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Assignment 1: Sketching Letterforms

Lesson 4 from: Logo Design: Wordmarks

Michael Stinson

Assignment 1: Sketching Letterforms

Lesson 4 from: Logo Design: Wordmarks

Michael Stinson

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Lesson Info

4. Assignment 1: Sketching Letterforms

Lesson Info

Assignment 1: Sketching Letterforms

So everyone's got their print out of there they're brown mark that they were going to be sketching so guys what you want to concentrate on for this is not entirely um recreating and sketching the entire brand mark we want to concentrate on creating the the characters that we need right? So we're trying to create the characters out of what we already have but we don't necessarily have to sketch him back out in sequence because after all we're trying tio create the characters from what we have and scan those in once we have been digitized then we can either have a couple of options of using the typeface that we know is that existing like if mr coffee is actually optima that we talked about in the break you know we can use that to start from or for like me I'm going to be looking at maybe meta and see what's going on with that and um but just concentrating on the characters that they're needed here ok? So for me what I'm going to do is I'm kind of a traditional drafting kind of guy so whe...

n I have something like this and I'm gonna start catching I'm a little bit more formal about it so I'm gonna I'm gonna take mine down and and so I can draw on top of it so it doesn't move we should make sure I got it in frame here and this is a little bit and I just you know, I'm used to having my tissue on top so I can I can flip it up whenever I need to this is just a habit I've done over the years, you know, I could do this um but the very first thing I do and I'm sketching if I need something and I'm I'm really building characters what I'm doing so if you have more of an engineering kind of mind ah, a little bit more technical, so, um a lot of people just dig in and start, you know, drawing characters, but I try to establish a grid first, you know, with what I'm doing and I want to study this this thing right away um, I know that I'm going to be placing my eye so more here, but I need to know what's going to give me an indication of where to place that so I'm going to start to see what this negative space is a ce faras it's turning to start with take a measurement yeah question um my mark is on a curve, so I can't really great it out the way you are right there a technique you have something like that or is this something you would just kind of dive in letter by letter? I do, so um lexus is asking about callaway calories brand mark is I'm gonna bring it up here on the screen again if I can just to give you a visual. Um, real quick here. So hers her question is, is it's on an arc? So the baseline is curved. So for me, if I were to be doing this, lex, I would still draw the baseline here, and I would cut this in half, okay? And I would take your going to need some geometry drafting kind of here's a way I would do it is you want you want to see what this arc is? And again, I want to stay this a little bit more. And what was my solution again? What was that? What we're changing to county shock. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight d d why s h a c k? Yeah, so to actual letters. So if that bass lines here in this this artwork was to continue it's going to end up somewhere in here on both ends, correct. So what I need to do is to find out how far this this is going to come down based on that arc. So I really need to, um, since we don't have any drafting equipment, just sketch the baseline here and to get it to continue, and I would want to analyze that arc on its own so I'd pull the tissue off you know I pulled a tissue off and what I want to establish is this arc right here the baseline and the x height okay so cut it in half make a geometry you know kind of dropping project out of it and to see where this arc is going to end and where it's going end alexis were you you can actually take the character with of each one of these like say maybe maybe the a since it's the kind of standard here and just plays in a here and here it is give you an idea where it's going to end that's going to be unique solution that's a great question the rest of you do you have arks c community what do you have again yeah just straight it's ah what's the burning in marriott area okay that's right there mr coffee and then really you have chilies ok so that's all good yeah that's this one's pretty challenging such a good question any other anybody else have any particular once for their brand since we're on now ok, so from being like I've seen um I'm gonna start to study negative spacing here before I get into the actual characters to see where I want to move things around just as a study here for me um I try to see what I'm working with first before I start you know altering anything that's something for me I was back here it measuring negative space here in millimeters maybe just for now around nine or so just to get an idea of where this eyes going to go over here maybe somewhere in here so it might not be exactly where the eye is I also want to take a read here just to see what's going on with the turning here it's closer or farther away looks like it a little bit closer but not much so it's going to be somewhere in here the colonel is a subjective as you guys know