Tear Typography

Typography is defined as the style and appearance of printed matter. Typography plays such a significant role in all mediums. Whether it’s in movies, articles, posters, or books. The font, text size, and text type are critical aspects that make it visually pleasing for users. Typographic design is all about how we want our words and symbols to look.

I created the “TEAR” piece above, and the point of this piece is to represent the word while using the word. Before I came to this piece, there was a lot of research and thought behind the scenes. There are a few elements of typography that are important to learn about and recognize. Thinking about the whole piece, I had to learn about hierarchy and consistency to shape the piece. The font size is essential; larger fonts are used for titles and headers, while smaller fonts are used for captions and body text. Having a consistent typeface will create a pattern that is easy for readers to follow.

There are seven main typefaces; serif, sans serif, slab serif, blackletter, script, italic, and display. There are more options within these typefaces, but after narrowing down which of the main typefaces I wanted to work with, it was easy to find a font within that. When choosing a font, it is essential to consider spacing, text volume, and content message. Author Robin Landa suggested selecting the typeface “based on suitability for the audience, design concept, message, purpose, and context. For large amounts of text, a light, readable typeface, legibility, and readability” are super important. For the project, I chose Rockwell as my font, which falls under the slab serif typeface.

After having the font, I decided to move on to composition. I knew I wanted to have the word tear down the middle, but I wanted to make sure it was still legible, and after a few different ideas, I ended up with the tearing of an object with the word in the object. I wanted the tear to be in between letters to emphasize the word. After reading some parts of Ellen Lupton’s book, Thinking With Type, I realized I would need to pay attention to kerning. Kerning is an adjustment of the space between two letters. It’s how far or close the letters in the word are from one another. I didn’t want the word to be too stretched out because then not much of the word would be torn, but I also didn’t want the letters to be too close together because then too much of the word might be torn, and it wouldn’t be legible.

After figuring out the perfect kerning, finding the best font, and knowing there will be a tear in the word, I needed to find the best way to put all of it together. There was a lot of back and forth with my design, but I thoroughly enjoyed this project and am happy with the final result. I knew a little bit about typography before this project, but this project taught me more about the importance of typographic design. I learned when to use what font, and when to have a large or small font.


Graphic Design Solutions, by Robin Landa, 6th ed., Cengage, 2019. 

Lupton, Ellen. Thinking With Type, thinkingwithtype.com/. 

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