Type I // Project Poster / Final

Final Type Poster


Alignment Grid

Poster FINAL.jpg

  • I used the word as an organic grid to place all my other typographic elements.
  • I aligned the sentence with the beginning of the letter (د) and the end of (ق). I then optically adjusted the alignment, because the (y) had a slanted line not a vertical line, and the (T) has space between the vertical and the horizontal line, so I aligned it to the vertical line of the (T) so it can optically look aligned.
  • The sentences’s font is condensed to contrast the action of wandering off with the idea of confinement and restrain.
  • The parrot is wandering off upwards, as if it was really flying away.
  • The distance between the descender of the parrot and the edge of the green mat is equal to the distance of the ascenders of the sentence to the edge of the mat.
  • I aligned the paragraph to the negative space of the (قة).
  • The spacing between the baseline and edge of the mat is also equal between the second and third part.
  • I placed all the commas in the paragraph outside the alignment.
  • I broke up the paragraph into three parts, the first is about the universe, second is about earth and third is about nature in general. So that’s why I placed the last part below the green mat, because the first two are more specific, and the third is general.
  • The paragraph’s font is very simple and calm. It has rounded edges and sharp terminals. It balances both the idea of nature by being organic and round with the idea of precise by being sharp.
  • I aligned the angle of the identity and the type with the angle of the clock repair tool. The type is aligned and starts and ends to the black edge of the identity.
  • I placed the typographic elements more on the top right corner of the poster, and on the bottom left, to balance out the overall poster.
  • Because the top is more left heavy, and the right side was empty, I placed the second level of type hierarchy on the right to balance the left side of the gears. I placed the third level of type hierarchy, the paragraph, on the bottom left. It was a smaller type size but it had more type, so it balanced out the surface area of type on the top right.
  • The identity was placed near the tools, so that it can balance out the left side of the clock hands.
  • All the typographic elements are simple, so they can balance the busyness of the image poster.

Things I Learned & Discovered:

  • Creating iterations for type is really important. Small changes in type can make a big difference. Because when type is aligned well, it looks much better, because it fits in and creates a relationship with the space it’s living in.
  • I noticed throughout this course that even though typesetting was tedious, after spending some time doing it and making small changes, it became therapeutic and calming. Kind of like coloring or any repetitive job, at first you don’t love it, but it then becomes calming.
  • This poster was much easier to create, because I applied all my previous knowledge of type in it. However instead of thinking about a blank page, I had to understand how to activate a page that already has other elements. I found that finding a balance between all the elements, and aligning them to each other, helps a lot in combining the visual and typographic elements.
  • Adding kashida manually creates a much better justified paragraph. Because you decide where they go and which words to add them to, so that you emphasis the words that have meaning rather than the connecting words, which the computer won’t consider.

Type I // Project Poster / Week 1

For this project we had to combine all the work we did this semester in Type 1 in one poster. So I first collected all of my best elements I previously created; the letters, sentences & paragraphs and kept them in one file, so I could work more efficiently.

I then took my best compositions and placed them on top of the image poster. However I realized straight away that it won’t work, because it didn’t work well with the components of the image, and it fit in awkwardly. So I decided to only use the fonts I used for my compositions, because they were informed choices, but compose them on the poster differently to respond to the elements that were already there. I made multiple compositions and iterations of those compositions to explore the possibilities and outcomes these elements can create together.

First Compositions

After we got feedback, most of us didn’t consider that our final poster would be an A1, so all our type was going to be really big on the final poster. So I first resized all of my type to the right size, so I can know the scale and overall shape of the type compared to the elements in the image. In my first composition I experimented with different ways to separate the parrot from the sentence. For the second compositions, I choose my best three. I then choose the composition with the single line sentence and created iterations of it. I liked it more because it was really simple, and it contrasted the image really well, because the image has many elements and is quite busy.

Second Compositions

I choose to tile this one, because raising the parrot above the sentence baseline imitates how parrots fly, or wander off upwards. The paragraph is simple and aligns with the empty space between the (قة).

Tiled Composition


The final critique helped me finalize and refine my poster. It was brought up that I should raise the parrot upwards more, and I should lower the identity, because it looked like a flag. I didn’t notice these two at the smaller A3 scale. However as soon as Law pointed out the flag, I couldn’t not see a flag. So I brought it down more, so it breaks the gestalt, and the idea of a flag. I also moved the name closer to it to align with the black area of the identity. When Leland pointed out the parrot thing, I noticed that it looked wrong because it looked too grounded when it was placed on the edge of the green mat, and that it should be higher to imitate the action of wandering off.

