Wednesday, 14 December

Bring in all work completed for the semester. There have been 11 projects; all are listed on on this page (see index at right). A list — including advice on which pieces should be mounted for end-of-semester evaluations — was handed out in class on Monday, and is available as a pdf here.

On Wednesday, I will discuss mounting work on presentation board, for the evaluations this and next week, but also for the longer term. It is important to present your work well, neatly, cut with perfectly squared corners and straight lines!

It is the instructor’s intention to (quickly) look through each person’s work done over the course of the semester, one on one.

Reminder: The first Form and Space exercise was done on tracing paper. For presentation at evaluations, it might make sense to photocopy and then trim to a perfect square, for flat (spray-glued) mounting on presentation board.

magazine redesign ( Monocle )     .pdf

Reconceive (audience, intention, size, density, etc.) Monocle Magazine, and redesign cover, TOC, one two-page feature spread, and Observation letter from editor. Each student has a different number of the magazine; instructor will provide text for those respective issues (TOC, article, etc.) as requested by student.

Start by recreating an Observation page, using your issue as a template and text provided by instructor. Typography should be nigh indistinguishable from the original — typeface (Plantin, Helvetica), weight, leading, letter/wordspacing, column and margin widths, etc.

See Print Specs document, which provides these:
Trim size: 200 x 265mm
Type area: 184 x 249mm

music and memory (glossary)     .pdf

Design separate glossary sheets for three terms from the glossary in Bob Snyder, Music and Memory : An Introduction (MIT Press, 2000; preview here).

The Glossary of this book provides some concepts (and definitions) that have some relevance even to 2D design, including typographic design. I’m thinking in particular of definitions of attack, chunking, decay, and the distinctions drawn between short-term (limited to around 5-9 elements, or one chunk) and long-term (episodic and semantic) memory.

Each of the three sheets will provide the source (given above); the glossary term, the definition, plus an illustration of that term, done exclusively with type. They might be pages of a book; they might also be separate sheets, i.e., so-called handouts. Important, with regard to the illustration — Rather than creating an image box, same location each page, you may use the entire page field for that illustration. What this means is that the illustration interacts with the strict glossary information. Glossary information must respect grid. The illustration can work with or against the grid.

You have the entire surface of the page to deploy for the illustration. Your design will ensure that there is no confusion between the two registers of information.

A conservative example shown below.


at left, example grid setup for 8.5x11 page, on tabloid.
Document (layout) setup is 9p0 left and right margins, 18p0 top and bottom margins to form 8.5x11 inner document of:
16 columns, 17 rows, no column margins.
Top and bottom rows together with left and right columns form a 3p0 margin.
Apparent margin gutters are handled in paragraph styles, left and right indents of 0p3 — see detail below).

at right, same in previewmode.

detail (note left indent in text box, set in paragraph styles (indents might also have been set up in text box settings)

good form 2 (redesign a form for clarity, ease of use)     .pdf

In brief, develop an improved summary sheet for a student in any concentration; you are welcome (and encouraged) to configure a summary sheet for a dual concentration; the document need not be limited to a single page, but pages should be 8.5 x 11 inches. Multiple column-grid encouraged. So too is a comprehensive rethink of how this document should work, its premisses/principles, etc.


PDFs of the summary sheets can be accessed via the courses and requirements pages of the respective programs, e.g., Illustration. These list current program requirements; photocopies of annotated (by pencil) copies are also used in advising. Thumbnails above show such sheets for Graphic Design, Illustration and the Art Education Initial Licensure requirements.

A single student might conceivably be doing all three programs while in school. It would be convenient if a single requirement/summary sheet document could be customized to the needs of that student. Good UX (user experience) understanding of advisee/advisor needs, together with smart programming, could enable such bespoke displays (on screen and on paper) of requirements and tallies, for every student, whatever her/his concentration(s).

good form (etiquette, typography, errors)     .pdf

Poster, indicating good usage/etiquette in typographic and social form. Alternative: poster about error, typographic and social faux pas.

  1. Must show at east five do’s (or don’ts, or both) for typography, and the same number for social etiquette.
  2. Must use grid.
  3. May use drawings or photographs.
  4. May use other fonts in the Font Folio collection (other than Fournier, Minion and Univers).
  5. Minimum size 11x17 inches. Preferred size larger.

You will find your rules in books of etiquette (e.g., Emily Post) and in typographic handbooks. The Beverly Public Library has numerous etiquette books (Emily Post, Miss Manners, Miss Conduct, etc., etc.), on the shelf at BJ 1853, or search that LC class.

