Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Here are some modern fonts clearly influenced by hand writing.

Given how similar I and J are in some fonts and calligraphy styles I hope my choices are show how emphasizing the top bar made it easier to distinguish the two letters?

Do also check my prior post on J letter forms please?

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

I to J sampler

Here's a sampler crafted suing #inkscape showing I and J forms and the relationship between them.

I hope the forms and fonts I have selected show how a simple lengthened pen stroke for emphasis may be started the idea of a separate J letter? I've tried to contrast fonts clearly inspired by handwriting with nib pens to related more modern print fonts.

There will be another post on the related topic of how I think the top cross bar forms of upper case J in many modern fonts developed.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Here are links to THREE of my NEWEST DESIGNS and they are available on things that are NOT #stickers Too ... like #phonecases or #studiopouches or #tees and stuff


A closeup look at the eyes of an alien intelligence

A Mighty Tree even more awesome on posters !

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


#inspiration #logo #typography #inkscape

Three designs and my comments on the progress and design.

1) Still not happy with flames filter ... on a larger scale you can see the outlines of the letters showing thru the layers with the gradient and the flame filter thinking of a redo with just gradient over torn edges maybe for a flame effect? Does it express the idea that Inspiration be be like fire?

2) Light but Elegant Good for a Book Cover?
     A simple edit of fill and stroke colors and stroke size
But too formal for some contexts?
Maybe also good for pamphlets or workshop posters?

3) A bit retro hippie? Does reflect concept of Inspiration as something fluid and not quite fixed while still having crisp clean edges ?

4) For my fourth idea you'll have to go to https://www.patreon.com/JVartndesign
where its set  as an early access $1 reward. You can also get a freebie if you visit there!

Saturday, 13 May 2017



the IPA uses these and other symbols for "R"sounds

r alveolar trill Scots Welsh 

R uvular trill Swedish and Norwegian

ɾ tap or flap alveolar Portugese Spanish Italian 

Do you know which ones represent the R sounds in your language or dialect? Its actually more likely to be the tap / flap alveolar which seems to be the most common sound.

Modern English has a R sound with a symbol like an upside-down r called the Alveolar Approximantɹ  

There's also a symbol for a sound used in German French and Portugese.    ʁ

Do designers need to know linguistics?

Well yes a little for what if you were working for a community that uses one of these and wants a multi-lingual text say for a poster?

Or you are a graphic designer / typographer asked to help edit a linguistic text book? 

Something to think about?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Two New Typographic Works

#typographicart #australia #ostraya #visualpun #inkscape

Hey people here's two new typographic works in contrasting styles!

Copyright Julie Vaux  "Youse say Ostraya" 2017
First a piece with texture filters playing on the depiction of Aussies having "rough" accents and our tendency to avoid palatalized final sounds in everyday conversations.

Copyright Julie Vaux "Winged O" 2017 
Second a piece demonstrating how Inkscape can be used to turn letters into objects and (semi)abstract shapes.

Both these designs are now available on Red Bubble on tees and stickers and other great stuff!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Aussie R and YA : A Personal View

You may or may not have seen #IPA #symbol charts before.
After I post the charts I'm going to discuss what those symbols mean to an actual speaker.

What you thought I was French Canadian or British?
Some people just don't read profiles!?

You'ld think given our multi-ethnic and multilingual population we might have more deviance form British or American English perhaps towards Irish or Scots English or sounds from Italian or Greek or Cantonese or Serb-Croat but no.

The melting pot effect has given us the sounds about and an accent allegedly NON RHOTIC.

We have an initial R  but R at the end of the words and syllables in works like park or lurker tends to merge with other sounds.

To native speakers who have NOT studied linguistics it sounds like a final R to us but an R sound that changes vowels to a full rounded longer sound. Frankly to me it sounds like a lot of other dialects of English are far more NON RHOTIC especially the dialects used in some of the Southern states of the USA! I have wondered why despite having many people, adults and children, who are bilingual in a variety of languages that have far more palatals than English, like Italian, or Vietnamese, that we have SO FEW!

The most notorious example of this is AUSTRALIA which tends to be pronounced formally as OSTRALEEA or informally in the broadest Aussie accent as OSTRAYA.

Its the whole rounding thing again with R at the start of a syllable also effecting sounds that follow.

If you're trying to describe Australian English without using IPA symbols I would suggest you type "arh"to emulate that rounded lengthened sound and not "AH".  

I tend to shift from formal or informal rhoticisms depending on context and who I'm speaking to  or what I'm reading aloud, and I sometimes apparently stress my "R" to the point of sounding less Australian for various reasons with one of them probably being a grandmother who had a Glasgow Scots English accent and speech therapists teaching a standard closer to British than Australian English.

We do have an R but it tends to fuse with other consonants and vowels! 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

"Gender free" THEY General or Singular?

#THEY and what good grammar and good design have in common


Last week I blundered into a discussion of the usage of THEY as a singular pronoun and argued unsuccessfully AGAINST it and had people claim I must be a "white patriarchal ...." etc etc etc

Yes I know English lacks UNgendered pronouns but most of the usages cited of THEY by others who claims it is and can be SINGULAR actually are not.

My issue with using UNgendered pronouns is one of SEMANTICS and AMBIGUITY  also the use and abuse of concepts like "binary constructs".

The problem overlooked is that biological or social gender is NOT the only binary distinction or contrast of many pronouns. A lot of cited examples of "singular" usage or "notional plurals" that I saw during my research could also be described as usage of they their and them as GENERAL forms.

The GENERAL versus SPECIFIC contrast is equally important in English.

Lets look at this sentence.

Alex brought THEIR laptop to work.

A certain type of theorist states that this colloquial usage is not just okay but wonderful because its gender free!

I don't care what biological or social or sexual gender Alex identifies with however ...


Using THEIR instead of his her or this or that ONLY tells us Alex brought a laptop to work not who owns it or for what purpose. Alex could have been repairing or fixing some one else's laptop and brought it to work to return it to the owner.

THEY is a PRONOUN used to describe NUMBER often in a GENERAL context.

Anyone can claim they have no gender or they were alone but one is not many?


is paradoxical which is fine and useful in some contexts but if you want to be more precise you could use this or that or not?

So what has this to do with DESIGN?

I've noticed the following parallels.

White Space / Punctuation
Rule of 3 / minimizing use of non primary clauses
Minimal adjective / adverbs / Minimal use of ornament

Complex structure in paragraphs requires grammar to convey meaning

Complex detail on an object requires organised pattern

Now I'm pushing the parallels further into speculation

Prounoun agreement is like Color Harmony?

Using the right word is like using the right medium or tool?

Saying THEY THEM THEIR is singular or a valid replacement for SINGULAR forms is a matter of context. Your friends and personal acquaintances may know its your personal style and preference but other people are going to be thinking WTF are they being so vague ?

Your choice: Ideology or Information?

Design parallel: Insisting THEY is singular cos you say so and its deconstructist, post-strucuturalism, or  genderfree, is like telling a customer despite them asking for an original print or drawing that they will be sent a digital copy of a file or vice versa.

THEY may be evolving towards becoming a GENERAL pronoun but please don't confuse GENERAL with Singular?