GDE 424 Typography and Advanced Projects
Professor Joel Davies (402) 280-4060
twitter – cuprofessorx
MW 12:30pm – 2:20pm
The course is an intense examination of the use of typography in both historical and modern contexts. Students will learn effective ways to utilize type in a variety of digital and print media, with lectures in aesthetic, strategic and technical use of final projects that will showcase the strategic use of appropriate custom digital and hand-rendered typography.
Objectives and Goals
In this course, we will be exploring the mechanics and theory of typography both in modern and historical practice. Beginning with the Gutenberg bible and hand-rendered type, we will cover the history of the letterform through a series of projects and project proposals. This course will serve as both a historical lecture and studio class, as we will be designing a series of increasingly challenging projects to develop and enhance your conceptual and creative skills. All of these projects are also suitable for inclusion in a professional portfolio.
The overall goal of the course is to forge you into a professional-level designer over the course of the semester. We will be pulling many of the technical and aesthetic skills you have learned together to build a portfolio suitable for employment or graduate school applications. Throughout the semester, I will serve as the client, and attempt to simulate typical client/vendor interactions and issues.
Thinking in Type, (White); Elements of Typographic style (Bringhurst)
Grades will be determined by combination of factors tracked by a course grading sheet. Points can be earned in 10 different categories – some design elements in a project can impact more than one grading category. There is a 10 point scale for each category to reflect the overall quality of student work. It is very difficult to acheive “A” quality work in the class. An “A” project will be considered professional level design, and perfect in the majority of grading categories. B+ and B grades will be given to good work that is well above course expectations.
Simply meeting the expectations of the course in completing assignments, quizzes and projects will result in a C grade. Doing the minimum amount of work to get by is not going to earn you a good grade. In order to earn grades higher than a C, I expect students to show substantial growth in critical skills, mastery of the technical elements of the course, and perfect execution of design concepts in major projects.I will be merciless when grading draft projects, since all projects can be revised for credit.
D and F work will fail to meet expectations.
Although I appreciate hard work and effort, this is not youth soccer. Everyone who plays does not get a trophy. Grades are assigned solely based on the artifacts you create in class. Design is hard, and not for the faint of heart. No matter how hard you try, you still might not achieve "A" work.
Being late for a critique (including not having your assignment prepared when class begins) will result in a 20% “late fee” on that grade the moment that critique starts, and through the first 24 hours after critique starts. Another 20% will be assessed in the second 24 hour period. Late assignments cannot be revised.
Failure to turn in any assignment will result in a maximum course grade of D. I reserve the right to reject assignments after the second 24 hour period has expired, thus triggering the automatic maximum course grade of D.
Quizzes will start promptly at the beginning of class. There will be 6 two point quizzes, and the lowest score will be dropped. There are no make-up quizzes. Quiz materials will draw from both the reading and from lectures.
Attendance and punctuality are mandatory. I expect you to behave as professionals over the course of the semester, and that includes showing up to class on time. Excused absences include athletic participation for varsity athletes, some emergencies, and documented illness. Regardless of whether an absence is excused, I will not rehash lectures for students who miss class. You are responsible for gathering notes on missed classes. Let me repeat that. You are responsible for gathering notes on missed classes.
Walking into class late will not be tolerated. I plan on locking the door once class starts. Students not in class when we start are marked absent. The door will unlock when we take a break, or begin open labs.
JMC Professionalism Policy:
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication offers pre-professional education to prepare students to succeed in communications careers. Professional attitudes and conduct are often almost as important as talent in our fields. Accordingly, students in all JMC classes are expected to conduct themselves as cited below; faculty and staff will enforce consequences:
- Students will attend all classes unless there is a valid reason to be absent and to arrive on time just as they would at work. Students who arrive after class has begun are considered late and subject to grade penalties as imposed by each instructor.
- Valid reasons for absences include illness, participation in an official university function (debate, varsity athletic absences etc), family emergency etc. All excused absences require notification by email PRIOR to class.
- Absences of two classes in a row due to illness require a doctor’s note.
- Absences due to non-emergency medical / dental appointments are unexcused absences. The same goes for picking up a friend, taking a car to be repaired or other circumstances that can be avoided.
- More than one week’s worth (2) of unexcused absences per semester will result in course grade being lowered one grade level per additional absence up to D after which the student will receive an A/F.
- Use of electronic devices during lecture is prohibited, unless you are working within the backchannel or supplementing your learning experience.
- No food and drink are allowed in the labs. If caught, you will be expected to leave class and dispose of the items.
- Students are expected to participate in class. Inappropriate behavior such as reading non-course materials, checking email, instant or text messaging, studying for other classes or sleeping will result in dismissal from that day’s class and count as an unexcused absence.
- Students are accountable for turning in all work on time. Faculty will either penalize late assignments or refuse to accept them.
- Working in groups is part of all communications work. Students who fail to do their share of work on team projects or are unwilling to participate in group problem solving will be dismissed from the teams and lose credit for projects.
Professionalism also involves:
- Accepting criticism gracefully
- Resolving problems with professors, staff and colleagues in a mature fashion.
- Students are always welcome to seek more information about why they received a particular grade on a test or assignment, obtain guidance for how to improve work and ask for suggestions on solving problems. They are encouraged to go above and beyond the minimum work assigned and to demonstrate enthusiasm for work in their fields. In the JMC Department C work is minimal work. A and B work goes beyond the minimum.
