How Yesterday’s Type Has Inspired Todays Styles

In todays modern world the term ‘typography’ is used very loosly and you could argue that, since the digital age, typogrophy is no longer a specialized occupation. Furthermore, it is performed by anyone who arranges type such as comic book designers, graffiti artists, art directors, clerical workers and graphic designers. There are many instances where the modern typography we use today was inspired by old styles. In this article we will take a look at how yesterdays type has inspired todays styles.

Initial

The large letter that is often seen at the beginning of a chapter or paragraph in printed publications such as novels and newspapers is referred to as the ‘Initial’. The name initial comes from the latin initialis which means ‘standing at the beginning’.

Going back to the very early history of printing the initial would be added to a manuscript or text by a scribe or minature painter annd not by the typesetter; The typesetters just left the necessary space so the Initial could be added later.

There are several different types of Initial, the first type is the one you will normally see on a computer, sat on the baseline and flush with the left margin. The other type of Initial you might see in html is in the left margin with the text to the right and indented.

The last, and probably the most common, type of initial seen in newspapers, magazines and novels is the drop cap, where it runs several lines deep with the text wrapped around so the left and top margins are all flush.

Old Style Typefaces

Often reffered to as Humanist, the ‘old style’ typefaces are inspired by the hand lettering of scribes before the modern typefaces we’re introduced; The very first old style fonts we’re produced in the early 1500’s.

The thick to thin transitions that can be seen in the old style typefaces highlights its relation to calligraphy and they look very much like they have been drawn with pen and ink. If you we’re to draw a line between the thinnest parts of the character you can see that ‘the stress’ is always diagonal and the serifs on old style fonts are very angled.

Old style fonts are generally best suited to pages with lots of body text on as they are very easy on the eye and are often found in magazines, newspapers and books. One of the most common used sans-serif old style fonts used in the web today is ‘Times New Roman’.

Modern Style Typefaces

The modern style typefacesare often referred to as ‘Didone’ and despite the name ‘modern’ it is not a new typeface. Going back to the eighteenth century when new advanced printing methods came to to light and when the paper qualkity drastically improved there we’re changes in how typefaces we’re created.

Compared to the old style typefaces the Didone have thin and very long horrizontal serifs, the stress is vertical rather than diagonal and the thick and thin transitions syle is much more clear cut and a dramatic difference compared with old style typefaces.

These fonts can be very eye catching when used in large sizes and are not suited to pages with lots of body text due to their thick lines becoming too powerful and the thin parts been nion impossible to see. The modern style fonts are best suited to titles, headings and sub-headings and common ones you will see on the web today are Didot, Onyx and Times Bold.

This article was produced on behalf of PrinterInks – suppliers of printer cartridges, toners and stationary services throughout the UK and Europe.

 

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

Does mood impact creativity?

Each week, I answer questions about creativity and productivity in a series called Q&A Monday. Today’s question asks about the list between mood and creativity:

“Why are we most creative when we feel down?”
Anonymous on Quora

Which moods are scientifically linked with creativity? Various research links negative moods and feelings to a decrease in creativity:

UC-Blog-Feature-Study-MoodA 2010 study published by the Association for Psychological Science linked creativity most with positive moods. Using music and video clips, researchers primed participants for certain moods by researchers of the University of Western Ontario. Those who listened to the happiest music or watched a cheerful video were most able to recognize creative patterns. The happy volunteers were better at learning the rules behind patterns than those in neutral or sad moods.

“Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking.”
Ruby Nadler, University of Western Ontario

Creativity has been associated with mood disorders. Preliminary associations compiled by the University of Iowa found higher rates of mood disorders and alcoholism among writers and playwrights. This study did not include a control group to draw comparisons against. (The relationship between creativity and mood disorders) Among those who were studied, almost all involved reported less creative output during depressive or manic states.

Positive moods enhance creativity. Creative performance increased according to an analysis of 62 experimental and 10 non-experimental studies by Mark A. Davis of the University of North Texas. Understanding the relationship between mood and creativity: A meta-analysis

Matthijs Baas of the University Of Amsterdam focuses his research on creative psychology. His work indicates that happiness, fear, and anger are the most creative enhancing moods. Sadness, relaxation, and relief decrease creativity since stimulation encourages flexibility and idea generation. Happiness leads to creative flexibility while fear and avoidance lead to creative persistence.

UC-Blog-Pinterest-Mood

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

How to Plan Then Execute Goals with Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen: Free Downloadable Poster PDF

This Get It Done downloadable poster pdf, based on the book Getting Things Done by David Allen, is the perfect way to get your goals in motion.

