Supplemental blog of Kevin Woodland’s instructional site

Hot Designers Make Cool Fonts

Reviewed by Lacie Snay

Hot Designers Make Cool Fonts

The book Hot Designers Make Cool Fonts by Allan Haley is all about type. The book is broken down into little essays that holds information all about font. It starts with an introduction about all of the type families. This essay explains how type face became important when the industrial revolution happened. When it comes to making money and selling products you need to advertise. And to advertise type faces are very important, lots of them. Fuller Benton explains how type faces are kind of like built like families. How brother and sisters look like their parents is how type families are built as well.

The second essay talks about how to making fonts could make you money. But it takes talent to do so. It’s not just the simple A B C and 1 2 3. It gives you some tips and some steps to take to go far with a font or text you have created.

But most of the book is all about those people who made it far and decame designers. Those talented people who made the typefaces that are well known. For example David Berlow found the text Bureau in 1989 and it has developed so much since then consisting of over 500 typefaces. Along with, thirteen other designers who made it big in the world as well. (Matthew Carter, Jean-Renaud Cuaz, Dave Farey, Tobias Frere-Jones, Jonathan Hoefler, James Montalbano, Jim Parkinson, Jean-Francois Porchez, Quay and Sack, Robert Slimbach, Erik Spiekermann, Sumner Stone, Carol Twombly)

The last two essays in the book are all about how to make type faces a little more legible and what fonts are used for what. Such as which specific type face is better used in what sizes.

I think the most interesting part of this book is the time line at the end of the book. Instead of reading paragraphs and trying to absorb so much information it set up in a time line format and much easier to understand. It starts with the fifth century B.C. with Greek lapidary type and goes to 1996 where Microsoft releases word 97 with more than 150 free typefaces bundled.

I think this book was wonderfully designed and very eye catching. I think this book would be great for inspiration and ideas for what fonts to use to anything. It has great examples of advertisements and other examples in how the typefaces were used. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Eco Friendly Design

Reviewed by Ariana Behm

I found this book to be extremely insightful on the benefits of “going green” and still being able to dazzle others. This book also explains that as designers it is our responsibility to make sure we do what we can to preserve our planets resources. Some ideas the book offers include unbleached paper with highly recycled content, avoiding harmful finishing techniques, and limiting ink and varnish coverage. All of these ideas sound simple but it is more complex than that, which I found interesting. In order to do all of these ideas, you have to be smart about color schemes (how will these colors look on unbleached papers and without the varnished ink? for example). As a designer you also must consider what could be considered wasteful design, in other words keeping ideas minimalistic but also keeping things interesting.

After reading through all the ideas of being eco-friendly, the book shows pictures of examples of what they are suggesting. This is the part that I found most interesting because not only do you get to see how everything came together, but you also know that it was done in an environmentally friendly way. Being eco-friendly means a lot more than just conserving energy and recycling trash, and as designers it is important that we understand that.

20th Century Type

Reviewed by Michelle Keasal 

My education in Graphic Design has just begun, but I’ve already discovered a love for typography in particular. The book I chose to review examines typography in the 20th Century, starting with 1900 and delving into each decade separately, ending with the 1990s.

The trends and innovations in typography discussed in the book are paired with historical events, cultural shifts, and invention that occurred during that time. Major points in history are touched upon, including the Industrial Revolution and the advent of mass production, warfare and propaganda, the emergence of youth culture in the 60s, all the way through the modern age of digital technology and non-print media.

The author provides beautiful examples of graphic design within each decade, as well as strictly typographic examples, complete with type name and size. Art movements pertaining to the examples and points in history are discussed as well.

What I love about this book is how the author successfully illustrates the fact that typographic and graphic design trends are always changing, and that they are impacted significantly by what’s going on in our world. Conversely, typography and graphic design can be powerful tools that have been – and continue to be – used to spark emotion and action within people living in these volatile time periods. 

