1 Type Manual: Introduction and Research

Beginning of another grueling semester. Beginning of another Type project. The introduction sounded simply, yet daunting. Especially since apparently this is possible the most challenging/complex project of the semester for this course. I hope that starting with the most difficult is a good idea. Moving on to the project:

We need to make a type manual. Setting the type into pages (with systems and grids and all things professional). What sounds like fun is having our own (personally created by ourselves–binding and all) reference manual for typography lingo. What sounds scary is the first part (the grids and professional part).  I only did get the basics of how to use a grid near the very end of the Type 1 class. Anyway, beginning the project was relatively simple:

Find definitions of all the keywords (around 60), using a variety of sources (preferably books and not Wikipedia).

After a while of going back and forth through the index I had the bright idea of organizing the words in alphabetical order (Microsoft Excel, alphabetical sort…), like a dictionary, made it easier to look the words up.

^This gave me the idea to consider sorting my keywords in alphabetical order in my system to make it quicker to look through.

As I was looking through my sources, I noticed that one of my books (which was a manual itself) wrote the explanation of a word IN and example. For example, there was an explanation of what justification was, it’s pros, cons and uses, the writer chose to use  the explanation for the text INSIDE a justified paragraph as an example of justified text. Explanationception.


I noted this down as an idea  of having my definition text as the example as a possible part of my system (something I would definitely want to explore), because it seems like it would result in a more compact and efficient manual (efficient use of space/paper/medium).

Another ‘ingenious’ thing that happened was that it was only after I had exhausted myself finding most of the words (and gotten very demotivated because it was a  simple but not very fun task), did me and my friends have the bright idea to split the words between ourselves. I told them the words that I hadn’t found. It was better to do it this way since I had focused on two sources, ensuring that I didn’t miss any definitions or examples present in them and that my friends didn’t waste their time looking in those sources for definitions that weren’t there.


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