ART 337 - Typography II | Fall 2015

Bill Dugan |

Project 1 | Project 2 | Final Project | Schedule | The Fine Print || Syllabus (PDF) | Bibliography


This course will focus on typography and grid: an intermediate exploration of typography and image making as an expressive and functional communication vehicle. Students apply their knowledge of the grid, typographic and visual forms to create projects that require the use of both word and image. The processes and mediums for combining word and image and the limits of visual literacy are explored in practical projects while addressing the reader’s needs and the communicator’s intent. In this course, we will:

  • Continue to explore the structure of letter forms through analysis of their formal qualities;
  • Use expressive typography to convey dramatic tone, emotion, and other aspects of communication outside of pure information;
  • Use the grid as a hierarchical tool to organize information, in the context of a single page and across a sequence of multiple pages;
  • Understand how to develop a system which unifies individual elements within a series.
  • Understand the implications of progression within imagery and text, and between system units.

Secondarily, this course will continue to reinforce and develop best practices in production and file setup, building on the techniques learned in Typography I. We will place an emphasis on using paragraph, character, and object styles, proper use of master pages, grid structures, and prepress.


Graphic Designers are called upon to solve problems on a daily basis. Everything from "Please change the font color" to "The printer says the file is corrupt" to "Come up with 3 new concepts by 4 o'clock". We are communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers, researchers, technical experts, therapists, and advisors. Developing these skills early will make it easier to find a real job after graduation.

My job is not to tell you what to do, or how to solve a problem, or tell you what your concept should be. I'm here to help guide you to a solution, not show you what it is. I expect everyone to know what a concept is, how to explain it to me and the class, how to execute that concept through type, image, and layout, and then present it. You will be asked to present your final projects to the class, and we'll work on delivery and technique–a fundamental part of the business.

Project 1: Everything from A to Z


You will create a series of 26 alphabetical flashcards that contain a set of vocabulary words relating to a specific occupation or topic. The objectives are to inform your readers on the meaning of these terms. Choose an occupation and related terms from the provided terms, (or make your own). After you make your list of terms, research their meanings and write a series of 26 definitions to use on the card. This has to be completed before you start designing and typesetting.

Once the cards are designed (front and back), they will be packed in a box which you will design.

The completed cards will each have the definition on one side, and the word by itself on the other side, along with the alphabet. The entire deck of cards will consist of 26 cards and a box that carries a short summary of the chosen subject matter on the back.


Below is a checklist of the steps you will need to take to finish this assignment. This checklist is a general guideline. Each of you will need to pay attention to details and follow up instructions given verbally in class during crits as well as demos. The instructions below are not a complete step-by-step instruction. You are expected to use common sense, take responsibility to be proactive, and understand that each project will have a slightly different problem that will need solving.

1. Research

Choose a profession or area of study that uses a specific vocabulary or set of terms that are unique to that field and research these terminologies. This can be defined as a specific argot, idioms, jargon, slang used by a culture, social or professional group such as Wine Tasting terminology, fire department terminology etc.

You will complete three word documents: a list of 26 words, a list of 26 definitions, one for each letter of the alphabet, and a 75-word summary about your chosen subject. You will turn in these pages in hard copy after presenting your topic to the class. Your documents should be stapled and include your name and class section at the top left corner on the first page of each document.

2. Grid Structure

We will have a recap on grids and layouts. Specific attention will be paid to the use of size and weight in the creation of a working visual hierarchy that clearly establishes different zones within a composition. You should already be familiar with style sheet and master pages. However, a refresher demo will be conducted in class to reinforce your working knowledge of these fundamental tools in typesetting.

Create a master document with the following spec:

  • 2.75” W x 4.75” H
  • Margins: .25” all around
  • 1/8” bleed

You will break the text into the following information zones:

  • Root word
  • Part of speech (i.e. noun, verb) classification
  • Definition text
  • Sentence text
3. Typesetting

We will have a recap on setting type in InDesign. When choosing typefaces, there are no hard and fast rules that one can apply for a perfect result. However, there are some basic principles and guidelines one can follow to make the process a little easier. We will discuss the basic principles of good typography in class but here are a few basic rules for you to keep in mind when choosing your fonts and typesetting:

  • Use two complementary fonts.
  • You are working with type in a small environment: steer away from ornate display faces, or other faces that are hard to read at a small size.
  • Do not use fonts that have only one weight unless it is for headings.
  • Consider your typographic colors.
  • Consider your scale carefully.
  • Avoid too much contrast.
  • Keep it simple.
4. Card Design

There are additional ways to catalog and organize your card information: Each letter of the alphabet should be emphasized to make it easier for the reader to follow the words in alphabetical order. You can further catalog the words based on other qualifications.