Type I // Paragraph / Reflections

  • Because of our experience with the sentence project. I started to automatically place the text within intervals in this project. And I found myself always considering the spacing between each part and between the paragraph and the edges of the page.
  • I discovered that Kashida isn’t only a way to track out sentences and words to make you read them slower. They can be useful in creating fully justified paragraphs, and good ragged edges without creating rivers in the paragraph. It also helps in achieving the fifty precent grey contrast for the text, because it allows more white space in between the letters.
  • Leading and type size also helps in achieving the fifty percent grey. Because the leading adds more space between the lines, therefore allowing whitespace to balance out the density of the black. The type size effected the fifty percent grey because the width of the type increases with the size, so the density of the black increase with the size. So the smaller size, the less dense the black would be, so the fifty percent grey would be easier to achieve.
  • I noticed that when I changed my typeface, the rag slightly changed with it. I realized that it was because each typeface has different forms of the same letters. So different typefaces effect the length of the line, because the letters are slightly different lengths.
  • Creating type systems to create compositions helped me become more efficient and manage my time better.
  • I choose my final compositions on which ones were made with the most informed decisions.

Type I // Paragraph / Final

Final A3 Paragraph

Paragraph - Vertical A3.jpg

  • I activated the page by separating the paragraph into three parts that are spread around the page.
  • I broke up the paragraph according to the contents of the paragraph. The top right part talks about the universe. In the bottom left, one talks about the earth and the other is about nature.
  • I placed the universe part on top, because space is above earth.
  • The spacing between the parts is also linked to the physical space between them. The two thirds spacing is between the universe and earth, because the space between them is more than earth and nature, which is why the one third spacing is between earth and nature, because they are closer to each other.
  • I chose to make it vertical, so that I can place the largest amount of space between the first and second part of the paragraph; the universe and earth.
  • The number of lines in each part counts down to create the order of how you would read the poem.
  • I used Palatino, because the rounded form of the letters lends itself well to the organic form of nature.
  • I increased the leading so that it achieves the fifty percent grey when printed, because the letters are small and not tracked out with kashida.
  • The average character length is 65, which allows you to read it comfortably.
  • I optically adjusted the author’s name by moving it a bit off alignment to the right, because the em dash made it look a bit to the left of the alignment line.

Final A4 Paragraph

Paragraph - Horizontal A4.jpg

  • I wanted to achieve ‘less is more’ with this composition. So I separated the three parts of the paragraph; universe, earth and nature, by a single line spacing. However I placed a double space between the last part and the author’s name to distinguish the poem from the name.
  • I placed the paragraph in the top right corner, because that’s the organic way of reading Arabic.
  • I broke the right alignment with the author’s name by left aligning it to the end of the paragraph.
  • To continue with doing more with less, I scaled up the words Universe and Earth to the same size. I set Nature to a two point size smaller than the two words, because both the Universe and Earth are apart of nature.
  • I used Helvetica Neue Arabic, because the rounded form of the letters works well with the organic form of nature. It’s simplicity also directs the attention to the content of the poem itself and the highlighted words, rather than the form of the typeface.
  • The type size and the kashida helped achieve the fifty percent grey. Because the kashida helps add more whitespace between the letters, so it balances out the black of the type.
  • I choose to place two verses in each line, because that’s how a normal poem would be set. However I changed it by removing the gap that’s normally between each verse. So I used that element of how poems are set to determine the line length.

Things I Learned & Discovered:

  • Because we had more experience with composing text from the sentence project, it was faster to get the hang of this and I was able to finish it faster.

  • I started to automatically place the text within intervals, and found myself always considering the spacing between each part and the edges.
  • Kashidas are useful in creating fully justified paragraphs, and good ragged edges without creating rivers. It also helps in achieving the fifty precent grey contrast for the text.
  • Creating type systems to create compositions helped me become more efficient and manage my time better.

Type I // Paragraph / Week 2

I started working on my second experiments, by refining my best paragraphs from my first compositions. I started by removing the justification from all my compositions, because we were supposed to try and make good rags. I also changed them all to black and white, so that I can achieve the fifty percent grey. I kept it in the back of my mind that at the end my composition should achieve the fifty percent grey. So as I was working, I focused on making informed decisions on my compositions, and trying to create good rags.

I first tried creating good rags by making hard returns, but there was always one line that was coming out a lot further than the rest. So I tried to control the length and shape of the rags by adding kashida. I created sort of a system for using the kashida, to try and make them consistent throughout the paragraph. So before a certain letter, like (و) I added almost three or four units of kashida. However I then changed some of the words, so that they can create a better rag.

After finishing twenty, I got stuck. So I decided to make a system to work with. I made four compositions for each of these elements:

  • Typeface
  • Scale/Bold
  • Typesize
  • Layout
  • Combination of above

Second Paragraph Compositions

The feedback I got from my classmates helped me notice that I didn’t pull out the em dash for the poet’s name. They also pointed out that the rags needed some work.  I agreed with them because some were creating shapes, or they didn’t have enough of a difference between the length of the lines to create a good rag, and it ended up looking close to being justified, but not quite justified yet.

Classmates’ Feedback


I then showed my best rags from my experiments to the professors, and they said these were almost there, and that some lines just needed to come out a bit.


I then choose my two best compositions for A4 and A3. I choose the ones with the most informed decisions, and started refining and making iterations of them.

For the A4 composition, the natural rag that happened because of the line breaks was good. However after I scaled the important words, the rag was gone. So I made a copy of the original rag, and used kashida to mimic the natural rag of the original version. I also tried different fonts. However after I printed it out, the Kufic typeface ended up being too dark, and the Helvetica font achieved the fifty percent grey at that type size.