you mean you can use an engineering kind of state of mind for for turning to start out but in the end our eyes are always going to make the last call on what's appropriate especially when you're for turning if you are looking at the bulk of this colonel area here as your eyes are actually recognizing this shape so whenever you're turning a curve with a with a stem you know you always have to be a little bit more generous with the closeness of those two especially when you have a curve and another curve together like if it were amusing or something right so that that character if you had two o's next to each other would actually come closer to the o so there's those little details in hk earning that you pick up overtime toe learn how those work ok, I also now want to just see what my eyes going toe I want to know what my stem with iss for, for my typeface in particular, so I'm going to take a measurement on that lucky because it's right out of how do they look? Outs one so I called ten millimeters, I got lucky on that, so I'm just trying to see where that's going to end up, so I know my eyes probably going to come from one of these stems, maybe this this m here or this in um so what I want to see now is I'm going to go to my computer and actually look at my typefaces and I personally use fusion and I have my I'm kind of a type freak, so I put everything in class here um so I'm going to look up just to start with my initial assessment of meta if to see if I have it and I d'oh and then just tryto see what's happening with those characters, those a's do flow out a little bit and to see what the g looks like for metta just to start off with nine I'm now kind of thinking that it's not met at all, so I'm going to look to see what classmate is and I don't have a class for it actually I want to say it's well, just try humanist for now so even if I'm just tryingto I'm playing detective again trying to see you know what typefaces air close here I'm looking at the terminals of these days to see if there have any characteristics there's office singer right there and also I'm looking at so I'm going to compare here on screen if I can I'm here to show you what I'm looking at again this is the fun part that I think about doing his exercise for me personally is you know you're like a type detective here of trying to figure out what you know what typefaces is and I love this because you could study the detail seriously so amazon is a humanist because it has more of a wait variation here in the belly of the a whereas in office sena it looks close right thiss two story a but look how this ends the terminal here over here there's a little bit closer to the belly. All right, this is much more open appear in office units so that that's not kind of a match. So I'm going to go look a humanist arman humanist by the way and see if there's anything closer here and michael just to clarify what is this software here that you're showing the software is suitcase fusion and as a type instructor I kinda had tio get it because uh font but kind of kept crashing it's the number of typefaces and I I have collected over the years I guess ok so there's just allows you to get all typefaces got you but also I put it in this way a great little tip for you guys is a book I picked up last year by stephen coles and it's a great hierarchy I mean a classification book and this is basically modeled on his classifications system when I showed you earlier is a little bit more simplified but it's basically this version um and he's broken out the slabs into a class as well but his book is very insightful because because you um it shows you a lot of similarities between contemporary typefaces and then the classic ones like optimum and everything but also the whole book is in this classification this is the the order of it and but I found that this software is really useful since you know because you can actually category these these by class or if I'm looking for a certain foundry I can I can look through it through foundries so it's almost like by twos for time if you will um but there's no you know videos or anything like that but it's extremely helpful for me because that's somebody typefaces and uh and now that we're getting web type this is well involved I can we can use this but I use this to when I'm building typographic system through clients in pairings and in this case studying letter forms like this work and quickly see it and uh see what's going on with each character especially if I was doing a uh custom brown mark like this if I was doing it from scratch um and I know I have is in jeans like this all just look through the classes here like I'm doing with amazon to see how those is work and how they end this is mary odd here but I don't think this is close to ours like I if amazon is here I mean the answer to this whole question to me is that a it's an amazon to see what I want to do with the g and again this is just one way of going about it there's lots of ways to determine you know how to go about this exercise but this is this is one way that you may try like some people won't I didn't kristie we get anybody that actually knows that who designed amazon we didn't have anybody who chimed in with that we actually right now in the chat room we have a couple of people who just were curious they just it the name of the book that you just mentioned yes could you repeat that please the author stephen coles and let's see it on the type of website okay um the name always escapes