Each project will have its own unique possibilities for category. Consider all your options including color, icons and type treatment.

5. Production

Your final project will be completed in InDesign. It is best to work on one document but it depends on your project. You will print your front and back as separate pages and assemble as two-sided cards. These 28 cards will be presented inside a box you will design. You are free to use your photos, your illustrations and typography to visually tie the box to the cards. The box should contain the “(your topic here)” from A to Z; your name and class information.

Words of wisdom: Be sure to test print and test your production before you do your final. This is especially important for your box.

PROJECT 2: Recipe book

You will research, design, and assemble a recipe book based on a particular geographic location or food type, and select a minimum of 12 dishes. The recipe book will include the following pages:

  • Half Title page: A holdover from the old bookbinding days, but still standard. It will contain basic publisher and printing information.
  • Title page: Just what it says. This should have more embellishment than the half-title page.
  • Dedication: Do you love your Mee-maw? Dedicate the book to her.
  • Table of Contents: One of the most important pages in any book. Use tabs or tables to separate the elements–page number, page title, and any headings/subheadings necessary.
  • Chapter pages: Divider pages between sections. They should clearly state what the chapter is, and have some embellishment to break the flow of the book. They should also be set up as a master page.
  • Appendices: Any extra content that might not fit within the main sections.
  • Glossary: A dictionary of unusual terms the reader might need to refer to. Does not need to follow standard dictionary format, but could include pronunciation.
  • Author Biography: Yes, that's right. Write a paragraph about yourself.
  • Bibliography: Did you pull your information from another book? If so, list it here. The Internet counts, too.

These dishes should be divided in a minimum of 4 sections. You should have a minimum of three dishes in each section and a minimum of 16 total. For example:

  • Appetizers
    • Potato Skins
    • French Fries
    • Onion Rings
  • Drinks
    • Manhattan
    • Whisky Sour
    • Old Fashioned
  • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Pork
    • Beef
    • Seafood
  • Vegetables
    • Root vegetables
    • Beans
    • Corn
  • Desserts
    • Pies
    • Ice cream
    • Cakes
    • Cookies

Research your topic: You should have short paragraph about the region, the history of their cooking (habit of eating, cooking style, tradition etc). Make this interesting and delicious. You do not need to write a thesis. Just short introduction so the reader has some context. You should also add some statistical information (the region’s geographical makeup, what native food grows there, etc). This will inform the cooking and eating styles.

You will design a master grid for a series of pages that provide the basic information for completion of each dish (ingredients, needed utensils, cooking times, serving information and instructions) and include a short paragraph describing the dish. This assignment will teach the use of typography in composing a visual and informational hierarchy while reinforcing the use of the grid as a means of organizing information and maintaining visual uniformity within a series.


Here is a checklist of the steps to take to finish this assignment.

  1. Choose your county or food type, and prepare a 250-word statement about the geographic region you have chosen, the history of their cuisine, and why it is so distinctive.
  2. Choose high-res images that to you best describe or depict your chosen location.
  3. Next, select your recipes. Whenever possible use recipes that are well tested and valid. Don’t make up anything. Your recipes should vary in length. Consistently short recipes will result in a lower grade–I'm looking for how you're going to solve different problems with your grid.
  4. Find high-res images of each dish. The Internet is pretty wonderful for this kind of stuff; you can also shoot your own photos.
  5. In addition to the recipe, you will compose a one to two sentence statement describing each dish and/or its cultural, historic and geographic roots.

PROJECT 3: Speak Up

Expressive typography uses letter and word shapes to create an image or tell a story. The Type as Voice assignment steps away from an emphasis on creating functional typographic solutions. Instead, students are challenged to use letter and word forms and the transitions between these forms as well as the shapes created by lines of text and the spaces around and between them to represent the spoken word, shape settings, generate emotions and control sequence as the threshold of effective visual communication is explored.

For this assignment, the class will use two manifestos: The Crystal Goblet, or: Printing Should be Invisible (Beatrice Warde) and the Post Typography Manifesto (Nolen Strals and Brue Willen). Select a total of five passages from these two statements; two from each proponent. Use the fifth statement to take a side. You are welcome to demonstrate support for these statements or react them to them. These five plates will be presented as a folio encased by a slipcover.

