Win a Free Class!

Join our email list for a chance to win

Typography

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 hierarchy 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.

Objectives

  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.

About the Instructor

Maurizio Masi, formerly the Design Director of IridiumGroup, has more than 15 years of experience as a strategic designer at leading companies including Hearst Magazines, Segal Savad Design, M. Shanken Communications, Ziff Davis Media and SmartMoney Custom Solutions. After working for editorial, advertising, branding, corporate and generalist agencies in New York City and England he measures his time between teaching and professional practice. In 2012, he was a semifinalist for an Adobe Design Achievement international award for Innovation in Education. Maurizio has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts in Graphic Design at Nottingham Trent University in England. As a self-titled reflective practitioner, he is constantly evaluating his conceptual and contextual process. He is also a former amateur boxer and an avid bread baker.

  • Logo Design by Brett Wilson

  • Dada Cookbook by Brett Wilson

  • Blue Note CD Cover by Emma Chao

  • Logo Design by Matt Hageman, Ela Prizmic, & Blanny Couto

  • Stacked Type Recipe by Emma Chao

  • Type Collage by Cathline Marshall

What You’ll Learn

Section 1
The History of Typography

Topics

  • A brief timeline 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? What is Micro Typography? What is the role of typography within Graphic Design?
Type Classifications

Topics

  • What are the most commonly used type categories? How can a designer identify what classification a typeface belongs to?
The Anatomy of Type

Topics

  • 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.
Design Exercise

Topics

  • Contrast and form studies. Each student will select two letter forms from two different categories and combine them in expressive and contemporary compositions.
Design Assignment

Topics

  • Typographic specimen poster. Each student will be assigned a typeface and instructed on how to create a specimen poster.

Upcoming Classes

Price: $750 Click for Discounts

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

Section 2
Old Style Typefaces

Topics

  • Brief lecture on “old style” typefaces such as Garamond and Jenson
Optical Spacing: Kerning, Tracking, Leading & Point Size

Topics

  • What is kerning? What is leading? 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.
Type Pairing

Topics

  • To combine or not to combine? What is the limit on the number of typefaces used in a single communication? What is a super family and when is a good time to use it?
Design Exercise

Topics

  • Five squares and ten inches. Students will experiment with justified blocks of text in varying weights, leading and point sizes to create balanced textural compositions.
Section 3
Transitional Typefaces

Topics

  • Brief lecture on “transitional” typefaces such as Caslon and Baskerville.
Indents, Paragraphs, & Justification

Topics

  • 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

Topics

  • We will explore what a “good rag” is. How to use hard returns and soft returns and what both mean.
Typographic Grid Systems

Topics

  • What is Macro Typography? What are the differences between manuscript, columnar and modular grid systems within publication design?
Design Exercise

Topics

  • 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.
Design Assignment

Topics

  • Students have to redesign an opening spread for an existing feature article from a magazine of their choice. This assignment will utilize what we’ve learned so far: point size, leading, kerning, paragraph rules, indents, and justification. Principles of editorial design will be introduced.
Section 4
Modern and Egyptian (Slab Serif) Typefaces

Topics

  • Brief lecture on typefaces such as Bodoni, Didot, and slab serif typefaces such as Clarendon, Rockwell, Courier and Playbill.
Font Selection Criteria

Topics

  • How does a designer select the right typeface for the right job? Does form follow function?
Design Exercise

Topics

  • Stacked type recipe. In this exercise students bring in a recipe of their choice and we redesign it as a stacked typographically graphic puzzle. Principles of block-set typography will be introduced.
Design Assignment

Topics

  • Alphabet collage: Using two of the typefaces we talk about in class students must design a collage of letters and numbers.

Section 5
Sans Serif I

Topics

  • Part one of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Akzidenz Grotesk, Gill Sans, Erbar, Kabel, and Futura.
Type Foundries and Licensing

Topics

  • What is a type foundry? Are your usage rights for personal or commercial application? Are free fonts really free? How do generalist design firms and agencies license fonts for commercial use?
Design Assignment

Topics

  • Event poster. Students are given a choice of several unique events to develop an announcement poster that features typography as the primary focal point. Principles of poster design will be introduced.
Section 6
Sans Serif II

Topics

  • Part two of the slide show and lecture on the history of sans serif typefaces covering Helvetica, Univers, Frutiger, Franklin Gothic, and Gotham.
Masters of Typography: Past & Present

Topics

  • A brief survey of influential typographers and movements from Bauhaus, to the minimalist Swiss School, to the contemporary visual language of Reid Miles and his legendary Blue Note album covers.
Helvetica and Logotypes

Topics

  • An in-class discussion on the many applications of Helvetica for identity design.
Design Exercise

Topics

  • Blue Note jazz covers: In this assignment we study what made the Blue Note jazz record covers so visually arresting for their time and why they are still relevant today. Students will be assigned a musician and album and have to use design record covers in the Blue Note style.