ADMIRA FONT & TABLOID BOOKLET
A.) The Font
For this project, I used grid squares to image my own unique font. We needed an upright, a bold, and an italic version. From the start wanted my font design to be both sensitive and subtle.
I went through a few learning stages before decided how I wanted to go about forming each letter, and I had to decide what attributes I wanted the letters to have as a set. I played around, and I ended up leaning toward letters with a slight flare to them. One of the issues I ran into was trying to adjust the weight of the bold so it clearly appears heavier, without sacrificing the flare of the upright. I also had to play around with different characters (the “f” and the “o” for example) to get them to match the style of the font as a whole. After sketching and editing, I scanned in my sketch and formed the letters in Illustrator.
I then transitioned into the italic version. I think the creation of the italic was trickier than when i would later create the bold version, because for the italic, I wanted to find the best angle of each character (which is tough when you’re limited to grid squares) without straying too far from the integrity of the original upright.
Looking at the final set (upright, bold, and italic), I felt the completed font looked really classy and enticing. It's a font that can hold its own, and can be used for running text or for display.
B.) The Booklet
I took my finished font and then designed a font specimen booklet to promote it (this booklet style is formed using an 8-quadrant folding pattern on a horizontal tabloid sheet). I had an idea to promote the font as if it were a person (a character) who the supposed “buyer” of this font would want to meet. Adjectives used to describe this font/human hybrid included confident, intriguing, and alluring.
In my head, the “scenario” surrounding this character was a party, sort of like a fancy masquerade party. She walks in and suddenly everyone feels drawn to her even though no one knows who she is yet. She has power that feels unique and admirable. Viewing the promotion of the font from this angle made it more fun as well as more focused.
My first comp (shown above) got me on the right track. It gave me the idea to make the booklet feel sort of like a love letter (from her to the reader) with the front page appearing like a traditional envelope. I also got to write some of my own copy to communicate the angle for this project. Additionally, after some playing around with my italic version of the letter “x”, I was able to link many x’s together (and later do the same for the bold o’s) to create a sort of chain. But while a couple elements felt successful in communicating this message of the font’s appeal, the initial overall design felt very vanilla. I felt it really lacked sex. I wanted to take it much further. I liked the idea of pushing the limit of what was considered "mannerly" and instead being uninhibited with the design.
In my second round of comps, I took on much more dynamic design choices in terms of imagery, scale, and layering, giving the overall design more intensity and intrigue that I felt the “Admira” character would embody. I also changed the name of the font to Admira (as opposed to Amira, which was the name of an existing font). I brought in other kinds of imagery that felt mysterious, kinky, and alluring, like lace paired with chains and laces, as well as kiss marks and bruises. In terms of color, I revved up the red so I wasn’t quite as orangey and felt hotter. I took out the beige color because it felt too somber and bland, detracting from the intensity of the red. I swapped it out with black to help created that stark contrast and further push that angle of sex. A final point that was really useful in improving the design was creating cohesion from page to page. In the initial comps, each page/ spread felt like they were from different designers or different booklets. It didn’t tie together seamlessly. But I began to find ways to minimize that gap in cohesion through color/ arrangement/ repeated imagery/etc.
Not wanting to waste space, I also decided I wanted to create a this full length poster on the currently blank reverse side of the tabloid. So I experimented with what elements felt communicated the Admira message best in poster form. I made the focal point a pair of intense feminine eyes to drive home that concept of the personification of "Admira". The pattern of "x's" (resembling stitches), the pattern of "o's," the chains, the laces, and the title are all set on dynamic diagonal angles to denote action and dynamism.
In the final version, my editing focused around fine tuning cohesion, symmetry, and color balance. In the version prior, there was too much white and red, with little touches black thrown in. But the color balance didn’t feel purposeful. So I divided the spread the with font specimens into a black half and a white half, as well as changing the image of satin in the upper left panel to a black version (with a higher res photo, too). I did the inverse of black and white on the full poster, too, now with black satin as the background and the same image of the eyes now in white. The plain white background of the poster side in the comps prior made the poster feel unfinished and bland. Now the darkness of the black silk background image with the sexy gaze of the pair of eyes, silhouetted against the background in white, add to the air of mystery. Moving back to the booklet side, I also focused on utilizing symmetry to communicate cohesion, especially where the black lace is placed in the top row of panels (across two different spreads). I crossed the chains, too, (in the font specimen spread) to mimic this theme of crossed lines or “x’s” throughout the booklet.
The overall final effect of the Admira font booklet is dripping with intensity, power, and sex appeal.