me. Um I'd have to look it up but was the anatomy of type that the book I believe so it's red and white large red letters on the front creates very good yeah yeah I just well we'll get that in the chat room that's where you get it checked out from the resource is link on our website okay. Excellent thanks. It's it's uh very insightful really good study of character forms and see how minus animals here but that's not close here so yeah, I'm also confirming the for me I'm confirming to see if it's a two story a or uh see in this case and this maya samuels let's say this typhus that we have I have a two story in a single story g so that's that's why I want to see uh where I'm headed here it looks like I probably will be ending up with a single story g so I just keep looking just the study make a study first it's not gonna be any slabs I'm going to go back a period of great task in to see you know, now we are getting people who are answering that little trivia question jack wouldn't let us down yeah, absolutely not excellent yeah, we're a couple people champion b says turner duck worth did the amazon logo outstanding those guys to agree where they've been around well, I think they're in london and san francisco excellent. Thank you for that. Uh I can't keep them all straight uh yeah they do they do they're very good craft is in front the understudying here what's going on with these characters miss bell gothic that looks pretty close again it could have been customized to but bell gothel it's pretty close in here I turn if I turn it on and look at my jeez here so if I'm using his single story g always another thing I'm looking at just to see how they're o is so the owen amas honest is different as well it's more oval um so I'm still searching I'm actually getting down to looking closers you are amount here's a news gothic this could be a gothic based on this day it looks like it is and this one has a two storey g which makes it tough for me now I just want to see with some of these another test for me to do here would be to open you know, the father I'm working on and just to play around for a second uh I'll try it next to the marches to see where I'm at record and and as you're doing this a chat room is really getting into the amazons logo here I think this is a good choice because we do have such an international audience here and a lot of people are familiar with amazon all around the world and you and I just a shout out here that we are people charming in about the actual typeface the amazon typefaces are the sina sands bold with modification office soon it stands ball with modification was off yeah that's what they're saying that's what they're saying you know but it's always good to get a sense of the chat room all it's like it's a good collection of knowledge from all these people on there so lots of different answers coming in that's great thank you for noticing my struggle they're always here to help you know it's a awesome it's a good group learning experience so yeah, those days air definitely modified yeah they might have been taken from days could have been taken from bell gothic unused here and that's really what I want to find out the good news is is that I have a single story g which is easier to produce to me here that's great um but also I'm noticing the eye has you know uh an arm on it as well. So if if this if this is office in it for me and it's customized um there might be a decision in the process of if they were to have turned up what was to do it again where they take up his arm I don't know that's something that's rolling around in my head so off a sena so I just want to look at this to see what's going on here and so what I do is maybe placed this on top and just see where we're at how much modification is involved here sometimes I'll do this just to see what's going on here that's a good method to kind of see the difference easily you at a glance just to see so just like my sketches I'm gonna I'm going to do this like I would in my sketches yeah, I see the if this is this is a straight uh terminal that's not characteristic of office cnn so they customize that and you guys are gonna have to make these decisions to guys if you're watching what I'm doing just like I would, you know, what's the decision here to make the terminal straight right that's again being detective you know, they could have borrowed this stuff from pella gothic and kind of, you know, the goldman sachs level it's obviously like an optimum and, you know, kind of a baskerville put together and fused together so they might have done that here. I'm not sure, but um these air the a lot of the details that you're going to do when you do a word mark and study these and it's really a good challenge because you have to know type really well and a good familiar with it and you in this case what they had to do is really get in to see what makes office scene a tick as far as the details of what's there right that's what you're doing as well, especially with a block letter for callaway you know, you have to see how things and how terminals and in one angle I know all that stuff, so yeah, it looks like they modified the wit to these maybe depending so far two just current this just how hot it looks like z yeah, it looks like they narrowed it a little bit so you could see the difference in the oh, and you got I don't know if if this was done digitally or if it was done by hand or even, um someone was hired to do it, you know, professional letter, but