GDES210: Introduction to Typography

Spring 2019 / American University Department of Graphic Design

Instructor: Tyler Berg tberg@american.edu

During this course, we will cover an introduction to the basics of typography – including both theory and technical application. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, students will explore type practices in multiple contextual forms: analog, kinetic, and digital. We will analyze the history of various type and design movements to inform practical design thinking.

  • Students will discuss theory and analysis of letter forms as both design and symbol.
  • Analyze type faces, arrangement, and setting.
  • Explore of the use of typographic resources to create hierarchy, enhance communication and support meaning.
  • Understand how fundamental typographic principles translate to digital design.

All dates and future assignments are subject to change. Check back regularly for up-to-date information.

Day 01: 01/14/19, No Class (University Closed/Inclement Weather)
Due at Next Class
  • Lupton Reading (pg. 12-35)
  • Sign up for our class Slack channel (and upload profile image)
  • Fill out class intro survey on Typeform

Day 02: 01/16/19

  • Introduction to course and instructor
  • Review of syllabus and course schedule
  • Review of Exercise 1
  • InDesign Demo
Due at Next Class
  • Acquire class supplies (list on syllabus) and textbook
  • Lupton Reading (pg. 36-47)
Day 03: 01/21/19, No Class (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Day 04: 01/23/19

  • Type Anatomy Lecture
  • Work time in class on Exercise 1
Due at Next Class
  • Exercise 1 Due, Submitted to Blackboard
  • Review for Quiz

Day 05: 01/28/19

  • Quiz on Lupton Readings and Type Anatomy Lecture
  • Introduction to Project 1, begin sketching
  • Go over type crimes
Due at Next Class
  • Bring in 3 examples of type crimes. Post in Slack Channel.
  • Choose word selection for Project 1. Complete first 25 sketches for review in class
  • Lupton Reading (pg. 48-59)

Day 06: 01/30/19

  • Review type crimes submitted in Slack
  • Typeface Identification Review + Discussion
  • One-on-one reviews of existing sketches for Project 1.
  • Work in class session for additional project sketches.
Due at Next Class
  • All 50 thumbnail sketches for project 1. Scanned/copied and uploaded to Blackboard.
  • Review handouts/readings on critique.
  • Read Road to Clarity. Respond to discussion forum in Slack.

Day 07: 02/04/19

  • Group critique of Project 1 sketches.
  • Illustrator demo, work on digital compositions in class
  • Review of what next quiz will cover
Due at Next Class
  • Select top 10 choices from sketched options. Refine these 10 sketches into digital composition form.
  • Review for quiz.

Day 08: 02/06/19

  • Quiz on type identification and Lupton readings.
  • Group critique of Project 1 digital compositions.
  • Work in class on Project 1. Go over submission and mounting requirements.
Due at Next Class
  • Project 1 final delivery. Digitallly submitted to Blackboard and physically mounted/brought into class.
  • Lupton Reading (pg 60-77)

Day 9: 02/11/19

  • Collect physical copies of Project 1
  • Introduction and overview of Exercise 2
  • Demo and work time in class with instructor supervision
Due at Next Class
  • First draft of Exercise 2 ready for in-class critique
  • Read Vignelli Canon and answer discussion questions in Slack

Day 10: 02/13/19

  • In-class critique of Exercise 2 concepts
  • Work on Exercise 2 with remaining class time
Due at Next Class
  • Continue working on Exercise 2
  • Read Lupton, pgs 80-105

Day 11: 02/18/19

  • Second and final critique of Exercise 2 concepts
  • Work on finishing up Exercise 2 with remaining class time
Due at Next Class
  • Exercise 2, uploaded to Blackboard
Day 12: 02/20/19, Class Cancelled (Inclement Weather)
Due at Next Class
  • Lupton Reading (pg. 108-131)
  • Review Project 2 instructions

Day 13: 02/25/19

  • Introduction to typography on the web
  • Web hierarchy lecture and demo
  • Overview of Project 2 + Sketch Demo
  • Work in class with instructor supervision
Due at Next Class
  • Work on a first draft to review individually during class on 2/27
  • Review for quiz

Day 14: 02/27/19

  • In class quiz on Type Anatomy, Part II
  • Work time in class on Project 2 with instructor supervision
Due at Next Class
  • Put together first draft of Project 2 for in-class critique.

Day 15: 03/04/19

  • In class critique of Project 2
  • Work time in class on Project 2 with instructor supervision
Due at Next Class
  • Work on polishing your final draft of Project 2.