Book Review

Reviewed by Alden Cook

The book I chose was Great Design Using Non-Traditional Materials by Sheree Clark and Wendy Lyons.The book is mainly about what people have created using unusual things. Interacting with the materials is something that the artist can say is unique and creative. Actually being able to see the objects or art is something that the printed page cannot do. Nowadays, people use computers, and that can take away from the feel of the project. Another thing is that with computers, the definition of graphic design has been dramatically changed. The uniqueness of using this type of non-traditional art method can bring more people to one’s work. One thing people can say is using some ecological materials can bring friendliness to the project. One of the reasons why I got this book was because of the design of the cover. The reason is that the book itself looked like it was made from recycled materials. What I found interesting was what someone could create just by using stuff one can find in the woods or in the recycle bin. In my opinion the contents in this book are considered graphic design because of how the art is presented and the creative idea that art can be created from anything.

Less is More: The New Simplicity Graphic Design

Reviewed by Julie Bohnlein

Heller and Fink’s Less is More describes the style trends of past graphic design, specifically the cycle of simple design. Simple design contains elements of the de Stijl and Bauhaus art movements —geometric shapes; using few, but bold, colors. It became a commercial trend in the 1930’s during World War II, when cutbacks were seen in all faucets of life. Graphic design during this time was stripped down to it’s fundamentals. This trend up kept up after the war; advertisers started using more whitespace, less literal photos, and more typography.

In the late eighties and early nineties, design quickly became very complex, with young designers wanting to change the rules of design, almost in an act of rebellion. This new complex style also lead to a lot of experimentation; like using the quirks of a computer program while laying out typography, or deconstructing a layout so normally invisible elements (grids, crop marks, holding lines) are seen on the page. Less wasn’t seen as more during this time, more was more. Ostentatious became the new austere.

Recently (late nineties), simplicity has made a return to graphic design. That’s just how the cycle works: when a trend, like the visually exhausting and complex design of the eighties becomes a trend, it gets overused; when something get’s overused, it gets rejected and people want to see something new or different. 

The Modern Magazine

Reviewed by Maia Evans

Author: Jeremy Leslie

This book explores editorial and typographic design of various publications. From the huge entities of Elle and Vogue, to smaller magazines like Nylon and High Fructose, and even very small local architecture and design journals spanning only about eight pages.

Magazines (and other graphic heavy publications) are interesting because they can be enjoyed on two levels: By intensely reading individual articles, or by simply flicking through and enjoying the feel of the magazine as a whole.
This book follows the latter, barely any text to be seen. There are mainly just labels along the sides describing which image is which. Honestly it’s kind of nice, I think picture heavy books get a bad reputation as being meant for either toddlers or coffee tables. The Modern Magazine has a lot of rich content that really doesn’t have much need for explanation. It’s like stepping into a museum with a highly extensive collection of publication design without having to leave your couch. It’s very useful to have all this information at a glance, to notice trends and get ideas.

Truly wonderful, I highly recommend this book for a look-through for anyone who appreciates good design.

Layout: the design of the printed page

Reviewed by Samantha Flynn

1. Style

The historical formation of modern design began just before 1910 and has continued up to modern day. After the large and violent period of war and revolution in 1920 the crucial points in the period had been completed. In 1920 the Bauhaus had only been “alive” for a year. Artists, architects, and designers were able to take the ideas and creations from the time period and combine them to create what is now known as modern style.

Style and modern design are two things that are quite difficult to define. The dictionary defines style as “a particular distinctive mode or form of construction or execution in any work or art.” Accumulated experience, personal taste, and creative force of the designer are three things that can be used to create a successful layout. Modern design is hard to define because it relies on a visual body of work and is ever changing with the advancements in technology. Modern style is made up of different expressions, colors, and shapes.

There were nine essential movements that contributed to the form of modern style: Art Nouveau, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism, Art Deco, De Stijl, and The Bauhaus.

