Sentences: Typesetting sentences, discussing my type crime/mistake…

  • Given a list of ‘rules’ I had to go through (about font choice, size, tracking, leading etc) and pick a final typeset sentence.

  • First came choosing the font. It wasn’t easy. I had an internal monologue I went through as I compared each typeface:

  • Avenir is like a modern, high vernacular type. It’s san serif, but still looks like it belongs in a posh museum. It makes an interesting juxtaposition with the absurd sentence (especially since it starts off talking about a typewriter – so it starts off normal – but it ends with ravioli, making it unexpected).
  • Then again I could say the same about Frutiger and Palatino. Especially Frutiger, it’s serif looks official. I want to do Bodoni, but that’s just because I’m biased towards it and especially since I worked with it in the last project I feel like I should pick a different font. It wasn’t the most ideal choice for the unexpected high vernacular either. I’m sure that I don’t want to use any of the Fedra fonts or ITC Garamond (all looked too low vernacular). For me it’s a tie between caecilia and avenir
  • Caecilia because it’s a slab serif, resembling typewriter writing. 
  • Compared my Caecilia with my friends (she had it in italics),  I noticed the slight differences in the serifs and the curves of the e. Not sure how noticing these things will help me in the long term, but we’re noticing things.

  • Discussed with my friend: I like avenir because it looks posh (so interesting when you look at the meaning of the words) but I like Caecilia because it looks like typewriter writing. 

  • “okay, choose that one, just because it looks like typewriter writing. It doesn’t have to be deep”. 
  • “…I’m going with Avenir. I think I was leaning towards that one deep inside, I just wanted you to reaffirm my opinion. But you didn’t. So I’m disregarding your advice.”

  • Hid frame edges – helped me focus on just the text.

  • picked size 10/10 and character length of approximately 35 (34 to be exact).
  • I didn’t realise that the only reason the left was possible was because I disregarded a space that was after the s in is. When I tightened the space (tightening the box), the middle one happened. When I tightened the space even further closer to the ‘s’, the ‘ravioli’ go hyphenated (below below). The only solution I could come up with was to manually break the sentence (right).
  • typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences5 typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences6
  • 10/10 and character length of approximately 35 was most balanced (in terms of no hyphenation and equalish length of both the lines). Looked the best.
  • I was finding it difficult to choose between size 10 and 12 of that character length (starred).
  • IMG_6315Leaned towards the 10, but the 12 seemed a more ‘proper’ solution, because bigger would be clearer. Asked a friend, he leaned towards the smaller one too, justifying it by saying that it gave a bookish feel. I’m guessing that might be a reason why I was leaning towards it too. It gave a storytelling vibe. Plus, my Avenir choice was book.
  • liked centred…looked like a poem. But I’m not going for a poem feel.
  • Liked justified -50 and 0.
  • -50 looked nicer in my opinion, but the letters touched. Is that bad though???? When I thought that tracking wider looked nicer, my friend advised me against it, stating that her eyes were ‘stumbling in the gaps’
  • I wanted to pick a number between that range, but then deciding would probably be even more difficult. To make my decision easier I decided to scratch it and move on to picking the right aligned 0 tracking one. But apparently we were told to “never ever ever ever ever choose right aligned”. So yeah. Left aligned
  • medium vs heavy. heavy, since otherwise the small text was too faint.
  • I forgot how to change the colour of the the text and got lost in stylesheets:
  • typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences10
  • Figured it out buy fiddling around:
  • typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences11

  • Discussion:

  • Most of us set our sentences too short.
  • Spec type=how to look at type and make informed decisions about what you’re trying to do.
  • Look at not only what the words mean. Need to think about the natural breaks in the word/sentence.
  • My final choice, and my TYPE CRIME:
  • Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 12.42.00 AM
  • I broke my line at ‘a’. I was too concerned with the visual form that I completely forgot about considering the natural breaks.
  • ‘of’ and ‘the’ are empty words, no meaning visually, or when read. Don’t let the computer hyphenate.
  • Need to be aware of where the breaks are happening.
  • Specking type. Learn the rules, then break them = best design, for emphasis, to add to the meaning. “never choose a type named after a place”? – knock offs. 

typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences8 lol. ravioooli.


