Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The counter's on the coffee."

This is a play on coffee lingo and letter forms. A couple of months ago I mentioned that the enclosed negative space of the lowercase "e" is called the eye. And as a reminder, the negative space in a letter form is a counter.

In the coffee biz, ordering a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso is called a red eye. Two shots is a black eye, and three shots is a green eye.

Any more shots of espresso in a cup of coffee is probably just called gross. Trust me - I'm a barista.

Font - Colonna.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bloody ligatures.

A ligature is two or more letters joined together to make one glyph (which is the form used in a type face). It's not common, but it helps very much when you have a word like "fiend" - the top curve of the f (also known as a terminal) and the tittle of the i (the dot thingy floating above) are very close and look awkward. That's when a ligature swoops in and saves the day! No more Tittles crowded by Terminals.

Ligatures are circled. Just so ya' know.

And just in case you're wondering "When the hell would I spell a word with F next to J?"
Fjord. The answer is fjord.

Fonts used - Myriad

On a side note, I have fake blood left over from my Halloween zombie costume. I'm not Dexter or anything - promise!

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

hip old guy

Font - Ariel

Yeah, that's right. I used a boring font.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

circuit concept

Fonts - Prestige Elite and Verdana

I created this design concept for an event poster. It was fun to play around with it, so I made another one for some domain page samples that were requested.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

O panda

Oh hi guys. Just a panda. Wavin' at ya'. 

I was typing with the font Snap and the O's looked too much like panda eyes... I couldn't resist!

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Funny thing about Funnels...

I don't really have interesting thoughts while working alone.

Font - Your Just An Idiot.
The true font has little smilie faces for the O's counter, but I covered them up.

Oh wait, I haven't covered that yet. Okay! The negative space inside a letter form is a counter. There can be closed counters (like the inside of the letter O) and open counters (like with the letter G).
However, the negative space inside a lower case "e" is not just a closed counter... it's called the eye. Not really sure why it gets special treatment - it just does.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Bein' Crafty

A friend of mine had an amazing project proposal for her sister's baby shower. Several of her friends were assigned letters to create or decorate, so the end project would be all the letters of the alphabet that will be displayed on the wall of the baby room. Click here to check out the inspiration photo.

Obviously, I asked to do the letter K. So my three letters were J, K, and L.


And after!

I really love this idea. I might steal it and make something similar to dress up the entry hall or living room.

Just in case you're curious, the J is made of some old blue jeans that I colored pink with fabric pastels. The back of the letter K is foam sheet that I spray painted lime green (just happened to have that color laying around) and then added glitter and stickers. The L has the super adorable robot I found at Hobby Lobby and the dots were made with glue & glitter.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just an update!

As someone pointed out to me, I shouldn't let my blog die all of a sudden... so here's a web banner I made for an event I'm helping with.

An important thing to remember when selecting fonts is you should use more simple fonts for the text body - that will make it easier to read. Save the more decorative fonts for the titles/headers. I'm not sure how to explain picking fonts that will work together... it really just depends on what mood you're trying to set. Each section has it's own personality, but it still needs to flow together.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011


Special notes:

The following fonts were found on Font Space: Dodge, Quigley Wiggly, Uneasy, Xifiction, Yahoo, and Zombie Holocaust. This is a great site with a fun collection of fonts. The rest of the fonts were standard with my Adobe programs. Examples of fonts often include how numbers and punctuation marks look, thus the bottom right corner is not another example - it's just the title of this piece.

The punctuation marks are Times New Roman (you've probably never heard of it) and the font labels are Microsoft Sans Serif. 

Each letter is sized to 55 pt, and are all set on the same baseline except for the H (but I loved the Harlow font, even though it descended into the font label. Because of this, it's bumped up a few points from the baseline). Keeping the same font size for each letter gives a better understanding that font sizes are not standard fit per point. (i.e. a Comic Sans 12pt text can be shorter than Papyrus 12pt text)  

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Spine

The main part of the letter S (lower and upper case) is the spine - the left to right curve.

The orange selection is the spine. Font - Lucida Handwriting Italic. (And yeah, I couldn't resist adding snake eyes and a tongue.)

And just to drive home a better visual so you can remember, I drew a spine onto a letter S (Font - Birch). And then added some texture in Photoshop. Because I'm just hardcore like that.

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Anatomy of Letterforms

We're no strangers to love. You know the rules, and so do I.
And now you're no longer a stranger to the rules of letterforms!

When you get right down to it, typography is all about the letter and the unique characteristics of each one. This shows you the very basics for these forms, but here's a little more detail:
Baseline - imaginary line where the base of capital letters rest
Meanline - imaginary line that dictates the height of the body of lowercase letters
Capline - imaginary line where the top of capital letters reach
Ascender - stroke of lowercase above the meanline
X-height - space between baseline and meanline
Descender - stoke of a lowercase that goes below the baseline

"oh no she didn't!"
Yup. I did.
images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Complementary color lesson III

The last set of the complementary colors - Red and Green. Decided to treat you with a quote instead of just stating the facts again.

Random facts: Lady Bird Johnson was First Lady of the United States between 1963 and 1969. In Austin, Texas, she made efforts to beautify what was then called Town Lake. This included a recreational trail system that loops around the lake's shoreline and landscaping the area so it would no longer be an "eye sore". In 2007, Town Lake was renamed Lady Bird Lake in her honor.
Austin tip: If you want the locals to think you're one of them, only refer to it as Town Lake.

Fonts used - Gabriola, Rage Italic, and Kunstler Script (the letters I, R, and L to create the flowers)

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Complementary color lesson II

Complementary colors are often used as a set, with one color in the foreground and the other in the background to make it "pop". Blue and Orange are the second set of complementary colors.

Also - KITTIES! Because my friend said so. And naranja is Spanish for orange. Why use that instead? Because I can.

Fonts used - Gautami and Hobo Std Medium (for the name of colors and the kitties)

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Complementary color lesson I

Complementary colors are sets of colors opposite from each other on the color wheel. When a color is placed with its complementary color, they appear more intense. Yellow and Purple are examples of this.

On a side note, the English usage of purple and violet are interchangeable... but in color theory it doesn't work that way. Purple is the range of hues between red and blue, which can be explained as the combination of red and blue. Violet is considered a spectral color that just has a smaller wave length than blue. 

Understandable, right? Yeah.. I didn't really think so either. To me, the world violet just sounds more elegant than purple.

Fonts used - Freestyle Script and Chiller (the letters V, Y, and L to create the pansy flower) 

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011


A tail is the decorative stroke on the letter Q. It can also be found on the capital letters R and K that have a decorative stroke. On the letters g, j, p, q, and y the descender is also called a tail.

Fonts used - Monotype Corsiva (for the words), Perpetua Titling (to create the mice with the letters Q, O, and V).

And if you're still confused about tails:

images © Kelci Stephenson 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011


An apex is the top of a character where the left stroke and right stroke meet - such as the top of the letter A. The point of the apex can be sharp or blunt or rounded, depending on the font.

Fonts used - Britannic (bold) and Broadway.

image © Kelci Stephenson 2011