Type specimen

Yesterday we had another core skill workshop. This time it focused on type. Our task was to create a double sided type specimen poster for any chosen typeface.

I didn’t know what a type specimen is so I began by looking up examples of type specimens. I found some really nice ones. I really liked the elegant looking black and white posters. See below:


I then had to choose a typeface to work with. I struggled with finding one I wanted to use. First of all, I didn’t even know that you can install new fonts on the uni computers. When I tried last year it didn’t work. Or maybe I just didn’t do it right. Secondly, when we were advised to use Adobe TypeKit, I couldn’t download anything because I don’t have a Adobe account. Luckily then the other students told me that I could use Google Fonts instead which work without creating an account. That worked! But there were sooo many options that it was almost impossible to choose between them. I downloaded a few different fonts and tried them in InDesign. I didn’t really like them but I was starting to get frustrated so I just went with Josephine Slab in the end.

When I started designing the type specimen nothing seemed good to me. I wasn’t able to make it look elegant like the style I liked when I researched examples. I tried different compositions, different characters and different colors. I felt like I was just wasting time and getting frustrated. In the end of the workshop I had only managed to do one side of the type specimen but after the afternoon workshop with Ricardo I went back to the Mac room and did the second page.



I am not massively happy with the outcome that I ended up with. It’s not really the style I wanted to create in the beginning. Also I don’t think the composition of it is the best possible. It doesn’t look just right to me. Still regardless of all the frustration, I really like the idea of type specimens and I would like to try to make more of them. Maybe I’ll try another typeface later when I have time and try making a specimen that I feel happy with.





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