Sentences: Introduction, absurd sentences, and first discussions

Going from letters to words, now it’s sentences. First, we had to make a nonsensical sentence to begin with. This was so that the meaning/concept didn’t distract us from the way we typeset the sentence. This is pretty much opposite of the last project (working heavily with the context and concept and the word).

  • Learning about type settings. Text – ongoing sequence.
  • I loved the idea of making ridiculous sentences. 
  • Instead of choosing we blindly picked words (like out of a hat).
  • My words:
  • absurdsentences1 absurdsentences2

Sentences I tried out.

  • The moon is yummy and crazy, but it wants to find a typewriter
  • A crazy typewriter wanted to find the moon, because it is yummy
  • The crazy typewriter is finding the yummy moon to be silly.
  • The crazy typewriter is secretly a moon and is very yummy.
  • The typewriter is secretly a crazy moon and is very yummy.  

The crazy typewriter is secretly a crazy yummy moon.

^ Got feedback on that one to make this one:

  • The very crazy typewriter is secretly a yummy moon.

Then, ravioli popped into my head:

  • The crazy typewriter is secretly a yummy moon that loves ravioli.
  • The crazy typewriter is secretly a ravioli loving yummy moon.


The crazy typewriter is secretly a yummy moon that loves ravioli.

Struggled more with the arabic sentence (not being an arabic speaker).

First translated each word:

أي ,فظيع ,كوخ ,معجون ,أسنان ,حصان ,انفجار

explosion, horse, tooth paste, hut, horrible, any

Then made the sentence in english:

Any horrible horse would want to make a hut explode with tooth paste

Any tooth paste would want to explode horses in horrible huts

Then wrote it out (because finding the letters on the keyboard is painstaking) and got it grammar checked.


Stuck to this sentence:

أي حصان فظيع يريد أن  يفجر كوخ بمعجون أسنان. 

Any horrible horse would want to make a hut explode with tooth paste

Next came typesetting both sentences in all the different types of fonts (like we did for the last project) using Indesign. Eman showed me an efficient way (using master pages) to get the task done. And to click on the textboxes (that were set on the masterpage), the shortcut –


-Finished Typesetting all my words, only one font in the arabic (adobe arabic) had the swash option.


Tested all the fonts in English with small caps and without. This weird thing also happened, when I made the sentences small caps:


The letter that was capitalised became weirdly larger and bolder than the rest of the sentence. I had to go back and make it lowercase to adjust for that weirdness.

Considered going through entire family, but decided that one student (my friend) doing it would be enough to see and pick a typeface (this way all of us wouldn’t have to print loads of pages). 

  • Put all the typeset sentences on the floor, each person picked a high vernacular and low vernacular from latin and arabic.IMG_6307

  • Placed 4 sections (high vernacular and low vernacular latin, high and low arabic) and compared different ways different types worked (how their form gave them meaning). Compressed fonts looked ‘creepy’. Serif fonts looked high vernacular most of the time. San serif fonts and ‘slab’ serif fonts, bold fonts looked low vernacular most of the time. The same way naskh looked more high vernacular in arabic.

A main point we discussed about type (that tugged at my brain) was: Legibility vs readability

Still unsure about it, what I’ve understood so far is that legibility is to do with whether the letters and words are distinguishable or not and readability is to do with how easily the words is read. It probably relates to how we read the shapes of letters, so even though all caps are legible, they’re not as readable as lowercase letters. < what I get.

