Category Archives: Classwork

Week Nine, Class Two

Today, you will be taught by Prof. Marianna Trofimova. She is a renaissance woman, really an amazing person! Talk to her, she is a visiting scholar just like Prof. Giuliani yesterday!

Today, you will be concentrating on figuring out how you will produce the imagery and designs for the zine.

To recap:

  • Your zine will be 12 pages, including the covers. The booklets will be made of 3 sheets letter-sized paper folded in half and stapled on the crease (saddle stitch).
  • You can design in color (we will discuss images and color next week), but you may print the booklets in black and white if you want (color can be pricey). The interactive version can be color without any cost.
  • You must make your zine about something you care about passionately.
  • You must make all of your images and write all of your text, although some quotes (credited, of course) are allowed.
  • Yes, you can design these with a great deal of freedom, but we will be crafting the typography so that we use and explore all of the techniques, rules, and guidelines we have covered so far this semester. This is NOT a free-for-all!
  • You may use up to 3 different fonts in your zine. You may use different weights and styles of those fonts, but I will definitely reign you in if you start going wildly off track.


Group critiques: You will be split up into groups of 3 or 4. Each person will present their ideas and get feedback for 6 minutes.

When you are presenting:

  • You need to be succinct. Say what you are doing, why you are doing it, and who you hope will read it.
  • No excuses! Just show what you have and let the group kick in with feedback.
  • No dawdling! I understand, your classmates are interesting, but you have work to do. Keep the crit on target.

When you are critiquing:

  • It does not matter if you like the work. You are there to help that designer do his/her job better, not just please you.
  • “I like it” and “I don’t get it” are equally lazy things to say. Tell the designer what is working for the intended purposes and audience and what is not, what else can be done and what should be abandoned and why. Help the designer come up with his/her next steps.
  • You may have to critique the work of people you think are not doing a very good job. This is your chance to show some care for others, develop the muscles that will help you become creative directors later on. think of all of your classmates as team mates, help them all get better. Every moment is a possibility to teach and learn.


You are going to see several easy ways to create imagery.

  • Drawing
  • Collage
  • Printmaking (remember, you have the know-how to carve your own images, so get. on. it.)
  • Photography
    • Paper sculptures: you can photograph these and make all kinds of cool stuff !
    • Have your friends act things out and take pictures of them! Use your imagination!
  • Painting
  • Pen & Ink


  • Zine: You need to have your images developed as sketches. These can be rough, but they need to be worked out and ready for development. I will start bringing the scanner every class I can as of next week and we will begin to lay the designs out digitally once we discuss resolution and color.
  • Type Journal: Keeping your subject matter in mind, find 3 fonts you might work with in your zine. On your type journal, discuss why you like each one and how you hope to use it.

I will see you next week!

Week Nine, Class One

Hello! remember that today you will be working with Prof. Maria Giuliani, a particularly amazing illustrator, designer, and typographer. Just to remind you, I am writing this [scary voice] from beyond the borough! I am at the Southern Graphics Council Conference in California, so be as great as you usually are and work your butts off. I will be so happy to get home to see you next week!


Logotypes or word marks:

A logotype, commonly known in the design industry as a “word mark”, incorporates your company or brand name into a uniquely styled type font treatment. Type fonts come in thousands of possible variations, shapes, sizes, and styles, each conveying a slightly different impression upon your intended audience. Images can also be integrated into a logotype, often to great visual effect. Of prime consideration when selecting a logotype or wordmark is legibility and ease of recognition, even when reduced to the size required for printing your business cards.

Type Book

We are getting to the really exciting stuff! Here are the files.

  • Typographical Patterns
  • Embellished Quotes
  • Logotypes


  • You have been working on your mood boards. If time allows, Prof. Giuliani will speak with you about your ideas thus far. Once again, she is phenomenal, so talk to her, get everything you can!
  • Now that you have some basic ideas, you need to come in tomorrow with some definite ideas, captured in sketches or on your dummy and be ready for small group critiques of your ideas and rough sketches.
  • Tomorrow, you are going to go over some basic ways to make images with little or no tools.


  • Type Book: Finish all of the Type Book work and send it to me for feedback.
  • Zines: Be ready with your developed mood boards, roughs, and dummies. You will be split up into small groups to go over your ideas. Then, Prof. Trofimova will be working with you to develop ideas into imagery and text. Be ready to have your idea socks blown off, she is tremendously creative!
  • Type Journal: Find 5 logotypes in use on your commute to school. Upload them to your journal and tell me what you think of each, one or two sentences will be fine.

