Reading Response discourse



You will be reading and annotating a text written by¬†Katherine McCoy and David Frej¬†‚ÄúTypography as Discourse‚Ä̬†1988¬†found in our main text¬†Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field¬†by Helen Armstrong.

Before reading, review the graphic design history videos from the Week 11 Agenda, especially those related to New Wave, Punk, and Postmodernism.

Key Themes and Takeaways

Katherine McCoy and David Frej¬†‚ÄúTypography as Discourse‚Ä̬†1988

In this essay, McCoy and Frej present the evolution of postmodern typography from New Wave / Swiss Punk Typography to the New Academy to focus on the experimental designers who ‚Äúvalue expression over style‚ÄĚ and where typographic design is positioned to be deconstructed using the theory of the day.

Rejecting the modern constraints of Swiss typographic systems, Katherine McCoy and her contempoaries ushered in a period of complexity, ambiguity, and subjectivity. Going beyond the more formal radical experimentation of Wolfgang Weingart and the New Wave/Swiss Punk Typography, McCoy explored ‚Äúnew relationships between text and image.‚ÄĚ The resulting multilayered, personal work consciously provoked interpretation from the audience. Modernism‚Äôs emphasis on form gave way to a highly individuated study of expression. Typography became discourse to be evaluated and discussed within the dense cultural context of philosophy, linguistics, and cultural theory.



Following the instructions below, read and annotate the text with your classmates in our Hypothesis group. After reading and annotating the text, create a rough draft of your response in your Research Journal. Your response should be about 200 words and checked for spelling and grammar errors. Lastly, create a new post and publish your response.

1. Open the readings

In a new tab open the text Armstrong, Helen. Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Navigate to page 81.

2. Enable Hypothesis

The reading links above will automatically open Hypothesis. Login to your account and select our group.  (IMPORTANT!) from the dropdown to make sure your annotations and highlights will be recorded in the group. See Using Hypothesis for details.

3. Consider these questions.

Here are the questions to which you should respond in your reading response:

    • Find 2 examples of the work of postmodern graphic designers from the 1980s.
    • Deconstruct the work. Explain which visual elements are associated with postmoderism of the 1980s and why.
    • What does the author mean by ‚ÄúTypography as discourse‚ÄĚ?
    • What does the author mean when she states that ‚Äú‚Ķno longer are there one-way statements from designers. The layering of content, as opposed to New Wave‚Äôs formal layering of collage elements, is the key to this exchange. Objective communication is enhanced by deferred meanings, hidden stories, and alternative interpretations‚ÄĚ

4. Read & Annotate.

Consider the questions/prompts listed above. Start to formulate the answers to these prompts while you practice close reading with annotations. This will be part of your grade. Share at least 3 annotations in the Hypothesis group, including your questions, definitions, and ideas with your classmates. Add the tags: Postmodernism and Reading Response 10 to your annotations.

When you annotate be sure to define or break down any words or concepts that you do not understand.

5. Draft your Reading Response.

In your Research Journal, write a draft of your 200-word response. Check for grammar and spelling errors. Use the word count tool. Use the Grammarly app or something similar to improve the clarity of your writing. Use visual examples to supplement your reading response. Consider looking back at the Week 11 Agenda, Learning Graphic Design History videos, or the Course Resources to see if there are historical examples that will help support your ideas.

6. Post your Reading Response.

When ready, create a new post titled¬†‚ÄúReading Response10‚Äď YourInitials.‚ÄĚ

At the top of the post copy and paste the following:¬†Katherine McCoy and David Frej¬†‚ÄúTypography as Discourse‚Ä̬†1988 pgs 81-83 found in our main text¬†Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field¬†by Helen Armstrong.

Copy and paste the questions/prompts listed above. Paste your reading response from your Research Journal. Add links to your annotations in the Hypothesis group at the bottom of your post. Always add links and attribution for any images that you use in your post. Adjust any formatting issues that may have occurred while pasting. Use the Reading Response (Example) as a guide.

Please be sure to add the following title, category, and tags to your posts. For help with adding Categories and Tags, see OpenLab Help.

    • TITLE:¬†Reading Response 10‚Äď Your Initials
    • CATEGORY:¬†Reading Responses
    • TAG:¬†Reading Response #10
    • TAG:¬†Your Name

Due Date(s)

Your reading response is due the day before the next session Monday, May 9, at 6pm to allow time for review.



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