Next we got a crash course in the ‘technicalities’ of typesetting and indesign:

  • point size (whole numbers – dot gain – blurry text when point size is not whole e.g 8.5 pts instead of 8) ems.
  • leading (distance between baselines) is also measured in points. 8 point type on 8 point leading = 8/8. first number=type size, second number=leading size. Number next to itself
  • set solid = 8/8 – square.
  • 8/6 = baselines could touch. < leading is less than point size. 
  • Type set at = 8/12, 9/10
  • To measure character length – how many characters on a line (count capital letters, punctuation and space). On average, character lengths are 55-6/75.
  • Specking type, testing how many characters on line.
  • Avoid hyphenations and broken lines
  • Tighten tracking (letter) and kerning (across sentence). (note: unless for emphasis?)
  • stretching and skewing is like fake italic.
  • Small caps always for dates/times/abbreviations (NASA, ATM).
  • Superscript, subscript, using baseline (in indesign) to adjust (but amount of adjusting depends on leading).
  • If you see names in quotation marks in copy – needs to be set off as emphasis (bold or italics). 
  • Put text that client has given in place of placeholder text.
  • Paragraph. Full justification – avoid rivers (unless using it for effect). Do not justify solid until comfortable with character spacing. (indenting). 
  • After deciding character – work with character stylesheets, swatch options to change colors. header, body. (note: Look up nested stylesheets later)
  • typesetting.typography.indesign.absurdsentences3
  • Orphan vs widow – orphan (all by himself – at the bottom of paragraph). Widow – at the end of paragraph (note: ???????????????) Never did get the difference between these, even in school. Still don’t get it.
  • So while doing process  I googled and got these definitions according to wikipedia: 
    • A paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text.
    • A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text.
  • Sort of get it.
  • I see what they meant by this project not being as fun and hands down

typeset in Indesign not photoshop.

MeYouUsThem: Introduction to collaborative project and First images

  • We got our introduction to the collaborative new project, tandem project – tangential assignment for each week. We’d be going through rigorous , iterative process. “Explore image-making techniques and styles.” While we were discussing this I guessed that the styles would change depending on my interpretation of the audience.

We had to change the mood and communication through our skills as a designer. Some techniques are more appropriate for some content/messages than others. The goal was to explore many variations of our object – start with using different software and media, but not overthinking the stylistic approach.

  • W1 -week by week approach – takes the pressure of perfection off – more about process
  •  8x8inch square format – 6, 5, 5, 5, 5 = 26

We were given a list of different ways that we had to photograph and manipulate our object:

Context – place and relationship: hand – child, male, female/ with henna? Crazy nails holding prayer beads, old, young? Two hands, many different meanings


How lighting creates emotions – with basic background? 


Abstraction – using angle/scale/cropping.


Colour manipulation – photo editing, duotone/monotone/grayscale/gradient, solid background vs colored background


Image manipulation – transform using photoshop – bitmap/patterns/color separations/overlays/superimposed/mirrored/high contrast/filters – I wanted to try distortion/warping/liquifying – Got suggested that it could ruin the image quality – I could try it just to see.

  • I realised that in this class we were not focusing on me-you-us-them at all. Didn’t even mention it in class. But I plan to keep it in mind, it makes sense to think of it that way.
  • Started photographing. My camera doesn’t work nicely it seems. Tried getting Simone to give me a brief crash course, but I was still left in a blurry zone (and my images were yellowish-tinged). Nathan suggested cranking the settings on either ends of the spectrum (for aperture or exposure) just to see what the settings did and get a better understanding. The thing is I’d already been trying that, but it still didn’t help. Got my white space photos somehow anyway. (after trying many different angles) Decided to move on to experimenting with lighting


