The Seriously Inspiring Andrew Gibbs

Making it as a graphic designer is not only making it in graphic design; graphic design as almost any artistic job opens the doors to many other how to’s.  How do you become a graphic designer and why?  Not only is it the job of the graphic designer to design a product for someone else, they have to create a passion in that person and sell their idea to that person.  To complete this there are many in-depth steps that seem to become second nature to these people we call graphic designers especially for Andrew Gibbs.

You must become open and you cannot be afraid to take a risk; most importantly though you need to be confident within yourself.  In the interview with Andrew Gibbs he was asked how he accomplished so much in such a short time.  Graduating college by the age of 20 he replied with “I always knew what I wanted even at an early age.”  If you are confident in yourself and you are willing to work hard you will succeed.  Someone like Gibbs might seem intimidating, being only 16 graduating high school he does not seem like a “normal” person but he followed simple rules available to everyone.  While listening to his story I feel certain that everyone can relate to him.  He worked numerous jobs before finding his slot in life and took major risks.  He left his job with no idea of what was going to come but the difference in him was he had the confidence to take the risk.  The mistake people make most of the time is they do not ask, and they do not ask because they are afraid to fail.  Being confident is acknowledging you can and will fail; but the key is to take the failure and turn it into success.  We would of never known how to walk if we did not fall down plenty of times in the process.  Gibbs job before he founded Dieline was one where at the end he was not even getting acknowledge for his work; he knew he needed a change and gained the encouragement from his boss to “just quit”.  Most of us do not get the encouragement from people to listen to that voice in the back of our head so take his interview as your form of encouragement.  Take the inspiration of doing something you love and turn it into your passion you share with others.

If you are trying to make it in an industry like graphic design; one that is so multifaceted, I encourage you to hold interviews, talk to people and make yourself known.  Even if you are the one who makes coffee you must have the confidence to show people you are there and you are there to do what you love to do.  Like Gibbs, you can see the difference in his products, ones that he is passionate about than to others who are merely doing a job to make the payments.  You can be the most talented person in the world but if you have no drive you will never do as good as the person who has that drive and passion within.

In conclusion, know what you want to do, take the risk and be confident with yourself.  The people that look at your work want to know you are confident in your product so that confidence will emerge onto their product.  Be confident, be proactive, be understood, but most important do not be afraid to take a risk because you will never know who will like what you have to offer.

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The Crystal Goblet

The crystal Goblet was written by Beatrice Warde and printed in 1932, in her eloquent language she converged into a meaningful point: the point of the writing needs shine through.  With beautiful typography the reader looses the point the writer is trying to convey.  In reference to wine and the crystal goblet, a wine aficionado will underhandedly choose the clear crystal goblet.  Someone who knows what they are looking for or for that matter one who even cares the slightest bit about the subject will choose the easiest and most promising way to pursue their purpose.  In order to see the wine, which Warde states the ones who really know wine will: “choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain.”

Because the person who is trying is actually trying words they need to make their words stand out.  She also says in her writing, during a conversation with a man about his writing that he made his typography extremely dull forcing the reader the read the text.  He even said the layout would have been a failure is the reader would not of been forced to read.  It even seems she is trying to say that type is a waste of time.  That if you are trying to prove a point in your typing that the transparent page is actually a good thing.  She does however state that the typographer is skillful and holds happiness within them through the difference in typography, even if it is in mockery.  As for what Warde is trying to say about type, she is completely against artistic type.  After understanding where her idea of artistic comes from, that an artist feels and does not think, it can now be understood that people who type are not artists; they have to think.

There are many metaphors inside the Crystal Goblet; in fact the whole piece is a giant metaphor.  The most operant would be the actual crystal goblet, which I have mentioned earlier.  Being crystal, the beauty if within.  You can see through crystal because it is transparent.  If you can see through something you notice the things it has within, especially something that is meant to have an item withheld; like a goblet.  The actual crystal goblet references the type.  A type in an essay should not distract from the content of the words.  The crystal does not distract from the wine it actually adds to the glory of it, as should the type structure. It should add to the magnificence of the words not detract from it.  Another metaphor I would like to point out: “He may put up a stained-glass window of marvelous beauty, but a failure as a window…” All leads back to the purpose of things.  If a window is meant to be looked through why would someone make it translucent?  If the reader is meant to read the context why would you make the text style more important?


