assignment 3

Find an example of typographic emphasis on a printed poster or flier in your environment (i.e., not from the web). Take a straight photo of the ‘found’ type example, minimizing distortion. Describe how the emphasis was acheived (e.g., using boldface, italics, point-size, leading, kerning or all of the above). Post your photos below by Sunday, February 24th.

20 Responses to “assignment 3”

  1. 1 Seth Horrigan

    Sleep Experiment

    This is neither a printed poster nor a flier, but it does give a good example of a combination of techniques for emphasis. The Quiet Please is in a larger point-size, the text is bold, and it appears the letters are kerned more closely than normal further emphasizing the text.


    This is an actual flier, but the typographic emphasis is less complex. Rather, through placement and point-size the title is emphasized, as are the key aspects of the talk (speaker, time, and location). Nevertheless, the method is effective and the product is elegant.

  2. 2 Bayram


    Poster for Saraceno collection at BAM/PFA

    Artist’s name is clearly emphasized in bold type with a much heavier font than the rest. The exhibition title is also made in bold, so as to draw secondary attention. The dates seem to be in a regular typeface.

    That said, I’m a bit concerned with the use of white font on fairly light background, purely from the legibility viewpoint. Black would have probably been even less successful, but they could’ve picked a variety of other colours.

  3. 3


    Here is a picture of a Port Bottle. I chose it because they used several different types of emphasis. They make sure you know it is a Port by writing “PORTO” in easily readable, large normal font. They emphasize the “Presidential” in a less readable, fancy font, to match the fancy type. Then, although “Ruby” is in smaller font, it stands out because it is red.


    I also like the ‘Cuppa Tea sign. They emphasize their name not by making the font larger, but by surrounding it in white and putting little pictures on the side. It’s also thicker than the text below it.

  4. 4 Karen


    This is taken from a printed movie poster of Roman Holiday. Because the film came out in the 50’s, I like that the serifed type used gives off a very vintage-y feel. The use of all capital letters further emphasizes the stars of the film, and the placement of their names at the lower left-hand corner of the poster makes it so that they don’t overpower the movie itself.

    The last names of the stars are emphasized by using a larger point-sized font than their first names. Their top/down positioning makes it so that the reader can easily see “PECK – HEPBURN” and know immediately who is starred in the film (however, the tight leading makes it clear that they are first-last name pairs). Taking a closer look, the wider kerning in PECK is probably used to offset the longer length of Hepburn; this was Audrey’s first film, I believe, and at the time Gregory Peck was a much bigger star.

  5. 5 aylin


    This is a flier for the new Design Futures lecture series. Many good choices are made to emphasize text using size, boldface, and color all in an attempt to divert your attention to certain things.

    The title, Design Futures, really grabs your attention since it is the largest text on the flier and there is no large text around it to produce clutter or to compete for your attention. The bold, bright red is also very commanding. Even though we naturally read from top-to-bottom, the flier does a good job of leading your eye that way as well. Also, if you were looking at it from a distance, the title would be clear, easy to read, and eye-catching.

    The next points being emphasized are the speaker names, lecture topics, and the dates they will be coming. The text is smaller than the title (probably 10 or 12 point?) but still larger than the other text on the page. The size and bold color pallet make it the next logical thing you look at on the flier, your attention goes from the title straight to this area. Leading is used nicely to group all the information about one lecture and also distinguish from the other topics. There is a very small amount of vertical space between the date, name of the speaker, and the lecture title but a large amount of vertical space between each title and the date of the next lecture. This is also distinguished very well with the use of different colors for different lectures. Additionally, the text is all in boldface, I believe, to emphasize it more and make easier to read (especially with the color). The dates seem to be more bold and I think this is because they are a size larger than the rest of the information, this makes them stand out more, a good thing for a lecture series since the date is very important.

    The last comment I want to make is about the size of the rest of the text. Below the Design Futures title the sponsors are listed along with the place and time. Also, at the bottom is information about the group organizing the lecture series. This text is in all black and much smaller text and is in regular typeface (not bold). This information is important, but secondary to the rest of the information…once you decide if you are going to a lecture you can look closer to find out this information. It doesn’t need to grab your attention since it’s not the most important when first viewing the flier. The choice to de-emphasize the text this way was a good one. It does not clutter up the flier or detract from any of the other information.

