Media Design: Typography

February 17, 2012

For a project that we needed for my design class, we had to do typography. It’s actually kind of amazing how something as simple as the typeface, size, and placement of words can add or detract from the overall effect of a message. I mean, they’re just words, right? But it seems like the brain just doesn’t absorb the meaning behind the words proper, but also the little details the designer brings to the table. We had to choose a subject with which to work on our typography projects, I chose “Lido Beach.”

Lido Beach 1
The image above already radiates calm, so I felt that it was my job to make that sense of serenity carry through the words. Lilting arches in the lettering, not unlike those of a gentle wave, and colors borrowed from the beautiful sunset, I think I was able to ensure that my words don’t disturb the environment depicted. (Font used was Coventry Garden; source: dafont.com)

Lido Beach 2
This shot that I found is much more dynamic, the nightlife portrayed with subtlety at the bottom. In order to go with that theme, I chose a more futuristic typeface and hollowed it out, showing the sky underneath. The halo around the text connotes neon lights, which can make you think of discos or wherever kids go these days. The overall effect is one of vibrancy that fits in well with the image. (Font used was Neuropolitical; source: dafont.com)

Lido Beach 3
This one is my favorite image and the inspiration for the project. The band is called, you guessed it, Lido Beach. I chose a font that I felt would jump off the page and vibrate with music. I also wanted to stay within the earthtones of the shot, so I actually picked out shades from one of the band-member’s jeans and played around in that color family. I think the effect I created was that of calm on the surface, but ready to rock at any moment!

Like I said, it’s amazing how much a couple of words can change with just a few adjustments.

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So I admit that this week’s assignment was a bit tougher than what I’m used to. Not because it lay beyond my skill set or anything like that, but because I went out trying to be fancy and it bit me in the ass. Not literally, though, because…ow. Who does that? Anyway, the Monday after class, I went to Best Buy and got myself a nice, digital recorder. I thought, “Well, this will certainly come in handy for future endeavors, like, you know, when I want to take notes for all those stories I will probably never write. But again I digress. So I get this lovely recorder thinking that it would really help. But I just couldn’t figure out how to transfer the files from it to my computer. So I go back to Best Buy to see if someone could help. Turns out? Yeah, the recorder I got doesn’t have a USB port, so there’s no way for me to transfer a damn thing. With over 10 minutes of recordings I was proud of, I became frustrated to say the least. But now I have a nice, new one with a USB cord and everything. The old one will be going back to the store. The moral of this story? Never trust technology.

Ok, so now I have a bunch of ambient noise ready to go, some music for the background and even some voice recordings (by yours truly since I couldn’t get anyone to stand still long enough to do this). I love all of the music I chose, particularly a boppy tune by Gogol Bordello called, Gypsy Part of Town. To me it fits in with the fun, ever-moving vibe of the city. Have a Youtube video featuring this great song, I insist.

The other piece of sound that I really like is this bit I recorded as I was getting into the subway and waiting for the 4 train. The last part of this piece can’t be used for the project as the announcer on the train says it’s going downtown and the next stop is Union Square. Considering our heroine (Karen) starts out there, it wouldn’t make sense to have her on a train going to Union Square. Unless we want to symbolize the fact that she’ll never escape what’s happening to her. Huh, that’s kind of meta, actually. But I really like this because I really can feel the journey down the stairs and the way the sounds almost shift to accommodate each other. The background sound of metal against metal fades away at some point to reveal the chatter of people walking by. I don’t know, I guess I get a really good sense of movement when I listen to it. Of course, I could be biased as I was there when the recording took place. I uploaded it here, so you be the judge:

Thoughts? Comments? Interpretive dance?

Ahh, the craziness that is the end of semester. When the wheat is separated from the chaff, the men from the boys, women from the girls, and the true hipsters from the burnouts. Or something to that effect. I have tons of things I need to do before I can rest during winter break, and yet I am finding it difficult to summon the energy for me to get it done. In the end, though, I’ll get it done as I always do. I’m not worried about that much. When it’s all over, I’ll be able to breathe a bit so I can get back to doing that which I love, like my jewelry. I have a special, super-secret project planned for my amazing friend Jenny (shhhhh! Don’t tell) as well as a few ideas I’ve had on the back-burner. One can only hope that the next month or so will afford me more time to do things.

In other news, I have been utterly obsessed with the new My Chemical Romance album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. I’ve become rather fascinated with MCR back in 2006 when they released their concept album, The Black Parade. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for a good story, which is why, when I heard that they were creating an album with classic rock music being their influence and using World War II as their back drop for the story concept, I was all over it. I had already heard some of their earlier work and thought them to be fun, but Black Parade had me hooked. Now Danger Days and I can’t help but be excited by this new twist they’ve added to their music. Though the concept is still dark (a post-Apocalyptic world in which an evil corporation fights renegade racers who use laser guns–sort of Mad Max meets Microsoft [just kidding, don’t sue!])–the sound is much more upbeat and remains true to the band’s description of “party album.” I like it, it’s fun, it’s danceable, and I can so see this as being a comic book. You hear me, Gerard Way? Make this a comic! You already do Umbrella Academy, it’s not like this is a stretch for you. Perhaps what I like the most is Dr. Death Defy, the radio DJ who semi-narrates the story. He’s fun to wake up to when you’re still groggy from sleeping on the train ride. Or is that just me? Could be just me. Anyway, hopefully I’ll let up on the MCR, though that’s probably not going to happen soon. I tend to gorge myself on something until I get annoyed with it. Oh, and if you’re into concept albums, but not so much into MCR, try out a band called Sleep Station. They have some great stuff. I love the album titled After the War, which is also a WWII-themed piece. I sense a pattern!

Ok, now I’m off to do some actual work and maybe write my paper today…or not. Dammit, who thought it would be this difficult to raise the energy to write about ectoplasm photography? It’s something I’m actually interested in! Ah, well. Stay tuned!