  • Not working at all. Don’t know how to get the camera to focus in this kind of lighting. Trying to use exposure and what not (aperture) to make the camera focus but it just didn’t. (many failed attempts – blurred photos). The shot was so perfect in my head, and the camera would even focus at times, but then it refused to shoot (or it would focus, then I would shoot, then it would capture out of focus). I hate cameras. Asked Law for some help day before this was due, he suggested photographing on manual (and he told me to use a tripod…). The only reason I hadn’t used a tripod yet was because I felt like I could hold the camera at odd angles, better than the tripod would. I ended up not using a tripod. I really did get better shots that way.
  • Went out later and shot in the playground to get an in context photograph. (shooting in a workspace is in context too, but it would be in context more for ‘us’ or ‘you’, for ‘me’ it’s more like play and fun than just the building and technical part).
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.21 PM
  • ^ what I like about this image is how the forms and colours in the playground matched the forms of the robot.
  • Later:
  • photographed lighting and final images again (out of context, interaction). For the interaction I gave my object to a person in the ‘them’ group and told them to just ‘interact’. Shot a lot of photos over the time that she fiddled with it. What was good was that she ended up doing things that were perfect (wiping the dust, twirling the wheel) and these things I would never have thought of directing her to do, especially since my mind doesn’t care about the dust, since this object is so much more important to me.
  • Decided to use manual like law had suggested but also decided to continue shooting without a tripod. Because of my workspace, it really was much easier to shoot with my hands (awkward angles would have taken a long time to get (and might not have even been possible) if i had used a tripod).
  • While setting up my files into square formats, I had found that my images weren’t as blurry as I had imagined, in fact, most of the ones that seemed focused, were actually focused. I also stopped worrying about the camera not shooting the lighting perfectly, because since I was shooting in raw, it was easy to adjust the lighting as a needed in photoshop/lightroom.
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.48.03 PM
  • For image manipulation I tried multiple techniques. Tinting, using strong visually or conceptually colours, like red for ‘you/them’. Chose not to experiment with a coloured background for now since I already know how to get that effect (will test to see how it looks later).
  • Wanted to work with effects/tools/filters/adjustments that I’d never touched before.
  • Increasing height of emboss filter makes it look like a double image…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.12.39 PM
  • kind of like the effect.
  • Amount makes the image more or less visible. Wave and ripple seem very similar…Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.14.56 PM
  • wave has more options to adjust it and make it look more natural/spontaneous, instead of like a constant filter. hah, mosaic looks like i’m censoring something out. pointillize has a similar visible from a distance affect that mosaic does, but it’s clearer, since the image is sectioned in dots. It looks more intentional and less like an overly pixelated/censored image. Not much difference between crystallize and pointillize, apart from the shape of the fragmentation. Halftone = comic books.
  • Editing options, e.g make the radius of the circles bigger. Extrude. Median noise looks like a weird blur. Solarize looks more to do with color manipulation (looks like thermal image).
  • Dust and scratches is very interesting. Created a ghostly kind of look…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.18.21 PM
  • still not sure how it works.

Discussion of Images:

discussed what we had produced so far. A lot of our ‘bad’ effects and filters were effective because of the way our objects were, e.g. an electronic robot was effective with an emboss or wave filter. Some of the others were effective because the object was transformed into something else (inverted and strong shadows made a notebook look like a pillar/monolith). One of my peers used a pebble that was slightly translucent at some parts, so simply using lighting created interesting compositions. I got a reaction from the lighting photograph that I took of the robot in sunlight (in sand). It gave an out of this world/martian look. One of the reasons for this reaction could be that all my friends had gone and watched The Martian recently…I also got a lot of people thinking it looked like Wall-E.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.20.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.23.35 PM

  • Thoughts: martian robot, when looking at the emboss on in comparison to the different viewpoint (from bottom). In context of white – screws = them. Dark, shadow, sinister = you. Different types of contexts exist. Context of material vs meaning. So the robot is out of context in a playground. but not conceptually (in that sense it is in context for me).
  • By the end of it (when I got to image manipulation) I was no longer working in strict sets (lighting, abstraction etc). I was combining abstraction with image manipulation, cropping in WHILE taking photographs for lighting.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 9.00.49 PM copy

^ My best images from this week. The interaction images are weak in my opinion. I really liked the way the colour/image manipulations and lighting ones looked. The strong lighting set up ended up being very successful (despite the very unhelpful camera). I think it was the lighting images that evoked the most reaction from my discussion group. The images turned out emotive (mysterious).