  • Art Nouveau: Prelude, could be considered the “false start of the modern movement.” This movement had indirect influence on graphic Design
  • Cubism: There has been no other event that has had such a lasting effect on the development of visual communication. Cubism influenced graphic design through collage, assemblage, letterforms, and untraditional approach to representation and form.
  • Futurism: There was a critical bridge from cubism to futurism that was built by Marcel Duchamp who introduced machine mechanics as a design element.
  • Dada: Was inspired by Marcel Duchamp, influenced graphic designers to use humor and shock value to gain attention.
  • Surrealism: The shift from Dada into artists creating illustrative art based on the unconscious. This created a new approach to graphic imagery, drawn illustrations, and photographs.
  • Constructivism: An early voice of the Russian revolution, created a new sense of order in design.
  • Art Deco: Created a trend of streamlined slickness in printed materials.
  • De Stijl and Bauhaus: From 1919-1930 the Bauhaus had reached to magazine covers, advertisements, editorial layouts, books, and brochures.

2. Form

“No study of form in graphic design can be complete without an analysis of the space it occupies.” (p.84)

A designer first thinks about a layout in his mind and then transfers it to a thumbnail sketch. After the thumbnail is created the layout is reviewed again by the designer.

Sometimes the most successful layouts are those that seem to break all the principles and rules of form and order.


“The design process requires continuous analysis and study of the elements that go together to make the complete layout.” (p.128)

4. Response

The significant exchange: Occurs when the reader picks up a copy and turns their attention to the page. A designer who designs a layout for the printed page is in a line of communication that puts them in direct contact with the reader/viewer.

Perception: Wertheimer’s principles of perceptual organization, established vision as a creative experience rather than just simply seeing.

Illusion: How absolute is sight? Illusions can question this by making our eyes see something that isn’t really there. The visual paradox: “An awareness of illusion and perceptual ambiguity reminds us that things are indeed not what they seem.” (p.142)

Graphic Design Book Review

Reviewed by Darby Stephens

                 The book that I reviewed was “The Story of Graphic Design in France” by Michel Wlassikoff. This was a very interesting book filled with many images and works of art by French graphic designers. The book is a timeline of the evolution of graphic design starting from the early sixteenth century and spanning up to about 2005. The book begins talking about the introduction of typography in France. It then goes on to explain how different fonts came about over time and the regulations that were set when it came to making these types. Along the way typography made its way into the art world around 1880. Soon type and illustrations were found in signs and advertising. Each chapter of the book discusses a different era and the styles and layouts that became popular during these times. Some of the influences for French graphic design came from countries such as Russia, Germany, Poland and Switzerland.

                A few things that really caught my interest were some of the early illustrations that are shown in the book. I loved some of the elaborate details of the types and illustrations that were in posters, advertisements, magazines and labels specifically around the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds.

Graphic Design: Inspirations and Innovations

Reviewed by Dwayne Franklin

My book is titled Graphic Design: Inspirations and Innovations. It tries to connect to whats behind the actual art and what has changed within the subject. It suggests that the things behind a specific design could created from draw inspiration to a completely unrelated thing. Things like a musical genre can change the outcome of piece of art work. Theres a section in the book where it discusses how jazz music influenced a piece of graphic design artwork. It also says that older works can innovate and move the culture forward. An artist can draw inspiration from work in history and use to make modern designs. There is also a section about visual intrigued. If something is visually pleasing the a person, it can make the viewer more likely to buy a specific product or even learn more about what they are looking at. Sounds like a no-brainer but sometimes people don’t really think about why they like something or why its constantly on their mind. It also refers to photography also being a way to be create in graphic design and catch the eye of the viewer. The whole point to graphic design, in my opinion, is to spark interest and lure in the viewer.

Breaking the Rules of Graphic Design

Reviewed by Tyler Ramsdell

Breaking the rules in graphic design is a book made (very obviously so) in the ‘90s, and it is about the designers of that time and the work they accomplished. It is very heavy in largely detailed designs and artist interpretations. A very large amount of designs are 3-D and use many different non-paper elements such as cardboard, stone and various metals. These are specific groundbreaking works which are credited towards the designing firm that created the works and who their ‘contractors’ or clients were, these clients being big and small names. It also shows the objective of the overall design and what kind of innovation or different kind of changes this made towards the industry. The book is separated into several sections that include the style and type of product they are producing. Among these are: Brochures, Posters, Packaging and much more. The styles range from very eclectic to old style vintage and include a wide range of detail that is very contrasting to the modern day obsession with the minimalist style/ movement.  The overall theme of this book shows the very different styles and innovations of graphic design and is very much a helpful reference to anyone in the industry. 

