A to Z of Graphic Design – research


On receiving my first brief in our year 1 module, Ideas into reality, to represent the letters A to Z  with an area or theme of Graphic Design, I constructed my A to Z based on Graphic Design techniques and how I want to do each letter of the alphabet.  For e.g. A for artistic, I will look to be doing the watercolour technique on Adobe Illustrator on my letter ‘A’ in my final poster.

I then researched images for each of my letters and the results are all below.  I have also given my thoughts on these images.

‘A’ is for artistic.  I love the way colour runs into one another with watercolour paints.  It creates a pallet mix on the page for you to see in your work and not just as you mix the colours before painting.

To represent the letter ‘A’ for my first year assignment for my module, Ideas into Reality, I have decided on the word ‘Artistic’ as for me graphic design is art and artistic in many ways and certainly crosses over to art on a regular basis.

The first image is the letter ‘a’ created on illustrator by Michal Sycz.  It consists of individual pockets or sections of colour and from a distance looks like it has been painted by hand in watercolour paints.  It has the perfect blend of colours just as the paint would blend if painted.

The second image is beautiful type using illustrator made to look like watercolour.  This image was taken from http://www.creativemarket.com where there is a one minute tutorial on how to create this in illustrator.

The third image I am unsure as the original source or creator, as the web address is not found but I love the colour and the way the word fades towards the end.

the letter a designed in illustrator to look like watercolour
Designer on illustrator by Michal Sycz

reads 'aqua type' in watercolour typographyreads 'the salts' in blue and purple watercolour paint.

‘B’ is for Blurred. This could be created in so many different ways.  Using the blur tool on illustrator, with transparency, colour and even spots.  It gives image and text depth.

The first image is a logo from http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672098/going-glitch-15-logos-from-the-post-computer-era#4.  It gives a shaking impression like someone has grabbed the word and started to shake it up and down as fast as they can.  It makes me feel a little queasy looking at it. It represents the strumming of guitar keys and how they bounce uncontrollably to make sounds.

The second image is made using a blend of primary colours to create this blurred type. It was taken from http://whoswho.jagda.org/jp/portfolio/2173.html. It creates the illusion that the ‘O’ is spinning on an axis.

The third image is a ‘Z’ created using again primary colours but with large dots light lights. This image was taken from http://www.pinterest.com (original source unknown).

The word Strum in capital letters blurred and black
Image from http://www.fastcodesign.com of Strum Logo
blended letters using primary colours creating a blurred effect.
Blended letters using primary colours from http://www.whoswho.jagda.org.
a blurred 'Z' using blurred coloured light dots.
Image from http://www.pinterest.com (unsure of original source) of a blurred ‘Z’ using blurred coloured light dots.
a bears hear in strokes or lines of all colours from the rainbow.
Taken from touch contagious blog. A Colourful Bear using strokes of colour to create the image.

‘C’ is for colourful.  I am a big fan of colour and by colour I mean monotone pallets as well as a multitude of colour. Colour is very psychological too.  Particularly in graphic design and logo design, choosing the right colour could mean the difference between a really good and a horrendous logo.

The first image is taken from touch contagious blog. A Colourful Bear using strokes of colour to create the image.  I love how the colour really works well and isn’t just a mess.  There are so many different colours of the rainbow used but in the perfect quantity and not too overpowering.

Colourful rainbow waves taken from http://overtherainbowdays.tumblr.com/.
Colourful rainbow waves taken from http://overtherainbowdays.tumblr.com/.

The second, colourful rainbow waves taken from http://overtherainbowdays.tumblr.com/.  It is so defined yet so well blended and looks so seeming-less.







Colourful dotted bird taken from Behance.
Colourful dotted bird taken from Behance.

‘D’ is for dots.  As the pixel is essentially a dot, it has some relevance to graphic design. So much can be done using dots including different colours and different textures and variations to the dot.

The first image is a colourful dotted bird taken from Behance.https://www.behance.net/gallery/Byrd-House-Farmers-Market/225480. It incorporates dots of food and colour to create not only a larger image of a bird, but also shows meaning to the farmers market for which it was created to advertise for.

Floating colourful A using lots of 3d dots or circles. taken from typography served website.
Floating colourful A using lots of 3d dots or circles. taken from typography served website.












