Ellipsis: Type Specimen

Our first workshop today was with Kim so I was expecting to get into the letterpress room, however it was instead a type specimen workshop in inDesign which was pretty exciting.

We looked at some examples of type specimens and then we were given requirements that needed to be fulfilled on our front and back page. This included:

  • A large interesting feature or formal element of your chosen typeface.
  • The basic Latin character set, plus some special glyph features.
  • A 100 word paragraph on the typeface.
  • Body text, title and subheading examples.
  • Leading example.
Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 12.06.48 PM
Gill Sans Type Specimen | 2017 | Hannah Phillips

I had chosen Gill Sans because of its simple elegance which really drew me into it last year when working with type; when creating the design of the specimen I wanted it to reflect that same simplicity. I used a ‘g’ and ‘&’ to overhang the edge of the pages and also frame the requirements which I placed in the middle. I tried keeping the colour palette as sleek as I could and started on a white background, however there was something missing. Therefore I placed the blue in the background and played around with the colour scheme but I ended up finding the white background looked easier to read.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 12.05.41 PM
Gill Sans Type Specimen | 2017 | Hannah Phillips

Once I had printed out the specimen on white I found it just wasn’t as exciting as when it had been on screen! As I really enjoyed this workshop I plan on going back into the design and changing it to one sheet and get some more details onto the specimen. When I do this I will change the colours and print them as I go along to check the physical poster. I found this a really beneficial way of really looking at type and getting an understanding of it when the auto computer settings such as leading and tracking are changed. Hopefully at the end of the year I’ll have a lovely little collection of type specimen posters!

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