Typography II


Art 281
Typography II
Winter 2018–19
 

VAC 115
001: M/W 8–1150am
002: T/Th 2–550pm

Jake Dugard
jake@latech.edu
jakedugard.com

Office No. B17
OH: M/W 2–4pm
T/Th/F 9–11am


News

For February 20/21
Congrats on making it to the final class. We will critique Project 04 and discuss the class as a whole. Be sure to upload your files for Project 04 and a pdf of the Process Book. We will also retake the Type Test from the beginning of the quarter.


For February 18/19
Welp, we made it to the last week of the 2018 Winter Quarter. This class will be a final check-in on Project 04 and the Process Book. After the check-in, you will be free to stay or go depending on what you need to get done. On the last day of class, we will be celebrating Project 04, retaking the Typography Test, and I will be collecting the Process Books, and the files of the Process Book and Project 04.
     Let’s finish strong.


For February 13/14
It was encouraging to see this project start to take shape. I hope this form of critique (with post-it notes) was beneficial and you received some constructive feedback. Learning to receive and give constructive feedback is of the upmost importance in this field. Without the ability to do either will weaken you as a designer. Revisit this site by Mitch Goldstein if you need a refresher on some practical advice when approaching critiques.
     The remaining classes will be devoted to the progress of Project 04 and the Process Book. I sent quite a few links via GroupMe of examples of Process Books. I also wanted to reiterate the importance of documenting and revealing your process. Kelli Anderson does a great job revealing her methodology for working in the work she did for Russ & Daughters. You can see that work here and here. This makes the designer responsible for their work and reveal the thinking behind it. It also helps the design community at large to see how different people work and think.


For February 11/12
It is encouraging to see the progress that is happening on the posters. I hope you all can see that progress. Keep refining. We are entering the final two weeks of the quarter. It’s been a long one. Continue to progress with this project. 
     Next class we will do a full critique of all of the pieces (poster, program guide, ticket, badge). These should all be printed at full size. The poster can be tiled 8.5x11” or 11x17” paper. These should also be in color. Come to class with these already printed out and ready to hang.
     Also, I passed out the checklist for the Process Book. Use this as a guide to start compiling and organizing all of the work from this class. 


For February 6/7
I loved seeing the variety of approaches to the poster. Early on in the project, show more. Get more feedback. Seeing multiple approaches allows people to give more pointed feedback. It was encouraging to see the development of these. Keep refining the posters as we start to branch out into the rest of the project.
     For next class, we will be looking at the updated poster and the digital roughs of the publication, badge, and ticket. I also distribute a checklist for the Process Book. We have a little over 2 weeks left so hang in there.


For February 4/5
Graphic design should be fun. Getting to make things should be a fun challenge. Don’t be afraid of friction and frustration when it comes to this. It is part of it. Learning to make what you want to takes time. A long time. And it takes a lot of work. Be ok with that. This refining process should be embraced. Likewise, embrace the early stages of a project. There should be much exploration and play in the early stages. So, try things that you wouldn’t normally try. Bring it to the class. And we’ll talk about whether it’s worth pursuing or not. 
     For next class, we will discuss the contrasting readings The Crystal Goblet and Drowning the Crystal Goblet. Which side do you stand on? Each student will present their poster rough(s) to the class. Come with multiple jpg’s and upload them to the Dropbox folder. We will use the TV to display each student’s work. Also, come to class with sketches of the badge, ticket and program. We’re still focusing on the poster, but begin to think about the rest of the campaign.
The following screenshots are reactions to some of the type specimen spreads I posted.

IMG_8381.jpg
IMG_8383.jpg
IMG_8382.jpg

For January 30/31
Receiving your grades can be a discouraging thing sometimes. I totally understand that. Know that in no way, is a grade an indication of your value as a person. A grade should inspire, motivate, and encourage. I consider a few things when I sit down to grade that weigh heavily on the final grade of a project. 
1. Did the student complete the project on time?
2. Did the student show a genuine interest in giving and receiving feedback?
3. Did the student participate in each class showing progress?
For the next class, we will be splitting up in small groups to review 3+ digital roughs of the poster. These should be 3 distinct directions. This should not be simple modifications of one idea. It’s ok if they are rough. That’s what we want. Try to give us a glimpse of the idea. We will decide on a specific, focused direction for the campaign to go. 
We will discuss the reading from last week, Why Typography Matters. For a discussion next week, be sure to start reading these two contrasting readings: The Crystal Goblet and Drowning the Crystal Goblet. Develop a viewpoint. Do you agree with Butterick’s assessment?
Here are a few of the Type Specimen books:


For January 28/29
Great work on the Type Specimen Books. I love how they turned out. I think this was a project that really challenged everyone on both a design/layout standpoint and also from a production standpoint. Welcome to the fun world of PRINTERS!!! Here’s an actual video of one of y’all printing the other night. Regardless, you all rose to the occasion.
     Remember to leave yourselves with plenty of time to work and finish them. It is always disheartening to walk into the classroom before a critique and people are scrambling to finish. This more times than not leads to mistakes.
For the next class, we will be looking at a couple of things. For one, I will collect the mockup files for Project 03. We will work in class to upload these on our own Behance page. We will be discussing the reading Why Typography Matters by Matthew Butterick. Make sure you read the entire section which has 6 short sections. We will also be looking at the research, brainstorming, and sketches for the Project 04 poster. Let’s begin this project with as many ideas as we can get down on paper. Really spend some time here. Investing time researching, brainstorming and sketching will prove to be valuable both in the quality of work and saving time in wandering when we open the programs.

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.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.47.29 PM.png


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.

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 2.36.04 PM.png
 

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.

IMG_8097.jpg

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

Screenshot of Good Type document

Screenshot of Good Type document

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.