‘E’ is for extrude. The extrude function on illustrator is a great tool that can give your type the 3d effect.

The first of the images is the number 73 taken from http://www.typographyserved.com/gallery/SUPERSIC-58-typography/2383140. It has different depths to it which it gives it so much 3d shape.

The second image is actually made from clay taken from http://www.designboom.com/design/terkel-skou-steffensen-extruded-clay-font-project-ecal-08-28-2015/. It is so beautifully made with such smoothness that it has a digital look to it.

img_6_1437748581_1679091c5a880faf6fb5e6087eb1b2dc 1d329041d902df4520dda9790b3e9923


‘F’ is for Freehand. Freehand type or hand drawn type is so beautiful in nature, there are no restrictions to shape or form.  The sky is the limit with freehand typography.

The first image is taken from http://inspirationhut.net/inspiration/intricate-patterns-by-johanna-basford/. A very decorative type.

The second image is taken from https://dribbble.com/shots/1042420-WeSC. a design used for t-shirts and skate decks. Very well constructed in perfect proportion. The third image is taken from http://clairicegifford.prosite.com/264209/4935479/work/joy. Beautiful blend of colour and pattern.



‘G’ is for Gradient. I love using gradients as they give more depth to the colour in your work.  I have never realised how many different ways and techniques there are to using gradients.  They can make a background seem 3D and even letters with the use of transparency.

The first image is gradient lettering overlapping each other. Taken from ://toomuchwhitespace.prosite.com/8928/171929/work/brand-identity-photographer-first-stage. The gradient makes the colours harmonise so well when they overlap. The gradient is very slight but is so beautiful.

The second image is a 3D letter ‘N’ done in various triangles with transparent gradient colours. Taken from blog.stylesight.com. Love the use of the colour and gradient with this and the transparency gives it the look of light shining through it.

The third image is a blue and purple gradient background taken from http://sumptuousthings.tumblr.com/post/37402650165/sumptuous-e-by-emanuele-macri. The use of diamonds to create this background with the gradients gives the impression of 3D. the colours work really well together in just the right proportions.


gradient lettering overlapping in pink and yellow and turns orange when overlaps
Gradient lettering overlapping each other. Taken from too much white space.
Blue and purple gradient background done in diamonds so it looks 3D
Blue and Purple gradient background taken from sumptuous things.
3D letter 'N' done in various triangles with transparent gradient colours.
Transparent gradient letter taken from http://www.blogger.stylesight.com.



35dd988f951d79e2b79b0a238e3130c4 6701dd23c334ca6e9b43a5ecfe4d060c (1)‘H’ is for halftone. Unlike the use of dots in general in design, halftone consists of discrete dots which give a more blurred texture.

The first image is of a halftone alphabet constructed with small coloured (CYMK) cross stitch plus signs.  The colour change is subtle enough to give it the halftone texture. This image is taken from http://evelinkasikov.com/CMYK-Alphabet.

The second image is of slightly different sized black dots with the odd colour dot well placed and from a distance it looks halftone.  Taken from http://www.brandingidentitydesign.com/21-lovely-letters-numbers/#.VkXCgndJYfk.





Black letter A disintergrating to ink on the right
Black letter ‘A’ disintegrating into ink. Taken from Behance.
Black ink painted capital 'R' giving depth of brush or pen strokes
Black ink painted ‘R’ taken from abduzeedo.com.

‘I’ is for Ink. The texture that ink gives on a page can make typography have a whole new meaning in many cases.  It gives the feel of handcrafted and elegance.

The first letter is a black letter ‘A’ disintegrating into ink. Taken from https://www.behance.net/gallery/16227881/Horse-(Illustration). This looks so elegant and messy at the same time with the ink looking like the letter is almost melting away.

The second letter is a black ink painted ‘R’ taken from http://abduzeedo.com/typography-mania-258 by MELVINLEIDELMEIJER. I love the depth the brush stroke gives on the page.

The third image is of a Chrome ‘C’ with black ink dripping off it taken from http://newgrids.fr/2011/11/15/ideas13-typography/. This almost looks a little creepy, something you would see in a horror film or book.

Chrome C with black ink dripping off it
Chrome C with black ink dripping off it taken from Newgrids.


