Response to “Text”-Xueying Wu

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Favorite sentence: “the text itself plays and the reader plays twice over. Playing the Text as one plays the game, looking for a practice that reproduces.”

I couldn’t agree more on the idea that pictures can be read and words can be seen. Ancient Chinese created characters based on the shape and form of actual objects. The character “bird” actually looked like a bird. “sunrise” looked like a painting in which an abstracted sun rose slowly from the horizon. And today’s Chinese characters still keep many of that ancient traits. My experience in practicing calligraphy deepened my understanding of “text” as something that can be “seen”. My calligraphy teacher once told me to “write as if you’re creating a picture. Think of layout, think of how each character’s relation with other characters. Look at them as a WHOLE.”

So when i read how texts should not be looked at as “lineal” but also spatial, I was a little surprised to think there were people who don’t think this way. Think about novels marked as stream of consciousness. Their intention were not creating “visual” impact, but the authors did play with texts and that worked. I remembered a comic series that became so popular in Japan in recent years. There were whole pages covered with Japanese characters and even in the “cleaner” pages you can see words and characters everywhere. They are placed in the shadow of the protagonists, on blackboard serving as the background, or on their clothes. The chapter also reminded me of one Chinese article: “People don’t read anymore, now they SEE everything. ”

Of course if the idea “texts becomes more important than what the texts actually mean” is pushed to extreme it would become source of scholarly concern, but before that, for people in art, in design, and in publishing industry, if our potential readers, audiences, and customers are more and more accustomed to, and more willing to play with texts, it gives us one more way to attract their attention and make an impact.


Reflection on “Text”

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Text, a compilation of running words and sentences, is created to express the thoughts of an author; therefore, the body of text is a coherent entity. The classic typography emphasizes the completeness, integrity, and enclosure of text. It treats texts as a fixed work with authority, which is generated and kept in a linear process. However, there exists a tremendous inhumane gap between this way of representation and the readers, and this gap has become increasingly noticeable in the digital age, especially since the readers have become more “impatient” after getting used to the non-linear, cross-referencing structured databases as their main source of information such as websites. Fundamentally, it is critical for designers to help the readers “avoid reading”. Because contemporary era is unarguably an era of productivity, information is indeed more efficiently gathered if the readers do not have to contemplate through the linear process before reaching the information they actually need. As designers, who play a role of mediating between the authors and readers, we express our interpretations on the thoughts of the authors through typography in order to enhance the reader’s understanding and even their usages of the text. To treat text not as a sacred but an open system, expressing it not in a linear stream but considering it in a multidimensional space, is both an opportunity that the digital age has provided us, as well as our goal and purpose of typographical designing.

Yunjia Ge


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It is crazy how much thought, work, and time goes into designing a block of text on the page. The way the body is designed is central to the message that the author is trying to convey. To process the information quicker the reader’s eye needs to be guided and directed by using indents, tabs, alignment, and color. The designer puts an enormous amount of time creating this ‘text’.

However, with computers revolutionizing printing and writing, we are able to work faster and wiser. Today, we take for granted spacing, kerning, and tracking.  We are used to computers taking charge and automatically adjusting the text. The special arrangement is standardized, so that different texts will have the same continuous flow.  In academic writing such rules are probably beneficial to a computer illiterate person or a person in need of one format.

I also came to realize how space and hierarchy help in designing the text. People cannot make their work distinct or impressive without good usage of them.

Patricia Garcia response to “TEXT”

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I found this chapter very helpful for our upcoming graphic design projects as it gave tips and tricks on how to catch the reader’s attention and effectively use text. For example, it explains that the manner in which texts are used becomes more important than what the texts actually mean. You can express the meaning of a word or an idea through the spacing, sizing, and placement of letters on the page. As W.A. Dwiggins said, “the first word of the first line is the critical word of text”. I find this very true as for me, the first sentence of the first paragraph will either make me want to read or disregard an article/book, etc. This chapter also explains that the way in which a text is placed on a page will affect the manner in which a reader actually reads and understands it. There are endless ways to express the hierarchy of a document. I liked how the author when writing “electronic redlining is replacing the hieroglyphics of the editor”, she actually wrote it in red and lined the text across which made me understand what the sentence was trying to convey. Another example is when she wrote “tryreadingalineoftextwithoutspacingtoseehowimportantthishasbecome”. The author also emphasized the importance of “white space”. I agree that a single surface packed with well-organized information is sometimes better than multiple pages with a lot of blank space (the perfect example being our resumés). In general, I liked this chapter better than the first one. I found the content to be more interesting and more relevant to the skills we apply in this class.

‘Text’ by Morgan Domershick

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As I read the text I was very intrigued with what it said, somethings I new already and some were new to me. When I read this text I thought it was very interesting. I thought it was informative how they spoke about the importance of the different fonts and how they look. It really made me think about paying attention to the little details of each text that I may not have thought to pay attention to before. I liked the ideas of creating the hierarchy in text by doing different font types. I agree with the author that white space is key. After doing the resume, I really see the importance of white spaces in a project.

| T E X T |

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AfterreadingabouttextIreallylearnedtheimportanceofusingspacingtoreadandbettrunderstandmaterial. The different ways text can be formatted based on kerning and tracking etc..are really cool elements I never gave much thought to. I found reading about the different types and uses of alignment were really neat. This chapter made me think a lot about books and websites I have read in the past and how their use of typography either really helped or hindered my reading ability. I think the different ways to create emphasis within running text are very unique and effective for the reader. I personally enjoy small caps versus italics or boldface because I find it stands out more when I am scanning text. This chapter also discussed a lot of fascinating historical typography and the way it was edited before moveable type. Great read!

Text Response

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I found this chapter more interesting than the previous one. It takes a step forward into explaining the role that text has on people and in prints ads etc. Most of what this chapter talks about we already went over in class but it was nice to learn more about kerning and how that can bring attention to every single letter and with that to the word itself. The chapter then proceeds to talk about tracking and how that influences the whole feel of the text. It makes the paragraph easier to read. The part of the chapter that I found most interesting was hierarchy. I never realized the different ways in which you could do this on a piece of paper. You can express the relative importance of a certain piece of text with either size, weight, placement and spacing among others. This chapter really gave me a good guideline for our next assignment

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