Week 8, Class 2

Midterm grades still pending

I tried! I really did! Still about half to go, so I will send feedback/midterm grades in the next few days. I will also post some office hours for those of you who need to talk to me about the grades.

Zine Assignment

Here is the assignment, in full:

  • You will produce a 12 page booklet, including the cover.
  • You will produce all the content. This is big!
    • You will write the copy (you can do research and then write it)
    • You will produce all of the images: you will take photos, or draw, or collage, or build images out of type
    • No images grabbed off the web are allowed. At all.
  • This booklet will be letter-sized paper, folded in half and stapled at the crease.
  • It will be printed in black and white (this will save you quite a bit of money when you go to print) but you can design it in color.
  • After the print version, you will be taking your design and adding interactive elements and producing the zine for tablets.

Next week

Remember, we will have 2 subs:

  • Prof. Maria Giuliani (Thursday)
  • Prof. Marianna Trofimova (Friday)

Be in time and ready with your work, they are both excellent instructors with very different teaching styles from me. You may learn stuff from them that I haven’t been able to get across, so this is a huge opportunity! Do not assume next week is a write-off–you will be producing the last of the Type Book pages and planning your zine, loads of great work to be done.


We will discuss the subjects you have all chosen and cover a few more international type reports. We will build a dummy for you to start working with in the design of your zine.

Type Book:

Today, we are going to look at some samples of A-quality Type Books from previous students. You will then go over your work so far and strategize about any changes you need to make.


  • Go back over your Type Book assignments: make improvements based on our class discussion. You will be wrapping up the exercises next week and then we will clean them up for the final presentation at the end of the week.
  • Start gathering material you will use to inspire your work on the zine. you need to have at least 20 images or articles on your mood book
    • Use Pinterest to gather ideas that you will turn into your own, personalized content.
    • You need to have your mood boards ready on Pinterest for discussion next week. From there we will figure out how you can produce images and content from those sources.

Pinterest Basics

How to pin to Pinterest without the button

Week 8, Class 1


Today, we have our MIDTERM!!!!

I will post the file for that once class has begun.


  • Go over a few more type reports
  • Introduce the Zine Project: we will talk through it a bit and look at some samples.


  • Think of your subject for the Zine Project.
  • Write a 3 paragraph essay about your subject on your ePortfolio for tomorrow. Include a couple pictures if you can. We will be going over these ideas tomorrow, so have something to talk about ready or you will look a bit foolish.


Week 7, Class 2

I am feeling pretty blech again, but I will keep on plowing through. Y’all are worth it.


Type Book:

Type Color:

Type Hierarchy Vids:

Simple Grid Rehash


Study for the Midterm!

Be on time, I am starting at 2:35 with the exam.

Study Guide:

Look at the quiz, that will be a great guide for you for some of the material.
The exam will be all encompassed in a live InDesign File. You will be using the InDesign tools to put your answers into place properly

Stuff you need to know:


  • How to export a pdf
  • How to paginate a multi-page document
  • How to work with master pages
  • How to package a file
  • How to compress and email a folder
  • Placing images

Typographic Concepts:

  • Alignment: possibilities, how to use it well
  • Tracking: possibilities, how to use it well
  • Width/Weight/Posture
  • Stress/Contrast/Serifs
  • History of Letterforms
  • History of Typography
  • Typographical Anatomy
  • Kerning, Leading: Kerning Game
  • Five Families of Type
  • Grids: parts, working on them

Week 7, Class 1

A word of warning–I am just getting over the stomach flu. If I leave the room in mid-sentence, just be patient. I am Purell-ing every chance I can, and I will not come within 5 feet of any of you if I can help it.


International Typography Reports

We are going to use lab time to work on these as I have gotten a few of these already and I have to say that you may want to rewrite them:

  • I will not accept any text simply copied and pasted into your report. Read what you fond, then recount it in your own words. Please know I have Google and a few other tools that spot copied text within seconds, not to mention I am a fairly smart cookie. Please know you will not fool me.
  • Form an opinion, care about what you have found!

What not to do:

  • The computer and type
  • Color and Legibility
  • Typographical problems affecting legibility
  • Distorting typography

Type Book: Legibility: Color Handout

  • Create a 1 page document
  • Creating a set of background boxes which will range from 100% to 10% of a specific color.  Explore what happens to type as it is set into a variations of backgrounds.
  • Follow the directions to complete the exercise.