6d2e8160c7a16ca6c35bd72d9a915041 8ea72dfea9cc4f54777fbbb98325c10a‘J’ is for JPEG. And particularly double exposure as it creates this mysterious and misty look.

The first image is from  http://www.fromupnorth.com/best-graphic-design-of-2014/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+FromUpNorth+(From+up+North).  Whilst this is not type, It gives a great example of the technique I am looking to use.

The second image is more like what I will be looking at achieving with my own photograph. Taken from https://society6.com/product/ampersand-ctd_print#1=45.





choregraphique__nicolas_bonté_01 choregraphique__nicolas_bonté_03‘K’ is for Kinetic. Moving typography or the illusion that the type is moving.  In these images taken from http://www.aa13.fr/design-graphique/choregraphique-nicolas-bonte-10382, done by a french designer, looks like its just stretched type with a gradual gradient and slight movement to one side to create the kinetic illusion.







‘L’ is for lines. Lines by nature are simple , but can be used in such a way that they become very intricate.  They can be manipulated in so many different variations.

Image one is what i describe as a cross over line typography alphabet taken from ://www.behance.net/gallery/Comeback-Identity/3866775. Simple and very decorative. love the proportions of the letters and the even space between the lines.

The second image is a floating fabric alphabet taken from http://www.blogduwebdesign.com/inspiration/typographie-10-caractere-creatif/1564. from a distance this alphabet looks like floating fabric typography. Close up it consists of lots of flowing lines and a few dots. Very clever.

The third image is a typography logo design made to look like its floating off the page. ://andrewgarybeardsall.tumblr.com/post/78635386918.
I love how this is flat yet made to look 3D just by the placement of the shapes under the lettering and the shadow cast underneath.

The fourth image is a structural alphabet using lines taken from ://hifructose.com/2013/03/14/the-architecture-of-typography-by-dan-hoopert/. Looks like an Ariel view of structures and architecture.

The fifth image is a simple line alphabet with shadows taken from http://justinseeley.com/showcases/10-amazing-free-fonts-designs/. Simple font giving the impression of being 3D.

Floating Fabric alphabet in black and white
Floating Fabric alphabet
Structural alphabet using lines
Structural alphabet using lines by Dan Hoopert.
black and white logo design
Typography logo design made to look like its floating off the page. http://andrewgarybeardsall.tumblr.com/post/78635386918.



Cross over line typography alphabet
Cross over line typography alphabet taken from behance.
Simple line alphabet with shadows taken from http://justinseeley.com/showcases/10-amazing-free-fonts-designs/.
Simple line alphabet with shadows taken from http://justinseeley.com/showcases/10-amazing-free-fonts-designs/.












‘M’ is for Mosaic. Mosaic is the art of creating pictures using small squares usually of tiles.  used alot in signs and logos on buildings and pubs.  Used in the right way it can create some beautiful imagery.  It usually involves both the letter and the surrounding background being all done in the same technique.

The first image is a simple ‘O’ taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisinplymouth/4668913222/in/pool-oneletter/.

The second image is taken from https://www.buamai.com/image/16302-flickr-photo-download-mosaic and illustrates that the smaller the mosaic pieces, the more that can be done with them in terms of defining a shape.

16302_p Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 12.26.07









‘N’ is for Negative space.  Negative space is a very clever way of using the whitespace as your focus and using shape and colour for the space in between the image or type.

The first image taken from http://enthusiasticartist.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/letters and is a letter ‘K’ with the negative space beautifully hand drawn with patterns.

The second image is taken from http://www.katebrangan.com/index.php?/projects/posters/.  Its using everyday things that are circular to fill the negative space to create the letter.

The third image is taken from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/299911656414151526/ (original source unknown).  Its great use of the negative space to portray an illustration or image of what the word means.

The forth image is taken from https://dribbble.com/shots/708553-TM?list=tags&tag=identity.  Its very cleverly done just to the right position and proportions with shading so you can completely make out the two letters.



a244475943533b69ed6efcb2c36e8bfc ‘O’ is for opacity.  It has so many different ways of being used to create a desired effect and links in with so many of my other techniques on this project.

The first image is taken from http://andyrogerson.deviantart.com/art/Typography-is-Graphic-Design-153234203?q=boost%3Apopular%20typography%20poster&qo=65.  It has the perfect gradual opacity with each letter that it works in a lot of harmony.

