Jan 06 2014

Ask Ian: Do you see lines or the whole letter?

carrier pigeon


We received this question from Ketume via Twitter: “@ianbrignell if I may,do you c letter’s as lines or jst plain letters when designing?”

Here’s Ian Brignell’s response:

Hi Ketume:

Thanks for your question, and the answer actually encompasses both aspects of what you asked.
When drawing letters, I start with the big picture, which means I look at the overall structure of the word. I consider the shape, weight, character and energy of the letters, as well as the specific interaction that takes place between each letter and it’s companions.
Once the overall feel and balance are right, I then look very closely at the details of the curves that make up the letters. I want to make sure that the transitions are as smooth as possible. You could say that I’m looking at these fine details as lines or even segments of lines. In order to make sure they work, though, I then have to zoom back out and look again at the word as a whole. I zoom in and out of the details like this until I’m happy with the smoothness and harmony of the piece.
I hope that this makes sense, and good luck with your endeavors.