Designer Tom Davie created a series of gorgeous typographic explorations in order to “showcase some of the most interesting elements of graphic design and typography.” He’s now made a selection of the images available as a note card set. You can purchase the set of 10 cards and envelopes for $13.95.
I wanted to achieve several things through this work: to be both visually engaging and educational; to appeal to those within creative fields yet still be approachable to anyone who appreciates design; and to experiment with the creation of letterforms using physical objects and natural lighting.
There is no single source of inspiration for this series, as the ideas come in a variety of ways. Some are developed through simple brainstorming and visual research. Some have developed through conversations about design theory with my students. One was inspired by a text passage in Robert Bringhurst’s book the Elements of Typographic Style. Several have been inspired by the use of packaging die-lines. When it comes to idea generation, I have become pretty adept at keeping my brain active, my eyes open and my ears tuned—you never know when an idea will come, and it’s what you do with that idea that truly matters.
All of the work in this series has three common factors: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and a digitally photographed hand-made object. I will typically work in Illustrator to create my general layout and typographic placement—in the case of 3-D letterforms, I will create the die-line first. Based on the Illustrator file, I will then create the hand-made object, experimenting with different materials and styles. Once the object is created, I photograph it in natural light and import it into Photoshop. I try to do as little photo-manipulation as possible because I want the viewer to sense the dimensionality, but I will manipulate color saturation until I am happy with the overall look. I then finish in Illustrator with any additional vector type or graphic elements that might be needed.
In general, I tried to work minimally, removing any element that was deemed to be extraneous or unnecessary. In that regard, I feel there is an importance to every element in achieving the whole.