Precedents for expressive typography are wide ranging and found throughout history. Examples presented in lecture are drawn from medieval illuminated manuscripts, cubism, dada, futurism, suprematist, surrealism, concrete poetry, comic books, the design pioneers of the New York school, and protest posters from the 1960s among other sources.

The Project

You will design a 3-panel, 2-sided, self-covered accordion fold booklet that that explores the nature of expressive typography using assigned text.

Select a total of five passages of text from the two manifestos. Take a position: pick three passages from one manifesto and two passages from the second manifesto. Consider the structure of the quotes, including their timing and rhythm as you visually interpert the text itself and its form. Think beyond the described objects or emotions. Analyze the shapes found within and between letters as well as the shapes created by and found between lines of text. Advantage the spatial qualities offered through changes in scale, weight, and freedom from a baseline.

While each panel makes its own statement, the viewer must clearly understand your system. As designer, you are free to interpret the passage you select in any way you see fit, however, you must use a grid that is common to all panels. Remember that while the grid is used to give structure, build hierarchy and control portion it is as flexible as it is rigid.

Style sheets are expected. You must also design a wrapper or envelope that keeps your work clean.


Please use the following text for your bibliography:

Warde, Beatrice. “The Crystal Goblet or Printing Should be Invisible.” In The Crystal Goblet: Sixteen Essays on Typography, edited by Henry Jacob, 11-17. New York: The World Publishing Company. 1951.

Strals, Nolen and Bruce Willen. The Post Typography Manifesto (2012, November 1). General format. Retrieved from


Page Size

  • Use a standard page size of 7 x 11” or larger for each panel in your booklet. Exception: 8 1/2 x 11 is not an option.


  • You must use fonts. Handlettering, graffitti or calligraphy are not allowed.
  • You may use as many type families as you think appropriate however, I strongly suggest that you work with 1-2 core type families.
  • Type size is unrestricted.
  • Letter/word forms can be altered or cropped.


  • The interiors of letter/word forms can be crop or overlayed to create a texture.
  • With instructor approval, you may use photography if you can clearly explain why the use of photographs will help communicate your message. You may take these photographs yourself or use stock photography. These photographs may be of printed text, carved or inscribed letters or objects such as crystal goblets. (Again, no handlettering, graffiti or calligraphy.) Photographs must always be secondary to type.
  • Image sources must be credited. (even if it’s you).


  • Text does not have to read left to right, maintain a consistent lead nor does it have to have a common baseline or lead. However, it must read in the order in which the author intended it to be read. Paragraph breaks must be honored.
  • Text/letters may not be repeated.
  • Text and/or letters may intersect as long as this does not interrupt readability.


The schedule is subject to change as the project progresses depending on the dynamics of this class and work process. However, this schedule does give you ample time to complete your project. You are advised to plan ahead but pay attention to any changes that are announced in class or via email.

Aug 26

Initial class: Introduction to first assignment and course specification. review of deliverables, explanation of concept and research.


  • This app is NOT free and does dumb shit with your fonts. Do not use it. Font Explorer X – a free type manager you can use to organize and activate your fonts. Did I mention free?
  • I added a bibliography to this page for reference; I'll bring these books in for you to look at.
  • I edited the policy on final projects in the grading section, because there were two conflicting statements: failure to turn in a project on time will result in an F for that project. See me if you have questions.
Aug 31

Bring your printed 75-word summary and list of terms ready to make a presentation. Turn in your printed report.
Lecture and discussion on the history of typography.


Sep 2

DUE: Bring to class 3 iterations of type pairing for one card.


  • Refine the type pairing we all agreed upon in class, and make two new ones based on what we talked about. We'll let them fight it out next Wednesday.
  • Find one or two interesting typefaces somewhere–a magazine, a website, on a billboard–and bring it in somehow. A print would be best, but if all you have is a picture online, we'll find a way to project it. We'll talk about it in class.

Sep 9 In class session.
Lecture and discussion on pairing type.


  • Seriously, Find one or two interesting typefaces somewhere–a magazine, a website, on a billboard–and bring it in somehow. A print would be best, but if all you have is a picture online, we'll find a way to project it. We'll talk about it in class.
  • Here's the Type Pairing PDF (1.2MB).

Sep 14 DUE: Bring to class 3 iterations of grid and type treatment on both sides of one card using the final type pairing.
Sep 16 Review of front and back of card design and in class session.
Lecture on grid systems and structures.


Sep 21

DUE: Bring to class all cards designed based on final choice of layout.

