05 April 2007

Assignment 4

You will be creating a postcard that will serve as a promotional piece for a designer which you will research. The postcard should measure 4.25" x 6" and you should address both the front and the back of the card.

The front should contain an image by the designer and you can either choose to show an entire image or you can crop into the image and show only a portion of it. Whichever you choose you need to use a hi-res image which will mean that you may have to scan a large image from a book, or if you use artwork which you find online please make sure it will maintain its quality at the final size.

The back of the postcard should include the following: the designer's name, birth and death date (optional), a short bio of the designer (approximately seven sentences), and a url to find out more information about the designer. For this project I ask that you use Helvetica, however if you used Helvetica for Assignment 3 then you can use Adobe Garamond. If you want to use an additional image you can do so but your overall goal is to create an interesting typographical solution for the back of the card. Consider playing with the size of your type, the way it is oriented, etc.

For class next week please bring a minimum of 7 sketches of the postcard design for feedback and review. This class will be your only chance for feedback before the project is due the following week at our final class.

The designers you have been assigned are as follows:

Saul Bass / Scott

Max Bill / Matt

Josef Mueller-Brockman / Renata

Seymour Chwast / Rebecca

Kyle Cooper / Gillian

Pablo Ferro / Felipe

Milton Glaser / Sarah

April Greiman / Amy

Tobias Frere-Jones / David

Zuzana Licko / Rachel

Max Kisman / Jessica

Vaughan Oliver / Jennifer

Paul Rand / Sohana

Stefan Sagmeister / Helen

Paula Scher / Belinda

Carlos Segura / P. Scott Makela / Andres

Eric Spiekermann / Yen-Ting

Wolfgang Weingart / A-Young

29 March 2007

Test Your Sans Spotting

Try this test that Dave passed along:
[ Helvetica vs Arial ]

23 March 2007

Assignment 3 Visual Research

Regarding Assignment 3, here are some things that interest me. These are intended as things to perhaps inspire you, but not necessarily solutions that I am directly looking for.

and I have to mention this since Rachel pointed it out.

Also on the link below with David Colley's lecture on the grid you can view some of the student animation pieces that fuse music and typography.

Assignment 3

This project will utilize grids and typography to explore the narrative potential of typography related to music. This project will be three weeks so you will need to show work as required and concentrate on creating your solution by the due date (see timeline).

You will be provided with a number of mp3 tracks. Choose one track that you would like to work with. The tracks are all of a similar nature, and most contain little to no lyrics. After you select the track that you would like to work with you will need to listen carefully to the track making notes of emotional reactions which you gather from the music, points in the composition where the intensity of sound varies, introduction of instruments, etc. Create a visual timeline of the music or a representation of what you hear.

Using the provided grid as a starting point, begin building a visual interpretation of the track using typography. Since lyrics are limited you are going to need to choose how to incorporate words or letters. Again, think about the emotional content of what you are hearing, what does it remind you of and how would you show it?

Typeface selections for this project are the same as the last project. I would advise you to work with one typeface in the beginning. If you feel that at some point in your composition that your type should change then this is an option, but I challenge you to work with one. Think about how you can use the variations of the typeface… are there parts of the song that are bolder, or where italic would be appropriate? Can you convey the entire meaning of the music using only kerning or scale to illustrate the sound? Also consider how you can show the movement of the track on a static sheet of paper.

The overall objective of this project is to convey your song to a viewer
in a visual solution. The viewer should gather an interpretation of the song without ever hearing a note.

Timeline 03.28.07: Preliminary sketches/crit. | 04.04.07: Refined sketches/individual meetings. | 04.11.07: Project complete/final crit.

Grid Info
If you are using InDesign CS or did not receive a copy of the grid file in class the measurements are as follows: document size, 10"w x 5"h, margins: top, inside, outside are .25 in, bottom is .325 in. 10 columns with a gutter of .075 in. Vertical guides are placed at 1-1/8", 2", 2-7/8", and 3-5/8".

Track Info

Best Ballroom/Spearmint

Alone in Kyoto/Air


Aux Cyclades Electronique/Bertrand Burgalat

Bathroom Girl/Air

Candlelight/The Urchin

Charly/The Prodigy

Cosmic Interlude/LTJ Bukem

Dreamin'/Wax Poetic


The Future Sound of Acid Jazz/Nightmares on Wax

Give it Away/Zero 7

The Glass Bead Game/Thievery Corporation


Leave No Trace/Witchman

Les Nuits (Fila Brazilia Mix)/Nightmares on Wax

Meera//Tek 9//Four Hero Remix/DJ Cam

Mind Eye/Nightmares on Wax

My Love (Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso Remix)/Justin Timberlake

Nights Interlude/Nightmares on Wax

Problem Child/Squarepusher

Samba Tranquille/Thievery Corporation

Sure Thing/St Germain


Traktor/Matthew Herbert

Triumph of the Heart (Soft Pink Truth Remix)/Björk

Ultrasonic Sound/Hive

Here is an ai template that you can use for your cd slipcover. If the file changes names just make sure the ending is .ai so it will place in InDesign.

