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Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Graphic Design, Portfolio |

Type Specimen

Type Specimen

For this project, we are supposed to take a single word, and use that word to create a typo-gram, or in other words, something that represents that word, using only that word with minimal manipulations of the letter forms.


I had lots of fun playing around with the different words for this project. At first I had a hard time coming up with words to play with, and was kind of stuck. Then on Friday night I played charades with my roommates for a few hours, (literally!!) and I started looking at the cards to get words that I could use. Most of the words that I ended with came from those words. This list included: happy, sleep, active, jump, zip, fuzzy, firework, evolution, landscape, confuse, unconfined, prate, melting, liquid, waltz, folding, reverse, kickball, cuddle, claustrophobia, leapfrog, lasso, smile, music, bright, trip, pillow, loud, extinction, flow, celebrate, scrambled, dead, solid, dance, lick, stilts, caterpillar, cross, cactus, hide, wedge, and suspenders.

I had all these great ideas of what I was going to do with the words as I went through them the first time, but that was at like 3 o’clock in the morning, and I was a little groggy. So the next morning when I woke up, I couldn’t remember many of them, and was really stuck on the words that I had picked. I ended up spending lots of time looking through fonts that I had, trying to match them with the words that I had chosen. Some of them don’t really match yet, but I think the font works well with most of them.

I didn’t know which ones to pick as my favorites, I liked a lot of them. During the last few days, I have tried to get my friends to tell me what they thought, lots of them liked the Stilts, hide, lick, and cuddle right at first. Then, after looking closer the liked the leapfrog. They didn’t get it at first, but they really liked it after they got what it said, so I will probably work on that one to make it more clear.


My Favorites:

I thought it was hard to choose my other 3 favorite. I knew that I liked the “hide,” and my whole team really liked it as well, but I couldn’t remember what other ones that they liked. I choose leapfrog, because I liked it, but I don’t really like the font. When I have shown it to other people, it takes them a minute to figure it out what the word is, but once they see it, they like the idea. The same thing happens with “Reverse,” although that one takes people longer to figure out. I chose kickball because it is a fun word. I like the curve of “ball” and the fun font, it reminds me of a kids game, even though it is a game for all ages, it is usually played as a fun game for parties at the park.

I think that I am going to finish with hide. It is a simple word, but the design is also very subtle. Most people usually get hide right away, but some totally miss it, and ask what I did with hide because they can’t see a difference.

I think it is interesting to see how different people look at things. just within my group, about half of them couldn’t see “scrambled” because they were looking at it to close, it was spelled “scarmbeld.” usually as long as the first and last letter is there, you can read the right word, but about half of my group could not see the word.



I really liked this project. It is fun to see what you can do with a single word, and how much it can change. “Stilts” was one of the first words that I did in the sketching stage of this project, and although I liked the Idea, I was having a hard time getting it to work right, so I left it behind, and was going to finish with the word “hide.” However, that word did not work either, and I was told to play with “Stilts” again, so I went back to it, and did my best for the day that I had.

I think that although it is better than it was during my sketching stage (it looks a lot different), it could still use some improvements, I was trying to get the stilts in the word to look like they were walking, so the top on one, and the bottom of the other would be closer, and the opposites would be farther away. I think that I got the idea in there, but it could be improved. I had a hard time figuring out what it should look like walking towards you, and surprisingly, when you look for “Stilts” in Google images, it brings up clown stilts and sheet-rock stilts, both of which connect to your feet, and there was only a few imaged of stilts like I know I played with as a child. This made it hard to have a visual, especially since they took the images from the side instead of head on, so the distance was not very clear.

Overall, I think that it was a fun project, and the word that I ended with is fun looking. I like the way it turned out, and hope that it is good enough from a designer’s perspective.


In this project. I have learned alot about Illustrator, and how easy it is to manipulate letter forms. I found that it is easier to make a typeogram that it looks, the hard part is to make one that isn’t an obvious solution. In lots of cases, there are many ways that you could represent a word, and it comes down to simply choosing the most original way, and figuring out how to make it turn out the way that you are imagining it.