Blog Category: Typography3

Semester Thoughts

By Erika Goering,

I’ve been reflecting on something that was discussed earlier this semester about whether it’s more noble to focus our time and energy on making something aesthetically beautiful and refined, or making something where we essentially muck around in a fresh, steaming pile of our own newfound knowledge.

Each has their own merits. Aesthetically beautiful work has a polished feel that’s good to show off in a portfolio, and filthy experimentation leads to discovery and additional learning. Inversely, something visually pretty and refined can also be hollow and lack passion, and heavy experimental work can be unattractive and sloppy.

I’ve taken this dilemma as a challenge to get myself messy as hell, while hopefully cleaning things up aesthetically as I progress through the project. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone conceptually, visually, and resourcefully. In fact, my comfort zone has been completely redefined. It’s much broader now. Because every single project this semester has been an opportunity for me to try something I’ve never done before. And it’s definitely paid off. I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth at KCAI. It’s double the education. Seriously.

Last year, my big mistake was doing what I thought everyone wanted to see so I could fit in. And while I got decent grades out of it, I didn’t feel like I got much else from it. I was just doing what I already knew, with a few new bits mixed in. Over the summer, something clicked. I decided that I was going to make the absolute most of the KCAI experience.

Every project so far this year has been an experiment. A discovery. An invention. I’ve been forcing myself to use methods and techniques that I’ve never even considered before. And I’ve learned so much, and grown so intimate with these tools… I even learned PHP, for crying out loud! I never thought I’d have the opportunity to really get submerged in it. But thanks to my Online Presence class, I did that. And it was mostly self-directed, too.

I’ve learned that my education is what I make of it. My time here could either be spent sitting back, making pretty work that I know how to do, or I can spend that extra time to experiment and play with the tools that I’ve been given. And that playing around has made me a better designer, a better student, and a better human being.

While my work this semester may or may not be of the utmost portfolio quality, it’s unquestionably paving the way for it in the future. And that, I take great comfort in.

  Filed under: KCAI, Narrative/Sound&Motion, Online Presence for the Artist, Typography3, VisLang
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Final “Urbanista” Specimen

By Erika Goering,

“Urbanista” Typeface

  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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Urbanista: The Typeface

By Erika Goering,

Round 1 of my specimen. Round umpteen of my typeface.


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My Typeface So Far

By Erika Goering,

Some words that my classmates used to describe my typeface include:

  • implusived
  • focused
  • boxy/geometric, but “not mechanical”
  • unexpected
  • weighty/smashed/unbalanced
Overall, I think it still conveys the feeling I wanted to show. So that’s awesome! However, it is a bit too boxy. I’m gonna play around with rounding some of my elements and start breaking some of the rules I’ve set for myself.
I still need to name the damn thing too.


  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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My Typeface

By Erika Goering,

I’m thinking about my typeface, and I decided to relate it to something important in my life. I’m leaning towards something urban and dynamic, with a youthful feel. It’ll be my homage to MyARTS.

So, some keywords I have in mind:

  • urban
  • high school
  • youthful
  • energetic
  • attitude
  • personality
  • art/craft
  • design
  • multimedia
So, here’s some visual things I have in mind:
  • varied slope (only slightly varied. nothing too crazy)
  • combinations of round and angular shapes
  • unconventional absence (or limited use of) counters
Despite the urbanness of my typeface, I want to stay away from the whole graffiti/tagging/handwriting look. I want to allude to that and make it feel hand-rendered without it being overly so. If that makes sense. I hope it does. I want it to be more hipster than ghetto.
Something like these:
…Not to get ahead of myself, but I’d be really interested in continuing this typeface after this project is done and graded. I’d like to have various weights, ligatures, display & text versions, etc. That’d be fun.

  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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Final Koenig Book

By Erika Goering,

My Koenig book focuses on the orthogonal qualities of Koenig’s architecture. Intersecting lines and right angles give everything a sturdy, strong, modern feel. These qualities are applied to the body text by stair-stepping paragraphs and smoothly transitioning from one block of text to the other, and by slicing photographs along the same lines that those paragraphs create. Letting these things happen organically but in a controlled manner reflects the way Koenig worked with his materials.

My main goal, above all else, was to make a Koenig book and not a Goering book. I didn’t want my own preferences and style get in the way of Koenig’s style and feel. I wanted to showcase his work; not turn it into my own. There were some ups and downs to get around, with figuring out how to make a nontraditional layout work. But after trying many things and finally finding a method that worked, I feel that I finally achieved that goal.

  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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Koenig: More Dynamic!

By Erika Goering,

Due to the ho-hum feedback I got, and my own general unhappiness with my book, I decided to completely redo this layout. It’s a lot better now. Yay, progress!



While playing around with my layout, I stumbled upon what I like to call a reverse indent, where I start a new paragraph column in the space in the last line of the previous paragraph. This creates a nice transition between paragraphs when you’re reading, while still establishing that a new paragraph has been started.

My concept is still the same: Koenig-style, angular, architectural qualities assigned to typography and layout structure. But I feel like this time around, it’s better executed. It feels like a Koenig book. Or at least it’s starting to.

One thing I’m a bit worried about is the stair-step pattern that’s starting to emerge from the nature of my paragraph alignment. I’m worried it’s become too much of a predictable thing. And that’s not how Koenig’s work is at all. It’s varied and diverse; not one-note and predictable.

Luckily, I’m playing around with the stair-step pattern, changing column width and height and using images and pullquotes as design elements.

I’m pretty excited about this book now. I wasn’t before, but now that I have a more engaging layout, I’ve got something to look forward to working on.

  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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Spreads: Sturdy, But Static

By Erika Goering,


I definitely feel like it’s coming along. Yay, progress! It’s got the sturdy, architectural and modular qualities that I want to convey, but the layout in general is kind of boring and static. It needs that good old-fashioned Koenig dynamism. So that’s what we talked about in critique this morning. We discussed how to give it more personality and character by treating the type like an image, where it has depth and vibrance.

I almost wanted to completely start over halfway through and change my whole layout at the last minute. It feels that boring to me right now. So I’m making it my goal to bring some excitement to this book so not only the reader will enjoy reading it, but I will enjoy making it as well.

Some specific things that I’ll change: I’ll use my grid as more of guidelines than rules, and I’ll play around with column width too. I’ll also start thinking of my pullquotes as design elements, where I can do whatever I want to their placement and size, within the constraints of my grid. I’ll also include the footnotes in the Introduction section, which will add to my hierarchy. And I’m thinking about creating a “title page” of sorts for each section. And I’ll have some image-only pages/spreads for variety.

I think the main thing I need to play with is variety. Everything is so plain and default right now. I just need to spice it up.


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My Koenig Book

By Erika Goering,

(Also posted here:

My concept is to utilize a simple structure in an architectural way, inspired by Koenig’s work.

I chose a large landscape book to imitate the shape and scale of a Koenig house. The 13×13 grid reminds me of a floor plan (think square footage). The condensed sans-serifs imitate pillars and beams, and contrasty serifs provide a modern feel.

My system for page/section layout relies on an open, clean floor plan. While still very structured, there is lots of whitespace to contrast with the dense type, and the captions are modular and liberal.

I’m still working on a system for treating the photos, but I’m thinking about focusing on the framework of the houses and highlighting what gives the architecture strength.

13×13 grid, both pages of a spread


The first page of each section is “indented” by starting in the second column of the first page.


Subsequent pages in a section are filled with text, accented with an image, and supported by pillars of whitespace.

  Filed under: KCAI, Typography3
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