001: M/W 8–1150am
002: T/Th 2–550pm
Office No. B17
OH: M/W 2–4pm
For January 23/24
The M/W class won’t be meeting Monday, January 21 to observe MLK Day, but you are more than welcome to come to the T/Th class at 2pm on the 22nd for any feedback or to work on your type specimen book.
The final book in physical form will be due on the 23rd (001) and 24th (002). I will also pick up mockup files of the final book. Remember that the mockup is not the same proportion as our books so it will take a little finagling, but it will make for a nice presentation of the books. We can also get photos of the final books using the infinity table in the classroom.
We will do a full class critique of the final books and then go over our final project. I will also be meeting with each one of y’all to discuss grades after I finish grading the books.
Here are a couple of images of the mockup file. I will demo in the next class how to use it so you can work on mocking up your book. Here is the mockup file. Another reason we are mocking these up are to upload on your Behance page. We’ll talk about that next class.
For January 14/15
After reviewing your initial ideas, I’m excited to see these start to take shape. Remember that layout is about balancing consistency and variety. Striking that balance is going to be a challenge in most projects but this one allows for some play because of the nature of a type specimen book.
Find a few elements that will remain consistent. Consistent treatment, placement, size, color, etc. For my book, it is the side notes and page numbers that will give the book consistency from one page to the next. For you, it might be colors, headers, or similar layout from spread to spread.
For the next class, we will continue to work on the design of the books. We will also discuss the reading Every Book Starts with an Idea. The assembling demonstration will be moved to the following class.
For January 9/10
Welcome back. I hope everyone had a wonderful break. As mentioned earlier, because of how this quarter is structured, we had 2 shorter projects before the break and now we will begin on our longer, more involved projects.
The first one is a Type Specimen Book. This is a great evolution of the Type Specimen poster y’all did in Type 01. Our focus with this project is to learn the full range of a particular typeface. We will also be tasked with developing a rhythm from spread to spread.
With this project, planning is essential. Make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself as that can lead to unforeseen issues later down the road.
1. Start with research. Look up everything you can about your particular typeface. Who designed it? When? Why? What kind of typeface? Characteristics. Classification. Who has used it? How is it used? Gather all of these things in a folder so you can keep everything organized.
2. Brainstorm. I think writing lists, mind maps, and word associations will help you develop ideas. This could be a theme for the book. This will help direct your content. Without this, you will certainly flail around when you start working on the design of the book.
3. Sketch. Sketch. Sketch. I can’t overemphasize this part. This will always help you when it comes to designing things. Always! This allows you to move quickly. Not get bogged down to one idea. Try things out. This part is unique because it also fosters a state of thinking through multiple ideas. Do not pass up this stage of the project. Refer to pages 94–95 of Grid systems in graphic design for a good explanation of what goes into sketching out type. Also, refer to the example below. These are some quick sketches and notes I made for Aktiv Grotesk. I am thinking through form/layout and the content. Make notes on your sketches so you can refer to later.
More steps to come in the following classes… For now, focus on these steps and don’t forget to read Every Book Starts with an Idea.
For January 7/8
Less but better. — Dieter Rams
Most people did well on Parts 01 and 02. A nice balance between type size, line length, leading, and positive and negative space. Part 03 seemed to through a lot of people for a loop. I think something that would alleviate that is to have work to show for each class. In that way, I and your peers can give feedback. You can’t give feedback when there is no work to show.
I am going to give some feedback on these before the break. I would like most of y’all to revisit Part 03 over the break. Updated files can be uploaded after the break for potential bonus. That will help bring up the lower grades. If you are satisfied with your work and/or grade, then you don’t have to work on them.
For the break, I would like everyone to read through Grid systems in graphic design, Structural Typography, and The Value of Multi-Typeface Design. It’s a good bit of reading so start early and spread it out. These are some really great reads so I implore you to read them. Before heading home, go to the Computer Labs and print them off. This will make it easier to highlight and write down notes.
Thank you to anyone who brought food or stuff for our “party”. Have a great break!
For December 19/20
This is the last class before the Holiday Break. We won’t reconvene until January 7/8 so we will have plenty of time to rest up.
I hope everyone received some solid feedback on Project 02. Most of y’all brought a good bit to see. Some of y’all did not and I would imagine the final design work will reflect that. These rough critiques and check-ins are to make the work better. It is extremely difficult to make the work better when there is no work to show. The students that bring in-progress work and get feedback will inevitably have better work to show for it compared to students that don’t do the work until the last minute and just show up with something. So, I want to encourage you to always bring work. Your work will drastically improve.
As a way of understanding what good typography is, we need to be able to see and observe examples of good type and layout whether that is on packaging, album covers, books, magazines, websites, etc. As a resource for you (and myself), I am going to try and continually collect good examples in this document here. Right now, I have a few examples of text only publications where I write about what makes them successful. Feel free to look at these examples and possibly implement some of the techniques or principles that are making these pieces work.
For next class, Project 02 is due. This should be printed on cardstock. Make sure your craft is excellent. I will also pick up 3 PDFs which should be labeled accordingly: Last_First_Project02a.pdf, Last_First_Project02b.pdf, Last_First_Project02c.pdf. We will also have our reading discussion. I moved it so we could spend ample time on the critique and improving Project 02. If you didn’t get a chance to read, you now have an extra day or two.
