Art 210 Typography

Class meets Monday & Wednesday, 9-noon


  • Type Tips book & Spark page (semester long project)
  • Hand lettering exercises (semester long)
  • Letterpress exercise
  1. Early letter forms
  2. Create letters and Words exploratory design exercises from book
  3. Movie Titles: expressive type; animated letters; two-part project
  4. Grids; Newsletter
  5. Hand lettering design (cards)
  6. Calligraphy; collage
  7. Design your own typeface

August Week 1

M 8/26 Introduction/history of type

Syllabus; Assignments overview; supplies; textbook

W 8/28 Early letterforms/history

hand lettering warm up (bring Sharpie marker, pencil, ruler)

Project 1: Early letterforms; InDesign demo

September Week 2

M Labor Day-no class

W 9/4 Early letterforms/history

hand lettering warm up (bring Sharpie marker, pencil, ruler)

  • work on early letter forms; print and trim early letterforms project for Monday crit
  • Read Introduction and Chapter 1 in Lessons in Typography-Krause

Friday: September First Friday

September Week 3

M 9/9  Project 1 early letter forms due;

  • Introduction of Type Tips book project; Spark journal
  • Demo on how to Set up Type Tips book in InDesign; 12 pages, facing pages; start placing content;
  • Suggested content:
    • character parts (serifs, counter, descender, etc.)
    • type measurements (points, x-height, etc.) and classifications (old style, modern, script, slab serif, sans serif)
    • type history/letterpress (Gutenburg, timeline, technology)
    • grids/columns
    • type personality
    • readability/legibility
    • calligraphy
    • hand lettering examples
    • type details (dashes, ellipses, quotes/primes)
    • proofreader’s marks
    • style sheets
    • tabs
    • sketches for your projects
    • use your lettered logo
    • notes from class , reading and projects

W 9/11   History of type; letterpress demo in Insalaco printmaking studio; set your name and print (split class-1/2 the class works in studio at 9 am/other half works on quiz then switch at 10 a.m.)

  • Add to Spark Journal
  • Open notes quiz. Turn in by end of class.
  • Read Chapter 2 for next class.

September Week 4

M 9/16 Project 2: Create and design letters

  • Spark journal check (just to see that it’s started)
  • Project 2: Do Chapter Two exercises on pages 66-67. Have them ready for next class to critique on screen.
  • Read Chapter 3 up to page 99 for next class.

W 9/18 Design letters/Words

  • Review Project 2 letter designs. Do monogram project on page 80. Due monday..

September Week 5

M 9/23      Working with Words

Turn in monogram project. Quick crit. Hang in hall, take down last project.

Lecture on type.

  • Do the two exercises on page 100 in Chapter 3 after reading pages 84-99.
  • Read rest of Chapter 3

Project 3: Movie Title Design

Project 3/Part I: movie titles (static)

Part I: Using a movie of your choice, create a title card (static) type only design. The type design will convey the essence of the movie through choice of font, styling, color and other design elements. Any imagery used, must be secondary and integrated into the type design as a symbol or icon. The typography is the star, not the image!  In your sketchbook, create at least 10 thumbnails of different ideas for review before proceeding to the design stage.


W 9/25      Class review of movie title roughs. Must be ok’d before working on final.

  • Read Chapter 4 in Krause book

September/October Week 6

M 9/30     Movie Title Design/Motion

Work on movie titles. One on one review of progress.

Demo of After Effects

Project 3/Part II: Create motion for your movie title using After Effects. You may add background support imagery for this part, but the type still must be central to the design. Your animation should be 10-20 seconds and include sound.

  • Create a storyboard to plan our your motion before you begin

Adobe After Effects Tutorials:

W 10/2     Work on movie title motion graphics (no instructor). Take home quiz 2 due Monday.

October Week 7

M 10/7 Motion graphics

  • Static movie title due
  • Quiz 2 due.
  • Demo on how to add sound (optional) and  export movie from After Effects

W 10/9  Motion Graphics

  • Project 3 motion graphic due at 10 a.m.   Exported. Critique movie title project.
  • Read Chapter 5 in Krause
  • Review and update  Type Tips book and  Spark Journal.

October Week 8

M 10/14       Fall break – no class

10/16     Project: Editorial layout/grids

  • Spark journal link due.
  • Project 4 Grids/Editorial (download text and images files here (don’t download grid or specs file):
    You’ll create two versions of a 2- page editorial spread using the provided text and images. You must use two different grid layouts with the same content. You can use two font families that work together. You can use black and one spot color. Final will be printed. Due 10/28.
  • Grids lecture and project; More InDesign.

October Week 9

M 10/21    Editorial layout/grids

  • Kerning, spaces, dashes and details lecture.
  • work on newsletter.

W 10/23 Editorial layout/grids

  • Print and PDF demo for turn in
  • Finish newsletter; print for next class
  • Add Grids layout to Type Tips and work on book. Add what you just learned to it. Topics: legibility, readability, type personality, kerning, grids, etc. Apply what you’ve learned: use call outs, drop caps, etc.

October Week 10

M 10/28     Editorial Layout/Hand lettering

  • Project 4  Due. Crit printed newsletter

Project 5: Hand lettering . You will hand letter the front of a greeting card for any holiday or event (birthday, Christmas, wedding, sympathy, Thank you, etc.) Flourishes, decorative elements and secondary simple image icons are allowed, but the design must be primarily hand lettered type. Consider using shapes to help layout your letter form design. Think about style (serif, sans serif, brush script, calligraphy, shaded, dimensional, etc.)

The design can be hand lettered then scanned in and printed onto cardstock. It’s a bit tricky printing on card stock on the laser printer, so we’ll try the large inkjet printer in class. If we use the roll paper, we’ll need to gang up designs on to one large page so we don’t waste the paper. The paper is 16″ wide.

We’ll then scan it into Illustrator and you’ll convert it to a vector design. It must be clean and not a million points around it. You may use Illustrator to layout the card in any size or orientation.

W 10/30   

  • Scoring and folding demonstration

Work on hand lettering card. Review ideas one on one. Review type tips book progress.

November Week 11

M 11/4 Hand lettering

  • Hand lettering progress check; design exercises quick show and tell.
  • Finish project for next class

W 11/6

  • Project 5: Handlettering due
  • Project 6: Short quote with calligraphy
    • Your own design and size. Final must be original, no copies.
  • calligraphy demo, practice and exercises

November Week 12

M 11/11      Practice calligraphy letters and words

  • practice: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

W 11/13      Project 6 Positive word calligraphy collage. Make a letter sized page of words that are  positive or make you happy. You can do the words separately, scan in and make the layout digitally. Or try it all by hand directly into your layout, scan in and fix errors in spacing, swap out bad letters for good ones, etc.  You can mix different type styles (Roman, italic, black letter, unical, etc.)

Practice the italic hand.

November Week 13

M 11/18   Finish calligraphy,

W 11/20    due by 10 a.m. printed out.

Design your own type face
Project 7: Design Your Own Typeface;

November Week 14

M 11/25

watch Netflix doc on type design
Typeface; one on one idea review

Typeface; n and o due

W 11/27 Thanksgiving break

December Week 15

M 12/2  Typeface, class progress crit

Typeface and Type Tips

  • Type specimen poster lecture

W 12/4  Typeface and poster; take home final quiz

  • Type tips book binding lecture;

December Week 16

M 12/9

  • Quiz due.
  • Crit for typeface and type specimens

W 12/11  Type tips book due

* This schedule may vary according the progress of the class and inclement weather.

** Not all lectures, demonstrations, quizzes, and audio/visual presentations have been noted on this outline.

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