What is Typography?
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. Many designers in the area of art and design are using this technique to communicate a specific message to the viewer. The most common form of typographic art is used for logo designs, but if you think outside of the box you may notice that typography is all around us. From architecture, to famous music covers, and even fabrics used for interior design purposes typography is being used more frequently. The way typography has made a presence on how we market businesses and products is truly a creative use in design.
Typography in Architecture
When designing a building as an architect, you sometimes have to look at the overall composition of the building as an artist. There are many different criteria to consider when designing a building, with structure and support being the main focus. When it comes to the aesthetics of the building, you may sometimes notice that the facade of the building may have a theme associated with it that describes either the purpose/ function of the building or the history of the building. I have provided examples of two buildings that incorporate typography in the design of their building with these key themes in mind.
1. Wales Millennium Center, located in Cardiff Wells.
2. House of Terror, located in Budapest, Hungary.
Typography in Music Cover Designs
As the world gets more involved with tabloid magazines, the influence on the public for watching celebrities is rising. Musical artists are leaning towards using fine art artists to generate the artwork for the cover of their CD’s and magazine shoots which gives the opportunity for young artists and designers to be discovered. Many of these images are computer generated which opens up many possibilities to design and incorporate type. Some of the leading artists are starting to work with this genre of design to give it a shock value that catches the interest of the viewer.
Typography in Fabrics: Used in Interior Design
Just as in architecture and artwork typography has found its niche in interior design as well. It has mostly been incorporated in the room design with fabrics that have typographic images on them. Since many designers and clients are using this type of design in their room schemes it leads us to believe that this could be the new wave for the 2012 room.
With a little creativity, you can use any fabric to design the room of your dreams. Below are some of the typographic fabrics that Fabrics and Frames shows can be used for both durability and aesthetic purposes when designing your room.
Robert Allen: Pattern: Champion/ Poppy
Kasmir: Pattern: Love Letters/ Pewter
Micheal Jon Designs: Pattern: Boardwalk UBK/ Beach
When incorporating typographic fabric in the scheme of the room, treat it as a novelty piece. Meaning that this should be the one unique thing in the room. If you use a pattern with type, limit its use to a small chair or a pair of pillows. This type of fabric does appear to have a very bold presence to it and if you use it in abundance in the room it will become gaudy and over-baring.
Writen By: Erica Guajardo
Edited By: Linda Decuir
Today I am going to discuss three different fabric patterns that have been around for generations and still continue to be very important in the design world: Houndstooth, Flamestitch, and Ikat.
The Houndstooth Pattern:
When you are in the field of design, you often see the current fashion trends emerge in different genre’s of design, such as furniture design or interior design. The houndstooth design has been a leading pattern in all aspects of design for many decades. The first time that I noticed this pattern was in a 1969 Camaro. I thought it was an odd choice for car interior, but soon realized that this pattern was used to mark the car as a special edition.
From then on I started to realize that the houndstooth pattern has been used in multiple applications in design for many years. In 1885 a high-end clothier by the name of De Pinna created a line of clothes that highlighted this pattern in both women’s and men’s clothes. Once he was known for incorporating this particular pattern into his designs, he put out a full men’s suit clothing line. This pattern is a timeless pattern that has been seen throughout the decades.
Today, the houndstooth is used as a fashion statement in both fashion and interior design just as it has been in the past. Some common places where you might see a houndstooth is on purses, pillows, chairs, artwork, and jewelery.
The Flamestitch Pattern:
When Missoni decided to be the latest designer to participate in Target’s “Go Line” products, we found out that flame stitch patterns were back in demand. The line was released in September, and the anticipation for the line was so extreme that Target sold out of all merchandise around the U.S. in a matter of hours. If you are not familiar with Missoni, he is a high-end fashion designer that is known for the incorporation of the “flame-stitch” pattern in most of his fashion pieces.
The origin of the Flamestitch, came from a style of embroidery that was very popular during the 1600’s. This pattern was hand-woven and used in many applications except for clothing fabric. Below is a picture showing the flamestitch pattern used in the 1600’s.
Today, the pattern is used for many purposes. As an interior designer, I’ve mostly seen the pattern used for more traditional designs. But as the interior design world starts to merge with the fashion world, I have seen more contemporary flamestitch patterns emerge. Celebrities and high-end designers used this “zig-zag” pattern to draw the eye to something specific in the room. When a room is designed with balance in mind, this bold pattern can create hierarchy within the design because it makes such a bold impression.
Currently, I have noticed this trend in the homes of celebrities. During the recent seasons of the Kardashians “Khloe and Lamar”, I have noticed that the family has recently redecorated all the Kardashian homes and somewhere in each room of Khloe and Lamar’s home, the flamestitch is incorporated. Below you will see what I am talking about.
The flamestitch pattern has been around for centuries and should continue to be known as a timeless pattern as well. As a designer I would usually suggest this pattern for a soft contemporary or a very traditional feel. The difference in looks will depend on the color tones that are in the flamestitch itself. When you have more earth tones or very bold bright colors in the pattern, it may come off as being more modern. When there are more jewel tones incorporated in the pattern, it will generally have a more traditional spin. Contemporary Flamestitch:
The Ikat Pattern is the world’s traditional “tie-dye” technique. The word “Ikat” actually means “to tie” or “to bind” in the Indonesian Language. This form of dying practice is used in many different cultures. The difference between a traditional IKAT design and tie-dye design is that with the IKAT design the fabric is woven first and the resist bindings are then applied to the fabric which is dyed. In warp ikat the patterns are clearly visible in the warp threads on the loom even before the plain colored weft is introduced to produce the fabric. In weft ikat it is the weaving or weft thread that carries the dyed patterns which only appear as the weaving proceeds. In weft ikat the weaving proceeds much slower than in warp ikat as the passes of the weft must be carefully adjusted to maintain the clarity of the patterns. This past season IKAT’s became a big trend. You saw this pattern emerge in fashion, furniture, pillows, and accessories.
Regardless of the pattern choice, we see that all these patterns have their own unique origins and have continued to be used in the design world for many years. In the desigh world, we often find that the key to a good design is putting a contemporary spin to an old idea.
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Written By: Erica Guajard
Edited By: Linda Decuir