I want to see the definition side of all of your cards–that's all 26–laid out using your chosen grid. I also want to see the design of the back so that we get an idea of what the whole piece will look like. Print them out individually and bring them ready to be posted on the wall.

You should have the InDesign file set up with a master page containing your guides and grid, and all of the cards should be laid out in one file–I don't want 26 individual files for each card, or three here and four there. Bring your laptop and be prepared to show me your InDesign file.

Bonus points if you can set your file up with Paragraph and Character styles–we'll be getting into that in detail in next Wednesday's lecture.

Hey! I've got the box template available for download. There are two files: one is the template and the other is a version with an example.

Sep 23 Complete review of cards. Bring to next class comps for the box.
Lecture and discussion on Paragraph and Character styles, Master Pages


  • Here's the lecture on Paragraph and Character styles. PDF (2MB).
Sep 28 DUE: Box design


  • I couldn't find the X-Acto scoring tool I showed you, but I did find this one on Amazon.
  • Alpha Graphics. I'll have a pricing list and the transfer demo on Wednesday.
Sep 30 WE WILL HAVE CLASS. If I'm going overseas next week, I'll introduce the next project and we'll go over box assembly and final designs. Bring your box designs printed and ready to assemble and we'll work on them in class.
Introduction to Project Two
Oct 7 Research and subject review
Lecture on book design, review of long-form layout.
Oct 12 Layout comps due for first 5 pages


  • I added a link to the Bibliography for the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.
  • Work on all your layouts. Print them all out and have them ready to post on the wall. Cut them down to actual size so we see what your finish size will be.
  • I'll have grading sheets ready for your first project on Monday. Do me a favor and send me your packaged InDesign files by Sunday morning so I can look over your file setup. See the email I sent for packaging instructions.
Oct 19 Layout comps due for first 10 pages


  • Mike Montiero: Fuck You, Pay Me.
  • Spellchecking.
  • Paragraph and Character styles.
  • Grids, grids, grids. Seriously, buy a book.
Bring book pages printed out and cut down at size. Black and white is fine.
Oct 26 Layout comps due for all pages, all front matter.
Bring book pages printed out and cut down at size. Black and white is fine.
Bring book pages printed out and cut down at size. Color would be best here.
Nov 2 Final Crit for the Recipe project, introduction to third project
Nov 9 Layout comp due for third project
Nov 16 Review comps for third project, finalize approach
Nov 23 Review comps, IN CLASS SESSION
Is anyone going to be here?
Nov 30 Final Crit of third project
Review and make adjustments to all three projects.

Course Specifics

Instruction will primarily take the form of studio sessions but will also include informal lectures, and group crits.

Of primary importance is the process of creating the solution, and the critical dialogue that accompanies the process. That means you are expected to develop and explain your original concepts, provide informed opinions, offer constructive criticism and defend your work. Weight (both in discussion and grading) will be given to addressing process development and critical evaluation.

You are expected to come to each class prepared to show your progress. While this is a studio course, you may not necessarily have time to do your work in class. A large amount of class session through the semester will be used for group review.

All handouts, preliminary sketches, articles, notes, developmental progressions, roughs, etc., will be compiled in a black three-ring notebook for future reference. The thoroughness, organization, and design of this notebook is important and will be a part of the final grade. Notebooks must be available for review at any time during the semester and will be reviewed, along with a final portfolio, at the end of the course. This notebook must only contain material that relates to this class.

Final projects must be sent out to a service bureau for output. Students are expected to be familiar with the basics of InDesign, Illustrator (bezier curves) and Photoshop (layers) as well as with collecting for output, gathering fonts, etc.

Your presentation materials (comps) will be prepared in a professional manner. That means careful trimming and mounting. This is important to your final grade.

Printed and bound projects are due at the end of the semester. You are expected to turn in two copies. One copy will be kept as part of course archive. I will also ask for a multiple page PDF file of each of your projects. NOTE: These PDF files do not count as your final projects.

Lost or corrupt files and/or the inability to print will not excuse you from deadlines or crits.


Absolutely mandatory: If a student misses three unexcused classes the final grade will be lowered one full letter grade (i.e., if you have a grade of a B at the end of the term and you have missed three classes, your final grade will be a C). If you miss six classes, the final grade will be dropped two letter grades, and so on. If you miss more than five classes, excused or otherwise, I will advise you to drop or withdraw from the course.

I will have a sign-in sheet on a desk at the beginning of each class. If you don't sign it, you will be counted as absent. If you arrive 15 minutes after class begins you will be counted as absent. (Likewise, if you leave early, you will be counted as absent.) If you miss information due to absence it is your responsibility to obtain the missed information from your classmates (no exception). You are expected to come to next class prepared to show your work.

