Anatomy of Typography Poster

Anatomy of Typography - Letter features and characteristics

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain and identify the different features of a typeface. So, let's take a look at the anatomy of typography!

Type and lettering is something we see every day of our lives. It's used for print media such as signage, brochures, in store, flyers and so on. It's also used digitally on the web, whilst we sift through Facebook and Instagram posts, blogs, or the latest Reddit news.

So what did I do to help indentify features of type? I've put together a poster, which I have hanging up in my office! It contains all the significant features of type, pointing out features such as a stem, eye, bowl, counter, arm and so on. I've also included x-height, leading and baseline, which identify features outside of the characters themselves. Not only does it help explain certain features, but is also super interesting to have a little bit of extra knowledge regardless of if you're a Graphic Designer or not.

I have excluded a few type features, but the everyday, common features have all been included.

You're welcome to download the file as a reference or bookmark this page. I've included a link below.

Have fun with type!

You can download the image below.Anatomy of Typography Poster

Express Gender Symbol Mistake

Washington Post Express Female Gender Symbol Mix-Up

Embarrassingly, Express has accidently used a male gender symbol instead of female on the cover of their paper, by The Washington Post. It was picked up on social media, where viewers spotted the mistake quickly.


Express Gender Symbol Mistake

Hours later, the company released an updated version of the cover with the ammended version.

They apologised in the Twitter post as shown below:

...and the corrected version:

Hopefully a corrected, re-printed version tomorrow! Everyone makes mistakes, right?

Mastercard Logo Redesign 2016

Top Company Logo Redesigns of 2016

2016 was a big year for logo redesigns with many companies changing their visual identity to something new and more visually exciting. Being such a signficant part of company's brand, it generally requires all collateral to then be changed, too. So, redesigning a logo can be difficult in order to balance traditional elements of the company with an evolution or new direction that the company is trying to portray.

These company's had mixed reviews, with some copping far more criticism than others. I'd love to know your thoughts on which you believe are successful or not!



Mastercard Logo Redesign 2016

Generally, the Mastercard logo redesign was positively recieved. The change in logotype, switching from an italicized, drop shadowed sans-serif look, has allowed them to fit more in-line with current trends. With the use of FF Mark now incorporated in the logo, the round, overlapping circles now have a complimentry typeface using the same geometric features. It would be interesting to see if they could have used an uppercase "M" to help balance with the lowercase "d" for some added symmetry. The thing I love most about the new logo is how brandable it is.



Kodak Logo Redesign 2016

Kodak's previous logo was considered a big change for the company at the time, where they went to a logotype only logo, removing the camera-shutter icon. The new logo has so many traits of the brands previous logos, that it almost feels like they've acknowledged that what they had previously, was so iconic. They have modernised the logo, with a modern typeface, but retained the flat two-colour look that they've always had. The new logo has been recieved very well, and an often frowned-upon stacked type aesthetic seems to work.



Instagram new logo 2016Changing from it's retro camera logo to a multi-colour gradient was a big change for the photo-sharing mobile app. Instagram retained the view finder, but created a more vibrant, modern logo. Initially the new icon was received very poorly, with a lot of people disliking it. However, I feel that as more time passes, the majority of those would be changing their views. I feel as though it was a positive change, but I would have liked to have seen the light 'flash' gradient reversed. The only reason I believe the light source is at the bottom is for balance.



Deliveroo logo redesign 2016 new

A substantial change compared to the other updated logos in this list, Deliveroo retained their corporate colours, but totally changed everything about their type and symbol. From uppercase to lowercase and a full bodied kangaroo to a head, they've opted for a bolder more simple identity. It's important to note the use of the logo, often seen on bike couriers, their logo needs to be quickly identified and simple. So, a 'clip art' type look, I feel, works for them. The quirky looking kangaroo aims a more specific, younger target audience.


Premier LeaguePermier League Logo New 2016

The Englush Premier League have always had a soccer ball in their symbol and a very royal looking logo overall. This redesign removes the ball (and the lions body) to create a more modern and dare I say trendy looking logo. This really comes out especially in it's application during a match. And, the way it's used is very different to other sports around the world, so it is trendsetting for a sporting logo. Created by the agency who did AirBnb's latest logo, it does have some evolution with a proud, forward facing.. face. One thing to note is the colour palette which has a feeling of being a strange choice, changing from royal to something a bit more dispirited.