[ cd slipcover die-cut ]

12 March 2007

Grid System Introduction

Please watch this series of four short films on the grid system. The site linked below is the online companion to Rob Carter's Typography book. Take a few minutes to look at some of the pages and you might be interested in seeing some of the student work on the site.

Your next project will relate to grid systems and typography, and we will go over this in our next class after break.

[ David Colley, Grid Systems Lecture ]

20 February 2007

Assignment 2

Gestalt theory is a concept that is relative to visual arts, but also many other fields. Gestalt, in terms of visual arts, basically provides the psychological component that allows our minds to rationalize and interpret what we see.

In this project you will potentially explore two aspects of gestalt theory: figure/ground and closure [ Gestalt Theory Handout ].

Assignment Description

Using Illustrator, create a sign, or mark, by combining two letterforms using the typefaces that are supplied on the blog:

[ Typefaces ]

(If you have problems downloading this file right click on your mouse, or try holding control and clicking on the link to get them to automatically download)

or through this link on yousendit: http://senduit.com/cb8f02

The letterforms can be from different typefaces or they can be from the same typeface. Your selection of letterforms and their combination should be completely arbitrary. Select the letters based on their form and their ability to work together. Consider the way that one letter can be made by creating a positive form and the other can use negative space. Try to avoid physically altering the letters in any way. If necessary, you can add or subtract from the forms to create a stronger solution, but you shouldn’t rely upon that as a means to create a solution. Also consider using various fonts from the typeface (ie: the bold, or italic variations of the typeface). You can also use numbers as well as letterforms, avoid using symbols though. Work only in black and white at this time.

Create 5 potential solutions to the assignment and print them together on one 11x17 piece of paper with space around them. You can print at this size in the lab, or if you are working from home you can use two 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper. Bring your printed results to class next week for a crit and then we will refine your explorations to one solution.

Section 2B
Continue refining your explorations and create or find 10 images that abstractly illustrate your mark. Consider things like the relationship between your two letterforms, the contrast between the letters, and the overall visual solution, and think about textures and patterns. You can either take your own images or you can find elements from magazines or other sources. If you are still refining more than one mark try to choose images that are versatile or abstract enough to work for each mark, or split your image requirements between the marks.

Section 2C
Begin combining your letterform solution and your abstract images. Working with an image size of 4"x4" create a series of studies that incorporate your letterform with your images. You can crop into the letterform or show certain aspects of it, don't feel rigid or compressed in what you can and can not do. For class on March 21 I expect for you to bring all of your studies trimmed flush please. I am not giving you an exact number of studies that I am looking for but your exploration should be expansive. I will work with you individually to select the final image studies that will be presented when the project is due on March 28.

Project 3 will be assigned on March 21 and will overlap Project 2.

12 February 2007

Field Trip Details, Feb 21

We will be attending the AIGA 365 Design Exhibition on Wednesday, February 21. We will not meet at Pratt, we will meet at the AIGA National Design Center at 164 Fifth Avenue (between 21st & 22nd Streets). The exhibit opens at 11am, however I would like for everyone to be there before 11am, around 1045am would be good. Robyn Jordan will be giving us an introduction to the exhibit and will provide some information on AIGA membership. As far as I know there is no entry fee, however bring a little cash in case this is not the issue.

10 February 2007

Slacking on the Blog...

Sorry I haven't been updating the site as much as I would like. Here are some interesting things to check out.

[ Paula Scher ]
Hillman Curtis interview of Paula Scher
Paula is an icon of the New York design scene. Best known for her work on the Jazz Center at the Lincoln, the Citi logo, and her theater posters, it is a great interview.

[ Hillman Curtis Interviews ]
Also via Hillman Curtis are a lot of great interviews with Stefan Sagmeister and Milton Glaser (both mentioned in class), Pentagram, and David Carson.

[ Daily Type ]
Daily Type is an ongoing series of type explorations by a collective of Russian designers.

[ Typography Resources ]
A link from one of my professors, this site has a lot to offer on the history of typography. Check out the silent film on Goudy's creation of a typeface.

[ Bembo's Zoo ]
In the history of type lecture I referenced Bembo's Zoo which is a flash piece that creates animals from the typeface Bembo.

30 January 2007

Type Classifications

This will be covered in class on 1/31.

24 January 2007

Philip Meggs, A History of Graphic Design

I referenced Meggs' book today in class, here is the information on it. It is available in the library if you would like to check out a copy.

Meggs' History of Graphic Design
Philip Meggs
ISBN-10: 0471699020

Carter, The Anatomy of Typography

Here is a pdf of the chapter from Carter's book which you are to read for next class. If you haven't picked up the book yet you can get a copy at the Pratt Store. This text is from the second edition, but if you have the new edition please read that.

The assignment I will give in class next week will come directly from the book. Also look at Jan Tschichold's work for next class. His bio can be found under the syllabus post.

[ The Anatomy of Typography ]

History of Typography lecture

Here is the pdf of the lecture today:

[ History of Typography ]

and the timeline I showed in class:

[ Design Timeline ]