Typographic Studies

Throughout this course we will learn how typography can be used to enhance a piece of graphic design and deliver a competitive, creative or visual advantage.

Typeface design has continued to expand since the history of Gutenberg. Despite the numbers and variety of typefaces there is no slow down in the new designs being made available. Digital tools such as the Apple Mac, Open Type fonts and True Type fonts have allowed designers new power and flexibility, but typography still remains the fundamental tool of good graphics. The flexibility of using digital tools allows designers to experiment with typography in many ways.

Typography is the bedrock of all graphic design. It is a discipline that you will use time and time again. The intricacies of typography, if not handled correctly can let any project down. We have to know and understand type to be able to use it effectively to convey the appropriate message. Together with imagery it forms the crux of any visual communication.

A successful typographer has the ability to seize the immediate attention of the viewer, and to provoke and motivate their audience. Powerful typography can make the viewer gasp, laugh, reflect, question, protest, recoil and otherwise react by the way the message is conveyed.

In these workshops and projects we will be exploring how through typographic arrangement you can control the readers eye, generate tension and harmony to support the communication.

We will also begin to understand the difference in the needs and requirements of ‘clients’ and their ‘audiences’ and how this might impact on graphic designers using contemporary typefaces.

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Learning Outcomes:

On completing the course, students will:

  • Understand the importance of typography in communication design.
  • Understand the aesthetic qualities of form, colour, texture, scale and composition within typography.
  • Have learned to work expressively with typography within a number of contexts.
  • Be aware of historical and contemporary typographic design practice.

Indicative Content:

Hands-on studio/workshop-based activities. Computer workshops. Introduction to sketchbook methodologies. Lectures and studies of typography in the context of the metaphor e.g. magazines, films, illustration, web-design. Typography within the context of architecture and landscape.

Learning and Teaching Activities:

  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations by tutors and professional artists/designers
  • Studio-based project work
  • Self-initiated research
  • Tutorials
  • Group presentations and critiques, Gallery visits
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