this blog has been moved!

February 9, 2011

from now on, please visit my main site: laramc.com

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course featured in ‘Time Out NY’

August 27, 2010

This fall I am teaching ‘Designer as Citizen’, a course which explores our role as responsible designers. The course was featured in an article as one  of ‘five courses for a new era‘. Thanks Time Out NY! Read PDF of the Article for the full story.


my work is on mtv.com

August 3, 2010

Hey, aren’t those the posters I did for NCADD in the background? on MTV?!?


Letters in to Type workshop

July 17, 2010

I just finished a week-long workshop with Sarah Soskolne from Hoefler & Frere-Jones about typeface design. it was AMAZING! Offered by SVA continuing education. I’ve highlighted important nuggets of info and included links to references that were mentioned.

Day 1
On the first day Sarah did a presentation on the history of type up to Futura. She referenced James Mosley and many more. After lunch we experimented with a selection of writing tools (markers, calligraphy pens, different sized nubs, something that looked like a hollow shoot of bamboo).

Day 2
The second day Sarah gave us a demo on using type tool. I had never used the program before and found the interface confusing (by the end of the week I felt comfortable with it). Sarah helped me choose a type specimen to work from- my original idea of creating a gothic alphabet from found wood type had been done before. She guided me in the direction of a face with a set of lowercase, since these are harder to create. In one of her type books I found a friendly roundish specimen called Canterbury that I decided to revive and customize.

Chester Jenkins came later in the day to talk about the work he’s doing at village, a boutique foundry in Brooklyn. I fell in love with Arbor, which he originally created for the NY Times magazine. Check out the counters in the lowercase e, o, a. I’m usually not a fan of the western-looking fonts, but this one has a retro 60’s feel to it. In the yellow shirt Tom is pictured, working away. I sat next to him and he helped me with a ton of little annoying questions i had throughout the week (thanks Tom!).

Day 3
We’re really getting into it. Here is a brief list of steps for making the font:

1. Scan in source material at a high resolution.
2. Bring image into Photoshop or Illustrator and begin tracing your letterforms with the pen tool. Start with the control characters, lowercase n,o,p or uppercase HOMD.
3. Bring your traced letter into Typetool. Paste it in the glyph box that corresponds with the letter.
4. Refine your letter, using the pen tool and bezier curves. and more bezier curves. they are your best friend. You can also copy and paste your original specimen from Photoshop into the background of your glyph window and use this as a guide.
5. Once you have control characters that you are pleased with, use them to create your other letterforms. the p can be the starting point for your b, q. From the o you can make your c. from your n you can make your m. Etc….
6. With your glyphs partially done, generate the font file, install, and test your font in various sizes with InDesign.
7. PRINT your font in all sizes. It looks much different on screen. use adhesion text to generate the letterforms you complete as you go along.
Tip: Remember to think of a typeface as a system. Focus on the whole rhythm and pattern, not just a single letterform.

Day 4
Work, work, work. Pictured is the proper way to set up your windows/toolbars. The more letters I did the better I got at the program and started to feel comfortable. I took the serifs off of my original type specimen and shortened the ascenders and descenders. I even began to tackle the uppercase.

Day 5
Last day of the workshop. Worked busily throughout the morning and Tobias Frere-Jones came by later to critique our fonts. You can see a glimpse of what some of them looked like. Pictured, Tobias talking to Juan about his font. I can’t wait to finish my typeface (more uppercase to go). It becomes addicting once you get a taste for it.


Akzidenz Grotesk meets Jay Z

July 7, 2010


I love Akzidenz Grotesk, I love Jay Z, what could be better than a combo of the two! I can’t stop watching the video for Hello Brooklyn. The ‘making of’ is a must see as well. The font choice makes sense, it was the precursor to Helvetica in the NYC subway system signage. What was used before that? Check out this informative article (a long read, but totally worth it).


spotted at the bus stop

July 3, 2010


smile spotted

May 12, 2010


I love random moments like this!
1st Ave at 4th St


i am on ed benguiat’s jock

April 26, 2010

I love typography and have always been a fan of Ed Benguiat. He has crafted over 600 typefaces including Tiffany, Bookman, Panache, Edwardian Script, and the self-titled typefaces Benguiat and Benguiat Gothic.  He’s a legend, a hall of famer. Today i had the opportunity to hang out with him. At the student portfolio review, professors were divided into groups, and guess who was in my group? Yes!

I didn’t want to approach him like a groupie so i simply told him how nice it is to to meet him. He made a joke (that i can’t remember, something about ex-wives). He told me stories. We compared notes on what a beautiful thing type is and how obsessive one can get with it. He told me on his ride over to the art director’s club that morning (in his limo), he was taking pictures with his phone of type on buildings. AMAZING. He still has the passion for the craft.

I feel so lucky to live in New York and have access to graphic design legends. What a warm, wonderful man.


my wedding invitation!

March 23, 2010

Yesterday all of the invitation emails were sent out. I created a simple typographic invitation using three fonts: Clarendon (because i love it’s old school slab-serif flavor), Knockout (a typeface used in the New York Times Magazine, created by a NYC type foundry), and Bodoni italic (an italian typeface, because the reception is at an italian restaurant). If I was to get it printed, it would be letterpressed on a creamy 110# cover stock (imagine that!).


type stories

March 17, 2010

I found one! An example of Peter Bilak’s History typeface in use (Intermix, Park Ave and 79th). Why was this even on my mind?

A couple of weeks  ago the students from my whats your type class at the school of visual arts were assigned a typeface to research. These included: History, Archer, Gotham, Mr. & Mrs. Eaves, and Nuetraface (which has it’s own music video that I can’t stop watching).

It seems that although History is smart and beautiful (check out Sarah’s hand-letter type specimen of the font), it is hard to use and few examples of it in action can be found. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more appearances!

Hard to find applications of Miriam Banjes’ Restraint as well, but it’s fun to play with, each letter fits together like pieces of a puzzle (as shown in Yuna and Sandra’s presentation).

All of the student presentations were excellent. I know with type the oldies are goodies (Caslon, Garamond, Futura, Helvetica…), but sometimes it’s nice to play with the new guys too.