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18-Hour Workshop


Typography is much more than just picking out a font from the pre-selected assortment on your computer. It is an artistic expression of language, based on precise positioning and appearance. Typography encompasses all the tiny technical nuances and variables that go into creating that look that is capable of telling half the story on its own. It is very easy to distinguish the amateur typographers from the professionals, and with this course you are on the road to going pro.

Through the structure of studio lectures, in-class assignments, discussions, comprehensive projects and critiques we will explore the function and meaning behind typography. We will cover the history of typography and apply it to real world design assignments. Within these assignments we will discuss letterform anatomy and function; we will discuss how to choose an appropriate typeface and how to use this typeface effectively through the heirarchy of size and with leading, kerning and paragraph structure.

The assignments are designed to allow you to explore and apply the concepts discussed in each class. Each assignment is creative yet simple: we will repeatedly use letterforms in different ways to create a variety of printed matter.

It is imperative that you take notes and learn to apply the techniques we discuss in class to your every day design assignments. The instructor will always be available for help and will often provide extra material for reference outside the classroom.


  1. Understand typographic concepts and the application of these ideas towards real world print and screen design.
  2. Learn how to make appropriate typographic decisions.
  3. Develop skills that will take you from amateur designer to typographic professional.
  4. Practice presenting and critiquing work in a group setting.

Structure of Each Class

  1. Homework presentation and critique
  2. Slideshow lecture and discussion. The structure of the six classes will follow the history of typography:
    • Class 1: History of Typography and Printing
    • Class 2: Old Style Letterforms
    • Class 3: Transitional Letterforms
    • Class 4: Modern and Egyptian Letterforms
    • Class 5: Sans Serif I
    • Class 6: Sans Serif II
  3. In-class assignments applicable to each week’s letter form and discussed technique
  4. Assignment of homework with a slide show of examples
  5. Tuesday night assigments are designed to be completed in a few hours. Thursday night assignments are designed to be completed in a few days.


Homework projects will include (subject to change):

  1. Logo design
  2. E.E. Cummings-style poem design
  3. Invitation and Program design
  4. Bill of Rights redesign
  5. Magazine Layout
  6. Typographic Collage
  7. Boxing Poster

For this class students should have a solid working knowledge of InDesign. All projects will need to be completed outside of class. Each assignment must be printed in color at actual size, and trimmed for presentation before class. Projects will not be critiqued on screen. Throughout the course the instructor will be available for hands on instruction and will provide reference materials.

About the Instructor

Kristi Norgaard has been the Senior Designer at Yolanda Cuomo Design for over fifteen years. During this time she has spent countless hours arranging letters on pages to make beautiful, informative, graphic and legible books, magazines, exhibition graphics, logos, posters and infographics. She is also an adjunct instructor in the Photography Department at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she teaches book design and typography classes.

Upcoming Classes

Price: $750 Click for Discounts

  • 18 hours of Hands-On Training
  • Mac or PC

What You’ll Learn

Session 1

  • A brief slide show of the history of typography and printing. Where did letter forms come from? How have they evolved through time? How does history and technology affect they way letter forms are used and how they look?
  • The Anatomy of Type: What is a serif? What is sans serif? What is a stem? stroke? loop? bowl? ball terminal? We will explore the differences between both forms of type and all their idiosyncrasies plus discuss why choosing the right typeface is necessary for good communication.
  • In-class work: Typographic specimen sheets. Each student will be assigned a typeface and instructed on how to create a specimen sheet. These posters must be completed in class.
  • Homework: Design two different logos for a fictional company using only two typefaces.

Session 2

  • Old Style Typefaces: Brief lecture on “old style” typefaces such as Garamond and Jenson
  • What is leading? What is kerning? What is point size? We go over these details and use InDesign to explore how amounts of space between letters, between lines, the size of letters and position can affect the content of a body of text.
  • In-class work: Students are given a poem and we work on illustrating the poem using only one typeface but multiple point sizes, letter spacing, leading, etc.
  • Homework: Invitation and program to a classical music performance.

Session 3

  • Transitional typefaces: Brief lecture on “transitional” typefaces such as Caslon and Baskerville.
  • What are indents? What are paragraph breaks? What is justification? Through in-class exercises we will explore the ways paragraphs can be structured.
  • How to rag copy. We will explore what a “good rag” is. How to use hard returns and soft returns and what both mean.
  • In-class work: students will be given a series of amendments from the Bill of Rights. Students have to redesign these amendments using all that we’ve learned so far: point size, leading, kerning, paragraph rules, indents, and justification.
  • Homework: Your in-class work will be critiqued by the instructor and the class. You must incorporate these critiques into your work and bring in a revised version for the next class.

Session 4

  • Modern and Egyptian (slab serif) typefaces: Brief lecture on typefaces such as Bodoni, Didot, and slab serif typefaces.
  • The rules for designing with body copy: How to deal with punctuation, widows and orphans, wrapping copy, drop caps and end dots.
  • Display copy vs. body copy. As an in-class exercise each student will be given text and a headline directly from The New York Times and we will work to design the texts in a graphic way using specific typefaces for the headlines and specific typefaces for the body copy.
  • Alphabet Collage. Using two of the typefaces we talk about in class students must design a collage of letters and numbers. This work will be critiqued in class by the instructor and students.
  • Homework: Finish the display copy/body copy exercise and the collage. Incorporate all in-class critiques and present revisions for the next class. *Please note: All homework/class work that has been critiqued and not revised is due the first class of week 5.

Session 5

  • Sans Serif I: Part one of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Akzidenz Grotesk, Gill Sans, Erbar, Kabel, and Futura.
  • Helvetica vs. Arial: an in-class discussion on the differences between the two typefaces.
  • DaDa Cookbook: After a brief slide show on DaDa the students will start work on a DaDa cookbook which will involve a front and back cover plus a one-spread “recipe.”
  • Homework: Finish the DaDa cookbook assignment. Students will present their finished DaDa cookbooks in the final class.

Session 6

  • Sans Serif II: Part two of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Helvetica, Univers, Frutiger, Franklin Gothic, and Gotham.
  • Typography Test: A test will be given on everything discussed in the past 5 classes.
  • Boxing Poster: Students will watch a slide show of old-fashioned boxing posters and then work on their own version during class time.