With reference to:

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So much work goes into the things people never notice.  Take for example the work that went into the visual aspect of what you are reading.  One of the more necessary parts to typography is the ease of the read.  Without kerning the eye would not be able to understand what the writer typing.  A very important aspect of the ease of the read is kerning; it is the name for the adjustment of the space between the letters.  Kerning moves the letters closer while it is most commonly confused with tracking.  Tracking moves the letters further apart.

In what seems to be ancient times for us, all type was set in metal; a corner was notched to a height on either the sides or both to change the distance letters were to one another.  There the letters were set against one another. With the corner being notched out this would give the kerning affect, you could now have the top of the capital T hang over top of the lowercase a.  Where you can see kerning most is when capital letters are used and with punctuation marks such as the period or comma.

On the equipment we use now there are special features that make our lives easier as well.  Auto kerning takes into account predefined kerning pairs and if spaces are spread too far apart they will kern them, making them sit closer together.    You may think that auto kerning is a quick, easy, and a helpful way to help you in all of your works; but it can do just as much harm.  Some times the auto feature thinks certain words and letters are too close, so they will be auto kerned.  To the reader the text may actually seem very far away making it difficult to read; this is where manual kerning is necessary.

The kerning tools are only part of certain software’s.  The majority of high quality fonts, or fonts typographers created multiple features for (not just features the computers automatically do) of which usually have a pro ending the name, will have different settings for a kerning or tracking feature.  It is said that most typesetting systems offer the support of proper kerning.  Many word processors such as Microsoft word, which I am sure most of us are used to, actually do not offer default kerning.  There are features most of the time where you may enable the option for kerning.  In addition to some software’s not offering kerning, non-proportional fonts do not even use kerning.  Their characters will always have the same spacing.

Kerning is a very important tool that most of us do not even know exist, however our natural eye knows there is something wrong if kerning is not in use.  For example we would look at the word b o x and know the spacing does not look right.  Without kerning, which brings the word characters closer together: box we would have a harder time reading and differentiating words of different fonts made by typographers.

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Text, body, running text

The ongoing sequence of words, distinct form shorter headlines or captions.

Main block of text in a message

The text in the main body of the document that


Leading—How did it get its name?

The distance from the baseline of one line of type to another

Strips of lead were used to separate lines of metal type, which is where leading got its name.


Kerning (and know which fields adjust kerning in InDesign)

Adjusting the space between two letters (the space above and below and the space before and behind)


Tracking  (and know which fields adjust tracking in InDesign)

Can be called letterspacing.  Adjusting the overall spacing of a group of letters.


Normal, positive and negative tracking

The normal flow

(+) 20

(-) 20


Hierarchy—What is its purpose? Identify cues that can be used to signal changes in hierarchy.

It expresses the organization of the content, emphasizing some of the elements while subordinating the others.

(Example italics (it emphasizes an item in the text))


How can you create emphasis within running text?

By using the hierarchy cues such as bold.

(Communicating hierarchy, structural hierarchy)


How can you signal new paragraphs? List all methods you can come up with.

Create a new text box, indent with the tab key, enter or return


Typesetting: be able to define the following, and identify when it is good and evil

Justified text

When the text is flushed on both the right and left sides.  It is good because it looks more organized and bad because it can have larger unwanted gaps within the text.


Flush left/ragged right text

With the left side of the text is flush.  It respects the organic flow of language.  It is good because it avoids the uneven spacing that justified text brings but it is bad because it can sometimes ruin the relaxed flow of things in a work.


Flush right/ragged left text

When the text is flush to the right side of the page.  “It can be a welcome departure from the familiar. It is good because it can be used well for margin type placement and it is bad because it is so unusual and can annoy people.


Centered text

They are even length on the centerline.  It is good because it is simple but it is bad because it can look bad because you can loose the text with the shape it can create and it can be poorly spaced.


Stacked capitals/lowercase

Letter/words that are placed horizontally and read vertically.  Can be capital or lowercase letters i.e. the name.


Vertical baselines—what is the most common orientation?

Top to bottom text, bottom to top or both.  It is read and faced on the vertical axis. 


