Type Specimen Outcomes

For this brief, I have been asked to find out information on a given typeface and its designer and design an A3 black and white type specimen poster based on the given typeface. My given typeface was Gill Sans.

Once I gathered all the research/info I needed I have started to work towards my own type specimen poster and came up with various initial design sketches to help me towards a final design piece.

I have begun by doing lots of sketches of my ideas in my book, then I have picked three of my best ideas and took them into InDesign where I tried lots of different variations.


 (Idea 1)

For this idea I tried an asymetric layout. The idea of this was to design the poster based on the bbc logo in order to show its usage and its flexibility.



Based on the tutor’s feedback there were improvements to be made regarding the title and the layout. I understand that I needed to experiment with the composition a lot more and that the logo could of been a bit smaller too. Regarding the readability and the legibility, I think it works well although I could work more on the composition and the style of some of the elements. Maybe be a little more playful with the typeface itself.

(Idea 2)

This idea was more like an experiment, I wanted to try working this out on a landscape rather than portrait in order to see how it will turn out to be.


I quite liked this layout, because of its simetrical composition, and the use of tint. However, the logo is a bit too big and the character spacing. Although I think the readability and the legibility are great on a landscape, as it seems to be more space.screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-13-02-15

Here I have used the same composition but adjusted it slightly in order to be more playful and also inverted the colours. I do think it worked better on black background though.screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-13-02-03

(Idea 3)

The posters below are one digital idea that I created based on the font style and design fundamentals. When I designed these, I was looking for more visually interesting features about the font. For example, symetrical shapes, oblique terminals, sharp edges, rounded shapes, flat bottomed letters etc… All these things that makes gill sans stand out from other typefaces and that are intresting to look at.

Within these outcomes, I tried to be more abstract and more playful. I tried different layering techniques to make it look abstract but somewhat still related to the font itself.

As seen from the uppercase letters, I think that one distinct feature of the letter “Q”, which is its tail, allows us to recognise the Gill sans typeface and identify its style. Also, another distinct feature of the Gill Sans lowercase type. Lowercase ‘t’ has a distinct sharp triangular cut on the top.



I quite like the lower case ‘t’ because it is big and bold it looks quite abstract and it makes me think of its purpose on the poster. Altough I quite like the sharp edges and the oblique terminals of this letter I think the upper case ‘Q’ is eye chatching and it has a beautiful rounded geometric form that shouts out.


So, I decided to get rid of the letter ‘t’ as letter ‘Q’ does the job as well, I have used the upper case ‘I’ as it creates a rather more meaningful design. Referring to the type anatomy the upper case ‘I’ sits right within the base and the top line, whereas the upper-case of the letters ‘Q, O’ are coming out the top line slightly.

Although ‘O’ is slightly bigger it creates an optical illusion, tricking the eye and making them both look the same height.

Deciding to bring the letter ‘I’ into my design, will not only just make the audience think of how they see type but also how type was designed, and the concept of knowledge as it writes the shortening of IQ or intelligence quotient. How much do they know about how type is made? Basically this design is meant to let the viewer be creative with it, but the main meanings are meant to show  the optical illusion between the letters ‘I, Q’ and the type style of Gill Sans. Also the characters falling down are there to show the distinct style of the letter ‘Q’ also, they are there to make the the poster less boring but slightly entertaining and creative.


However, the outcome above was my initial final outcome, altough after the group discussion I realised there were few issues regarding the hierarchy and the design decission. So I went back and try to fix it based on the given constructive criticism.


So here it is, my final piece I have adjusted the margins and the gutter, I have adjusted the size of the logo and got rid of the logo background. I have also moved the characters down a bit in order to come down neathly from the bottom of the tail rather than the top.Although, I think I could still make some improvements, Maybe the margins can be a bit bigger and the logo a bit smaller.

This project was totally something new to me. It helped me to learn more about design, and helped me to improve upon my type characteristics and typographic anatomy skills.  I was open to critiques and more ways to improve my work and my studies. Also, during the constructive criticism I have learned from others and from their design decissions, and designing issues.

Overall, this project was a fun and good opportunity to learn more about the background designers of the typefaces and contemporary usage of their typefaces. From the old Railways logo to the BBC  and many others. Everybody’s work was different as everybody has got a different typeface, so I have learned briefly about other typefaces as well. During this project we also worked in groups in order to find the research and the information we needed for our posters as there was more of us designing a type specimen for the same typeface.


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