Sometimes a client gets in touch with a fully-formed design, all Photoshopped up and raring to go… they just need someone to turn it into a real-life website!
Hannah from Gooch & Gawler was one such client, with a very clear idea on the design and aesthetic she and collaborator Sarah Gawler wanted for their joint venture.
With a business specialising in styling wedding shoots, post-production and photography, the final images are everything. Hannah kept the design clean and simple to let Sarah’s stunning photography breathe.
Turning Hannah’s designs into a working site involved a custom WordPress template, stripping it back to the barest of bones and only adding in the bits needed to fulfill the requirements. This kept the code free of much of the clutter WordPress tends to load the page with behind the scenes, and made realizing the design in HTML a lot easier. Detailing was kept subtle to match the overall tone of the design and photography, with barely-there hover effects on links, discrete social links in the menu and on the blog, and a minimal but elegant photo gallery for the portfolio page using the excellent NextGEN plugin for image management. This was rounded off with the webfont version of ITC’s American Typewriter, to tie everything together.
Take a look at some screenshots from the finished product, or have a nose around the live site here!
Website: WordPress custom theme development
Original Design: Gooch & Gawler
Fonts: ITC American Typewriter (ITC)
Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the moustache-twirling charm of Ultramarina
Ultramarina was first released a couple of years ago by Juanjo Lopez, the Madrid-based graphic designer and hand letterer behind Huy!Fonts. Juanjo describes the font as “Halfway between nineteenth century display wood letters and the American grotesk sans-serif of the early twentieth”, which means it was only a matter of time before it found itself in the Swash and Fold font folder!
Ultramarina is an elongated serif with both upper and lower-case characters, and comes loaded with a set of well-executed ligatures, confident OpenType flourishes and a handful of catchwords perfect for signage, display lettering and invitations. The characters are full of nice touches that prevent the font from appearing too formal, and with a bit of encouragement can take on an almost whimsical vintage storybook demeanor.
The example this week takes the form of a bit of an advertisment, as I introduce the first The Knowledge workshop, designed to give creatives and creatively-minded businesses the knowledge to do more with their online and offline branding. In the first edition (“A Code Most Curious”) we’ll be diving into the murky depths of HTML, WordPress and websites. The event takes place on Wednesday 17th July in Southbourne, Dorset (UK), and more information on the workshop on the Eventbrite page, along with a bit about the amazing venue!
Ultramarina is available to buy from the Huy!Fonts MyFonts store, along with more examples of the font in use.
Fonts: Ultramarina (Juanjo Lopez / Huy!Fonts), Laudanum (Carl Rylatt / Ten Dollar Fonts)
Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the warm and weathered wood-block stamps of Niunia
It’s safe to say Mateusz Machalski from Polish design studio Borutta is a man who likes his woodblocks. A quick scan through some of the typefaces on offer from the prolific designer show a passion for bringing the distinctive warmth and character of ink-stamped lettering to the digital screen.
Released late last year, the Wood Type Collection brings several of these together in a single family – kind of a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to lend a bit of vintage authenticity to their designs, without actually having to invest in a physical printing press. In amongst this set I was drawn to Niunia, a narrow uppercase sans serif with irregular weights, slightly wonky alignment and other subtle quirks that gave it a little more character than some of its siblings.
There’s no OpenType trickery here and no obvious variations between upper and lower case, but don’t let that put you off. Niunia contains a set of well-crafted letters with realistic-looking ink distribution and corner traps, that manages to avoid looking contrived and artificial.
The sample this week is inspired by the fact that wedding season has now well and truly kicked off for Swash and Fold’s sibling photography company Big Bouquet – cue a season of grooms trying to decide on the optimum knot for their special day. May I suggest the St. Andrew? Bold enough to stand out, holds well throughout the day, and hides an open top button a treat…
The complete Wood Type collection from Borutta contains 5 different styles ranging from elegant serifs to inverted sans and is available to buy from MyFonts and Youworkforthem, which also feature more examples of the font in use.
Fonts: Niunia / Wood Type Collection (Borutta)
Some client work on the blog today with a sans-serif, type-based logo design for Kent-based photographer Paul Fuller
With any new creative venture, it can take a little time to discover and establish a style you feel represents you. Paul Fuller got in touch having decided the logo he currently had no longer complemented the direction he was taking his photography business. A quick Pinterest exercise quickly established where Paul’s visual taste was headed, and we set about coming up with something that better reflected his style.
Paul wanted a classic, clean and contemporary wordmark, keeping to a sans-serif font. The main text was set in “Alpine” – a modern sans-serif with some subtle, rune-inspired alternates to give a little extra visual interest. Balance and weighting is important with a logo like this, so the horizontal rule tapers slightly each end to add extra weight to the centre of the image.
Additional versions of the logo were created with a distressed finish, along with a simplified watermark and die-stamp version (not pictured here). Take a look at the finished product below…
Design: Swash and Fold
Fonts: Trend Sans One (Latinotype), Alpine (Maarten van ‘t Wout), Gotham (Hoefler & Frere-Jones)
Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the sans-serif precision and practicality of Halis Rounded
Sometimes you just can’t beat a really good deal, and the current offer from Turkish font designer Ahmet Altun is the sort of gift horse you shouldn’t really face front-on. At 90% off the ticket price when purchasing the whole family, $16 for a set of 16 OpenType font faces (including 8 weights and small caps versions) represents fantastic value for money.
Of course, this would count for nothing if the font was rubbish, but thankfully Ahmet has produced a highly legible, unassumingly handsome and versatile family of faces here. Halis Rounded is a slightly more worn-in version of the designer’s Halis Grotesque family (also currently on offer) and has slightly rounded corners, whilst retaining the clean geometrics and straight borders of the Grotesque version. The font has excellent legibility across all weights, from very small sizes to very large, and the heavier weights would look great as letterpress.
Ligatures are kept practical rather than showy, and a full set of alternative numeric forms makes this an excellent choice for typesetting large blocks of text. It’s hard of course to completely avoid comparisons with HVD’s iconic Brandon Grotesque, but there are enough differences to give Halis it’s own identity, and Ahmet’s font is arguably easier to read at small sizes. Plus that discount is very hard to ignore…
Inspiration this week is from Craggy Island’s master of the marketing hard sell and sole representative of the Irish Tea Board.
The complete family of Halis Rounded (16 fonts spread across 8 weights and small capital versions) can be purchased at the discounted rate of $16 for a limited period from Ahmet’s MyFonts store, which also features more examples of the font in use.
Fonts: Halis Rounded (Ahmet Altun)