Ian Corrigan (Fall 2011)

Ian Corrigan, detail (Fall 2011)

Joyce Fombah (Fall 2011)

Joyce Fombah, detail (Fall 2011)

Caroline Lares (Fall 2011)

Caroline Lares, detail (Fall 2011)

Yang Li (Dante), entire and detail (Fall 2011)

Ruby Martinez, entire and detail, version 1 (Fall 2011)

Ruby Martinez, entire and detail, version 2 (Fall 2011)

Ashley Provencher, entire and detail (Fall 2011)

Alexandra Rebello, entire and detail (Fall 2011)

Ashleigh Silberstein, two versions (Fall 2011)

Ashleigh Silberstein, detail of flat version (Fall 2011)

Ashleigh Silberstein, detail of layered version (Fall 2011)

Some examples (from last year) and some sources are presented below —


above, Kyle Gibson (Fall 2010)


above, Kaoru Kigoshi (Fall 2010)


above, Ariel Winchester (Fall 2010)

above, Randi Giles (Fall 2010)

  • Thomas Edie Hill. The new revised Hill’s manual of social and business forms: a guide to correct writing with approved methods in speaking and acting in the various relations of life. Chicago, 1897

    This and earlier editions are available online; several are listed here.

  • Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners.

    Emily Post, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home. Illustrated with private photographs and facsimiles of social forms. New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls, 1923

  • A correct card is white, but not intensely white. It is fine in texture, not too heavy, or stiff, and in size it follows a prevailing mode. An exaggeration of the usual shape is bad form.

    Abby Buchanan Longstreet, Cards: Their Significance and Proper Usage, as governed by the usages of New York society / by the author of Social etiquette of New York. New York and London: F.A. Stokes, c1889.

cv / résumé     .pdf

In brief, a résumé. Employ multi-column (and row?) grid, and paragraph styles (including list formats).

8.5 x 11 inches; may be multiple pages. Black and white only, or negotiate color. May contain photographic and other imagery.

Must incorporate conventional information (work history, languages, skills, education); may incorporate other information that says something about you (list of last ten books read, movies seen, instruments you play, etc.). Obviously, the look and typographic discipline (or lack of it) of the résumé will also tell volumes about you.

We discussed the Feltron annual reports as a kind of résumé. Well worth a look.

Paragraph / Grid Studies: marking paragraphs and lists     .pdf

Minimum six ways of marking paragraph starts, all done with paragraph styles. Two 11x17 sheets, each three columns. One example per column. Again using the Gertrude Stein text (G.M.P., 1911-12, obtainable via Project Gutenberg — starts about two-thirds of the way down the page).

The basic methods are:

  1. indent and line break
  2. line break and additional space after
  3. outdent (indent entire paragraph, but negative indent for first line)
  4. no indents, but symbols (possibly bold, or another color) in body of text, e.g., ¶, or , or or even .
  5. list (using figures, as done here)
  • list (using symbols, as shown at left)

For lists, see Cohen InDesign CS5, p72.

You are encouraged to present yet other ways to indicate the start of a unit of text. Extra credit (worthiness) results!

Grid Studies     .pdf


Shown above, four grid studies by Yang Li (Dante).

A version, above, shows a section of a page, with
6 columns
margin 1p0
each column 9p2
each row 9p2 high, with a
1p0 margin between rows.

This detail shows a quick attempt at analyzing some of the Stein text, breaking it out into components — something akin to diagramming sentences, I suppose.

Your experiments may also explore visual rhythm, different densities of type. And the three versions that permit a larger size of type (let’s say, here, one larger size per each of the three sheets), will probably choose at least one very large size.

For a general sense of what modular grid exercises might look like, see exercise at the Thinking with Type website.

More examples below —

Shown above, a fully gridded page. I created a text box exactly 9p2 square, and copied and pasted that box to use as a guide in creating successive horizontal gridlines, moving down. (Create horizontal gridlines by pulling guides down from top ruler.) To ensure that margins between each row are exactly 1p, I would drag origin point of rulers (upper left hand) down to gridline delineating bottom of a row, and then drag new gridline down to exactly 1p beneath that. And repeat the process. Finally, I could drag the whole completed page up to a Master page, thereby making this grid my Master Page A.

Alternatively, I might have gone to top menu : Layout > Create Guides, and create guides for rows, in something like the way one sets up columns. All of this requires, however, some pre-thinking about outside margins, but once you've done the math, the Create Guides route is the easier method, and yields results that are indistinguishable from the gridded page displayed above.

Above, experimenting with text boxes, transparency, text boxes on top of each other. For transparency, click on box; Window > Effects > Objects > Effects > Transparency, and adjust Opacity slider. The Box will cover whatever is behind it.

For flowing — sometimes called snaking — text from one box to another, use selection tool to click on overflow icon (has a small plus sign in it) at bottom right of a text box with more text than it can show; you’ve now loaded overflow text into the cursor. Move cursor to within empty target text box and click. Text flows into the box. (Cohen, pp272-3)

There’s nothing like putting stuff in boxes, my notes tell me that Muriel Cooper wrote, once, somewhere.

