Introduction to Typography – ARTS 223

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/03/2021

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

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

Discussions (8)

You will submit a preliminary design for an assignment for each discussion entry. The discussion threads for projects must each be supported with a 150-word explanation, which must elucidate the goal and intent of the project. You will also reply to the discussion entries of at least 2 classmates.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Type Anatomy Assignment

Much like the human body, the parts that make up a letter have associated terminology. You will create a reference poster of typographic anatomical terms.

The type pairing assignment will allow you to apply your knowledge of typographic classifications to the art of pairing type.

In this course we are studying the history, form and function of typography, but this assignment will reinforce that letterforms can be used not only for the creation of words, but also as an artform. Typography can create something pictorial and interesting.

In this assignment you will explore and address basic word and letter relationships by using type to communicate an idea and/or emotion as well as identifying the typeface category and name.

This assignment will be utilizing two extremes, a billboard and business card to help you practice type size and legibility. This assignment will also help you push yourself to maintain consistency within your designs.

This assignment will help you practice using the pen tool in Illustrator to create type. Understanding the basics of pen tooling will not only be helpful for this course, but it will be a necessary skill to have moving forward as a graphic designer.

For this assignment you will creatively explore methods of building consistent letterforms using a grid. You will create a consistently drawn set of letters that demonstrates a cohesive design among all the letters as well as demonstrating how gridded type design could be used.

Expounding on the knowledge you have gained of typography during this course, you will be creating a magazine spread on the topic of your choice. Magazine articles are the place where you can prove your typographic skills. Apply what you have learned about tracking, leading, and proper margins.

In this final assignment, you will creatively explore methods of building consistent letterforms using a grid. You will create a consistently drawn set of letters that demonstrates a cohesive design among all the letters as well as demonstrating how gridded type design could be used.

Quizzes (8)

The student will complete 8 quizzes. All quizzes will cover the reading material from A Life in Letters or A Personal Introduction to the Craft of Typography. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and have a 30-minute time limit.