X Marks the Spot

[x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text]“Where is your group?”

Considering our project’s cartographical component, it’s a particularly apt question to wonder where the Typography Team™ stands today. In this week’s post, we want to showcase some of our progress and our process so far this semester. We hope that a peep into our work will give anybody interested an idea of not just what we’re currently up to, but also where we’re headed.

To make our map, we’ve forgone compasses in favor of CartoDB, a one-stop shop for analyzing and visualizing the data we’ve collected already. The software is entirely saved in the cloud and (most importantly) free, and although there’s a bit of a learning curve to using the more advanced tools, there are enough tutorials and FAQs to get your desired map up and running with relative ease.

For a test run of the online software, we wanted to keep our dataset as simple and readymade as possible, so we decided to map the typefaces developed for the original Macintosh since those were named for “world class” cities. After deciding what information is necessary—type classification, designer, etc—we entered in the relevant place names and let CartoDB do the rest.

Here’s a peek behind the scenes:[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text][/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text]Once the relevant data was columned and rowed appropriately, the next step was to actually let the software work its mapping magic. With the absolute minimum of input, CartoDB can sync up a place name with the corresponding longitude and latitude; moreover, the site allows you to add unique icons and images where appropriate. The final result looks something like this—and make sure to click on individual Apple logos for more detail:[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text][/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text]Meanwhile, our attempts to create a font have turned out to be a bigger project than we expected, which goes to show that graphing the small details of a single letterform can sometimes be a bigger task than (carto)graphing a whole alphabet. The main difficulty has been deciding what design elements to use when trying to capture The University of Texas at Austin ethos, but ultimately we decided to take the bull by the horns and honor our university mascot, Bevo—whose fourteenth iteration recently passed away. This has lead us to add horns to the letter “T” as well as a hoof-like serif on the font, and we are now in the process of trying to perfect the graphic design and replicate the serifs correctly across the whole typeface.[/x_text][/x_column][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/3″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.dwrl.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Texas-Logo-03.jpg” alt=”The Bevo X showing off those sassy hoofs.” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”bottom” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 0 0px 0 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”true” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_text]We obviously still have quite a long a way to go in all parts of this year’s project. But fortunately we know in which direction we’re headed and we’ve made ourselves a map to follow. After all, in the end X marks the spot.[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Font Resize