Uber new logo 2016

Quite a radical change for ride sharing company Uber, they've gone with something stylistically very different. Gone goes the professional and somewhat high-end looking logo to something a lot more geometric and introducing more colour. Uber has described their logo as inspired by the "bit" and the "atom" which are both the foundation of technology and the universe. The good thing about the redesign is that it does take away from that black car, private ride-sharing feeling to something a bit more broad and general.


That wraps up some of the significant brand changes of 2016. Other notable entries were Taco Bell, Dell, Qantas, Subway and Pandora.

Dribbble Invite

Dribbble Invite Up For Grabs

Hey designers – want to become be a Baller on dribbble? I have an invite up for grabs!

Dribbble Invite

I've been apart of dribbble for a while now and it's a great community to be involved in. Lots of great work on display by artists all around the world! I'm looking for someone with unique designs / artwork to become involved in the community.

Entries will close on the 26th of October.


Contest closed! Check back regularly for new contests.


*** Update October 2016 ***

Congratulations to Timothy Dole for winning the contest! Check our his first shot, and give him a follow!

Business Card Design Modern Print

Personal Business Card Designs

I recently made some new, modern personal business cards featuring my new logo. I thought it would be nice to make a few variations (5 in total), with the background of the back being different artwork that I've created over the years. I wanted to keep the front – where my name, phone and email address is – nice and clean. Legibility and cleanliness are two big factors, for me, for this particular side of the card.

These cards are printed on a 300gsm substrate in a standard size for Australia. I went for a gloss finish, with a laminate over the top. It allows the colours to appear rich and vibrant, even though they're generally monotone looking for the most part.

A special thanks to Simprint Digital in Dingley, Victoria, Australia for getting these printed or me. They always do a fantastic job and I'd definitely recommend them.

Print Modern Business Card Design

Above: 'Day 7' business card design featuring artwork created in Adobe Illustrator.

Business Card Design Modern Print

Above: United business card design featuring the artwork created for Desktopography.

Modern, Clean Business Card Design

Above: Heights business card design featuring the artwork from the Depths / Heights series.

Abstract Business Card Design

Above: Inifinite business card design featuring artwork created in an isometric, 3D style in Illustrator.

Gloss Laminate Business Card Design

Above: Flow business card design featuring artwork created for EvokeOne Digital Art Group.

hotel business card

Print finishes and techniques

The possibilities of print design are almost endless these days, with technology moving so fast, you can nearly produce whatever your imagination suggests. A lot of print techniques and finishes come down to what your budget may be for the project and also what sort of finish best represents your company. So, while it might be great to have a wooden business card for example, the costs are going to be monumental. Also, does it paint a  Furthermore, different cultures and countries have different specifications. I'll try and run through them all without too much jargon to make it as easy as possible to understand.

I'm going to use a business card as an example, but the guidelines are applicable to any type of print based output.

Here we go...!

Matte / Gloss Finish

The first and most common decision is whether or not the substrate should be a matte or gloss finish. Both types of finish have pros and cons associated to them, as they both alter the output in terms of colour, touch and business representation.

A gloss finish typically allows the colours of the print to lift off the page more. So, more vivid colours, darker blacks and whiter whites.

On the other hand, a matte finish will appear to absorb the colours and therefore give the product a duller, more subtle finish.

It can be argued either way as to which finish has the more 'professional' look associated to it. And, it's probably best discussed on a case by case situation.

Gloss Business Card ExampleMatte Business Card Example


A die cut is essentially a 'template' of the substrate (the material being printed on). So, for example, a business card is typically a rectangular shape, but if you wanted the business card to be cut out like a leaf or a heart, you would need a custom die cut. This can be useful to help customers remind you of your brand because of it's unique properties. A custom die cut can be used for more than just business cards, including banners, brochures, stickers and decals, labels and so on.


Rounded Corners

Typically used purely in business card design, rounded corners is a type of die cut, usually to add a touch of elegance (debatable!) to the card. They do give the card as a whole a softer look, though.

Rounded and squared off business card

Spot UV Varnishing / Spot Varnish

Spot varnishing is relatively popular when it comes to printing. It can come in different methods including matte, silk or gloss varnish. It can be used to protect the paper for a longer and also enhance the look and feel of the design as a whole.

Spot UV is a more advanced type of varnish where it protects the cards from ultra-violet rays.