these decisions here just in how the strokes meet, um in the original office senior, you could see that the weight variation from in this black and is really narrow here. And when it comes into the stem its narrow because because everything kind of bulks up when you have strokes, meet each other, right, sonar free not to have a a buildup of weight there. You know, the stroke sure are thin when they when they run into each other, so but in this version appear and uh um the original version ofthis sena it's much thicker right that's another reason to make it shorter I mean I'm not shorter but smaller the mark so you can see those things where you know maybe bulking up in there so that might have been a reason they modified it there but I'm I'm kind of not convinced that it's entirely um office you know I want to see bill gothic you know that's what I was looking at before because bell gothic does this but no it wasn't bo gothic I was looking at as I've got something else see what was it now that I was looking at something out here was it new york task let's see? So I'm just trying to rule you know, play devil's advocate here with it was humans with the officer you need to see how they customized it because the aim isn't quite right so I just want to look at it one more time whatever I was looking at before I can't remember where I was now gothic was thought was coughing yeah so this m here and that's the black version ok, so maybe I use that so you know, if I was to look at these together right? So this m is closer to this em rather than this to me so I'm not sure what they did there um although you can see where you know that the open counters here are completely rounded where they're not here so I'm just looking at that um but the always is closer to what they have here so yeah these is maybe they were looking at something more like a helvetica for the a's because that's not typical for these two types faces is a cz they're closer to the belly that could be to control the uh the negative space across the board for the for the word mark not sure okay so anyway I'm gonna go back in let's back up here and when I'm going to do is try to mimic what they did there so if I'm doing this this is really what I'm doing here so back to my sketching if I'm going tio I know I keep going back and forth sorry guys I want to start to see if this always what I'm gonna build here right? I'm gonna use this so to try and build boogie out of it just a sketch it quickly and since I don't have to worry about the are much I want to see now if I could just build it with the pieces that I have I think mothers are you just looking tio create them in this sketch and you're less concerned with the layout of the mark right now you're just trying to build a character so scannable that's a good question so you're just really after that character itself yeah um like I was saying in the beginning, I I usually try to study more of like what I'm working with so I'm looking at negative space and then I'm looking you saw me going and look at these a's and trying to assess what typeface it is, and I got some help from friends in the children, and so now we know it's office units now I'm trying to see ok, how can I build this g on my own? Just for now? I mean, you could do this digitally really fast probably, um, but I'm also doing this by hand because it's very helpful to see, uh, how things were built in a traditional thai party classes um in mine in particular, we still think, uh, with technical pens, characters, um by hand because there's an intimate relationship that you need to assess in the beginning stages of type part between positive characters in the negative space that makes them okay and our sensibilities deed to be attuned to that negative space early on in the stages of our design career so we can get that sensitivity right away. So I for me, even though I've have lots of experience doing these, I still will draw these because I don't know, officer, in a sense that well on my brain is picking up all these details as I'm it's catching, peeking out, and to see what turned out what did with these forms. Ok, so I'm just tryingto this might not be exact, but that that's. Why? It's called a sketch just to see where I'm out here with these with these forms, it looks like my g comes down below it's going it's going to do one of these things where it straightens out, it curves and straightens out. All right, I'll draw a little heavier, so you could pick that up, and this is just a sketch, but it's, when I have on my computer screen for office, sing it it's, doing something like this, right where this thiss bottom of the tail is pretty strange, actually comes back. Live it more that I was trying to get a general idea here of what my he's gonna d'oh.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Michael Stinson - Keynote.pdf
Michael Stinson - Whisky Type Overview.mp4
Michael Stinson - Whisky Type Slides.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Michael Stinson - Logo Design -- Materials Needed For Course Activities.pdf
Michael Stinson - Wordmarks Brief.pdf
Michael Stinson -- Wordmarks Handout.pdf
Michael Stinson - Why is Type Important - Article.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Great class. It's nice to see your sketching/thinking process. Love seeing the tracing paper and ruler.


Thank you so much for the amazing course. Learned a lot of stuff even as a beginner.

a Creativelive Student

Great course, thanks very much!

Student Work