Syllabus for a Typography course (S351) taught at Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Indiana, USA for the fall semester from Jan - May 2016.
Download: S351 Typography syllabus.pdf
Project 1: Which 'type' is the nature of your business?
Part of the training in this course requires the students to become decision makers. They can freely choose three out of five types of professions listed below and create a typographically-driven business card that best represent these professions:
- Car salesperson
- Marine biologist
- Graphic designer/Web designer
Once you have made the selections, decide the size, orientation (horizontal vs vertical), and whether a one-sided or two-sided card would best fit the nature of the chosen businesses. The standard dimensions for a printed business card measures 2” x 3.5.” If your design includes a “bleed,” include an extra 1/8 inch of space for design elements or backgrounds that extend beyond the edges of their card.
Their cards must show business information about a company or an individual (factual or fictional). They may use their own name and apply it to all three cards but their card must typically include a name, an affiliation (title), the company’s name, and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number(s), email addresses, website and other relevant social media addresses such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Colors are powerful communication tools that can be used to cause psychological reactions and they are to be used judiciously in their business cards.
The deliverables are the documentation of every step of your design process and the mockup for three business cards in their final forms.
Develop a basic proficiency in identifying and classifying type;
Identifying the main features in a typeface and to use type categories and characteristics to select typefaces and structure text on a surface;
Create type-driven compositions that represent themes typographically;
Select and manipulate type to depict a concept or mood;
Develop an understanding of the applications of display typography and expressive applications of typography in a printed medium; and
Experiment with format, orientation, colors and other applicable visual elements to enhance the type-driven compositions.
Project 2: May we 'type' your order?
Professionally well-designed menus are hard to come by. With many take-out menus notoriously known for grammatical and typographic mistakes, the student's task is to create a professional menu based on the beauty of the written words in which the names of the dishes are mesmerizingly described with words. The design of their menu is mainly a typographically-driven design and images are to be kept minimally or almost non-existent. As it is pointless to redesign a well-designed menu, search for a local restaurant (in New Albany or Louisville, KY) with take-out menus that you can redesign. They may choose from the following types of cuisines:
- Other Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, etc.)
- European/Western (pizza, sandwiches,
- Latin American
As it is mostly a type-driven design, experiment with different typestyles, character weight, character width, and the various type family which can all combine to add richness to their menu. The size of their menu can be as large as 11” x 17” with minimum one or more folds to add visual interest as well as creating different sections for the cuisine of your choice.
They may also propose a different size but bear in mind that any design decision must be guided by a rationale which justifies your choice for the chosen size. Environmentally responsible papers cost more but if the choice for paper is aligned with an organic or vegetarian restaurant’s mission to promote awareness for social responsibilities, then they may be better off with a texturized paper which could add a level of richness or “flavor” to the menu. Likewise, the choice of colors must also be thought out. They are encouraged to pursue unconventional solutions if the solution befits the type of cuisine the restaurant serves or the direction which the restaurant intends to exude.
Part of the requirement of this project is a collaboration with the printmaking department in which we will create a stenciled design on a T-shirt which spells out the name of the restaurant of their choice. A date will be announced for you to bring any relevant materials.
As required for their 1st project, your final deliverable for this project includes the documentation of their design process from sketch to refinement to the final design plus a mock-up of the menu.
To immerse in the ubiquity of typography in which the nuances of type are overlooked by comparing what has been professionally produced to distinguish what makes a good or bad typography;
To learn the tools available to produce good typography on paper;
To explore typography on a multiple surface that involve folds;
To apply knowledge from the course to produce a design that affords a comparison between the before and after a redesign;
To experiment with non-traditional ways of creating typography through experimentation.
Project 1: How to fill your sales with "type"?
In our final project, we will experiment with a few aspects. As implied by the question which provides the impetus for the project, “how to fill your sales with type?,” the project is about creating a catalog but there is a twist: male students from this class will design a catalog for their female counterparts and vice versa. This is yet another opportunity for them to totally pick and choose everything: from the type of company to the type of products to feature in your catalog as well as the necessary components such as the choice of typefaces, images, color, paper and so forth. The students are encouraged to modify letter forms, combine diverse typefaces, alter baselines /kerning, and to use handwriting and photography to achieve a desired effect.
As this is a simulation for a fictitious company featuring real products, they are to create as little as 6 pages which include the front, back, inside front, inside back and 2 inside pages. The catalog may also be based on an existing brick and mortar company or an online company without any current printed catalog. If they choose an online company, they are presented with a new twist: how to recreate an online presence onto a printed medium that requires a different approach.
Their final deliverable is a mock-up of the catalog. Don’t forget to include their documentation of the entire design process laid out in a binder from sketch to refinement to the final design plus a mock-up of the menu.
To grasp some basic knowledge in understanding how to design for a specific audience they may not fully understand;
To apply typography punctuated by applicable and relevant images or graphics onto a multiple panel format and layout;
To mix aspects of disparate elements in various combinations to achieve a balanced composition;
To become more practiced in constructing typographic compositions that are distinctive and complex by combining different typefaces (or family of a typeface) to express specific characteristics; and
To design with a gird structure to further communicate an idea.
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