Small Graphics: Design Innovation for Limited Spaces

Reviewed by Ryan M. Fuller

A collection of unique graphics designed to make the most of small spaces. Small Graphics is opened with a quote from Georgia O’Keefe, “Nobody sees a flower, really—it is so small—we haven’t time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” This quote illuminates the most basic principle of design, which is to take the time to really see things around you, not just for what you know them to be but for the qualities that make them unique and intriguing. This book shows just how much there can be to see in such a seemingly small space.

I. Engaging Graphics

Graphics that ask us to partake in something in order to connect with a company or product. Cut outs, Pop ups, Hard Candies and Flip Books

II. Illustrative Graphics

Small spaces give illustrators a uniquely intimate canvas that opens the door for wall-to-wall full color graphics or shockingly artistic quill pen illustrations that remind us of handwritten love notes and cocktail napkin doodles. Mints, Matchbooks and Maple Syrup

III. Minimalist Graphics

A minimalistic style lends itself naturally to a confined space but, creating a design that is clean and simple as well as dimensional and captivating. Used correctly and minimalist design can have maximum impact. Pocket Calendars, Corporate Identities, and Stickers

IV. Photographic Graphics

Through layering, retouching, and various other computer enhancements, designers bring a meticulous amount of detail to miniature projects in order to properly showcase the photograph’s details. Wine Labels, Dance Brochures and Invitations

V. Specialty Graphics

There is no standard or typical example of a specialty graphic, it could be anything from hand engraving to holographic displays and intricate die cuts. Specialty Graphics are exactly that, special, unique and exclusive. Press Kits, Posters and Business Cards.

Overall a broad range of magnificent graphics that employ just the right amount of something to fill a modest amount of space.

The 3D Type Book

Reviewed by Troy Purcell

The book i chose to review was ‘The 3D Type Book’ by FL@SS, which is a book publishing and graphic design company. This type of book goes through all the different styles of type in the world ranging from normal styled type to something that you would’nt normally see in your everyday life. This book is mostly images with discriptions about the images that are displaying type. Although withthat said this book does an amazing job at showing the viewer how to accomplish the easiest of tasks with just a simple style of type.

As you flip through this book you realize that type can be made out of just about any substance/object that you can see (and im not kidding). Words and phrases in the style of graphic design are throughtout this entire book. Things that caught my attention were things like crop circles, pinched skin, door hindges, and water ballons popped to create this crazy sense text with texture and patterns all incorperated in then when finalized. The list goes on and on with many different versions and ways to create astetically pleasing to the eye text.

Overall this book is amazing from someone trying to be creative, because of the hundreds of ways you can morph type into something that people would’nt normally think to do. This book brings so much to the table when it comes to type.


Reviewed by Andrea Armbruster


When I first started looking for a book for this assignment, the one I chose, I Heart Graphic Design, pulled me in right away because I flipped to a page that had The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” album. And if you know the “Sticky Fingers” cover, it speaks out. With a close cut picture of a male crotch in jeans with an actual, physical, zipper, it screams rebel.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was seeing other designers choosing pieces that inspired their own later art. And some of it is found in the most unsuspecting of places. One designer, Louise Fili, loves old signs in Italy. She takes pictures of them and organizes them by city, and looks back on them when she needs a little spark of inspiration. When I get to be fully trained as a designer, I would love to have a little book of motivation.

Design changes one idea into another, and that’s one of the main achievements of graphic design. It helps everyone broaden their understanding and appreciation for our world. Sometimes when little surprises are tucked away in a piece, that sprout of pleasure is what keeps these designers on their toes, and what gives them an all of these inspiring gems.