Typography is a greatly varied discipline, as are the kinds of work typographers are often asked to produce. The aim here is to solve a number of difficult problems using typographic methods culled from the first semester of training in Type I. These include a knowledge of the history of typography; a familiarity with typographic and alphabetic forms; and an awareness of how these forms should be used, either complicitly or resistantly. We will initiate a semester-long discussion about how the way we see words tells us how to read them and vice versa. We will cultivate our own ways of controlling and creating typographic information. We will look more actively at the typographic world around us, and we will learn from those observations and from our own hard work and critical feedback.
The ability to place your work in context with that of other designers and design history is essential. Over the semester I will suggest many books to compliment the projects we’re doing in class. It is not required that you buy all of them, but it is strongly suggested that you seek them out, either at a library or a bookstore. Some of the suggested readings will be essential for completing the assignments.
There will be no midterm exam.
There will be no final exam, but students will be required to present all the work completed during the semester for a final review. At that time any improvements on past assignments will be taken into account and grades will be changed accordingly.
Your grade depends on the completion of the assignments on the day that they are due, class participation, periodic reading assignments, and punctuality.
This course is dedicated to:
- creating an intense second semester of typographic study, application, and experimentation.
- explaining how considered typographic handling advances the meaning of a message, idea, or thing.
- investigating the meanings of symbols and other non-typographic forms.
- developing more fully the fundamentals established in the first semester.
- addressing individual student needs/abilities and learning how to improve upon them.
- aiding students in learning how to manipulate type and symbols into compositions at a professional and highly creative level.
The objectives of this course are:
- help students understand and trust the value of their own ideas and execute these ideas with clarity and confidence.
- examine ways in which subject matter from students’ own lives might be engaged by their design practice.
- create a series of projects that will provide a stepping-stone to more complicated, more nuanced work.
- foster an environment that encourages meaningful discussion, criticism, and fun.
- Union Square Logo Hunt
- Logo for a Classmate
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes Cover Series
- The Seven Bridges of Königsburg
This class focuses on critique and working method more than critical reading. Some readings will accompany the project assignments, but there is no master reading list. However, if you haven’t already got it in your library, Robert Bringhurst’s book will be indispensible for this class and for all of your future work as a typographer.
This class was first given in fall 2003 at Parsons School of Design in New York.