Well, it has definitely taken some motivation to get my Typography final up here.

This is the cover of a little booklet that tells, in the form of two letters, the story of my first six months or so here in the States. The theme of transition is carried out through the booklet in several ways. The first is through a color shift from red to green, through the neutrals. There is also a shape that shifts symbolically throughout the story. Finally, each page’s content is rotated so that by the end, the reader has turned the book completely around, and finds himself looking at a “cover.”

Being a booklet, it doesn’t lend itself very well to the screen. Here is a .pdf file that shows the spreads and reads  like a book. The limitation is obviously that you can’t rotate each page to read the text. To try and help with that, I have copied the text below. This doesn’t  quite capture the experience of holding the booklet and reading through, but it will have to do.

Transitioning Heart

July 19th, 2008

Please imagine this is a nice letter that was written on beautiful paper that made it expeditiously and inexpensively to Europe… because it was so sweet to see yours waiting for me when I arrived in Indianapolis last Sunday!! Thank you!!

As H L has put it, ‘from one transitioning heart to another…’ – I like what you said about thinking about blessings over the years, working simultaneously on remembering well and defining yourself for future use… You’re right, art is such a good outlet for all of this. I’ve also felt more than usually inspired!

I’m appreciating your poem immensely, especially the ocean’s depth of faces, and seeing yesterday in each other. I really like the challenge of your allusions… You’ve captured complicated emotions in a beautiful way. Does it have a title? Or are you naming it à la Emily Dickinson?

You know, I used the envelope of your letter yesterday afternoon as proof of address at the library when I signed up for a library card. I think libraries are a part of American culture I’m really ready to embrace! One of the first things I checked out was the album that was my personal Rome trip soundtrack – I wanted to reminisce so badly!

America had been mostly all right for me until I got to here, to Indy – and then this last week has been a really hard time of transition. At least according to our senior transition seminar notes; they describe the symptoms and suddenly make a lot more sense.

My mom and I are spending our last few days together, and that’s been killing both of us. I’m trying to make every minute with her quality now!

I think the biggest problem is that Indianapolis is supposed to be ‘home’ for me now, but of course it doesn’t feel like it in any way at all. That has been making me feel irritable and panicky… and I felt really far from God, because there is no familiar structure to help me or remind me to go to Him, as if I’d almost forgotten who He was.

Yesterday I felt the numb sadness lift a bit, though. Some good things: crying it out, listening to familiar music, thinking about God as my Father, glad to hold my helpless, hopeless self, going to visit a really artistic family with a daughter my age (she dresses JUST like E! I didn’t know such a breed could exist here), dancing around in my new room…

More will have to come to soothe the grief. But perhaps I will survive after all!

You’ve been accumulating beautiful moments in different countries, but I don’t know much more than that… Tell me more about your transitioning heart. I’d love to listen.

Missing you,

February 1st, 2009
Dear Friend,

Sigh. I’m really very happy right now.

You know, (in regards to what you said 62 days ago) there’s America, and then there’s America once you’re actually inside it, in the little place that God set up with you in mind, doing the things you love, discovering the people you were meant to be with. I hope that’s the America you find when you come over.

I’m happy because I found a family here – people who love me even though I haven’t done anything in particular to deserve it. Church, youth group, my relatives… even my school is small enough that it’s starting to feel kind of like a family – but one where it’s a little more risky to reach out to other members. I need to work on that.

The framework of life (driving, banking, eating, etc.) is where most of the differences and newness lie. Some of those areas I’ve mastered (driving), others have yet to be tackled (banking!). But I take on stuff as I can. I remember the flood of newness in the beginning that was SO tiring. BFA life is pretty simple in comparison, I feel.

I know I’ve definitely gotten past the worst of the differences. My first semester wasn’t awful by any means, but it was a bit lonely. I wrote old friends all the time to take the edge off. Then, just before I left for break, I started noticing and appreciating the friend potential in a lot of people. That has only increased since I’ve been back, so I’m looking forward to friends making more of a difference, making my world here more ‘complete.’ It’s a funny thing to have half a world here and another half there. It’s transition – of the heart, mostly.

By the way, this is ALL God. Song of Songs: “His left arm is under my head (working behind the scenes, protecting, supporting), and His right arm embraces me (I feel His presence, He demonstrates His love to me directly, personally).” Without Him, I would have none of this.

Since you asked… art classes are the most fun thing ever!! EVER!! I was made for them. Right now, I am in Photoshop, Illustrator, & Typography. Blog? Art? Mine? Seen it lately? It’s the best explanation of what art classes entail.

Much love,

I don’t know if that phrase is credited to anyone in particular, but it may as well be to one of the Swiss designer demi-gods, Josef Müller Brockmann. He used understood visual hierarchy, grid-based layout, negative space, and the beauty of the Helvetica typeface. Here are some examples of his posters.

Easy, right? Anyone can design like the Swiss. I’m finding that it’s mostly a question of not trying too hard! In Typography this week, we used his examples to learn about visual hierarchy – what information looks most important on a page, next most important, etc.
In the first exercise, we were given a piece of text and required to create nine different compositions with it. Each composition had specific rules about what we could and couldn’t do, becoming progressively more open.

Then from these sketches, I created a final design to turn in.

In Typography class, I had to write an essay about a formidable type designer. Fine, but not exactly thrilling homework. But THEN, an exciting twist – I got explore and push the limits of body copy as I turned my essay into a typographic poster!

It was a happy accident that my essay started and ended with “long, long time,” giving me a strong concept to illustrate. We also had to consider things like paragraph breaks – how would they be indicated? I choose a shape reminiscent of a grain of sand. Feel free to read the whole thing.

Success, the Claude Garamond Way

This Typography assignment is on syntax and semantics, or, how to interpret a word using only itself. They are basically design riddles to make everyone feel clever – some are definitely better than others, though. In keeping with the assignment, I’ve chosen only the two strongest to mat and turn in. Which two do you think are the best?


The field of typography involves a whole lot of associated vocabulary. Here is a little guide to some type anatomy that I made for an in-class project.

A ligature is a connection between letterforms, often for clarity’s sake in a word. We are learning the tools to manipulate type now, so here is a ligature I created with the Apple Chancery typeface.

And here is another, less traditional manipulation using Footlight MT.

Welcome to Typography 101! Each spread showcases a typeface from a period of type history.