Designed Typography for Visual Communication


Typographic design may come more naturally to some, and less naturally to others. For me, I’ve always chosen text that I like without thinking about the design behind it.. But, that’s not what typography is about. It’s an extremely important element behind compositions, and should never be an after thought because it’s all about communicating to the audience. The way a word is represented – the font used, written message, etc. – can change the way it’s interpreted

That said, I’ve been so excited to learn more about typography! My background and impulses tend to lean towards an artistic approach with hand-drawn lettering IF I even decide to use type in my work. I have experience with design on a product level but no experience with typographic design.. It’s time to change that. 

This week, I used my new knowledge of typography, design elements and principles, and composition to write the word “whimsical.” The purpose was to visually represent the words meaning. 

Here’s what I did:

I chose “whimsical” because I gravitate towards the style of the word. It’s playful, friendly, unique, and organic. 

Thinking about the process, It made sense for me to use a script, rather than a serif or sans serif typeface. A script is different because it appears as cursive instead of print. The font I started from is called Biloxi Script.

Beginning with the Biloxi Script font, I also utilized a text effect tutorial, which helped me to not only advance my Adobe skills, but also because it has a 3D, organic feel that I thought would work nicely with the cursive script. 

According to Robin Landa in Graphic Design Solutions, you should never use a font at its automatic setting. So, I changed the kerning of the letters right away. From there, I knew I could start the text tutorial to create the effect I wanted. However, I quickly found out that with my chosen text effect, each letter needs to connect to one another – sort of making the kerning that I’d already done less significant. 

The eucalyptus drawings are a part of the final piece because florals and natural elements are often associated with whimsy context. Simplicity with my drawings was important to me so that I could ensure the word to be the focal point. Because, of course, the aim for this experiment is to represent the word, but also challenge myself to focus more on the type rather than the artistic styling. 

By artistic styling, I mean that with typography and design, the purpose is to create a solution for the audience – in this case, communication. Where art doesn’t necessarily need a solution; it’s more interpretive. And I needed to keep my head focused on the solution rather than just making a pretty image. 

While I think the final piece represents the meaning of the word “whimsical,” and I’m very happy with the result, I think the readability could improve. Words that are easily readable make for easier communication. If I were to do it over, I think I would separate the calligraphic lines from each letter to make the letters appear more like themselves; similar to how I had the word before using the text tutorial. 

Typographic design definitely doesn’t come to me as naturally as it may for others. However, I’m planning to continue my practice with typography so I can hopefully better manage design communication for my intended audience. I’m looking forward to advancing these skills!

One thought on “Designed Typography for Visual Communication

  1. Julie – nice design! I think that the colors you chose work well with the word, as well as the typeface. “whimsical” is definitely deserving of a script font. The way that you connected the characters to each other took my eyes for a journey across the composition, from on character to the next. I do agree that the readability could be improved – the i’s appear to be extended finials that are meant to connect to the next letter. There also is a noticeable break in the flow of the line when the a is not connected to the rest of the group. Still, i think you did a great job at capturing the essence of the letter and look forward to seeing more.


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