In InDesign:

Which fields/locations adjust the following:


The font of the text – to change it you can click on the font name in the top control bar

Cmd 6 keyboard shortcut


Type structure (within a family)

Font styles, underneath the typeface dropdown box



To the right of the typeface dropdown box


Leading—be able to identify auto leading

To the right of the type structure drop down box

The amt of space between one baseline and the next baseline down

Auto leading – typically 120% of whatever the font size is. You will not know the exact value from one line to the next.



AV (in the control bar) Kerning across a number of characters (range kerning)



AV top one– adjusting the space between two individual characters

Negative number means tightening and positive means spacing


Be able to name and identify the selection and direct selection tools in InDesign

What is ‘snapping’ in InDesign?

Where a frame is automatically aligned, usually to a grid.

In the ruler guide


What does the command key look like?

CMD key – it says command and has a four corner icon.


What InDesign is used for?

A program used for page composition, design and production.


Be able to identify:


The edge of the page, the pasteboard, margins, and guides.

Inside the blackline (outline)

Whitespace outside of the actually page

Guides and margins are located in the top menu bar (? Not really sure)


Know the keyboard shortcut to turn on/off guides, as well as go into preview mode.

In the tool bar it’s the last icon

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Who was Gutenberg and what did he do?

A German (blacksmith and goldsmith) typographer in the early fifteenth century who created movable type.


Why is he important in the history of typography?

It revolutionized the west; type could now be written in large quantities instead of the slow paced handwritten technique scribes had been doing.

What were the first typefaces modeled after?

The handwritten manuscript of the Latin alphabet (known as “blackletter”)


What are humanist typefaces?

Garamond, Bembo, Palatino, Jenson are some.  They are described as lettera antica.


What are Gothic scripts?

Combined letterforms of German and Italian.  They are considered the first and finest of the roman typefaces.


Where and when were italics introduced, and how did they get their name?

In the fifteenth century Italics were introduced in Italy.


Who were Didot (pronounced dee-doe) and Bodoni and what did they do?

Bodoni in Italy and Didot in France carried on Baskerville’s severe vocabulary.  With their harsh contract and vertical axis, wafer-like serifs held the gateway to a new vision of typography.  They created a bizarre new type that collided with the old way.


What is ‘wood type’ and why was it needed? When was it invented/used?

Wood type is type that is carved into wood to have production of large lettering due to the abundance of advertising from the industrial revolution.  People wanted huge bold letters that the lead could not produce because it was too soft to hold its shape.


What influence did the industrial revolution have on type design (e.g. Bauhaus)?

Some designers thought the way the letters were being changed was immoral and corrupt, they wanted to go back to the standard alphabet so by looking back at the middle ages and renaissance times they could fine pure and uncorrupted letterforms.


Introduced in the 1980s, what technology influenced type design? How did it influence type design?

Computers and low-resolution printers made their way to the public.  This opened the door for typography expansion into the electronic part and typographers could now have their designs used by all people.


Who designed Gotham (one of ECU’s official typefaces)?

Tobias Frere-Jones.



Be able to identify and name the following letterform parts:

Capline—Do all capitals terminate perfectly on the capline?

Invisible horizontal line that runs across the uppermost tips of standard uppercase letters in a line of text.  Capital letters usually have a flat base line at the top and all of those will rest on the capline.



The distance between the baseline and the mean line in a typeface.


Baseline— Which letters terminate on it perfectly, and which dip slightly below it?

The line where most letter sit on.  Descenders dip below.

Letters such as “c”, “e” sit on and letters such as “g”, “p”, “j” dip below



Vertical stroke of a letter.  For example in the letter k it is the longer vertical line on the left.  “n” however has two stems.



Curved stroke that encloses a counter form.



Letters with semi-structural details on the ends.  (They have feet)



Part of a letter that dips below the baseline (example the letter “y”)



A special single character.  The letters “f” and “i” combine when typed to make it easier for the reader to view fi.



A letter that will go above the main if it is not a capital letter. (example the letter d will sometimes)



Curved shape in the middle of the letter “s” and is only in accommodation to that particular letter.



Capital letters as apposed to small letters.



Bar that crosses part of a letterform. (example the letter “H”)


Small capital

Uppercase letters that are set at the same height as the lowercase x in the same typeface.



Area partially or entirely enclosed by a letterform (example the letter “o”)



Small letters as opposed to capital letters.


