OpenType support in Adobe Illustrator

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi everyone,

I've decided to take advantage of the Critique Forum to test-drive some of
my designs. First up are the front and back covers of a catalogue. Here goes

Decosit 2003 - International Trade Fair for upholstery fabrics
25th edition}
DecoContract - a worldwide view on contract interiors

As the advertising campaign for Decosit (and its sister fair DecoContract) is
done by an advertising agency, I always have to work with the materials
they provide. Only the campaign pictures are mandatory. I choose to reuse
the colour scheme and usually take some liberties with the type treatment.

This year's the 25th edition of the trade fair, so I decided to play around the
concept of Roman numerals XXV. I used this graphic theme both as micro-
treatment (textile pattern) and macro-treatment (container for the
DecoContract campaign image).

The type family used in this year's campaign is Foundry Monoline (a radical
break away from Eurostile which they've been using for the past few years ;) ).
The XXV pattern looked interesting enough to me to try and design my own
characters based on the same simplified geometrical grid (my second ever
serious venture into type design). I did some minimal optical corrections,
but yes: that O and C are (based on) perfect circles, sorry about that. I
reckon the characters are small enough that it doesn't hinder. I also know I
could use Nick Shinn's Monkey, but I'd rather do my own stuff.

Let me know whaddayathink.


eomine's picture

I just realise that mirroring the back one you'll have "VXX" instead of
"XXV". But you can try mirroring the arrangement of the elements,
keeping the "XXV" un-mirrored.

eomine's picture

>"Great minds think alike"

That sounds good. ;D

eomine's picture

I think the S and A are good enough, Yves. And I like the inline
version a lot.

About not having formal training in type design, I think that
shouldn't stop you in making your own typefaces. I don't have
formal education either, but I'm making my stuff here.
If you like it, just go ahead and have fun! :-)

eomine's picture

Hmm... your attachments weren't working yesterday, but now
I can see it. Odd.

Anyway, about typeface choice: I think Gill Sans (Kayo? I
can't remember the correct name right now) and Eurostile
don't fit with the design.

And, on your backcover, I think you could remove that big
background "XXV". This element looks strange with the
mirroring on inside/outside, imho. Just remove that and I think
that would be ok. Or you might try working with the plus sign
on backcover too.

Do you know how many pages this is going to have? And what
size is it?

Another thing. Maybe you can try working with another color
on the backcover. It seems like back and front cover are
totally different pieces, even with the same little XXV pattern.
I'm not so sure about this myself, but you might wanna try

Miss Tiffany's picture

How is this going? I have some opinions (don't I always) about this.

Miss Tiffany's picture

don't shoot the messenger. she didn't bother completely reading the other posts.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Could you move DECOSIT over to the left side of that page? Further away from the eurostile? Is the '20' necessary? I think that in context, the '03' makes sense with out it.

Bald Condensed's picture

And here's the PDFs to allow bigger viewing of the
custom type.

BTW Netscape sucks big elephant di

Bald Condensed's picture

I'll try rotating the "S" as you suggest. The
problem with the "A" is that I did enlarge the
counter at some point, but then it started to look
like a triangle. :/ i'll give it another go and
post the results.

I should have mentionned there are inside covers
coming up too. Actually, I was going to keep the
mirroring for the inside covers (while keeping the
"XXV" unmirrored) just like you suggested. How
does the saying go: "Great minds think alike"? ;)

Bald Condensed's picture

Now that I look at the type on its own, you can
see very well I've been influenced by the work of
Neville Brody during my Art Academy days. ;)
The 'S', 'I' and 'M' are quite telling.

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi everyone,

I received feedback from the client. They asked for some adjustments:

  • '2003' should be on front cover and make 'XXV' larger
  • Decocontract+ picture not in 'XXV' as it only exists for 3 years and this could be confusing

I decided to use the plus sign from DecoContract+ (the sister fair gets an expanded
treatment this year) as it emphasises both the + in the name and suggests the
pairing of both fairs. This time I added the inside covers too. Feel free to tell me what
you think.



Here are the PDFs

Decosit2003_cover1.pdf (1339.2 k)

Decosit2003_cover2.pdf (21.9 k)

Decosit2003_cover3.pdf (11.2 k)

Decosit2003_cover4.pdf (13.1 k)

Bald Condensed's picture

> about typeface choice: I think Gill Sans (Kayo?
I can't remember the correct name right now) and
Eurostile don't fit with the design.

I know, they're horrible, aren't they? Those are the
official "logos", not to be touched. I consider it already
a small victory I convinced them to feature them on
the inside cover: last year they forced me to use them
on the front cover. It looked absolutely dreadful!
Did you really think I would in my right mind use this
combination of typefaces? ;P

Maybe you can try working with another color on
the backcover.

Color scheme is provided by the agency that did the
advertising campaign; it refers to the ads and
preliminary flyers. Everything else is in this gray/
green/olive scheme. I'll think about what I can do,
also about the big 'XXV' on the back covers.

Bald Condensed's picture

The catalogue is about 17 cm wide and 31 cm high,
288 pages (about 2 cm) thick, spiral-bound. I'll post
a scan of last year's volume.

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi everyone,

The project has been on hold for a month, but now
the real work starts. I will post the final designs and
commentaries shortly. THX to everyone who chipped in.

In the meantime, here's last year's catalogue, as
promised waaay back. ;)


eomine's picture

That looks good, Yves.
About the type: the "S" could be rotated clockwise a little, and the
counter of "A" is too small.
About the design: I like that the "XXV" patterns are the same on both
covers. But maybe the back one should be mirrored, so that it matches
the front cover when the catalogue is closed. I don't know...
The colors seems to be nice too.

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