Specimen book design help

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Brian Jackson's picture
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Joined: 18 Nov 2010 - 4:42pm
Specimen book design help
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I'm graphic design student looking for a bit of advice for a uni project I'm working on. Part of the project is to create a type specimen booklet for a given font - Cottonwood.

For the project I am trying to visually communicate how elegant the font can be and want to focus on this with my specimen booklet (the booklet has to be based around a certain characteristic of the font, my chosen one being how elegant it can be).

I am looking for advice on two things:

1. What font should I use for the body/descriptive text - I want to keep it simple and compliment the running theme of elegance. I've tried a few so far but nothing sits right so far.

2. Has anyone got any good advice/tips on making type specimen booklet? I've never designed one before.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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re #2: Flicker has an typography pool, which has lots of specimen books and sheets to glean inspiration from...

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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1. What font should I use for the body/descriptive text…

You need to learn to pick your own body copy. That’s why your professors make it part of the assignment.

Has anyone got any good advice/tips on making type specimen booklet?

Designing type specimens is like designing everything else. You need to shut down your computer, get off your ass, and do some research.

phrostbyte64's picture
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Joined: 8 Oct 2008 - 10:38pm
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Dunwich Type: Designing type specimens is like designing everything else. You need to shut down your computer, get off your ass, and do some research.

Harsh, but true. That being said...

The opinions of what a specimen should include are as numerous as the people who use and enjoy them. Near as I can tell, the only rule is that there are no rules. There are factors that will decide some of the format. A display font like Cottonwood doesn't lend itself to a type waterfall (or whatever they are called) at 8pt. 10pt. 12pt. etc. It will never be used in a text application.

Some of the best specimens I have seen have been on the web however. Research still needs to be done.

James

David Berlow's picture
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004 - 6:31pm
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I think it's appropriate here to assume this is research, and point to relevant links:

Pre-WWII, (which I think Cottonwood belongs to), specimen books are here.

On body types, here is a charming piece that might generally help, though you're in the not altogether rare situation where the display type has been chosen first.

Brian Jackson's picture
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Joined: 18 Nov 2010 - 4:42pm
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Cheers for the input guys.

This is purely for my research. I am second year student and this is my first time working, solely, with typography. It's pretty daunting to say the least.

dberlow, thanks for the links! They are most useful.

Dunwich Type, i have done extensive research, and concepts, and though i'd ask some experts for some extra advice/opinions as i'm beginner at best (no harm in trying to better myself). There's nothing wrong with asking for a little help is there? But maybe i could have worded my questions better.

Brian

oprion's picture
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Joined: 15 Nov 2007 - 12:15pm
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Since this face is clearly inspired by wood type, I'd suggest taking a look at one of Hamilton's Catalogues.

http://www.unicorngraphics.com/wood%20type%20museum/hamilton14/hamiltonf...