It has been nearly a week since the last time I update my progress of “Dürer’s study”. I finished the remained parts of this project at the beginning of this week, but I am also too busy with theme editing and SEO fundamental. At last, I can manage to have time updating this personal project now.
So I have mentioned a bit of my personal project which I want to design a logotype for “Silverpoint”. My idea that this would be a group of people who get interested in classic art and have constancy to preserve enlightened knowledge. Silverpoint is originally a word which stands for a traditional method/medium used in drawing by Old Masters. Using silverpoint, they made drawing by dragging a silver rod or wire across a surface, often prepared with gesso or primer. The stage using silverpoint to make fine drawing is believed as a test whether the apprentice could make it out for the advanced stage to become a painter. Another reason for using silverpoint is that they used to not have modern pencil which makes drawing more convenient .In the later times, the tradition of using silverpoint was no longer respected and the standards of classical training was either.
As I also shared in the former chapters of this serie, this whole study is based on golden pages of Dürer’s typography book. The content of his book concentrate on totally basic construction of alphabet which he accent as “ancient”. So we got all the detailed frames/grids/guides, all I do is open Adobe Illustrator and refine these ideas using digital toolset.
And yes, the point here is that we use digital toolset. Then any sophisticated typography artist must recognize the basic problem here. Literally, visual perception is not absolute maths. It does not mean that Dürer was wrong and lacked of knowledge about what he wrote. My opinion is that Dürer tried to clarify his insight as hard as he could. We should also remember that rendering by pen is totally different from vector tool as we do today. At last, I need to say that it could be the same proportion as the book describes, but when you handcraft things, there is always better chance for you to give your visual perception more priority, which means that your design has better quality, not just a well traced work.
So this is relatively a traced work, or gridding work, which designers do at very final stage of designing while customers prefer something “standard” for presentation. Because it was totally progressed based on old theory book, there are definitely certain problems with the visual standards, but in my opinion, it not as terrible as casual type design I have ever seen, because of Dürer’s superior mastery of proportion. But I must point out them as below:
- The easiest to find out that the O is a bit smaller than it has to. Because in the book, Dürer did not give it additional height to compensate the optical illusion when oval forms standing by square forms. So the O must be extended beyond baseline and cap height a bit.
- Similar problem is from S while it need to subtly higher than the adjacent I to make it the same height visually.
These could be said as minor problems compared with what novice type designers do today while they break letter forms and diminish legibility. In fact, these letters is so beautiful since they inherit Roman style. Seeing how the E horizontal arms brilliantly staggered, and the way upper left serif of N is designed to connect to it’s precede while keeping generous spacing.
The bottom line is though styles could give temporary impression, the true mastery in such solid principles will give the works the best appearance as it should be.