Graphic designer.

Aspiring author.

Hoarder of books.

U is for User Interface

User Interface designs are something that you most likely see every single day. Every app on your phone, every program on your computer, your GPS, the screen in your car, even the screen on your coffee maker, all have a User Interface. It’s become extremely hard to avoid computers, so it’s just as hard to avoid User Interfaces!

Over the weekend, I actually began designing my first User Interface outside of school. This is for a client that my husband and I are creating a large piece of software for. We spent a chunk of time sketching out ideas for the interface and for how a customer would interact with it. This kind of brainstorming is planning the User Experience which is closely related to User Interface. The User Experience is how a customer will get from point A to point Z and every point in between. The User Interface is what those points look like.

Thus far, this is the login page for the program we are creating:

User Interface Example

T is for Typography

Typography is the study, use, and design of letterforms but there are so many different subcategories of typography that it is hard to really say that that truly covers it all. Typography began about 3000 BCE with the advent of written language in Mesopotamia and has changed and developed immensely over time.

Before I went to school for graphic design, I went to college for creative writing and took many anthropology courses. I learned a bit about typography through our sections on linguistics and loved it. Because of this, I was excited to get to the module on typography and I was definitely not disappointed. The development and evolution of written languages is amazing. If you are interested in learning more about type, I recommend reading Exploring Typography – 2nd Edition by Tova Rabinowitz Deer. It was the assigned textbook for my class and has an immense amount of information about the history of typography. It’s a great starting point!

Aside from the history of typography, there are many different aspects of type that one must learn in order to fully understand typography. Typographic terminology is a great starting point after learning some of the basic history as it allows you to understand terms as you continue to learn. These terms will help you learn about type family classifications, readability and legibility, layout and grids, and designing type.

Designing your own type can be really fun. There are technical aspects of course, but sometimes you can just play around and make type out of anything.

Here is a fun alphabet I created out of paperclips for an assignment:

Paperclip Alphabet - Typography

Have you ever tried to create your own type?

S is for Sketching

Sketching is an important step for any design project. It helps you weed out the generic design choices and stretch the limits of your imagination.

I use graphing paper for most of my sketching as this allows me to better gauge the proportions of a design. I also always use mechanical pencils. This is so that I never have to stop to sharpen my pencil — I just have to give it a click — and I can erase mistakes.

A great thing about creating sketches is that you don’t need to be any good at drawing. Most of the time, these sketches are going to just be for you to work out a design before moving to the computer. And really, most people will understand that the sketches are for idea generating and not a statement about your skills!

Here are some examples of sketches I have done for various projects:

  • Business Card Sketches
  • Sketching Bottles
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches

If time permits, do as many sketches as you can before finalizing your idea. Sometimes the hundredth sketch is the perfect choice!

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