You are expected to come to class on time prepared to show your work for a critique. Please note that I will note every time a student presents the same work as on previous class without any further progress. This will affect your final grade especially if it is a pattern.

There will be no incomplete given at the end of the term unless the student can verify his/her personal situation with medical documentation. Even then, 90% of the work has to have been completed. Incomplete is given only to those who are unable to complete the work due to unforeseen circumstances such as serious surgery etc. Please refer to university policy on incompletes.

I work in Washington, D.C. and take the train home. If, in the event my train is delayed, I can’t make class on time, I’ll notify the class via email as soon as I’m aware of the delay, and notify the design department.

Email Communication

On the first day of class you are asked to send me an email contact you check regularly along with the section of Art 337 you are registered for. I will use it to create a class roster. This roster is the one I will use to contact you all on a regular basis. If you do not send me your contact information, the burden is on you to get the information from your classmates.

Office Hours:

I don't keep office hours. I'm an adjunct, which means class time is your time to talk to me (see the attendance policy above). I don’t critique via email. If you have a question during the week, by all means ask me, and I'll get back to you. But don’t expect me to send you a 20-minute review in email format.


You’re senior-level design students. I look at the class from a professional point of view: If you don't deliver your work on time, you're fired. Worse, you don't get paid. Find a way to make things happen.

I grade on four main points during each project: Participation, Concept, Design, and Craft. These grades lead to your final grade for each project. They are non-negotiable.

Participation is how much you contribute to each class on a regular basis. Each critique is your chance to ask questions, offer feedback, and interact with your fellow students. The more you learn how to do this constructively, the more you will learn. Can you give and receive constructive criticism? Did you do your research?

Concept is about the thinking behind each of your projects. What is the idea you're basing the design upon? How strong is it? Are you willing to alter or change your concept if a newer, stronger one presents itself? Is there anything in your class notebook? How well is it organized?

Design is the logical product of your concepts. If you don't start with a strong concept, you're just moving elements around the page. Everything has a purpose, and should serve the concept. Anything else is decoration. What is your process? Have you sketched anything? Have you fulfilled the purpose of the assignment?

Craft is about how much time and effort you put into the physical manifestation of your projects. Are they covered in glue? Are the edges torn? Is the printing perfect? Did you try several approaches to the final mockup, or go with the first one you built? How difficult was your approach?

Projects are what you present to me and to the class. You will be given a grade on each completed project and your presentation. Failure to turn in a completed project on time will reduce your final grade by one full letter grade. Semi final and final crits are absolutely mandatory attendance. Missing class on those days will be considered the same as missing an exam.

Stated deadlines must be met. Assignments will not be accepted if they are late. You're better off turning work in incomplete for a lowered grade than not turning it in on the due date. You'll get an F for the project if your work isn't turned in on the due date. This is not negotiable.

Lost or corrupt computer files and/or the inability to print will not excuse you from crits or deadlines. Always back up all your work. You are also advised to allow at least three days for production before final crit and give yourself some extra time in case you have any technological break down. Not attending a final or semi final crit, even if you do not have your work completed, will result in an F for the project.

Academic Integrity

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibility of an active participant in UMBC’s scholarly community in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of dishonesty, and they are wrong. Misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the UMBC Student Handbook or the Academic Integrity section of the UMBC website. Any level of plagiarism is not acceptable. Students presenting work that is not their original concept and execution will receive an automatic F for the class, and I will report them to the Undergraduate Academic Conduct Committee. Plagiarism and copying will not be tolerated.

Because this is a studio course and you are all expected to present your process and final work, sometimes instructor can see when a student is being heavily influenced by another students’ work. In case by case, instructor will reserve the right to judge when this happens and help the student who is picking up idea and stylistic direction from another student to redirect and find his or her visual language.


Students are expected to treat each other and the professor with respect and courtesy. In addition please make note of the following:

  • All cellphones have to be turned off.
  • No iPod or any other music gadget attached to your ears: no exceptions.
  • If I find you checking their email, posting to Facebook, working on other class projects, surfing the net for anything other than for class work, I'll ask you to leave the classroom. No exceptions will be made.

You are expected to do all of your research outside of the class time. Class time is reserved for studio work or reviews. Research during class is allowed if part of the class session or if I specifically request students to do so during class—normally a rare occurrence for this course.


Grid and structure
Other Topics


Take me to the bridge