Exploring Isometric Typefaces

For this task we were asked to create our own Isometric typefaces, we were split into groups of three and provided various different grid papers. My group was given triangular   grid paper and asked to create any font we could think up, 2D or 3D. I enjoy these tasks where there a strict rules, these being rules for letter-forms conforming in size, but also a
great deal of creative freedom. However I quickly found myself struggling to impress.

I asked David to view my first two attempts so I could gauge whether I was on the right track. I was rather pleased with the first design, it’s symmetrical style was based around a hexagonal system and, I thought, reminiscent of a 90s videos game. However David told me the font was the first and most basic one he would have expected, and that once again I needed to expand my thinking to create something unique.

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Of all our typeface designs, Laura’s was deemed the best, and I honestly could see why. She’d created a two dimensional typeface which was deceptively simple yet intricate. As a group we set out to refine the typeface and adapt all the letter-forms to conform in size.

Laura’s preliminary sketches

Here’s what we had to work off, a very angular typeface with the the basic theme that each letter-form contained at least one large triangle.

We all agreed we liked the idea and would work as a group to design a full 26 letter alphabet, with each person working on some number of letter-forms and submitting them for approval to the rest of the group. This work I found very fulfilling and productive. We worked well as a team and I learned a lot by mixing my own ideas into a design that was primarily the creation of another student. We gave our own thoughts on a letter-form as it was submitted and with the input of all of us we ended up with something pretty great.

My sketches with several design for letter-forms, those circled were the approved ones.

This image shows my work designing several letter-forms and illustrates the vetting process for each. My major contributions to the design were to highlight the large triangular form that the typeface was based around to give it prominence. As well as to introduce a hexagon to denote the circular letter-forms. As you can see at the base of the image, we circled each letter-form when we had agreed on it’s design.

Once our design was finalised we were asked to create some number of the forms each to a larger scale and present  them to the class. Laura was, of course, first to introduce our work as it’s lead designer. But we were all involved, explaining our process and the influence each member had had on the project.

My larger scale letter-formsisometric-typeface-oisometric-typeface-z

Here I’ve created, from left to right,the letters ‘r,o,s,v,z,x’. We took it upon ourselves as a group to complete an assignment for this work immediately after the lecture by creating, each a letter-form in Adobe Illustrator. This was very arduous as I’m still very much a novice, however through numerous YouTube tutorials we managed to create our final designs.

I was so personally pleased with the ‘Z’ and the ‘O’ that I couldn’t decide between the two and instead created them both digitally. During this process we decided that someone colouration would further demarcate the triangular forms and so we decided as a group to leave the triangular forms white and fill the rest of the lettering in black.

This whole process lead me to realise the true intricacy of  creating even a simple typeface. Drafts, redrafts and further redrafts, while juggling different group members competing ideas. Working cooperatively was a joy, however at the point where we had designed our finalise letter-forms in illustrator and called it a day, we’d been working ceaselessly for the entire afternoon.


Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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