For the A3 composition, I played with different typefaces. I noticed that each typeface slightly changed the shape of the rag. So I choose the one that created the best rag, and had the form that worked best with the meaning of the poem.

Third Paragraph Compositions

Type I // Paragraph / Week 1

The first assignment was to find a paragraph that has the opposite meaning of our word. The opposite word in Arabic that was in the list wasn’t exactly the opposite. So I started to look through the dictionaries online to find the right opposite word for precise. The only word I found that worked was ‘inaccurate’.

It was hard to find quotes or poems that talked about inaccuracies. So I went back to the word experiments that I did, and looked at all the binary opposites that I explored. I liked my nature and organic themed ones, because they were a good binary opposite to precise, mechanical and exact. I then went back to look for a paragraph, and I came across this poem that talks about the universe and nature.

It worked really well for my concept, because time in space is different than time on earth. Time changes according to gravity in space, and on earth we created this precise time system that is arbitrary. So the paragraph is the opposite of the word in two ways; technical and exact vs organic and natural, and space time vs arbitrary earth time.


قصيدة جمال الطبيعة

نجومٌ حلوةٌ تزهو *** ملأنَ الكونَ أنوارا

نراها في السما تعلو *** وتهدي سائراً حارَ

وفي أوساطها قمر *** كقلبٍ للسما صارَ

ودفء الشمس نرقبه *** شروقاً منها إبكارا

وأرض زانها العشبُ *** حوت بحراً وأنهارا

وأشجاراً لنا ظل *** جنينا منها أثمارا

وعذب الماء من مطرٍ *** على الوديان قد سارَ

ليسقي الزرعَ والبشرَ *** جواداً كان مدرارا

فلتك طبيعة غناء *** غدت للفكرِ أسرارا

إلهُ الكونِ سواها *** عليها كان قهّارا

حامد الصفدي –

I then started to experiment with different compositions. However I didn’t have to do all the mistakes we did before with the sentence, because I now know what works and what doesn’t. So I played with the layout, highlighting important words, and breaking and composing the paragraph itself. I broke up the paragraph according to the type of nature that was mentioned in the verses. I tried setting it as a real poem because that was the natural way you would read a poem. I also tried setting it as a simple paragraph to see if it affected the way you read the poem, and if you can still recognize that it’s a poem as you read it. I found that because it was a rhyming poem, it didn’t affect it as much. The only thing that changed was that when you first see the paragraph you don’t expect a poem. I tried different ways to set the poem with it’s separated verses in different ways, to try and experiment with the normal poem format. I played with the align tool to see how the ragged lefts, rights and justified effected the visuals of the paragraph. The right alignment worked best because it was the natural way you would read Arabic. I tried justifying the paragraph in a way to make rivers, because the paragraph talked about oceans and rivers. I thought it would be interesting to see how that would look.

First Paragraph Compositions

After the critique, the professors said that even though my paragraph mentioned rivers, I didn’t really need to show rivers. I did notice that it didn’t look that good. It also affected the way you read the poem, because of the amount of empty space between the words.

We were told to stick to black and white for our next experiments so that we can try to achieve the fifty grey when we squint. We were also told to avoid justification for two reasons, they create rivers, and they prevent us from learning how to make good rags.

Type I // Sentence / Final

Final A3 Composition

Composition -  A3 - Vertical2.jpg

  • The sentence is broken up into three parts to activate the page. The number of lines in each part also countdown from three.

  • The first and third part of the sentence are aligned. The word ‘parrot’ broke the alignment, to visualize the action of the parrot.

  • The word ‘parrot’ is condensed, to bring attention to the words since it was typeset differently. The condensed space between the letters juxtaposes the idea of wandering, with being constrained and condensed in a small space.

  • I used a grid to create a relationship between the spacing of the parts. The ‘parrot’ is one fourth of the way down compared to the space between the first and last part, and is one third the space horizontally from the vertical alignment of the two parts.

  • I also optically adjusted ‘studio’ and ‘jubilantly’, so that they come out of the alignment a bit, so that the overall alignment doesn’t seem off.

Final A4 Composition

Composition -  A4 - Horizontal4.jpg

  • I used elements of the letters to align each part, by aligning some of the ascenders and descenders of the words from one line to the next.
  • I broke off the word ‘parrot’ from the rest of the sentence this time, by making it a slightly bolder typeface.
  • I activated the space by placing the text in the bottom right corner. Because you usually read Latin type from left to right, and placing the text in the opposite corner activates the negative space.
  • The whole type is set in a condensed typeface which also juxtaposes the idea of wandering, by being constrained and condensed in a small space.
  • The text is placed two thirds from the bottom compared to the space between the text and right corner of the page.

Things I learned:

  • That making the cliche and bad compositions at first helped me get them out my system, so that I could then focus on finding new ways to compose the sentence. Rather than going back to the typical and usual way, because I already did those.

  • That making informed decisions for type, makes the composition a lot better. Because it adds meaning to the text, rather than just being aesthetically pleasing. So when the viewer starts to understand why you emphasized a certain word or the sentence breaks start to make sense, their experience of reading the sentence will be meaningful and different.