Creighton’s Academic Honesty Policy is listed in detail in the current Bulletin. However, in this class I expect students to adhere to the following guidelines and ethics of design:
- All students will complete their own work. Getting "help" is ok, but I expect you to complete, and if necessary – reproduce class work on demand.
- All work should be original. Any "ripping" of fonts or concepts will result in a grade of ZERO for that assignment.
Use of tutorial files from online sources is allowed for learning purposes, but any elements from those sources that remain in class projects could result in a grade of ZERO for that assignment.
Integrity Pledge (from "Learning in the Academy: An Introduction to the Culture of Scholarship")
The students and faculty of the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences comprise an academic community established within the framework of Jesuit ideals and firmly rooted in the concept of integrity.
In an effort to instill integrity in those attending this College and to reaffirm its significance along each student’s academic journey, the College has set in place an Integrity Pledge. Your instructors will from time to time present the Pledge for your signature on tests and quizzes and ask you to include it with your signature on writing assignments you submit.
The Pledge promotes a shared culture of integrity amongst Creighton students, while also acknowledging in its language that each of us holds him- or herself accountable for any attenuation or neglect of the conventions that define academic integrity.
The intent of this Pledge is not to act heavy-handedly. The College’s students and faculty strongly believe that each student intends to present his or her own original work. But the Pledge serves as a regular reminder of Creighton University’s commitment to the very highest standards of integrity—not only academic but also personal integrity.
15%Font Specification Project
15%Convergent Type Narrative
15%Channel your Annoyance
15% Overhaul the Mall
Font Specification Project – Narrative: Using your favorite font suitable for body copy, you will create a multipage narrative document that shows off the various features of the font. (letterforms, ligatures, etc) The narrative itself can be a work of fiction or non-fiction. The document format is flexible, but should contain 4 2 page spreads for a total of 8 pages. CMYK or 2 Pantone colors can be used for the entire document, and at least 4 pages should use full bleed. There does not need to be body copy on every page. Be creative, and find a beautiful and elegant way to flaunt the typographical elements of your font in this project. The final document is due in both printers and designer spreads.
Lupton Poster: Design two entirely different concepts for a poster advertising a series of lectures using only typography – no vector or bitmap graphics are allowed. That being said, Design elements made up from simple shapes or typographical elements are allowed. However, this is not an illustration assignment. The poster must use 2 PMS colors on white paper. The content for the poster is supplied on the server.
Convergent Type Narrative: Illustrate a short narrative or exchange of dialogue using only motion typography. I recommend using Motion for this project. The typography should be animated and synched to either the pace of text read aloud, or the sound of the spoken text. There are no limitations on what fonts or colors you may use. Final projects are due in Quicktime and Motion formats. All music and sound must be original or out of copyright.
Channel your Annoyance: Find two artifacts of typographic design that annoys you in any way. Find a more effective way of using typography to transform the work into something with both utility and good design sensibility. There are no font, size or color limitations on this project. Make sure the color and size are appropriate to the chosen artifacts. This is going to be weighed heavily by possible employers in your portfolio.
Conceptual Logotype & Identity: Create a highly conceptual logotype using nothing but modified typographical elements. The final design should be simple and easily recognizable. You can create your own imaginary client for this assignment, the highest grading priority will be given to the original solutions in your final concept. For context provide four artifacts using this logo, such as letterhead, business cards, animated logotype for convergent media, and a packaging solution. This is going to be weighed heavily by possible employers in your portfolio.
Overhaul the Mall: Creighton University needs new signage on the mall. We need related "wayfinding" signage to give directions to buildings, banners for the lightpoles, and outdoor and indoor building signage. Create a system of signs that strengthen the Creighton brand and brighten up the mall and buildings. All files must use 3 spot colors, inlcuding PMS 287. The other two colors are up for grabs. All graphics must be vectors, and should be minimal at best. The project should include 3 different lightpole banners, two indoor and outdoor building signs, and 2 soccer stadium banners. Both banners should be in a 5 x 2 ratio. Building signage sizes are up to you. Graphics and colors may bleed off all edges.
w 1.11iIntroduction to typography & account creation - Start Reading Bringhurst
m 1.16Spacing, Anatomy, Units,
Basics, Illustrator, InDesign review
w 1.18classification, spacing, kerning, golden and fibonacci, leading
m 1.23History Lecture 1
w 1.25History Lecture 2
m 1.30History Lecture 3
w 2.1History Lecture 4
m 2.6Practice: baseline grids, how a font works, spacing and hyphenation, justification & alignment
w 2.8production time
m 2.13Critique – Lupton Posters
w 2.15practical typography, line lengths, detailing
m 2.20harmonies and contrasts
w 2.22Midterm Exam (Bringhurst, anatomy, measurements, classification)
w 2.29Joel to China?
m 3.12planning for a portfolio
w 3.14appropriation, democracy and the vernacular, intro to Motion
m 3.19Motion I
w 3.21motion II
m 3.26motion III
w 3.28production time
m 4.2Critique: Channel your Annoyance
w 4.4professional practice and type design
m 4.9production time
w 4.11in-progress Critique
m 4.16production time
w 4.18in-progress Critique
w 4.25THE FINAL CRITIQUE