I'm Hua, a designer and bootstrapping founder building Typogram, a brand design tool. As part of running Typogram, I create this digestible weekly guide with fonts, colors, and design ideas to help founders, creators, and makers step up their game in marketing and get creative!
Hi Friends 👋
This week was huge for me because I have just onboarded a co-founder, Wenting 🎉. She is joining me full-time on the journey to cofound Typogram and to bring you more unique content. This weekend we discussed all the exciting plans we have for the future, and I am excited!
I also want to give a shout-out to Ben from our community: Ben@bensterne recently launched OcoCrew, a project about sustainability and clean energy. As always, if you have any topics, suggestions, projects you launched with the help of this newsletter, please let me know via email or Twitter.
Now, onto our newest issue. Last week, I received a lot of positive feedback about memes as a topic, so I thought it might be fun to do another one on the themes of parody and imitation 🤡.
Theme: Parody & Imitation
Font of the Week: Savate
Design idea: Parody
Color Inspiration: Nan, Northern Thailand
img: sample of Savate
Are you looking for something, artsy but different? Savate has it. Savate was inspired by hand lettering found in the suburbs of Paris. There is a strong calligraphic vibe and quirkiness that jumps out to the audience. There is a secret to this extra funkiness – it has reverse stress.
When painters paint, the medium and method they choose affect the outcome. Similarly, the tool and its process of mark-making affect the way our letterforms looks. For example, if you look closely at serifs like Times New Roman, you’ll notice there are thick and thin parts in the strokes of the letters. The strokes appear this way because of the calligraphic process: the brush was held at an angle to create the letters you see. We call the change of stroke width across letters, stress.
img: this graphic shows where the thick and thin is
Reverse stress means the thicks and thins of the letter are switched. Where the letter is supposed to be thin, it’s now thick. You can see how normal and reverse stress compare below.
img: normal stress letters vs reverse stress letters
Because we are used to the normal stress of the letters, the reverse stress causes us to pay more attention to the letterforms.
Savate (source 1) communicates quirky and crafty. Its casual voice is created by slick, calligraphic characters and reverse stress. Its casual tone is suitable for a brand that has something to do with cities or urban environments, artsy or creative.
Savate has one weight and is available in both normal and italic. It is best for simple marketing projects like graphics and simple landing pages without levels of information. Savate’s quirky personality will come through at large sizes for marketing graphics. It can pair with Work Sans.
As for body sizes, it works, but its quirky personality will jump out in paragraphs. consider if this is appropriate for the information you are expressing before use.
img: Savate being used together with Work Sans
img: Savate being used in branding for Arcadian Field, a music festival; source: @ArcadianField
When we talked about memes, we mentioned parody as a technique to create memes. Parody is a “visual satire” that relies on the audience’s recognition of the original material. For example, the “Steve Jobs in a black turtleneck” picture is parodied by HBO.
Design writer Steven Heller said, “parodies are not designed to insult the target, but rather, trigger recognition, providing satisfactions that they are in on the joke.” Is parody a technique you can use in your projects (source 2)?
img: top-HBO’s Silicon Valley parodies this iconic Steve Jobs picture; source: HBO; bottom–Sesame Street, an American show, parodies Game of Thrones, an HBO TV show. source: YouTube
Today we have an image contribution from the community. This image is taken in Nan, in Northern Thailand, by Nic @TheWonderingZall. Thanks for the photo, Nic!
Nic currently works on the Slice, a newsletter for founders and makers! He shares resources about entrepreneurship, technology, productivity, and interesting articles about tech trends and learnings. Nic actually featured our little newsletter in his latest issue.
img: Nan, Northern Thailand, source: Nic. Got a nice photo you want to share with the community? send it to me via email!
Today we’ll be sharing a set (source 3):
A typeface (or type for short) is a set of glyphs that share a common design. For example, Helvetica.
A font is a particular size, weight, and style of a typeface. For example, 12 point Helvetica bold. Because of Desktop publishing, font is now used interchangeably with typeface, since we are using "12 pt of Helvetica" inside the software.
What can you imitate? Write down a plan of action.
Thanks for being here for another week. Savate is available here. It is designed by Wech.
img: Savate infographic
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