    PS. Everyone should go to these talks! I went to the last one with Ame Elliott from IDEO. It was interesting, definitely pertinent to this class.

  6. 6 Chris Fullmer


    This is posted on the construction fence inside the UC Village where Cal is adding a more complexes. The main idea on the board is in large bold letters. Everything else is less important, so it is emphasized differently.

  7. 7 Nick Rabinowitz


    This is the flier/calendar for the Cal Performances series. The emphasis is primarily on the word “Performances”, and, somewhat oddly, on the word “Perform” within this word. Emphasis is achieved through several factors:

    - Point size. The words “Cal Performances” are larger than all other text, though the font weight does not appear to be different.

    - Graphical elements. The word “Cal” is encircled by colored shapes, setting it apart from the rest of the text. This makes it look more like a logo, and puts more emphasis on the word “Performances”.

    - Background contrast. Unlike some of the other text, which overlays the top of the images and is slightly harder to read, the words “Cal Performances” are almsot entirely on full black, making them stand out.

    - Color. The word “Perform” within “Performances” is white (”ances” is a light blue; it’s easier to see on paper than in the photo above), which makes it stand out more than the other text; the other white text is “Winter/Spring 2008″, which is also emphasized, but to a lesser degree due to its smaller size. Frankly, this is a little odd, since “Perform” isn’t really any different from “Performances” in its root or meaning, so it doesn’t make much sense to add extra emphasis.

  8. 8 nicolas

    This is a Flyer of a bar in San Francisco. The typographic emphasis of the “simply delicioso” theme is done by choosing very round, smooth and playful letters and of course by the size of the font. I took it because in my eyes it is a good example for expressing the casual and relaxed ambience of a bar. The important information about when and where the “event” takes place on the other hand is kept in a very simple and clear form.



    This bottle of inexpensive — ok, cheap — wine uses one typeface very effectively by creating a visual hierarchy with different sizes. It’s not chaotic, because the the letter spacing is manipulated on each line of text. There are variations, however: there is more space between the letters in the words “Black Mountain” than there is in the word “California,” for example. Small caps are used to emphasize the brand name of the wine, and italics are used to indicate a connection between the type and vintage of the wine (”2006 Pinot Noir”) and what I took to be its place of origin (some place called “Painted Ridges.”)

    The leading is manipulated to create relationships between lines: for example, “Vineyard” is closer to “Black Mountain,” and “California” is moved closer to “Painted Ridges” than “2006 Pinot Noir.”

    Significantly, the weight of the typeface is not manipulated, but (and this didn’t come through in the photo) the metallic ink used for the words “Vineyard” and “California” makes them visually balanced with the black text.


    This is a picture of a flier for Harley Farms family goat cheese. I thought that they chose an interesteing way to emphasize “Harley Farms.” They contrasted the brand title with the title of the poster by using a bold serif type with a yellow border,in contrast to the lighter, sans serif font used in for the rest of the title type. I also liked how they balenced many words on the right of the “Harley Farms” with the one word, “the” on the left: “The” was in a large type and the other words were smaller.

    (You can’t see all of the flier’s title because without zooming in for the picture one couldn’t really see what the flyer was about. (Perhaps this in itself is a problem.))

  12. 12

    Seems like I’m going with a theme @ International House. Here’s another photograph of the bulletin board on my floor. As you can see, the board is quite full with many fliers strewn about.


    The flier I’m focusing on is the red-colored one with “Come Tango!”

    - Color. This is what stands out the most. This was the only flier in red so it definitely stood out from the rest. The color of the type (black), is otherwise uninteresting.

    - Point size. “Come Tango!” is written with a slight angle and italicized. It is also the largest text on the flier and actually one of the largest on the entire board. This helps it stand out. The large text is there to draw attention to the flier. Once a person is drawn in, they can look at the smaller text to determine specifics or extra information.

    - Graphical elements. The flier is very simple. Many of the others try to cram a lot of information onto one sheet of paper, making it difficult - if not impossible - from a distance. On this flier, graphics are minimal and stay on topic (two people dancing).

    On a similar topic, the yellow flier above does a good job of drawing attention. It has a large photo (which is easy to see from afar) with minimal text. “Heal” is quite large compared to everything else, and overlaid on the photograph, making it more dramatic.

    Finally, though this is neither a poster nor a flier, I thought it was another good example (sorry for the bad lighting…it was a one way street).


