12 January 2007

Course Syllabus

[ Course Syllabus ]

Typography I / COMD215
Wednesday, 9:30-1220pm, Steuben Hall 401

“Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing. No argument or consideration can absolve typography from this duty. A printed work which cannot be read becomes a product without purpose. More than graphic design, typography is an expression of technology, precision and good order.”


Michael Gray, 917 599 6763, michael@liquidfuxion.com

Programs Discussed

Handskills 101; Adobe Illustrator CS2; Adobe InDesign CS2


Your attendance is expected at each class meeting. If you can not attend a class you are responsible for contacting myself or another student to discuss what is required for the next class. In the event that there was a critique or assignment due during that class you are still required to turn the work in.

Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor.

Please do not come to class late. Multiple tardies will result in a drop of letter grade.

Full information on the attendance policy can be found in the student handbook


Demonstration of assignment subject comprehension, 20%
Handskills, 20%
Technical skills, 20%
Fulfillment of assignment specifications, 20%
Deadline adherence, 20%

A, Exceptional; B, Very good; C, Average; D, Below-average; F, Failing


Mar 14, Spring Break
May 3, Sophomore Survey (10am)

Materials and Readings

Class Blog, http://comd215.blogspot.com

You will need to check this site periodically, I will post communication, readings, and links to this site as an easy reference point.

Each week we will discuss an individual important to design and typography. The following dates are tentative.

Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger is best known as a type-designer. He has produced some of the most well known and widely used typefaces. He was born in 1928 in Unterlaken, Switzerland, and by the age of 16 was working as a printer’s apprentice near his home town. Following this he moved to Zurich where he studied at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts, under Professor Walter Kach.

After his education in Zurich, Frutiger moved to Paris where he started to work at the Deberny & Peignot typefoundry. Here he helped the foundry move classic typefaces used with traditional printing methods to newer phototypesetting technologies. At the same time Frutiger started to design his own typefaces, many which became very significant, and this earned him his status as a great type designer. Throughout his career he has produced a number of books, such as:

Type, Sign, Symbol (1980)
Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning (1989)
The International Type Book (1990)
Geometry of Feelings (1998)
The Development of Western Type Carved in Wood Plates (1999)
Forms and Counterforms (1999)
Life Cycle (1999)
The Univers (1999)
Symbols and Signs: Explorations (1999)

Today his typefaces are readily available from a number of different foundries. He is still alive (2005) and has worked on revisions with Linotype of a number of his typefaces. Such recent collaborations have resulted in Frutiger Next and Avenir Next, which have included refined forms and true italics. Presently Frutiger lives in Bern, Germany and is working with woodcuts.

Jan Tschichold
Book designer, typographical theorist, type designer. Born 1902. Died 1974.

Tschichold was born in Leipzig in 1902, the son of a signwriter. He trained in graphic arts and book crafts in Leipzig. Working in Munich in the 1920s, Tschichold was a pioneer of the so-called “New Typography”—a modernist, Bauhaus-inspired movement which had no truck with “artistic” typography, preferring plain sans-serif letters, rational assymetric layout, strict functionalism and industrial standardization. Tchichold’s book, Die neue Typographie is still a readable and instructive explanation of this approach.

The Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933. Tschichold was arrested and lost his teaching job. In due course he emigrated to Switzerland, where (with brief interludes) he spent the rest of his life.

From the 1940s onwards, Tschichold’s style changed: he turned away from asymmetry and modernism towards “classical” typography in a style inspired by the renaissance printers: centred layouts, serif typefaces. Between 1947 and 1949 he established the “house style” for Penguin books in the UK: it was in the classical mold.

Tschichold himself tended to stress the gulf between his later classical typography and his earlier modernist style, which he came to condemn. In retrospect, however, the contrast is not perhaps as great as he made it. His later work is classical, but it is not fussy or artistic; it remains strongly marked by intense attention to detail, lack of fussiness and concentration on function.

Tshichold was primarily a user of type: a designer of books and printed matter. He did however design some typefaces, of which the best known is Sabon, which continues to be much-admired as a text face.

Eric Gill
Eric Gill, born Arthur Eric Rowton Gill, on February 22nd, 1882 in Brighton, England grew up to be a sculptor, engraver, stone-carver and type-designer. Gill’s first formal training in the art of letterforms was in 1902, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London by type-designer and calligrapher Edward Johnston (designer of Johnston Sans for the London Underground).