Poetry Book     .pdf

A book containing minimum five poems, of any length or size. Poems may be conventional or concrete/visual. No limit on book size, but keep in mind production realities.

All five poems must be created by you, using only text drawn from the scientific paper provided by the instructor.

Create your poems on page sizes that you think you might develop into a book. Thus, any page size larger than 8.5x11 will be a bad idea (because spreads must be printable on 11x17 paper).
You may use a full spread for one poem. And even more pages than that! You might also present five conventional poems, each illustrated by a concrete or visual poem.

after the poems, the book

  1. front and back matter
    including half title and title pages, table of contents, a two-page introduction (drawn straight from the article, two pages), colophon or bibliography
  2. the poetry itself, and
  3. paratext — page numbers, running heads or footers (if any), table of contents.
  4. Use maximum two of the four typefaces we have explored so far : Minion, Fournier, Univers and Garamond Premier Pro.

Use paragraph and character styles wherever appropriate, and presumably for all paratextual elements.
You may conceive of this book from either a poetic or scientific frame of visual reference, or both.
So that paratextual elements do not compete with poetic content (either concrete or conventional poetry), it is logical that paratextual elements will be somewhat restrained, hence text faces whether roman or italic.
That said, aggressive, dynamic poetic treatment may require a strong treatment of page numbers (and running heads, footers, etc., if any). And strong treatment of page numbers would probably necessitate a strong treatment of other paratextual elements, including title page.
Exploit the physical features of the page (edges) and the book itself (gutter, sequence, the materiality of the paper).

Text drawn from one (only one) page of
Ruth Schulz, Arren Glover, Michael J. Milford, Gordon Wyeth, Janet Wiles. Lingodroids: Studies in Spatial Cognition and Language.
2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai, China

PDF of the above text can be accessed via
Stephen Ornes, Robots Invent Their Own Language / But no word yet on when they plan to overthrow us. Discover Magazine, 12 September 2011 (here)
or directly here (PDF).

Whose 30 lovely, dada-istic toponyms are

boho   —   fexo   —   fili   —   futo   —   gige   —   heto   —   higo   —   jaro   —   jaya   —   juhe   —   kiyi   —   kopo   —   kuzo   —   liye   —   mira   —   pize   —   pucu   —   qoze   —   reya   —   rije   —   ruhe   —   sihu   —   soqe   —   vaji   —   xala   —   xapo   —   yaro   —   yifi   —   zuce   —   zuya

Topynyms in red from the initial lexicon.

Thanks to the delicious bookmarks of science writer/blogger Ed Yong, well worth following.

Paragraph Studies     .pdf

We hone in on the reading text level. Here our concern is detail, rather than compositional issues of how blocks of text relate to each other, and to margins and/or gutters.

We can control the look of prose text by attention to the following attributes —

Our selection of a typeface and style (roman, italic, bold, medium, etc.). Some typefaces set wider than others; italic tends to be narrower than roman.
Font size.
Leading (the space between lines).
Justification (word and letter spacing, and glyph scaling) for both ragged (unjustified) and justified text.
We can control hyphenation, which can dramatically affect appearance of text.
The length of a line too will affect word spacing (how much space between words needs to be expanded or contracted, to justify a line). This is because, with more words per line, any spacing is distributed across more word breaks.
We can even control the raggedness of a ragged right margin.
(There are also some tricks like optical margin alignment, that allows, for example, quotation marks to extend slightly outside of a margin, but results in the appearance of a smooth margin.)

Most prose we encounter is aligned left justify — aligned to the left, with various treatments to fill out the text to the right, including word and letter spacing, and hyphenation. In general, and particularly for prose, we want an even gray. No rivers of letterspacing running down the page. No distractions.

