Type Specimen Poster Research


We have been set a project to design an A3 type specimen poster in the adobe program InDesign. A type specimen is a typographic poster that displays a type face in its complete form. The type face I’ve been chosen to do is Rockwell and in this type specimen poster i have to present it in its truest form by including, letter forms, ligatures, numbers, glyph and punctuation marks.

There are many requirements for this type face set in the brief like it has to be A3 either landscape or portrait, it has to contain three paragraphs of text. The first paragraph must provide the readers with historical insight into Rockwell, the second paragraph must include information about the type face like classification, why it was designed and so on. The third paragraph needs to discuss the context of the type face, so where it is used and how.

This type specimen will challenge us and bring everything we’ve learn over the last few weeks on to one A3 page. i will need to make sure that leading , kerning, tracking etc are all perfect and make sure the poster will be innovative and in an exciting manner.


Before going ahead with this project, i needed to research into Rockwell to find some information i can use to fill the three paragraphs required in the type specimen poster.

Paragraph 1 research


~ Frank Hinman Pierpoint

~ Monotype drawing office

An updated drawing of 1910’s Litho Antique produced by the Inland type foundry in 1910.Rockwell was released in 1934 for the Monotype Foundry. It sits slightly more condensed (more slender in individual letter width) and taller in the lowercase letters (called x-height) than its predecessor but it did inherit Litho Antique’s even stroke weight and perfectly squared serifs.

Its great success appears to have been partly due to a right place at the right time situation as the Godfather of geometric typefaces, Paul Renner’s Futura, was released just a few years prior in 1927 and shortly after took its place as one of the most widely used geometric sans-serif typefaces. From here Rockwell took an alternate path than its Slab Serif grandfather Clarendon. Rockwell became a mainstay in the next few decades with its wide use in the era of Modernism and was often associated with the architecture and design of the Modernist movement.


Image result for rockwell typeParagraph 2 research 

Rockwell is a Geometric Slab Serif typeface.  It is constructed almost entirely of straight lines, circles and sharp angles. It’s tall x-height and even stroke width helps to provide its strong presence with a somewhat blocky feel. It is in part due to this blocky nature Rockwell tends to me most effective when used as a headline font rather than used in body copy. While many contemporary versions have addressed this shortcoming, the original Rockwell still does not read well when used as a body font.


Rockwell Characteristics


Paragrap 3 research

RockwImage result for malibu logoell lives in many lives and can thrive in many climates. Malibu Rum uses it and it feels beachy and relaxed. Marshall amplifiers use it to transport you to rocking-out at a concert. Rockwell is usually the coolest person at the party. It is strong and laid back, gets along with everyone and thrives in almost every situation it is placed in.

Today, Rockwell and its contemporaries continue to see wide use but in-spite of their age, do not yet to evoke the deeper feelings of nostalgia often associated with the Clarendon style Slab Serifs. We see them widely used in surf and skate culture, home decor and cooking but most prominently in our contemporary web culture.

Image result for converse logos

Converse use the Rockwell type face because it bring an old school style on the logo.




Looking at other Type specimens



This A3 poster stands out because of the colours used, the light blue with the brightness of yellow captures the eyes. The black text is very useful creating some interest to read the poster. The poster includes plenty of info with spaces to spare. On the left we see a flush right style and on the right side of the poster we get a flush left paragraphs, which suits the poster well to split the information up into separate headings. My favourite thing about the poster is how the designer has used the black R on top of the page to give a back ground on the blue of the Rockwell and its designer. it gives a very modern style to the poster.





What catches the eye Image result for rockwell type specimen postersin this poster is the green colour shade around the headings, it stands out a lot on the dull white and black page.  There’s a lot more information in this poster than the other poster and also unlike the other poster the designer has focused on the layout and how he represents the typeface and its information, also he’s made sure he created the  poster in an innovative manner. My favourite bit of the poster is how the designer has lay the page out with the big headings splitting the information. Also i do like the big bold lettering with the bright green shadow which complements the layout.





Big bold but very simple poster. Unlike the other two poster this one hasn’t got many a lot of information but its very attractive to the eye with the big bold type and it does include some key information like who designed it, what classification and the alphabet in the Rockwell typeface. its not my favourite but i do like the big R and how it flows into the lowercase “Rockwell”.



Very exciting and thought out well by the designer with the Rockwell alphabet in the iconic Rockwell “r”.  It has everything from information in between the spacing of the “R” and the interesting eye catching boldness of the headings. I really like this poster because it some how suits the typeface like the “since 1930” really stands out bring the best of the Rockwell typeface which is known to be a type face for headings.



First reaction to this poster is retro because how its placed out on the page. The two R’s together facing opposite ways really show the innovative thinking of the designer trying to play with the letters and again the iconic R is the star of the page. The information is set out in order perfectly it brings out the poster to the audience. The use of space is very good like how the designer has centred the info and used half’s of the letters on the corners of the page.  It shows that the type can be a retro and from looking at the Rockwell typeface i this poster i can see how its been attracted to the skate and surf culture.

With all this research and looking at 5 type specimen posters I have many ideas in mind, however I will need to sketch and develop my ideas in order to produce an original , innovative poster which is different from others out there



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