Basic Typography

Students produce poster-sized information graphics to explain both the historical development and formal idiosyncrasies of an assigned typeface.

Understanding Typographic Structure And Form

Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.” ― Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Basic Typography | Course: Studio | Students: 20 | The Ohio State University
Design 258. Spring Quarters 2010, 2011, 2012

Typography is the art of arranging letters on a page, computer screen, in a physical space, or choreographing in space and time, as seen in television or movie credits. The purpose of typography—the clear, straightforward, and unambiguous communication of language—has both technical and aesthetic concerns. This course introduces students to the development of typography from the earliest Phoenician alphabets, to the developments of the printing press, through 20th-century modernism, and includes contemporary thoughts on typography and page design. Basic terminology, type classifications systems, and theories on logical document structure are introduced through readings, class discussions, and assignments. Students are expected to refine their conceptual and practical approach to typography through iterative exercises throughout the term.

Projects include the creation of printed posters, booklets, and interactive portfolios emphasizing the challenges inherent in designing for a variety of media at dramatically different sizes and resolutions. For these projects, students are encouraged to choose an appropriate typeface to effectively communicate their message. They are also assigned a typeface and then tasked with determining suitable methods for working with its idiosyncrasies to produce visually appealing, informative, and highly readable documents.

Recommended Texts:
Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Muller-Brockmann
A Type Primer by John Kane
Designing with Type, 5th Edition: The Essential Guide to Typography by James Craig, William Bevington, and Irene Korol Scala

Below: student work.