The work

  1. Set up document as tabloid 11x17 pages ( = 66p0 x 102p0 )
    (Remember: 12 points to a pica, 6 picas to an inch.)
  2. Set up a page for three columns
    Left and right margins 4p0, column margins 2p.
    One column each of Minion, Fournier, and Garmond Premier Pro (regular).
    Each column contains two paragraphs, ragged at top, justified below.
    Do this for 12, 14 and 18 point. (thus, three sheets).
  3. New document
    Set up a page for two columns (you could do in same document, with different master pages)
    Left and right margins 6p0, column margin 6p.
    One each of Minion plus Fournier or Garmond Premier Pro (regular).
    Again, each column contains two paragraphs, ragged at top, justified below.
    Do this for 14 and 18 point. (thus, two sheets).
  4. Import text
    Download the text of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851) from (plain not zipped text)
    Skip (or search) down to Chapter 1. Loomings, and use language from that opening passage.
    You will probably need to clean up the text, delete line breaks, and replace double hyphens -- with an — (which is called an m-dash and can be found with option+shift+hyphen).
  5. Use the same text in all specimens.
  6. For each specimen, create a new paragraph style
    Window > type tables > paragraph styles > new paragraph style
    Give it a name (e.g., fournier 12p rag.
    Now we make some determinations.
    Basic character format governs font, size, leading (it opens at default)
    Indents and spacing governs alignment (use left or left justify)
    Tabs. Might be none (but then how to indicate where one paragraph ends, and another begins). Or might be the default 3p0, or we can control (start with 1p0).
    Hyphenation allows you to control how many consecutive lines can be hyphenated (too many looks bad), and also to control the “hyphenation zone” (that is, the range of raggedness).
    Justification allows you to control word spacing. Let’s avoid letter spacing and glyph scaling for now (and even for ever); in all cases, set single word justification to align left.
    Remember what we are looking for : even gray, no rivers, clean rag
  7. At the bottom of each column, indicate in a consistent manner (means, same font and size throughout) the font name, size, leading, width of column, no hyphens (or hyphens), and word spacing
    Minion 10/12.5 Measure 19p0
    Settings : no hyphens, word spacing 100% (for unjustified) or 90-100-110% (for justified)

Font Specimens     .pdf


Gain familiarity with FontBook, our Adobe OpenType typeface library, and three significant typefaces; setting up pages in InDesign CS5.
Reconnect with 2D Design experience with composition.

project brief

Minimum two specimen sheets for each of three typefaces (Adobe Minion, Fournier Standard, Univers). 11x17 inches. Type may bleed.

For Minion and Fournier: one specimen shows roman only, the second can show roman plus italic.
For Univers, different available weights (NO italic).

Seek to deploy your type so that we forget this is generic 11x17.

Font specimen must include :

  1. name of font
  2. designer (and his/her years)
  3. uppercase alphabet — ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  4. lowercase alphabet — abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  5. figures : 0123456789, including oldstyle numerals if available
    top menu (InDesign): Type > Glyphs), and
  6. this line (and its source):
    It is the case with gardens as societies: some things require to be fixed so that others may be placed. Ian Hamilton Finlay

Minion : Robert Slimbach (1956 – )
Fournier : Pierre Simon Fournier (1712-1768)
Universe : Adrian Frutiger (1928 – )

Different sizes ok. Black only. No images.

Provide a straightforward presentation of the font.


New Collection : give it a name, e.g., something like specimen project.
Add fonts to that new collection, by Add Font > your hard drive > Library > Fonts > Western > select the font (folder) you wish to open, and add (without opening that folder).
We will only use fonts from the Font Folio II Collection.

Now open InDesign CS5.
New document. Tabloid (66p0 ≈ 102p0. Turn facing pages off.
Change default margins from 3 picas (= 1/2 inch) to 0. Or, if you want to bleed: leave them at 3p0 all around.
We will print these on tabloid 11x17 inch paper.

principles and terminology

font, typeface, uppercase, lowercase, roman, italic, serif, sans serif, leading, tracking, alignment

em square, baseline, x-height, cap height, body height, ascender, descender, stem, terminal, bar, bow, counter, leg, bracket

Form and Space     .pdf

Sapere Aude ! Have courage to use your own understanding.

Attention to the dynamics of the 10 inch square space and its typographic content.

Traced onto 8 1/2 inch square.
Minimum two each for Adobe Minion and Univers.
Must use all nine words at least once!
Arrange these on these four pages. Must be horizontal baseline. Must activate the square.
May repeat words, or enlarge (and enlarge) and trace those.

Joyce Fombah, 1 (Fall 2011)

Joyce Fombah, 2 (Fall 2011)

Joyce Fombah, 3 (Fall 2011)

Joyce Fombah, 4 (Fall 2011)

Text — sometimes called the motto of the enlightenment, from Immanuel Kant (1721-1804), Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (1784), found also in Jost Hochuli, Book design as a school of thought, in Jost Hochuli, Robin Kinross, Designing Books: Practice and Theory (London: Hyphen, 1996)


Project briefs, resources, examples of current and past student work.

Magazine redesign ( Monocle )
Music and Memory glossary
Good Form 2 administrative document redesign
Good Form posters
cv / résumé
Marking Paragraphs, Lists
Grid Studies
Poetry Book
Paragraph Studies
Font Specimens
Form and Space

syllabus   pdf


Sandee Cohen. InDesign CS5 (Visual Quickstart Guide, 2010) — required

Ellen Lupton. Thinking with Type (2nd edition, 2010) — required

Adobe Font Folio 11, Type Reference Guide
recommended (and always in classroom)


Adobe Typography Primer pdf
a 20-page concise and useful overview; includes glossary. recommended.

Letter Anatomy
from web component of Lupton’s Thinking with Type.


Comments/questions to jmcvey.