Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 8: Typographic Education

Art direction, design critic, and author Steven Heller wrote in The Education of a Typographer that “teaching a student graphic design before teaching her type and typography is like teaching a baby to walk before she crawls.”

“Type,” he says, “is the formal expression of writing, and writing is the physical representation of language. Type is the lingua franca of graphic design… type is the single most important graphic design element, and typography is the most consequential course a student can take as an undergraduate.”

I certainly have to agree with that, for, even as a filmmaker, I was indebted to dedicated typographers who helped create the graphics for innumerable commercials, films, and ads. If I didn’t believe how important typography was to my graphic design career, I might not be teaching a course in it…and making you learn type classifications.

But, as Steven Heller wrote, “the efficient study of type and typography is an ongoing process that involves much more than knowing the names of a few typefaces.”

Studying typography prepares you to draw from history, develop confidence, and be informed by the experience of generations of designers. “Yet, good typography does not happen with the flick of a switch. Fluency (in designing with type) means having the ability to … to make considered choices, which is the paramount result of a good education.”

But this class isn’t about me; it’s about you and what you are learning.

This week, stop and think about what you have learned from your reading, from the course content, and from the projects and their critiques. What are the most important things you learned and how will you apply that knowledge to your career as a designer?

In two or more paragraphs, explain the importance of two (2) concepts, rules, or elements of design that you feel are the most significant things you’ve learned in the course.

In your reply to a fellow student, explain which of the two items that student chose is, in your opinion, the most important.

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