Deep Rooted Tree
Graj and Gustavsen

Unique hand-drawn and traditionally done uppercase set of Ancient Roman typeface painted in plaka ink and marker.

Project Overview

Project type: School Project—University of the Arts
Discipline: Graphic Design
Date: 3 month, September 2011 - December 2011
Role: Student
Mentor: John Connelly
Objective of the course was to learn how to form ancient roman typeface and to learn what makes consistent and readable typeface.
Work Cover Sinclair Old Style

Sinclair Old Style

Sinclair old style is a project that I worked on individually as a course assignment at the University of the Arts. These are hand drawn traditionally done fonts painted in plaka ink. My goal was to achieve a beautiful and legible uppercase set of Ancient Roman Typeface. I read a book
Sinclair Oldstyle_02

Pencil Writing

By pencil writing, I learned about opitmal proportion of letters and how to space characters and lines so that it would look optically the same. Some of the things I learned from pencil writings are as follows:
  • I learned kerning; how to adjust space between two specific characters. The space between characters should be optically the same, rather than mathematically the same size of area.
  • I learned cap height, which refers to the height of a capital letter measured from the baseline. Specifically, I learned about circular shape characters such as C, O, Q and sharp angled characters such as V, A, which carry a slightly taller cap height to look optically the same.
  • I learned technique to make the stem more legible by changing thickness of stem. Disposition of a thick stroke on the edge and a thin stroke in the middle is not only to comply with ancient roman letterform, but also to make the letter more legible.
Sinclair Oldstyle_03

Brush Writing

I did many versions of brush writing to define identical elements of typeface such as stem, serif, shoulder, leg, tail, etc. Stem and serif was especially important because most of letter except for a few letters such as C, O, and Q. After I define the elements, I copied those elements and pasted to each letters. Then refined with plaka ink and marker.
Sinclair Oldstyle_03
Sinclair Oldstyle_03

Refinement Process

This slide shows the refinement process. This involves brush writing, outlining with a pencil, and refining with a marker and plaka ink. I left the tracks of the brush stroke for its uniqueness. I varied the thickness of the stems to make them visually the same, which lead to consistent letterform characteristics and better legibility. In addition, I repeated the process of making each letter smaller with a copy machine and tested out its letterform and legibility. I also refined with plaka ink and marker. These are some of the changes I have made during the refinement process.
  • I set the crossbar to give enough breathing space to the triangle negative space on 'A'
  • I set the crossbar on optical middle for 'H'
  • I refined the thickest part of the shoulder of 'R' to look optically the same as the thickness of the stem.
  • Apex of 'A','V' and Bowl of 'O', 'Q', and C slightly pass the canline and baseline to make it look optically the same as other letters.
  • I exaggerated the track of the brush writing on the shoulder, joint and leg of 'R','K' and tail of 'Q' not only to make it more unique and proper ancient roman typeface but also to make the typeface more unique.
Sinclair Oldstyle_04 Sinclair Oldstyle_04

Key Takeaways

Throughout this project, I learned how to rapidly develop an ipad and iphone app with Livecode. In addition, I came up with an innovative concept and meaningful infographic. However there are a few things I could have done better. I made the inner circles thicker than the outer circles to make the smaller(inner) circle more visible.

Although the user can zoom in on the interface, this hierarchy of the ring thickness made some buttons, icons, and text extremely small. I think it would have been better if every ring carries the same linear thickness because it will enhance the legibility of buttons, icons and some texts.

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