  • Rework your reports on your typography system per my feedback, be ready to discuss in class tomorrow.
  • Finish your classwork.

The Life of a Typographer

Week 6, Class 2

We need to check in on our International Typography reports, then cover some more material for the Type Book.



  • The Pen Tool
  • Bringing in Images
  • Google searches and ethics


  • Importing images
  • Image boxes, shapes, possibilities

Text Paths!

  • Text on a path and spacing: here is the Type on a Pathway handout.
  • Vertical path
  • Type on a smooth curve
  • Type on a sharp curve
  • Type on a circular path

Vertical Paths


  1. Finish Type Book Exercises, make edits to old files. No need to turn in edits unless you need feedback, just make sure you are not working on all of your exercises the last week of the semster.
  2. Finish your report on your chosen typographical system. It needs to be published on your ePortfolio, so talk to me if you still need help with that. Some details to consider:
  • How did the writing system develop?’
  • What technologies came into play in the development of the letterforms/symbols?
  • Were there political implications?
  • Who was the letterform/symbol system developer(s)?

Remember, I will send you an email asap with all you are missing according to my records. I strongly suggest you go back and finish that stuff. It all adds up to help you learn the material and make you a typographer in your own right.

Week 6, Class 1

After class, I realized I had not copied the second part of the Alignment exercise. My bad, we will get to it today. Here are today’s files.

A Word about Type Book exercises

We really need to talk about the quality of work that I am seeing in the assignments. I am seeing a lot of people not really reading the directions, not using the template well, and generally not caring about putting forth your top quality effort. I will expect all of my edits to be made to your final versions. Remember that the Type Book is 20% of your final grade. Without it, you cannot make above a C. 

And for the love of pete, NAME YOUR FILES LIKE I ASK YOU TO. I cannot possibly track down all these odd files all over the place.


We need to fill in some gaps in the Type Book, so today will mostly be a work session. I will meet with each of you separately for some one on one.

Here are some videos I want to show you while we work:


  • Finish the classwork for tomorrow.
  • Finish your report on a system of typography from somewhere around the world. This report needs to be 3 paragraphs long AT LEAST and include examples in the form of images, videos, or both.


On the syllabus, I planned to give it the seventh week, but I want us to cover some more stuff before then. As it states in the syllabus, I can change things to meet the specific classes needs. Also, I will have a substitute coming in for the 27th and 28th, so I will have to give that teacher your tests to go over with you.

Week 5, Class 2



  • Alignment
  • Analysis of which ones work best and under which circumstances.
  • Tracking
  • How it is measured
  • Its impact on meaning

Type Book: Alignment

Create a 1-page document. I will supply text to be positioned using all 5 main alignments. Here is the Type Book: Alignment handout.


Journal Research Project, Due March 14:

Pick a culture, either one from which your family derives or one you are interested in. Research the typography that that culture uses, find videos or samples, names of graphic designers or typographers, posters, ANYTHING you can find on that subject. Write at least 3 paragraphs in your journal on what you have found. I will show you how to link to files and such today. We will have a class discussion, showing what everybody turned in on the 14th.

Journal for next week:

  • Find examples of a lightface immediately placed after a bold face or vice versa
  • Regular and italics on the same paragraph.
  • Examples of the five different kinds of alignment discussed in class.

Week 5, Class 1


Today, we will start with our quiz, the first one of the semester. I tried ti trim it down to really ficus on what we actually covered in class.

Text ŸŸ

  • Review of some material: leading, history of typography
  • Width/Weight/Posture
  • Stress/Contrast/Serifs
  • Introduction to the main visual differences of type
  • Analysis of visual characteristics of a font based on weight, width and posture and on letter stress, contrast and serifs

Type Book: Variations
Create a 6 page document. Each page must show a sampling of 3 characters comparing variations of type within each category discussed in class. Here is the Type Book: Variations handout, in case you lose yours. Here is the Class Template.

One character in a light face, one character on a regular face, one character on a bold face


Finish Classwork: Please READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. I am getting a lot of assignments that are just inexcusably messy or off base. You need to care more about what you produce.

Journal (due tomorrow):

  • Find three instances of bad kerning, why do you consider these bad?
  • Find three examples of varied leading (tight, comfortable and loose). Are these appropriate to the layout? Does the leading add any meaning to the message?