For 9/25

As I said in class on Tuesday, I would like everyone to start thinking about some kind of project you would like to work on in detail. It’s obviously very open ended but one logical thing to do would be to design a simple branding solution for yourself or create a portfolio site.

So for next week, bring in some ideas on what you would like to do and some preliminary thinking about how you would like to approach the problem. This is a first step, so do it analog style. Consider the steps we talked about in the lecture, which is posted.

Type Exercise

Two type exercises for next week:

1. Work on your word representation if you have not finished it.
2. Compose the text provided below in a manner that expresses its meaning. Use Adobe Garamond and Adobe Garamond Expert only.* Use variations in alignment, leading, line length, orientation, and spacing. Avoid variations in weight or size. You may break the paragraph into smaller elements and distribute them within the square. Be sure to have a concept in mind as you work.

Text to compose in bold:

Print situates words in space more relentlessly than writing ever did. Writing moves words from the sound world to a world of visual space, but print locks words into position in this space. Control of position is everything in print. Printed texts look machine-made, as they are. In handwriting, control of space tends to be ornamental, ornate, as in calligraphy. Typographic control typically impresses most by its tidiness and invisibility: the lines perfectly regular, all justified on the right side, everything coming out even visually, and without the aid of guidelines or ruled borders that often occur in manuscripts. This is an insistent world of cold, non-human, facts. 

—Quote adapted from Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London and New York: Methuen, 1982).


1. Layout size: 8.5 in x 8.5 in.
2. Type: Adobe Garamond Regular, Adobe Garamond Expert (will be provided*)
3. Color: Black only
The most common problem students encounter with this project
is what I call “swimming.”

This happens when you start changing the size, style, spacing, and/or orientation
of the type from word to word or line to line without having a sense of
structure that holds the composition together. Avoid swimming by sketching
ideas before you start working on the computer. Read the text; understand its basic meaning; break it into parts. How do those parts relate to typographic forms and structures? Don’t just jump in:
think first.


*if you are not on the mailing list let me know, else you won’t get the typefaces you need.


For class next week:
1. Print out of word exercise and type exercise
2. Bring your process sketches as well. I want to see variation and thought process.


In case you forgot

For homework I want you to modify or redo your posters in accordance to the feedback you received. Things to keep in mind:

1. Concept: What is the passage saying. Stop latching onto your personal interpretation of  a single word’s meaning and instead think about what it means in the context of the manifesto. Same goes for longer passages. What are the author’s trying to communicate?
2. SCALE: The relation between design elements. Create drama and contrast with varying scale.

These are not  book covers, informational pamphlets, or postcards. The dimensions of this project influence how the text should be displayed. Where would it go? How will you catch a person’s attention? These are some considerations to keep in mind when designing a tabloid sized poster.

For Tuesday, I expect you to have played around with Illustrator at least to the extent covered in the tutorials. I will not be going over the basic layout of the program or its functionalities. We will shoot to have time to work on the next project in class.

For Next Week

I have enclosed various resources for getting to know Illustrator. Although I can help with tips and tricks it would be helpful for everyone to get on the same page and at least get comfortable with the interface and layout so we can spend more time on design concepts.

Before class next week, look at these Illustrator tutorials and use the provided exercise files. There are only certain exercises you may access for free but they provide some basic framework for you to go by.

Whether you are using CS5 or CS6 look at the videos available for free in this tutorial. Use the free exercise files provided to follow along.

Video Link to Illustrator CS6 Essential Training:


1. Understanding vector graphics
2. Creating files for print
3. Setting your selection preferences
4. RGB vs. CMYK
5. Understanding fills and strokes
6. Understanding paths

There are some more tutorials for free using CS5 as well. There might be some overlap but for the most part these are very helpful as well. Each of the videos are pretty short and thorough.

I highly recommend that if you do not have any familiarity with the interface at all to use this resource to the fullest extent as it does a better job of explaining than I can and you can proceed at your own pace.

Illustrator CS5 Essential Training:

Illustrator CS5 Fundamentals: 

Exercise 1

So, I previously said to use whatever text you wanted but I think this will be better and will save you time on finding your own text. Instead, take a sample from any of the manifestos listed below and create three different compositions with the text.
Dadaist Manifesto (well, one of them)
  • Use whatever image you want but it should complement the text.
  • It doesn’t have to be a photographic image.
  • DO NOT use all the text. Take a snippet you like. Interpret it visually.
  • Make three DIFFERENT variations on the combination of text and image you chose.
  • Use black, white and grey
  • Dimensions: 11 x 17 (If the printer does not support this format, you can NEATLY tape together two pieces of 8.5 x 11 pages— this might be helpful.)
*I forgot to mention how to rotate an image or text. Select what you want to rotate, hit “R” (your shortcut for the rotate tool). To make a guide, just drag from the ruler at the top or the left of your document window.
You don’t even have to use InDesign to complete the assignment. So, do not worry about how much you know or don’t know about InDesign.
Play around with it if you want but basically, I am looking to see your ideas and what you do under these constraints. If you have any questions feel free to email me or make an appointment.

First Day

For the first day of class on Tuesday evening, please the following with you:

  • Adobe Creative Suite on your laptop (you can download it here.) You should at the minimum have Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign installed for now.
  • pen
  • pencil
  • note- or sketchpad
  • a mouse or Wacom tablet (both are optional but will make your life easier)