Introduction to Typography – ARTS 223

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The course includes the study of type as a tool and a design element. Topics for discussion and exploration will include type identification, text and display usage, and actual letterform design. (Formerly Typography)


ARTS 222


The proper use of typography is an essential skill required for any designer. Beginning with an introduction to the history of letterforms and the function of typography, this course will examine the construction and application of typographic text and headline display. The student will examine the uses of type as a communications tool across a variety of print and digital media.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the proper use of type as a design tool.
  2. Create letterforms as part of a consistent alphabet.
  3. Apply typographic rules and measurements to composition.
  4. Recognize different type styles and categories and be able to apply them to the proper design situation.
  5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of typographic letterforms as they relate to the history of graphic communication.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Blogs (8)

The student will submit a preliminary design for an assignment for each blog entry. The blog entries for projects must each be supported with a 50–75-word explanation, which must elucidate the goal and intent of the project. Blog entries for exercises are often self-explanatory and may only need a few words, if any. The student will also reply to the blog entries of at least 2 classmates. In each of these replies, the student must specifically address the effectiveness of elements used in his or her classmate’s draft and whether he or she supports the goals of the draft as presented. Replies must include constructive comments for any changes. Each reply must be 50–75 words.

Exercise Sets (4)

The student will work on limited typographic projects that allow the student to expand upon type design principles. Each set builds upon the previous ones, allowing for more complex solutions to visual challenges.

Original Typeface Design

The culmination of this course will be to create an original typeface design based on the different periods and eras studied during this term.


The student will submit a draft of a font which will be evaluated for consistency, legibility, and craftsmanship.

Final Version

The student will submit a corrected final presentation of the font as well as a poster using the new font and demonstrating an example of its proper application.

Projects (2)

The student will create portfolio-quality layout assignments that are meant to display the student’s developing design skills through practical application.

ID Quizzes (5)

The student will complete open-book/open-notes quizzes requiring the correct identification of 5 or more typefaces as presented in the modules/weeks. The student will be responsible for the new typefaces from each module/week as well as the typefaces from preceding modules/weeks. Later in the term, quizzes will test the student’s understanding of traditional typographic measurement systems.

Midterm and Final Exams (2)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice (Midterm) or 20 (Final) multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 30 minutes.