickly, I went for a Sherlock Holmes kind of vibe. However, I pushed it towards a more old school Disney look with Trajan but it doesn't convey as much.

Lessons in this Course

Software Used: 
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Bridge
Optional Software: 
Font Explorer, Mind Node, Adobe InDesign, Cinema 4D Studio R16, Octane Render, Marvelous Designer

Well. Mixed bag of a review.

First, kudos for the delivery, production value, focus and contemporary-ness. It's rare to find a decent overview of the whole process. The mind-mapping approach is solid and valuable.
I do, however, feel I've been duped somewhat. The "trailer" for your course alludes to so much more content and "making of" than actually appears in the 8 lessons. Particularly on the 3D side. I had to sit through an entire "what is C4D?" that was neither a 101 or an advanced lesson. Information I could've gleaned for free from just about anywhere. Including Maxon themselves. It was not the 3D in action that the trailer seems to promise.

The Typography section was particularly disappointing. You need to check your kerning decisions, I think, before taking the Mentor accolade.

There are some mildly useful tips in the workflow aspects of the process. I'll take another look at Bridge. The suggestion that Pinterest is of little use to a title designer is plain naive though.

If I could sum up the entire course, I would say it is a high-altitude overview of the available tools and a series of watery, generic suggestions to just "keep trying different designs until you find something you like".

We knew that already.

I guess if you're just starting out, then fine. But that';s not how you're selling these classes. They're pitched at the masterclass level. But they're 101 theory and introductions, delivered by a master.

That's different. And not, imho, worth $100.