Author Archives: John De Santis

Welcome To Type and Media

Welcome to Type and Media, a typography foundation course. We work together to explore the principles of type design through online exercises, discussions, assignments and projects. Please take some time to explore this OpenLab course site. Use the top menu bar to explore the course information, activities, and help.

Course Information

Course Number: COMD1127

Section: OL24

Course Title: Type and Media

Course Description: Foundation course in typography with emphasis on using type for a multiple of industry related applications ranging from print to interactive. Students are introduced to principles of type design and terminology including: variations of type structure, anatomy, font usage, grid, leading, kerning, tracking and alignment

Credits / Hours: 1 cl hr, 5 lab hrs, 3 cr

Pre/Co-requisites: CUNY proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics or concurrent enrollment in ENG 092R, ESOL 022R or 032R; ENG 092W, ESOL 021W, or ESOL 031W; MAT 0630 or MAT 0650 as required

Class Meetings


Faculty Information

Professor: John De Santis

Online Office Hours/Information:
Virtual Office Hour Tuesdays & Thursdays • 10:00AM-11:00AM

Contact Information

Technology Requirements


Add a schedule of topics to be covered. Include a detailed schedule on the Schedule page.

Grading Policy

40% — Main projects and their presentations
30% — Assignments -homework
30% — Class Activities/Discussions/Participation
The detailed grading policy can be found on the Grading Policy page.

Class Etiquette & Netiquette

  • As this is an online course it is important that students establish weekly virtual participation.
  • All assignments need to be submitted on time as they are part of the online class sessions.
  • Proper attire, dress as for physical classes.
  • Adjust your posture, sit up as straight and look into the camera.
  • Learning online requires paying attention, especially with classmates unsure of when to speak. Conference apps, BlackBoard and Zoom, have a chat feature. If you have questions in class sessions type in the chat, or raise your hand.
  • Voice volume; most microphones can pick up your normal speaking voice, so you don’t need to yell. You do need speak clearly in a normal voice volume.
  • Mute your mic as needed to eliminate background noise when not speaking

Course Activities

  • Projects – 3-4 main projects supported by homework assignments
  • Homework Assignments – Inserted in the the class pages on site.
  • Type Challenges – Design assignments and discussions completed with time constraints during class or as specified.
  • Type Talk Discussions – Discussion, comments, critiques, opinions on type throughout the semester
  • Name That Type Discussions – Students will comment in live class discussions
  • Found Alphabet Typography Discussions – Weekly image posts of  alphabet letters,numbers 1-9 ,0  and comments Final  Due  last class Upload a compiled PDF
  • Type Scavenger Hunt Activities – Students will look for various typographic topics principles, techniques, post image
  • Type Hero – Students will create a 5 minute presentation to an assigned designer

Course Projects

Course Resources

Materials /Supplies

  • Computer with internet access and Adobe CC.
  • Cloud storage and Flash drive (any storage for your files)
  • Sketchbook for notes, ideas, process / pencils
  • Approximately $40 misc expenses (cloud, printing, art materials, etc)

Type Challenge color


  • Take your color poster from the homework
  • Make a new master with that layout
    Insert three pages in InDesign with that new master
  • 1. Utilize complementary colors from color wheel of you existing layout if it is black make it white if it is red make green etc.
  • 2. explore Tint = lightened color (increase brightness, add white)
  • 3. one = desaturated color (reduce opacity of you colors in InDesign
  • Export = jpg “last name_Firstname_designC1a.jpg”
  • upload to course site
  • Create a new post named “Last Name_First_Name_ TC_  “ADDNAME”
  • Give it categories “Student Post Type Challenge” “Type Challenge -….”
  • Save your work as jpg named: “Last Name_First_Name_ TC_ “ADDNAME” .jpg”. Insert jpg INTO your post.
  • Comment on at least one other students work.  Try to give your assessment in terms of what is working or not clear. “loving or “liking” or “being blown away” by work is OK but not helpful. What and why the work is successful and what is not working is key in refining and improving work

Due Date(s)