Gill is very well known for his work as a type-designer, and throughout his career he produced a number of different types such as Perpetua, Gill Sans, and Joanna. After completion of a number of his types he wrote “An Essay on Typography” (which touches on an even wider spectrum of topics than just typography), which is still being reprinted today. In 1940, Gill died in Uxbridge, and his gravestone lists him as a “stone-carver”. Today many of Gill’s typefaces are available in digital form from a number of different foundries.

Saul Bass
Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 - April 25, 1996) was a graphic designer, but is best known for his design on motion picture title sequences, which is thought of as the best such work ever seen.

During his 40-year career he worked for some of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, including most notably Alfred Hitchcock, plus Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. His most famous title sequence is probably the animated paper cut-out of a heroin addict's arm for Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm.

Saul Bass designed the 6th AT&T Bell System logo, that at one point achieved a 93 percent recognition rate in the United States. He also designed the AT&T "globe" logo for AT&T after the break up of the Bell System.

Max Miedinger
Born 1910 in Zürich. Died 1980, also in Zürich.
Max Miedinger is known a type designer, mainly for his design of the Helvetica type family (actually, Haas Grotesk).

In the late 1920’s Miedinger trained as a typesetter, and eventually went to work for Edouard Hoffmann who was the director of the Haas Typefoundry. At the foundry, Miedinger worked primarily as a salesman. But in his spare time, at Hoffmann’s behest, he designed a sans serif face, Haas Grotesk. Haas partners D. Stempel AG and Linotype expanded the design into the complete Helvetica family from 1957 onward.

Helvetica’s sucess was huge, and it put him on the map as a type designer. Linotype paid him a stipend for his contribution to their corporate success until his death in 1980—a very uncommon practice at the time.

Paul Rand
Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum, August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996) was a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs. Rand was educated at the Pratt Institute (1929–1932), the Parsons School of Design (1932–1933), and the Art Students League (1933–1934). He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design. From 1956 to 1969, and beginning again in 1974, Rand taught design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Rand was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972. He designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC. Rand died of cancer in 1996.

Josef Müeller-Brockman
Josef Müller-Brockmann, (May 9, 1914 – August 30, 1996), was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. He studied architecture, design and history of art at both the University and Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. In 1936 he opened his Zurich studio specialising in graphic design, exhibition design and photography. From 1951 he produced concert posters for the Tonhalle in Zurich. In 1958 he became a founding editor of New Graphic Design along with R.P. Lohse, C. Vivarelli, and H. Neuburg. In 1966 he was appointed European design consultant to IBM. Author of the 1961 publications The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems and Grid Systems in Graphic Design, and the 1971 publications History of the Poster and A History of Visual Communication.

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Eric Spiekermann
Erik Spiekermann is information architect, type designer (FF Meta, ITC Officina, FF Info, FF Unit, LoType, Berliner Grotesk, Nokia Sans et al) and author of books and articles on type and typography. He was founder (1979) of MetaDesign, Germany's largest design firm with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco. Projects included corporate design programmes for Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg Printing, Berlin Transit, Duesseldorf Airport and many others. In 1988 he started with FontShop, a company for production and distribution of electronic fonts. He holds a professorship at the Academy of Arts in Bremen, is vice president of the German Design council, president of the International Society of Typographic Designers in London and a board member of ATypI. In July 2000, Erik withdrew from the management of MetaDesign Berlin. Erik now lives and works in Berlin, London and San Francisco, designing publications, complex design systems and more typefaces. His new project is The United Designers Network and brings together a lot of the people he has worked with over the past 25 years. In 2001 he redesigned The Economist magazine in London. His book for Adobe Press, "Stop Stealing Sheep", which first came out in 1993 and has been sold over 150 000 times, has just appeared in a second edition and in a Geman version. He is currently designing corporate design programmes and exclusive typefaces for Deutsche Bahn, the German railway system, and Bosch. In 2003, Erik was awarded the Gerrit Noordzij Award for Typography by the Royal Academy in The Hague, and in 2004 he received the IIID Award for Leadership and Distinctive Achievement in Information Design.

Pablo Ferro
Pablo Ferro (born January 15, 1935) is a graphic designer and film titles designer.