For December 17/18
Grids will inevitably make your work better. Get comfortable using them. They are utilized in posters, websites, apps, brochures, etc. We can break the grid later.
How do we know what kind of grid? We have to look at the text. Is it complex or simple? Are there a lot of different types of content (images, text, captions, titles, and other hierarchical elements)? Is it a short text or a long text? All of these factors play into how simple or complex we need to make the grid. Remember, a 12 column grid can be broken down into 2, 3, or 4 column grid making it a good place to start.
For Project 02, make sure you’re watching out for line length (9–12 words) and leading. Smaller leading = darker typographic color. Larger leading = lighter typographic color. Consider yourself scientists that are experimenting with the content. Make notes as to what works and what doesn’t.
For next class, make sure you have come prepared with the reading assignment which you can see on the up-to-date schedule. Also, bring Project 02 roughs printed out. The more, the better. This doesn’t have to be on nice paper. Seeing type printed out is essential. Text on screen and text on paper function differently.
Miscellany: Congrats to Madison Duplechin and Brendan Basso for winning the Kerning Game. Some representatives of the ADDYs came by the afternoon class and shared about the competition they put on every year. This would be a good opportunity to put work into a local competition. You can find more info here.
For December 12/13
I was extremely impressed by the feedback given during the critiques. Most were engaged, constructive, and gave/took criticism from each other. Here are some things that stood out to me looking at Project 01:
1. If you want to automatically set your work apart, then you have to master the craft/presentation of the work. The cutting of those cards are honestly all over the place. Some frayed edges, wonky sizes, etc. Also, make sure that you are adhering to the file specifications. They should be without crop marks when you turn in the file and follow the proper naming format.
2. Simple ≠ Bad. This came up during the critique and it’s not the first time this concept has come up. Some of the successful projects were associated with being simple as if that is a bad thing. It’s not. We as designers have to often distill complex ideas, concepts, information down into a simple form and present to the user/reader/viewer so it makes sense. Sometime the best thing we can do is simplify.
I think the projects that struggled a little bit were the ones that had too much variety and scattered text across the page as opposed to simplifying what needed to stand out and composing text in a compact way that made it easier for the reader.
3. So much of typography is being aware of the details. Continue to check spacing and alignments.
4. It is ok to be frustrated at this! It is. There are a lot of things, rules, terms, etc. that we are learning and it can be a lot. Hang in there. This will get easier. Remember, I said it on Day 01. This will take patience and perseverance, but it will get easier.
I also appreciate that y’all were engaged with the reading discussion and shared a lot of key observations and asked some great questions. Keep doing that please.
The next classes will be devoted to working on Project 02. There is a good bit of work to do on this project so I suggest everyone get ahead. This allows me to give more feedback in class; so on work days and rough critique days, come in with plenty to look at. It will make your work better.
Also, make sure you start reading these texts for next week: Thinking with Type (Grid), Let’s Talk About Margins, and Relearning How to Talk about Design.
For December 10/11
I hope your love and affection for InDesign is slowly growing. With each project that we do, my hope is that we are throwing a log on the fire and kindling that passion. Wow, that got weird fast. But seriously, I hope everyone is becoming more efficient in InDesign.
Here are some general observations after looking at Project 01 roughs:
1. Details detail details! Slow down and make sure you are aware of the details. Are things lining up properly? Use the align tool. Make sure to use en dashes (–) properly (replace to or through).
2. Try to marry the different lines of information. Let them get intimate. A lot of people had them spread all over the place making the way the reader finds the information too difficult. Bring them a little closer.
3. Let’s see some variety! We have 12 cards. Play a bit. Have fun. Don’t come in with 12 cards with practically the same design on them.
If you get time over the weekend, play around some more with the Apple Tart recipes especially with Paragraph Styles. Those will save your life when we start editing a lot more text. Post your final in GroupMe so we can have a looksey.
Ok, now for next class. Project 01 is due. Make sure you follow the Project 01 sheet. Also have a pdf saved without crop marks with the following naming format: LastName_First_Project01.pdf. We will also have a discussion on the reading Thinking with Type (Text). Come in with 3 questions and 3 observations or key takeaways written down in sketchbook.
For December 5/6
Everyone seemed to grasp the concept of hierarchy which has two guiding principles: understand, analyze, and prioritize content, and empathize with viewer and their priorities. Hierarchy can be simple (like in Project 01) or it can be quite complex (as we’ll find out in future projects). We also watched Typographic Hierarchy by Tony Pritchard. This is a great resource especially as we start to work on Project 01.
For next class, everyone will bring rough print-outs of the different cards from Project 01. This does not have to be on your fancy paper yet. We will have small group critiques. For next Monday (001) / Tuesday (002), we will discuss the reading which is Thinking with Type (the text section). Bring 3 questions and 3 observations or key takeaways.
For December 3/4
We went over a good bit of info last class. If you have any questions about the syllabus, process binder/blog, etc., please let me know.
For Project 01, I need you to download the typefaces (link on the right column) and find your content which should have a who, what, when, and where. For next class, I will lecture on hierarchy, demo some InDesign stuff, and we will start designing our cards.
Here is a little snapshot of what we will be doing.
Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton
Let’s Talk About Margins, Craig Mod
Relearning How to Talk about Design, Bethany Heck
Grid systems in graphic design, Muller-Brockmann
Structural Typography, Bethany Heck
The Value of Multi-Typeface Design, Bethany Heck
Every Book Starts with an Idea, Armand Mevis