  • Specified time or 11:30PM the night before next class


  • Add assignment resources or readings

Class 29

Class Info

  • Class Date: Tues. Dec. 15
  • Class Time: 8:30AM-10:00AM


  • Prepare for submissions Project 3. DUE next class. LAST CLASS


  • Further develop presentation, communication and critique skills


In class presentation Found Alphabet

To-Do After Class

FINAL Project 3 Posters

  • Place all pages into one documen
    • Page 1
      Poster 11 x 17 Grid poster Pet Peeve
      Page 2
      Poster 11 x 17 Hierarchy Poster Pet Peeve/
      Page 3
      Poster 11 x 17 Color Texture Poster Pet Peeve/
    • Export PDF Lastname First name Project Final 3.pdf
    • Create a new post Lastname first name Project 3 Finalgive it categoires “student post” and “project 3”
    • UPLOAD your multipage PDF

Please refer to PDF with how to package and combine pages from different documents in InDesign

Class 28

Class Info

  • Class Date: Tues. Dec. 8
  • Class Time: 8:30AM-10:00AM



  • Further develop presentation and critique skills.


Type challenge Color

To-Do After Class


FINAL Project 3 Posters

  • Place all pages into one document, See PDF
    • Page 1
      Poster 11 x 17 Grid poster Pet Peeve
      Page 2
      Poster 11 x 17 Hierarchy Poster Pet Peeve/
      Page 3
      Poster 11 x 17 Color Texture Poster Pet Peeve/

    • If we get to it Page with 4 square social media posts

Please refer to PDF with how to package and combine pages from different documents in InDesign

Class 26

Class Info

  • Class Date: Tues. Dec. 1
  • Class Time: 8:30AM-10:00AM



Understanding text wrap (or runaround) and the relationship of between image, text, space and distance

  • Use the same grid as the previous two posters
  • Content:
    • The words: My Pet Peeve Exhibit
    • Title of your Pet Peeve (different for everybody)
  • Specs:
    • Use a grid as the previous two posters
    • include a shape
    • must use text wrap
    • Type CONSIDERATIONS as per previous lectures,


To-Do After Class

Graphic Assignment

Complete layout of Poster 3 with Visual Hierarchy (pt. size, SCALE, Placement, Alignment, Variations, Compositions)

Class 25

Class Info

  • Class Date: Tues. Nov. 24
  • Class Time: 8:30AM-10:00AM
  • Continue Posters.
  • Look at sketches and determine which are the best solutions.
  • Translate our sketches to actual designs.


  • Learn to translate sketches to actual designs (typeface selection, use of grid, visual hierarchy).


Now that we have the grid and content of your poster, it is time to design

  • Create NEW Document:
    • 2-page document
    • size 11 x 17 inches
    • 3 pica margin all around
    • 8 columns / 1 pica gutter
    • 12 horizontal rows / 1 pica gutter
      • GO to LAYOUT>CREATE GUIDES>ADD the rows and gutter> OPTIONS>from margin
  • Specs:
    • Create 2 different designs (2 layouts following the same grid)
    • Use type only 
    • TWO typefaces max. (but with extensive families ok)
    • Black and White
    • Follow the grid
    • Emphasize your visual hierarchy
      • Emphasize contrast with scale (something must be BIG, something must be small)
    • Must consider and apply what was previously covered in class: Type selection and variations, alignment, word and letter spacing, line height, expression, etc.
  • Look at sample below with complete process:
Slider image

Project 3 process

Slider image
Slider image

To-Do After Class

Graphic Assignment
  • DUE Next class:
    • Complete two different layouts in InDesign
      These will have the same grid and the same contents, but completely different layouts
    • Once completed take save your InDesign files. Take screenshot of your solutions. These screen shots must show the guides.
    • name your files:

Grid Type Challenge 11/17

Type challenge grid 11/17

Upload by time specified during class

Create new
Indesign. file 11×17

Facing pages. ON


Insert 10 pages

You will create
3 master guides pages per demo live.

  1. Golden ratio 11×17 box 0x0 coordinates. Divide width and height by 1.62 snap guides to box edges per demo
  2. Van de Graf cannon as per demo
  3. 9×9 grid page

Place your Pet Peeve text using grid in each layout create 3 layouts
Export as PDF
upload to media library
Be sure to name your file

Last-name first name gold ratio grid-1-2-3