The second image is great use of negative space with opacity.  It is taken from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/52/41/93/52419392eb86c0f2d184cfa0dbe39db9.jpg.52419392eb86c0f2d184cfa0dbe39db9


‘P’ is for Poly. 
I am fascinated with this technique.  I find it amazing how, if done right, it can create a stunning image.

The first image is taken from http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/charis-tsevis-olympic-illustrations. Created for the olympics London 2012. Its very well structured with the geometric shapes.

The second image is taken from http://www.liambrazier.com/Star-Draws. Yoda in poly, just works.

The third image is https://www.behance.net/gallery/Low-poly-font/6626947. A full low poly alphabet. I love the harmony of the colours.Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 23.54.20prt_300x424_1432054749_2x57fcfa51285761.5608aa361df8b









‘Q’ is for Quilling. A technique using thin strips of paper curled and moulded into shapes.  They are then placed in beautiful patterns to create an overall image.

The first image is taken from http://beautifuldecay.com/2013/03/29/yulia-brodskayas-intricate-illustrations-made-of-paper/. It is beautifully made without the usual white border.

The second image is from http://artyulia.com/index.php/Illustration/PAPERgraphic/2#. The letter ‘Q’ in very colourful paper and very well constructed.

The third is taken from http://www.allthingspaper.net/2015/05/graphic-quilling-ashley-chiang-of-paper.html. The colours and the structure is very pleasing to the eye.

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‘R’ is for Repetition. So much can be done with repetitionline, circles, pattern, the list is endless, Patterns are essentially repetition. I personally like repetition as for me its structured, has an order and is pleasing to the eye if done right.

The first image is taken from https://society6.com/product/geometric-in-peacock-blue_print#1=45.  Simple repetition of triangles yet with a variation in shades of one colour, it creates this beautiful pattern.

The second image is taken from http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/we-color-2347833?post=2495460889&blog=2347833&frame_type=a&viewer=true. Using lines with a slight variation in their course, it creates a 3d effect or an extruding effect. Its very cleverly done.

The source of the third image cannot be found however it was taken from http://www.pinterest.com. Simple colour but wonderful pattern and looks very elegant.

799953_4464553_pm Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.39.40 e72546cde62ae1f5db6461bacfeb3fa3

‘S’ is for shape. A lot of how graphic design is created is using shape in varied different but cleaver ways.  The first image is taken from http://www.lettercult.com/archives/3253#more-3253. The number 5 made very simply out of a gradient rectangle and circle.  Its a beautiful technique that would require a lot of thought and planning if a whole alphabet was to be attempted in this way.

The second image is taken from https://www.behance.net/gallery/19968349/Magic-animal-world-geometric-flat.  Wonderfully colourful animals made from geometrical shapes, so cleverly designed and very detailed. The third image is http://www.fubiz.net/2013/05/15/pure-geometry/. Amazing piece.  Very complex but wonderfully constructed.43c02949c58040ef566f26462316c80b Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.41.03 Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.16.12


‘T’ is for texture. This like many of my other letters, can come in many forms.  I have chosen to focus on embroidery and cross stitch due to my experience in this area.  I love how delicate thread can be to create type.

The first image is taken from http://visualgraphc.com/post/59303909457/ricostituzione-by-david-falzone. Simple and effective cross stitch used in a professional way.

The second image is taken from http://maricormaricar.com/#tactiles-view.html?current_item=oh-joy. Wonderful use of colour.

The third image is taken from http://maricormaricar.com/. Again, great use of colour and very beautifully constructed.

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‘U’ is for unity.







‘V’ is for Vintage.




Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 12.35.34 abd8dcc5f6ea999e40b37808f3d7858c e1c98cb3369a329c90f9363a4e6a2c9a


‘W’ is for waves.


e71ab8ab6e5a1f75687396909df0acc5 64305b33d2bc3133621ec27c898d1de7


‘X’ is for X hatch (crosshatch).



Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 12.49.58 c79b2aff74912c8ef6ff2a34e7c1b650

‘Y’ is for cmYk.




037c99e24e2882cc9df475df2b09113f 96baaebfcb01572ec5ccc2d0b93f8460 71e1fe10fe520c5c69a9155c74d87f8c


‘Z’ is for Zigzag.



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