Type Classification and Language

“The text itself plays (like a door, like a machine with ‘play’) and the reader plays twice over, playing the text as one plays a game, looking for a practice which reproduces it.”  From Work to Text  Roland Barthes 

“A basic system for classifying type faces was devised in the nineteenth century when printers sought to identity a heritage for their own craft analogous to that of art history. Humanist letterforms are closely connected to calligraphy and the movement of the hand. Transitional and modern typefaces are more abstract and less organic. These three main groups correspond roughly to the Renaissance, Baroque and Enlightenment periods in art and literature. Historians and critiques of typography have since proposed more finely grained schemes that attempt to better capture the diversity of letterforms. Designers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have continued to create new typefaces based on historic characteristics.”
 Thinking with Type Ellen Lupton

Working from the concept that text is woven with multiple meanings, references and histories and that typography is meant to contain and deliver an idea, your assignment is to find a form to embody the idea that text delivers. Experimentation and observation will be key to your creative solutions.
You will have a number of technical lessons in class including an introduction to basic typography introduction, letterpress type setting, papermaking and a study of paper types.
You will be assigned weekend sketch problems observing typefaces, writing anagrams and looking at word combination and page design.

Your final choice of words to use in the project will be experimented with; you will try various typefaces, layout, inks and papers. All sketches and the final work will be reviewed at the final presentation so your fellow classmate can learn from your observations.

Fall 2014

Fall 2012