Pablo Ferro is the least-known of the great title sequence designers. He was born in Antilla, Oriente Province, Cuba. He was raised there on a remote farm until emigrating to New York with his family as a teen.

He has been hailed as a genius by director Stanley Kubrick and has established himself in film for more than three decades as a director, editor, producer and title designer. He has been creating title sequences since the dawn of Saul Bass’s era and is still making title sequences today, his most recent being Iowa in 2005. He has designed titles for films ranging from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Beetlejuice (1988), L.A. Confidential (1997) and Good Will Hunting (1997). Ferro started work professionally as a comic book artist in 1953.

Ferro is best known as an early master of quick-cutting and for using multiple images within one frame, a technique fondly continued by Kyle Cooper. Ferro has worked with high-tech and optical techniques. His trademark hand-drawn lettering is yet another technique that quite obviously had an influence on Kyle Cooper's work.

Recently he has received the Daimler Chrysler Design Award on October 28, 1999, and the Art Directors Hall of Fame Award in October 2000.

Carlos Segura
I was born in Santiago, Cuba and came to the United States in 1965 when I was nine. I grew up in Miami, and at a very early age (12) got into a band, originally as their roadie and eventually as their drummer. I remained there until I was nineteen. One of my responsibilities was promotions, and when I left, I threw all that stuff into a book and got my first job as a production artist at an envelope company (my job was to design the return-addresses for bank deposit envelopes).

My first real break was at an advertising agency in New Orleans, and after a few more job changes, I moved to Chicago (always wanting to move here because I liked the way the name sounded) in 1980. I'm glad I did because that's where I met my wonderful wife. I worked for advertising agencies, such as Marsteller, Foote Cone & Belding, Young & Rubicam, Ketchum, DDB Needham, BBDO and more, both here and in Pittsburgh for eleven years until coming to the realization that I was not happy creatively, so I quit and started Segura Inc in 1991 to pursue design. My goal of trying to blend as much "fine art" into "commercial art" as possible, and that is what continues to drive us to this day.

In 1994, the [T-26] digital type foundry was born to explore the typographical side of the business, and that too has been received with open arms. [T-26] Is now distributed throughout the world. In spring of 2000, we founded 5Inch.com, a new way to purchase custom designed blank CDR's and DVD's.

I've been very fortunate to meet many very interesting people, which has allowed all of us here the opportunity to do something for a living that we really enjoy.

I enjoy EVERYTHING about cars (and motorcycles), and you can see what I mean at CarType.com.

P. Scott Makela
P. Scott Makela (born in 1960), a groundbreaking graphic designer and multimedia artist, studied at Cranbrook, where he also served as designer-in-residence.

His work with wife and partner Laurie Haycock was a dynamic blending of his unique design vision and her deeply nuanced lyricism developed from her book typography. Many of the themes in Scott's work came from the synergy between them.
Scott's typefaces, including Dead History, were made for what he needed to say at the time. He took great delight in making for the moment, and type design allowed him to create a voice for expressing the now.

Design and life were an integrated continuum for Scott, each enriching the other. Scott passed away in 1999.

Zuzana Licko
Slovak, born 1961.
Type designer, co-founder of Emigre, and provocateur. Emigre and Licko were semi-unwitting members of the vanguard of postmodern typography, and through Emigre the foundry and Emigre Magazine found herself on the forefront of type design in the late 80s and early 90s.

Licko’s early typefaces betray a fascination with low-resolution output, being outline font versions of the fonts then in use on dot-matrix printers. Inspiration from those sources is also evident in the “Base” typefaces, more abstract explorations of simplified typeface design. Over the the last 15 years Licko’s designs have grown less extreme, although no less radical.

Licko’s most significant achievements to date are her two playful text families, Filosofia and Mrs Eaves. Filosofia is a didone / Bodoni revival with many alternate characters and a frequently-used unicase face. Mrs Eaves, named for John Baskerville’s lover, is a mildly stylized Baskerville revival known for its profusion of colorful ligatures and “petite caps”, a unique variation on the theme of small caps. Mrs Eaves is a technical tour de force, formerly being accompanied by a program from LettError intended to help designers manage its unwieldy set of ligatures, and recently being converted to an overwhelmingly full-featured OpenType family by John Butler. Both type families are beloved by graphic designers and regarded with mild suspicion by typographers.

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