What is kerning and why does it matter? Kerning is the process of adjusting the space between characters to make it more visually-pleasing. More of an art than science, it makes a typographic design look more professional and polished.
Watch this 45-second video and see why kerning matters.
While randomly browsing the HOW Design website today, I was excited to see a familiar sight: my blog Typography in the City on their July list of Top 10 Websites for Designers!
I started Typography in the City in 2011 as a way to document the interesting typography I came across on walks around my neighborhood. It’s turned into a fun project, as well as a source of constant inspiration for design projects—not to mention wall art for my son’s room and even a children’s book I’m working on.
Follow Typography in the City on tumblr and on twitter at #typeinthecity. Also follow @lsvdesign on Instagram for #typeinthecity updates!
My book Typography in the City: Volume 1: West Loop made Creative Bloq’s list of The Best Typography Books of 2012!
The self-published book features photographs of found typography from my West Loop neighborhood in Chicago, including building signage, street signage and “guerrilla typography.” Typography in the City: Volume 1 is available as a printed book and eBook.
Get a sneak peek
See an online preview of Typography in the City: Volume 1 here.
Visit the Typography in the City blog and read the inspiration behind this project.
Hooray for urban typography!
I’m excited to share that my “type-spotting” blog Typography in the City and the related book were mentioned in two places yesterday.
Bill Motchan, writer of the Chicago Journal’s ‘West Loop Wanderings’ blog posted an article about my inspiration for Typography in the City—including a photo of one of my favorite West Loop typography spots. Read the Chicago Journal article.
My self-published book, Typography in the City (based on the blog) was featured on Creative Bloq, a blog that delivers a daily dose of design tips and inspiration. Read the Creative Bloq post.
Thanks Chicago Journal & Creative Bloq for spreading the word about urban typography!
On Wednesday, I attended a wonderful walking typography tour with Paul Shaw, organized by STA Chicago and AIGA Chicago.
I’ve been blogging found typography in my West Loop neighborhood, so I was eager to see what Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and Loop had to offer. Two-and-half hours later, my freezing fingers had documented 20 typographic spots—and Paul was still going strong at the Chicago Cultural Center when I had to head home (Little One was waiting for his dinner).
Paul Shaw has a mind-boggling knowledge of typography and thoroughly explained each type specimen, with humorous anecdotes along the way. He reminded us that much of what we saw was not typography, but in fact lettering.
Downtown Chicago lettering highlights
- Clarendon-style lettering on a water fountain at our starting point, the Historic Water Tower.
- Versals in the uncial form on the downtown Loyola University building. IWAC stands for Illinois Women’s Athletic Club, a social, athletic and residential club in the ’20s-’30s.
- Uncials on the Fourth Presbyterian Church entryway. Paul explained that the lettering was designed to fit the space.
- Slab serif cast letters on the Chicago Water Works building. Paul pointed out that there was no period after the title (the grammatical style during that period).
- Helios relief on the former McGraw-Hill Building facade. Another example of lettering created to fit the space.
- Paul doing a stone rubbing of textura blackletter lettering on the Tribune Tower.
- The quirky sans/serif-combination lettering on the Old Republic Building. We also peeked inside the lobby to see a fabulous ’20s-’30s era mailbox.
- Art deco lettering on the Carbide and Carbon Building (now the Hard Rock Hotel). Paul pointed out the thick and thin lettering with echoes of Florentine Sans serif.
- Dome of the Chicago Cultural Center (I missed the explanation because I had to leave!)
Thank you Paul, for an amazing tour of Chicago typography!
If you are a fellow type geek, check out Paul Shaw’s website, which includes info for his urban lettering walks. Sign me up for the Italy tour next year!
Watch for the book coming soon!
Exciting news: my new photo•typo•graphy blog, Typography in the City was recently featured on the HOW Blog!
Typography in the City was inspired by my experiences at last year’s HOW Design Conference in Chicago. I shared my story with HOW editor, Megan Lane Patrick and she was kind enough (read: awesome) to mention it on the HOW Blog.
Read the post “Inspired by HOW Live” here. Thanks HOW!
a few examples of my new photographic obsession: typography
So, I was just recently talking about creative side jobs on the Creative Freelancer Blog. I’m happy to finally announce one of my side projects: a photographic essay on typography titled Typography in the City.
The inspiration for this project came about in July 2011. I had recently attended the HOW Design Conference in Chicago and picked up a book called Photo Idea Index by Jim Krause. It gave me a new perspective on photography and most importantly, the encouragement to practice daily.
At the time, I was in my last month of pregnancy so my only form of exercise was long walks with the dog. On these walks in my West Loop neighborhood, I started to notice typography—a letterform on a sign, an address number, words spray painted on the ground. With my new found photographic inspiration, I started taking photos and sharing them.
To share my collection of images—and to add to it when I’m on the go—I recently created a blog called Typography in the City.
I’m also currently designing the related book, titled Typography in the City. Send your email to be added to the mailing list when the book is released!
Follow along on instagram and twitter with the hashtag #typeinthecity