    While you’re driving in a car look for parking, you want to easily identify where it’s legal to park. This sign, keeps the information I really want to know easy to see. I can determine right away that it’s only for 2 HOUR PARKING from 8-7AM and certain permits are allowed exceptions. Extra information that might be helpful (weekend and holiday information) is written in smaller size.

  13. 13

    This picture is a sign I found in the campus. Although it is not a poster, I think it is a good example of emphasis on important information. All texts are the same color (although it looks slight different in the picture,) and similar font style. But it is obvious that the texts “DELIVERY VEHICLES” on the top and “ONLY” in the middle are more important because they are capitalized. Between them, “ONLY” is even more significant based on the use of bigger font size, character scale, letter tracking and leading spacing. And the last significant information, the regulation in the bottom, is written with lowercase limited leading spacing, and relatively small font size.
    The one is a conference poster I found in the anthropology library. The most important information, such as the title, the place and the time of the conference, and the speakers, is highlighted by using special font style (with an ancient roman touch,) uppercase, larger leading spacing and letter spacing, and bold text. Among them, the even more important words are emphasized by using yellow font color which stands out from the black background color. The rest of texts which are details of the conference are small, white, serif and less leading space.

    There are more pictures of poster/flyer/sign with different emphasis method I found recently.

  14. 14 jess

    (I don’t have a flickr account - so I apologize for yet another post without a photo).

    My flier is of a credit card mailer. It’s not a typical credit card application as its stuffed in a black, non-standard sized envelope. All unimportant words are printed in a grey font, while important words are highlighted in a white font. These words include “0 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS” and an invitation to earn “2 FREE AIRLINE TICKETS”. It looks clean and simple, and perhaps I might actually open up the envelope for reasons other than to shred its contents.



    every single letter or word (inside out) is one fonts Hell- vatica . it’s a design fashion less for less (neo-minimalism).

  16. 16


    I took a picture of this sign while waiting for a friend to purchase her BART ticket. Emphasis was achieved through the use of a strong red color in contrast to black, in addition to a large point-size which was equal in height to the four lines of text adjacent to it. I can’t be certain, but the kerning of the “NO” seems to be equal to that in “smoking eating drinking graffiti,” making the “NO” an obvious single unit (letters closer together in relation to height), while the following words read a bit more as separate letters that do not register as quickly as individual words.

    The BART sign’s design, layout, and simple yet effective weight distribution in the fonts draw the eye to read the message almost instantly yet sequentially, from the “NO” to the listed items.

    I’d be curious to see the effect of one designing a BART sign with “YES - reading, sleeping, smiling, chatting” (or some other seemingly subversive message hehe). I wonder if people would get confused.

  17. 17 Sia A.

    The font I chose is the Grand theft auto logo font and the contrast to the sequel’s “San Andreas” logo. The GTA font is almost iconic in the videogame culture and it’s use of a bold sans-serif font with close placement and thick black outline makes it instantaneously recognizable. I also like how the “R” and the “h” connect together. The “San Andreas” logo uses the reverse sensibilities of the main logo, the inside is black with a white outline and has an interesting balance between serifs and sharp edges. Since this sequel is based in a fictional recreation of California and mainly focuses on Los Angeles gang culture the “San Andreas” logo style feels very appropriate with the vibe of the game as a whole.

  18. 18

    This is a poster that I came across while walking around the town. Emphasis is achieved through font size and colors. If one looks at the poster four things stand out instantly - Hollywood, Mind, Mar 9, ‘E!’. If these elements are enough to arouse the curiosity of the person viewing it, he might go for a closer inspection.

    The font used is deliberately sans-serif, the colors used are one we associate with glamour, overall making sure it is chic and fashionable. Hollywood, to provide enough emphasis, has been split across two lines. Mind has the most emphasis in the poster, making it seem like losing its mind is an incredulous thing. The other two elements Mar 9 and E! are each fashioned very differently from the others to set them apart from the rest of the poster and increase their importance.


  19. 19


    This is an image from a simple street crossing sign at a light. I think that the sign was designed very well to take advantage of the simplicity of the text. It is San Serif. It also takes advantage of the contrast in color between the black letters and the white background. The sign also makes good use of symbols as well as a directional arrow to emphasize and enhance the message that is being portrayed.

  20. 20


    Sorry, here’s the image.

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