This course furthers studies principles, methodologies, and practices from Graphic Design I with an emphasis on typography. The study of typography can truly take a lifetime. This course covers a strong depth of typographic territory to build strong foundational skills in typography using digital and pre-digital methods to ensure students experience letterforms at the level of seeing them first, before using them to communicate messages.

The course begins with the vocabulary and technical aspects of typography. Then builds on the ability of decisions making regarding type choice (and how to use it) to enhance meaning of design and concept, without damaging readability. Through a combination of presentations, discussions, in-class practice, and homework assignments (expect to spend at least three hours per week outside of class) this course introduces the principles and rules of typography needed as a graphic designer.

Students will learn type anatomy, classification, font identification (the letter), choice based on meaning (the word), choice and hierarchy to add meaning to the copy (the sentence), leading, tracking, alignment, color, justification, and rags (the paragraph), grid, hierarchy, concept, and commanding large areas of text (systems), and the expressive qualities of well-chosen, well-designed typography


COURSE GOALS: This course will prepare the student to:

  • Become familiar with a variety of typefaces and what differentiates one from another in terms of the anatomy type
  • Develop a vocabulary and knowledge base related to the principles of designing with type, and the use of type in design.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: As a result of taking this course the student will:

  • The acquisition of knowledge to demonstrate an understanding of typographic concepts. An understanding of the concepts and/or principles in the discipline and how they relate to important questions.
  • Selecting appropriate and credible information based on knowledge of topic and discipline. The application of knowledge by producing work that demonstrates an understanding of the concepts of typographic application through exercises and projects in and out of the classroom.
  • Through personal and professional values students will demonstrate the highest levels of personal integrity and professional ethics.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving competence and adaptability in their approach to problem solving. In so doing, students will demonstrate critical-thinking abilities and familiarity with quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
  • Students will demonstrate the written, oral, and multimedia communication skills necessary to communicate effectively in diverse settings through course presentations and discussions.
  • Evaluating a position and/or drawing conclusions on significant questions in the discipline
  • Through a sense of community students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive and responsible citizens and leaders in local, regional, national, and international communities. In so doing, students will demonstrate a commitment to free and open inquiry and mutual respect across multiple cultures and perspectives.


TEXTBOOK: Recommended; Type Rules! The Designers Guide to Professional Typography, Fourth Edition, by Ilene Strizver, ISBN-13: 978-1-118-45405-3

DIGITAL STORAGE: Recommended: 1 USB drive with a minimum of 16GB of space

JOURNAL/SKETCH BOOK: During the semester you will be required to have a sketchbook and to keep a journal of project process work, research, thumbnail sketching, ideation, writing reflections of observations of real world art and design, art, design concepts and/or topics covered in class. The journal is important. It’s intent is to teach thought, both written and visual, as well as discipline and to be critically aware within your field. You must be prepared to discuss your entries.

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