3D – printing! And using 3D sculpt

Today is the day the 3D printer arrived…

but before the fun part:

export as stl – fine – the 3D printer doesn’t read the svg files, so we need to export it correctly and open up the correct files in the maker bot application and rescale and adjust settings from there (if we need to) to place it on the stage.

I had to pick one (even though my little sister had already decided which ones she wanted…):


Favourite one:


The only person who was super ready with his file (from the previous lesson) was abdulla:


IMG_6336 IMG_6339 IMG_6341 IMG_6342 IMG_6343

^Abdulla’s ‘sad dino’.

Made me realise that the subtractions that I’d done for the mouths of my blobs were all too fine, I had to make it AT LEAST 3mm. I tried to simply scale the subtracted area:


It ended up getting complicated and no pretty, so I just remade the mouth using another ellipse and extruding it more from the start. This was the version I gave for the first test print.

Experimenting with more interesting shapes (to see what I can do differently for the final):

3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign34< I really like this shape. Got used to using the align tool when making this.

3D sculpt – was using flatten to smooth cube edges..then found smooth tool.working with a cube is surprisingly easier than working with a spherical shape. 

As I kept working, it turned out that it actually wasn’t easier, because turning the cube shape into a rounded on was difficult.

I went back to working with a spherical shape and realised why the different base objects exist. I experimented with the ‘torus’ shape, and the ‘bust’ shape, mushing and sculpting (editing) the shapes to be blob-like was very difficult compared to working with a sphere. The file kept getting damaged.

I realised that this is most likely because the objects have a mesh underneath them (at least thats the explanation I gave myself), so the more dramatic changes I make to the ‘mesh’, the more likely it is to get damaged. For example, if I try folding the mesh over itself. Thinking about the software in this way was more helpful in avoiding damaged files. When I was treating it like an actual sculpting material, it was getting corrupted more often, I was expecting too much from it, I’d forgotten that is was still a software.

This way of thought also made me see that the way I was working so far: exaggerating the bulge I wanted and then smoothening it was WRONG.  That’s what you’d do with clay. Also, the smooth tool wasn’t my best friend. If I worked in details and used the smooth tool, it would smoothen out all my hard work! And this was at a lower than mid level strength.

I ended up working with very low strengths for the smooth tool AND for the pull tools (and a smaller brush size. The connection I made was that the brushes were similar to the brushes in Photoshop. The brushes, ‘hardness’ (strength in the case of the app) and size were both important in getting the effect need. I had to juggle between the 2 throughout my experimentation.

3D – cleaning Illustrator files and 123D sculpt

  • Had to cleaning up illustrator files for extrusion (and vinyl cutting).
  • you can only extrude closed shapes. Can’t have shapes overlapping.
  • Even though I thought I cleaned up my characters:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign5
  • I still needed to get rid of white shapes that I had. (For the vinyl cutter to process them properly
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign4 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign6 (I later made the ice cream cone’s white outline also ’empty’)
  • Now I remember why I didn’t punch them out of the main body. I wanted to be able to alter the colors of for example the whites of the eyes.
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign73Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign8 < all of these overlapping lines needed to be ‘merged’ (using pathfinder) into one shape. Didn’t do that earlier so that I could change the colours of the arms individually.
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign9 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign10
  • ^ Accidentally merged the teeth out. Didn’t even notice until later since it looked like a normal smile.
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign11
  • We were also told about the possibility of turning the characters into ‘colouring book’ characters. So:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign12
  • vinyl cutting versions as well as the colouring book versions of my favourite characters^^^

Using 123D sculpt (for intricate shapes)

