Art 223A Lettering and Typography (3) Prerequisite: Art 103, History, design and use of letter forms; the rendering and use of hand-lettered forms. (6 hours activity)

This course will cover the history, theory and practice of letter forms and typography as they apply to graphics,

advertising and other areas of design and visual communication.

Projects cover principles of typography, letter structure, typeface selection, fundamentals of computer typesetting, and typographic layout.





Art 103 / 2D Design-Foundation



  • TEXTS:


Required Books (kind of):

These are our primary sources. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy them tonight,

but consider them as a thoughtful investment for your education and career:


m Thinking With Type

By Ellen Lupton; Princeton Architectural Press


m Typographic Design: Form and Communication

Ben Day, Philip B. Meggs, Rob Carter


m The Fundamentals of Typography

by Gavin Ambrose & Paul Harris



  • Recommended:


Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type

Kimberly Elam


Typographic Systems of Design

Kimberly Elam


Typography Workbook

Timothy Samara, Rockport Publishers


Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works

Erik Spiekermann and E. M. Ginger, Adobe Press


Twentieth-Century Type

by Lewis Blackwell, Yale University Press


The Elements of Typographic Style

by Robert Bringhurst, Hartley and Marks


The Art of Typography

by Christopher Burke and Paul Renner, Princeton Architectural Press


A History of Lettering

Nicolete Gray, Phaidon Press


  • Suggested


Texts on Type: Critical Writings on Typography

Steven Heller and Philip B. Meggs, Allworth Press


Grids: The Structure of Graphic Design

André Jute, RotoVision


A Type Primer

John Kane, Laurence King


Unjustified Texts: Perspectives on Typography

Robin Kinross, Hyphen Press


Letter Forms

Stanley Morison, Nattali & Maurice


Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter

Margaret Re, Princeton Architectural Press


Basic Typography: Design with Letters

Ruedi Rüegg, Van Nostrand Reinhold


Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop

Timothy Samara, Rockport Publishers


Publication Design Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Designing Magazines, Newspapers, and Newsletters

Timothy Samara, Rockport Publishers


Type Rules: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography

Ilene Strizver, North Light Books


Printing Types: Their History, Forms, and Use, Volumes I and II

Daniel Updike, Dover Publications


Adobe Classroom in a Book (for PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign)

Adobe Press





Develop an understanding and appreciation of typography’s important historical legacy

Develop an understanding of specialized terminology and knowledge relevant to typography

Develop the ability to understand, recognize and apply the elements and principles of typography

Develop and understanding of the elements and principles of design as they relate to type

Develop the ability to understand, recognize and apply practical typographic knowledge

Develop the ability to understand, recognize and apply various layout methods in relation to typography

Develop and demonstrate and understanding of typographic hierarchy

Develop research skills as they apply to typographic design solutions

Develop an understanding of- and adherence to- the design process, from research and concept through execution

Develop the ability to analyze, synthesize, and develop effective typographic solutions utilizing methods and skills in concept development and problem solving

Develop typesetting techniques through the use of industry-standard software (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe InDesign)

Develop competency in technical skills applicable to graphic design—specifically, the fabrication of comprehensives and mock-ups.

Develop an demonstrate an awareness of the expressive, aesthetic, emotional and intellectual potential of type

Develop an understanding of the typographic capabilities and limitations of digital media—primarily interactive and digital multimedia communication in relation to type

Develop the ability to apply technical, aesthetic and conceptual understanding of typography in the evaluation of one’s own work and the work of others





Many of the supplies can also be purchased at Michael’s.

Register online or download Michael’s app to receive 20-50% off with weekly coupons.

Do not buy new supplies if you already have supplies from other classes.

If you are not sure about supplies please ask me!


Notebook for keeping notes and handouts

Binder (1/2" to 1") with at least 28 clear sleeves (not frosty)

Traveldrive, jumpdrive or flash drive with at least USB2.0 connection that can hold a minimum 1GB of data

14 x 17 inch Canson Tracing Pad

14” x 17” Cotton Comp Paper - Bienfang 360

Niji “Stylist” black fine tip pen

Black markers with 2 nibs such as medium & bold

(Sanford PM 98 works well)

Xacto Knife & #11 Xacto blades (bulk pack suggested)

3/16 inch thick Foamcore, black or white sizes TBD as needed.

3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive

3/4 inch White Artist’s Tape

C-Thru Ruler 18 inch (not centimeters)

Metal Ruler 18 inch

White eraser

#2 Pencils (Ticonderoga works well)

Pencil Sharpener


  • The following are good to have and to bring to class as needed:


18 x 24 Self-healing cutting matte

Metal T-Square 24 inch

Triangles beveled, 45, 30/60 degrees

Color Pencils

Glue Sticks

Proportion Scaling Wheel

Schaedler Rulers are a smart investment for a designer

Portfolio case to carry/archive large size works



When you are going to shop at art supply stores take your student ID as most stores have student discount!




  • Learning Activities and Assignments:


Quizzes, tests, or papers related to assignments and/or discussion topics may be given at any time.



  • Lectures/Discussions:


There will be a variety of design lectures revolving around the specific needs of students and projects such as:


Discussion on The Letter

Review of Principles of Design

Discussion on Humanism and the Body

> Presentation on Anatomy

Discussion on Enlightenment and Abstraction

Discussion on Monster Fonts and Nineteenth Century Advertising

Discussion on Type as Program

> Presentation on Classification

Discussions on Type as Narrative

> Presentation on Big Families

Designing Typefaces

> Presentation on Screen Fonts & Bitmap Fonts

Discussion on Text

> Presentation on Kerning and Tracking

> Presentation on Vertical Alignment

> Presentation on Dividing Space & Grids

> Presentation on Golden Section

The topics or their arrangement might change according to necessity.




