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Type Set Too Small! Sad Face!

March 1, 2010

Picked up a book in the library per recommendation of Mark, my type teacher, Spin, Rinse, Wash, Soak (not entirely sure that that is the title because the designer is of the same school I am, apparently: a lot of overprinted and backwards type. I was hoping to find at least one instance of the title regularly done, but no luck! Sort of annoying, note to self.) Must say, it looks somewhat intriguing but I am immediately reminded of one goofy type "tip book" I was flipping through in the library (don’t remember the name). All the tips were more or less standard–watch the rag, don’t mess with the typeface, etc. etc. But it made an interesting point: beginning designers err on the side of type being too large, and experienced designers err on the side of too small.

Woosh, smack, touche.

The type in this intriguing book just makes my head hurt. There’s a body text font that’s in red, that’s probably 8.5? Helvetica? Which is sort of bad enough. Red at that size JUMPS. And then to make things much much crueller, there is a note typeface that is a serif that is probably at 7? or 6.5? It’s leaded generously, but still, it makes my head hurt.

I want to make cool design AND be nice to my readers! I want the type to be read by hot young things with good eyes in their 20s and my parents in their 50s! I want to be a show-off with overprinting and backwards text and then give it to you straight, if it’s important! (Back to Zirma, my reigning acheivement of the moment–I am really quite proud that I managed to incorporate BOTH backwards and overprinting type and still had it legible. Now, if I can tackle this zine issue head on….)

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