3D – experimenting with 3D ‘gumdrop’ blobs

  • Started making my blobs. Started with a gumdrop shape since it would be simple (complex shapes aren’t handled well). So a structured blob. The body was simple, a hemisphere that I filleted (lol fillet) to get a smooth, curved edge.
  • It was making the details that was annoying
  • For the eyes I wanted a thin ‘0’ kind of shape. I started with a cylinder and again used the fillet tool on the edge.
  • specific by adding 1.5
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign133Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign14
  • Difficulty, adjusting scale of the eye. Wanted to make it smaller (so I made a smaller version of the ellipse/0 shape I had placed inside the hole I’d made by simply scaling one end, but then the angle changes.
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign15 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign16
  • Tried it many times, scaling from different angles, but it was way too complex and I had a serious brain splitting headache. Resorted to adding a sphere (way simpler because it didn’t have a weird shape, so scaling it any way didn’t cause such complex problems). It looked good as well. But I really wanted the other way to work too, just to see and compare how the two would’ve looked. So I did the other way too:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign17 <filleted the edges of a rectangular cube 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign19 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign20< filleting wasn’t perfect, there is always an awkward area.
  • ^this is one type of blob

In another blob I put a sphere inside the socket (i created using by subtracting the elliptical 0 eye shape from the previous blob). In another one  I put a sphere in a circular eye socket (subtracted a sphere)

  • When I put a sphere inside the socket it wouldn’t match/merge
  • realized it was because of how the sphere didn’t touch any of the edges of the main body. scaling the sphere messed up the overall shape again… ugh. So i’m gonna cheat, and put another shape underneath the sphere (in the eye socket) to join the eye to the main body, because I’m ingenious:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign21
  • Still not touching:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign23
  • Ok…so I actually just moved the sphere further into the eye socket. Simpler solutions.
  • Having to look at it from literally ALL angles (some that I didn’t even know existed) the box tool was very helpful for navigation (and the home button). 
  • Figured a way to make a circle directly onto the surface, then extrude, so didn’t have to fix a cylinder on to the circle at the perfectly straight angle.
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign24
  • One thing that kept messing up was that I had the extrude setting at subtract, so it subtracted the mouth weirdly. I made it extrude into a shape and this made it CLEARER how the subtraction was happening:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign25
  • Then:
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign26 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign27 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign28 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign29
  • the extruded ellipse was not perfectly at the surface, it was at an odd angle. No matter how I rotated it, it was difficult getting it at a the right angle (this is again where viewing from multiple angles was helpful)

3D – Introduction to 123D design

We got tips and basic help on how to use the 3D modeling software ‘123D design’

We need to keep in mind that it’s a free software, so it’s simple and quick, but complex shaped can’t be designed easily (without the use of CAD [computer aided design] softwares – probably something like Rhino3D). Also, glitches can (and will VERY likely) happen…so save.

Here are the ‘tips’ we learnt and tried out that lesson:

  • Primitives = readymade cubes and simple shapes.
  • Navigating is special because a 3D space is different from 2D. 3D has pan, and orbit as well as zooming. Right click and move to orbit. Scroll to zoom and cross shaped tool to pan. < this is where a mouse will come in handy
  • 3D printer only reads millimetres. Alter size before placing.
  • Any 3D shape has sub elements – faces and vertices
  • Class demo: import>svg as sketch>open
  • lost in space = click on home button good to remember, happened a lot
  • Fillet edge = curves the edge. < I plant to use this effect to smoothen out my blobs.
  • EXTRUDE – from illustrator sketches
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign2
  • Construct – revolve – axis = can revolve about the axis, 360 turns it into a cylinder
  • Move tool = move and rotate object
  • avoid drawing, sketching objects on software. Use illustrator files
  • Materials and colors can be added in software, but it won’t affect the printer.
  • Snap two faces together – using magnet looking tool = group
  • Ungroup – to ungroup
  • Combine, to merge two 3D shapes together
  • 3Dmodellingprintingblobcharacterdesign3