Type measurement:

Point (and its equivalent in inches)

1 point = 1/72nd of an inch

Pica (and its equivalent in inches)

12 points = 1 pica = .16 of an inch


How are points and picas abbreviated?

Points – p# or pts

Picas – p


Set width

Horizontal measure of a letter.


What factors affect differences between typefaces when set at the same point size? (see page 37)

X-height, line weight and set width.


Type Classifications: (be able to define each class and identify a typeface for each)

Humanist or Old Style

Roman typefaces of 15th and 16th century emulated classical calligraphy.  Sabon was designed by Jan Tschichold in 1966, based of 16th century typefaces of Clyde Garamond.



These typeface have sharper serifs and a more vertical axis than humanist.  When the typefaces of John Baskerville were introduced in the mid 18th century their sharp forms and high contrast were considered shocking.



The typefaces designed by Giambasttista Bodoni in the late 18th century and early 19th century’s are radically abstract.  Note the thin, straight axis; and sharp contrast from thick to thin strokes.


Egyptian or Slab Serif

Numerous bold and decorative typefaces were introduced in the 19th century for use in advertising. Egyptian typefaces have heavy, slab like serifs.


Humanist Sans Serif

Sans-serif typefaces became common in the 20th century.  Gill sans, designed by Eric Gill in 1928, has humanist characteristics.  Note the small, lilting counter in the letter a, and the calligraphic variations in the line eight.


Transitional Sans Serif

Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger in 1957, is one of worlds most widely used fonts.  Its uniform, upright character makes it similar to transitional serif letters these fonts are referred to as “anonymous sans serif”


Geometric San Serif

Some sans-serifs types are built around geometric forms.  In Futura, designed by Paul Renner in 1927, the O’s are perfect circles, and the peaks of the A and the M are sharp triangles.


What is a type family, and what is an example of a type family (list all the variations in the family)?

Organizing roman and italic typefaces into matched families is called a type family.  Any font designates a type family (Times new roman) it would include roman, bold, or italic front.


The typefaces Verdana and Georgia were designed for which purpose?

They were designed for the web.


What is used to construct bitmap fonts?


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Johannes Gutenberg: creator of our printing world

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg otherwise known as, Johannas Gutenburg was a German blacksmith and goldsmith.  The son of Friele Gansfleisch and Else Wyrich the family history traced back into the thirteenth century.  Around 1434 he joined the goldsmith guild, which was quite an accomplishment.  He was the innovator of movable types that opened the door to new possibilities and opportunities.  Instead of the old fashioned way of scribes copying material he lowered the cost and sped up the process.  His press was first made of wood made it possible for the masses to obtain such materials.  The screw type wine presses brought upon his inspiration.

He taught his associates trades that included gem polishing, manufacturing of mirrors, and the art of printing.  He began to build his press in 1436.  In 1440 he created his first hand printing press.  By using block typefaces that was raised in wooden forms, ink was rolled over and then pressed onto a sheet of paper. He produced indulgences to the church, which were slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit temporary punishments for sins committed in this life.   On his start to produce books he ran into some technical difficulties.  The paper, vellum, which was used before to print books on was too expensive and would not come in the abundant quantity needed to have production.  The process of making paper was a necessity to the printing process.  Not only was paper a necessary tool, there also needed to be the material that would print onto the paper, otherwise known as ink.

When Gutenberg created a metal press, not done before because it was not economically sound; he came up with a metal that was soft enough to cast and hard enough to print the letters.  The water-based ink would not stay on the metal like it would a wooden press.  This made it so, a typeface had to be designed which called for a block lettering and also the new use of oil based inks.  And finally the last piece of the puzzle was to actually transfer the ink on the metal press to the actual paper.  An operator would work a lever that would make it easy to increase or decrease the amount of pressure the block would have on the paper.

He is most famous not only for being the innovator of the printing press and changing the world; but for the Gutenberg bible, also known as the forty two-line bible. The bible was written in Latin text and each page is in two columns having an abundance of around two hundred copies made.  This was the first ever mass produced work that has been recorded.

Although he changed the world and created something we could not imagine living without he was not a businessman.  He made little money from his printing system.  In 1465 his achievements were recognized when the title of Hofmann was given to him; meaning gentleman of the court.  Gutenberg died in 1468 where he was buried in the Franciscan Church.

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