  • Projects and Assignments:


These projects are intended to help students establish the ability to both create and develop an understanding of the principles of typography as they relate to visual organization and composition, information hierarchy, aesthetics, and the communication of ideas.


Of course Projects/Exercises and their order may change anytime to t the overall needs of the class.


Modular Type: designing a modular typeface based on geometric shapes.


Morticed Character: (Black Ink paper—Size: 14” x 17”): The the detailed replication and deconstruction of a typographic character, using tracing paper and ink pens.


Name Initials and images: Students create a hybrid design with combination of their name initials and selected silhouettes.


Illustrated Word:  The illustration of a word to capture visual embodiment of its meaning.


Image Substitution Exercise:  Combining meanings. Replacing one character in a word with and image, creating completely new meaning.


Type Categories: (Black Ink paper—Size: 14” x 17”): The replication of a character (uppercase and lowercase) in four different styles.


Event Hierarchy: (B&W) Create a small type notification with different hierarchy in mind.


Obeying the Rules: (3 or 4-Color (not process)—Size: 5.5” x 8.5”): Students will produce a multi-paneled booklet that feature guidelines on successful type usage (26 panels).


Type Specimen: (2 or 3-Color—Size: TBD): Design a poster to introduce one of the typefaces from the given list.


Typography Quote: Create a wall piece for a public restaurant, including a quote and other required information.
(In this semester-Fall 2018- the project might be changed to a new project with musical theme, according to real life play-list on one of public radio, for example 102.7 AM KissFM)


Public Presentation of Typographic Readings: Students will deliver a classroom presentation on one of the many reading assignments selected from Thinking With Type or they can deliver a presentation on a topic  by their choice. They must discuss their subject with instructor and get his approval. Students will also moderate a class discussion afterward if there are any questions.



  • Assessment and Evaluation:


The course grading criteria is based on students’ demonstration of the following:


y Development of concepts that are thoughtful, original and creative

y Careful attention to execution, technique and completion of projects

y Effective visual and verbal presentation skills

y Active and verbal participation in class activities and critiques

y Attendance with necessary materials and assignment preparation • Personal challenge and effort in project development

y Deadline compliance

y Maintaining currency with reading assignments

y Participation in class discussions




  • Grade Breakdown:


Critiques and feedback on main projects will revolve around individual critiques, round table critiques, and wall critiques.

Projects will be graded on personal challenge, self-motivation, and attitude in exploration in the development of self-generated graphic design imagery.


If a project is worth 10 points, its individual stages (thumbnail, rough, comp) are graded on the following point system:



9= Excellent

8= Good

7= Average

6= Weak


Counting the final comp twice, the final grade on any project is based on the average grade of the individual stages, for example:


Initial Sketches: 8

Rough: 8

Final Comp: 9

Final Comp: 9

8+8+9+9= 34 / 4 = 8.5


A total of 100 points are possible for the course. Final course grades are issued based on a straight percentage: 93 points = A. Points will be allocated as follows:


Activity                                                                  % of Grade


Hand-warming (Define Typography)                                -


Exercise #1

Exercise #2

Exercise #3

Project #1 (Morticed Char.)

Project #2 (Words Assign. 2 parts)

Project #3 (Type Styles)

Project #4 (Typography Booklet)

Project #5 (Type Specimen)

Project #6 (TBA)

Midterm (written)

Final (written)








A 93-100

A- 90-92

Clearly stands out as excellent performance and, exhibits mastery of learning outcomes


B+ 87-89

B 83-86

B- 80-82

Grasps subject matter at a level considered to be good to very good, and exhibits partial mastery of learning outcomes


C+ 77-79

C 73-76

C- 70-72

Demonstrates a satisfactory comprehension of the subject matter, and exhibits sufficient understanding and skills to progress in continued sequential learning


D+ 67-69

D 60-66

Quality and quantity of work is below average, exhibits only partial understanding and understanding and skills are not acceptable to progress in the graphic design


F 59-

Quality and quantity of work is below average and not sufficient to progress



  • Class Policies and Guidelines:


Attendance and Participation


• Roll will be taken in the first 15 minutes of the beginning of class

• Arriving to the class between 1:00pm - 1:15pm is considered a tardy

• Missing more than 30 minutes of class is considered an absence

• 3 tardies is equal to one absence

• Due to the nature of this intensive class, you can only miss one session. One missing will lower your grade one point. (ex: B to B-)

• If you miss 2 sessions, you will be dropped automatically.

• A doctor’s note will not excuse absences more than once

A medical withdrawal from the course is recommended for illnesses extending beyond 1 class session.


Late Work


The general answer is NO. But we will have a mutual agreement how we can handle late works, case by case, with a fraction of grade. Trust me! You may not want to practice this situation!



  • Students with Learning Disabilities:


Students seeking disability support and accommodation resources should contact the Disability Support Services (DSS).

The DSS has been designated as the campus authority to verify disabilities and to prescribe specific accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Individualized programs are designed that enable students to compete academically on an equal basis with their non-disabled peers.

Academic accommodations and support services are available to students who have mobility, visual, or hearing impairments, chronic health conditions,

and/or attention, learning or psychological disorders.



  • Code of Student Conduct:


If you don't know it, its here.


Read it once for the rest of your academic life,

It is the same all around the world (almost).



  • Last but not least:


This class like my other classes is a two-way course. The purpose of this class is not solely for learning technical skills, but to develop our vision to look at things differently.

The art and design world has endless excitement to discuss. So, make yourself comfortable by bringing your point of view to this class while we respect each other and make a professional connection through this course. We all learn from each other. Let’s do it Titan Type I people.