The effect which raises or indents a particular part of the substrate is called embossing. This can be elegant, as it changes the nature of the card significantly from what is considered 'normal'. It does have one significant drawback, which if not typically desired, is that effects both sides of the substrate. Depending on the intention, this can mean that one side of the substrate isn't as usable as you'd like it to be. In turn, you've got wasted paper real estate space.


Different Business Card Sizes Around the World

A business card is a great first impression and while the purpose of a business card has evolved slightly, it's now a very common distribution tool. Many business owners and employees use it as a networking tool and gone are the days of simple, one sided cards being the normal approach to the design.

While many people can't get enough of digital and online information, the business card, along with other print material is still a very commonly printed asset in many countries. And, amazingly enough, standard business card sizes are different all around the world.

So, let's have a look at the standard sizing of business cards. While the differences are only minor, it may effect your job for many reasons. Initially, it's the most important step for business card creation.

Business Card Standard Sizes around the world

I've created a table of standard business card dimensions for different countries around the world, including dimensions (width x height) and bleed dimensions – important for keeping your business card information safely within the card boundaries.

Country Dimensions (Width x Height) Dimensions with Bleed
Australia and New Zealand 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Canada 88.9mm x 50.8mm
3.5in x 2in
95.25mm x 57.15mm
3.5in x 2in
China, Hong Kong and Singapore 90mm x 54mm 96mm x 60mm
Colombia 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Eastern Europe 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Egypt 87mm x 57mm 93mm x 63mm
Iceland 85mm x 55mm 91mm x 61mm
India, Taiwan, Vietname and Thailand 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Iran 85mm x 48mm 91mm x 54mm
Israel 90mm x 50mm 96mm x 56mm
Japan 91mm x 55mm 97mm x 61mm
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Mongolia and Malaysia 90mm x 54mm 96mm x 60mm
Russia 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Sri Lanka and South Korea 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Scandinavia and Greece 90mm x 55mm 96mm x 61mm
Turkey 85mm x 50mm 91mm x 56mm
United Kingdom 85mm x 55mm 91mm x 61mm
United States 88.9mm x 50.8mm
3.5in x 2in
95.25mm x 57.15mm
3.5in x 2in

Common bleed sizes are 1/8th inch for North America, while the rest of the world is a 3mm bleed.

That should give you a better insight as to what dimensions you would like your card to be. Sometimes the standard size isn't necessarily, so it's best to discuss your job before deciding on your sizing.

If you have any further questions about business cards, please feel free to contact me for more information.

Photoshop Splash Screen

Commonly used Graphic Design Applications

When it comes to programs used by a Graphic Designer, the application choices are quite restricted. Adobe is the king when it comes to applications for the designer. They have (almost) complete market share of all things digital.

Adobe the King of Print Based Design Applications

A print based designer will heavily use programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign for the majority of their work, typically outputting to programs like Adobe Acrobat and Distiller for PDF creation. So whether it be a poster, book, business card, letterhead and so on, these are the applications that would be used.

All of these programs cross over to a certain extent and serve a purpose throughout the design process. I know if I'm designing something for client, typically I'll use at two or three of the above programs. The reason being that some of the programs simply do a better job than others depending on the desired outcome.

Photoshop alternatives

Acorn (OSX)
Pixelmator (OSX)
GIMP (OSX, Windows, Linux)

Illustrator alternatives

Sketch (OSX)
Inkscape (OSX, Windows, Linux)
iDraw (OSX)

InDesign alternatives

Quark (OSX, Windows)
Scribus (OSX, Windows, Linux)
Lucidpress (browser-based

Web Based Graphic Design Applications

Let's switch to digital / web design for a moment. This is where Adobe doesn't have it their own way quite as much. Yes, a designer may create assets in Adobe based programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator (for website design, application design and so on) and Adobe Fireworks has it's own loyal following, but to create the website is usually done using a different app altogether. Dreamweaver (another program by Adobe) doesn't have the same strength in the coding world that other Adobe applications do in the Print world. The coder will usually have a program of choice, whether it be Coda (like I use) TextWrangler or Sublime Text for example. The choice is also restricted based on the operating system, typically Windows or OSX will dictate what applications can be used.

Hopefully that gives you a better insight as to what programs are used. This is taken from a very broad perspective, whether designers may also use specialty programs like Cinema 4D, 3D Studio Max, Quark XPress and so on, based on what they're required to do and their skillset.