Are you struggling to set your daily, monthly, and yearly goals? I know that feeling well! It can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin, but don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Have you ever heard of the book Getting Things Done by David Allen? If you have, perhaps you’re looking for a refresher. Or, if this is an entirely new concept for you, you’re in the right place – I’ll explain everything in detail. Getting Things Done aims to engage in natural planning: noticing and working with the way your brain naturally wanders.

We begin by capturing: brainstorming with enthusiasm to find ideas that already exist in your head. Then, you can organize: divide your ideas into types of tasks and notes for future reference. Finally and most importantly, you can then identify the next action: the next step you need to take to get your project moving. Planning can be fun and easy!

Making decisions can be daunting. Use this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style strategy for making the creative process less stressful:

Get It Done Process Poster: Based on the Book Getting Things Done
Get It Done Process Poster: Based on the Book Getting Things Done

Capture: Write down all of your ideas

Write down all of your goals-related ideas and keep an ongoing list. Use an app or paper and pencil, whichever works best for you. As you capture your thoughts, remember that the goal is to keep them out of your mind and free up mental space for new ideas and inspiration.

Continue reading “How to Plan Then Execute Goals with Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen: Free Downloadable Poster PDF”

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

Be Creative About Making Your Own Opportunities

It’s not that I particularly like being a person who tries to make my own opportunities. It’s just the easiest way. So I’m very lazy in that sense.

I wish opportunity just all appear before me. If all the things I want appeared like magic. Then everyone knew what I want and did it. So that I wouldn’t have to look to find all the things I imagine.

I’m a realist. We see many who live as if that fantasy is what’s supposed to happen. They serve as a good reminder to ask for what you want. Be cool when you get what you get. Do what you can to find what you’re looking for.

At the same time it still often feels like I imagine things and they happen.

When you’re used to be a creative, you forget about the work a lot of the time. It’s a habit that is developed and cultivated.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

52 Podcasts That Inspire My Creativity & Productivity

Podcasts I listen to:

  1. Feeling Good – Psychiatrist and Author David Burns discusses mood improvement tips and exercises.
  2. Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Gretchen (author of The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies) and her sister Elizabeth Craft (TV writer) discuss habits
  3. Happier in Hollywood – Liz Craft and Sarah Fain discuss the struggles as TV writers in the male-dominated entertainment industry.
  4. Awesome Etiquette – The great-grandchildren of etiquette author Emily Post discuss modern manners in the digital age based on the tenants of consideration, respect, and honest.
  5. Getting Things Done – Productivity tips from author and consultant David Allen.
  6. TED Radio Hour – TED Talks adapted for audio
  7. The James Altucher Show
  8. The Upgrade by Lifehacker
  9. Slate’s Dear Prudence – Life advice from columnist Mallory Ortberg
  10. Windows Weekly – I’m both a Mac and Windows user. Power tips for power users of Microsoft’s operating syste
  11. Pop Culture Happy Hour
  12. InDesign Secrets
  13. By The Book – Jolenta Greenberg and her  friend Kristen Meinzer live by the practices of a self-help book each episode to find out which ones might work
  14. Hidden Brain
  15. HBR IdeaCast – Business and management ideas from Harvard Business Review.
  16. PBS NewsHour – Rated as one of the more objective sources of news coverage.
  17. Hello From the Magic Tavern – A man falls through a dimensional portal behind a Burger King into a magic land filled with wizards, magical monsters, and adventurers. Starring Chicago Improvisers.
  18. That’s How I Remember It – Actors flawlessly recreate perfectly exactly movies they’ve seen and haven’t seen from memory on the spot.
  19. A Way with Words – A call-in show about the English language linguistics, slang, new words, jokes, word games, grammar, regional dialects and word history.
  20. The Marie Forleo Podcast
  21. Radical Candor – Workplace advice
  22. I Hate My Boss – Workplace advice
  23. The Dinner Party Download
  24. If I Were You
  25. Dear Sugars
  26. Get-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More
  27. The Savvy Psychologist’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Mental Health
  28. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
  29. The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous
  30. Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life
  31. Planet Money
  32. Freakonomics
  33. Recode Decode with Kara Swisher
  34. Recode Media with Peter Kafka
  35. Katie Couric
  36. Judge John Hodgman
  37. Anna Faris Is Unqualified
  38. The Backline – An Improv Podcast
  39. This Week in Google
  40. All About Android
  41. The Accidental Creative
  42. Side Hustle School
  43. The Mortified Podcast
  44. Schmanners
  45. Myths and Legends
  46. Hannah and Matt Know It All
  47. Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane
  48. improv4humans with Matt Besser
  49. The American Life
  50. Design Matters with Debbie Millman
  51. Marvel Cinematic Universe – Covering Marvel Comics films.
  52. FiveThirtyEight – Politics through the eyes of statistics and probability

Also check out my podcast Uncanny Creativity. What are your favorite podcasts? Any I missed that need to be included?

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.