Day 15: 03/06/19

  • Midterm Course Evaluation
  • Last chance for one on one review of Project 2 with instructor supervision
  • Work time in class on Project 2
  • Discuss Project 2 Submission Timing
Due at Next Class
  • Project 2 Submission, Uploaded to Blackboard
3/11-3/15 – No Class, Spring Break

Day 16: 03/18/19

  • Project 2 must be submitted to Blackboard no later than 5:30pm today
  • Discuss plan for rest of the semester
  • Introduction to Exercise 3 and publication design
  • Demo on how to use InDesign for publication layout
  • Work time in class on Exercise 3
Due at Next Class
  • Initial draft of Exercise 3, ready for one on one instructor review
  • Review grid handouts in assignments page
  • Find sources of inspiration for your assignment. Consider creating a pinterest board
  • Read pages 132-159 in Lupton

Day 17: 03/20/19

  • One on one instructor review of Exercise 3
  • Work time in class
Due at Next Class
  • Have a draft of Exercise 3 ready for small group critiques
  • Read Lupton, pages 160-173

Day 17: 03/25/19

  • Small breakout critiques of Exercise 3
  • Work time in class
Due at Next Class
  • Exercise 3, cut and printed out, and uploaded to Blackboard
  • Review for quiz
  • Read Lupton, pages 174-201

Day 18: 03/27/19

  • Final Quiz in Class on Type Terminology (Lupton 164-171)
  • Introduction to Final Project. Review student work
  • InDesign Demo on publication setup, character styles, and paragraph styles
  • Begin researching potential topics for project
  • Discuss agenda for next week + give background on guest lecture panel
Due at Next Class
  • Decide on topic for final project. Give a brief overview and post in projects channel in Slack.
  • Begin researching and creating content outline for final project
  • Come prepared with first design draft of first two spreads of publication
  • Come prepared with questions for Ross Nover, founding partner at Friendly Design Co.

Day 19: 04/01/19

  • Guest Lecture by Ross Nover (AU Design alum, former AU Design prof, and founding partner at Friendly Design Co.)
  • Work time and one on one instruction/review in class
Due at Next Class
  • First two spreads, designed and ready for one on one review
  • Come prepared with questions for Andrew Morgan, creative director at Brunch Digital

Day 20: 04/03/19

  • Guest Lecture by Andrew Morgan (Creative Director at Brunch Digital, former design instructor at Maryland Institute College of Art)
  • Work time and one on one instruction/review in class
Due at Next Class
  • First four spreads designed and uploaded to Blackboard for instructor review

Day 21: 04/08/19

  • Review plan for rest of project and rest of semester
  • One on one instructor review of final project progress thus far. Review topic outline and design progress.
  • Conduct any demos as needed
  • Work time in class
Due at Next Class
  • First five spreads designed ready for small group review

Day 22: 04/10/19

  • Small group review of five designed spreads
  • Conduct any demos as needed
  • One on one instructor review of final project progress thus far. Review design progress.
  • Work time in class
Due at Next Class
  • Minimum of two concepts of designed front and back cover, ready for in-class review

Day 23: 04/15/19

  • Course and Instructor Evaluation Surveys
  • Small group review of designed covers (front and back)
  • Demo on how to print booklets and bind correctly
  • Work time in class, instructor available for questions
Due at Next Class
  • Keep making progress on polished design spreads
  • Keep making progress on writing final paper

Day 24: 04/17/19

  • Small group review of designed spreads and cover design
  • Work time in class, instructor available for questions
Due at Next Class
  • Full publication design comp draft due. Keep making progress on revisions.

Day 25: 04/22/19

  • Group review of printed booklets
  • Work time in class, instructor available as needed for questions
Due at Next Class
  • Final Project DUE in person and uploaded to Blackboard by 5:30PM on April 29. Make sure you create two copies: one to turn in and one for your portfolio.

Day 26: 04/24/19

  • Group review of printed booklets
  • Work time in class, instructor available as needed for questions
Due at Next Class
  • Final Project DUE in person and uploaded to Blackboard by 5:30PM on April 29. Make sure you create two copies: one to turn in and one for your portfolio.

Day 27: 04/29/19

  • Final project due! Printed and bound booklet should be turned in in-person in Katzen 203. Final paper and final project design should both be uploaded as .PDF files to Blackboard.
  • This is the last possible date to turn in revisions of any exercise or project. All course assignments must be turned in by 5:30PM on April 29 or they will not be accepted.