Teaching & Student Work

Guest Lecturer at SCAD Atlanta: Typography

Recently, I was asked to visit SCAD Atlanta and lecture about typography and branding. The students at SCAD, under the direction of Cotter D. Christian, were preparing personal portfolios for their work in interior design. During my visit at SCAD, I prepared a lecture that introduced different typeface classifications, showed examples of how to mix type, and discussed beginner principles regarding expressive type. We also worked in Illustrator and had fun with some beginner type exercises.

The class seemed very appreciated of the information so I thought it might be a good idea to share the lectures with others. My sources for creating these lectures include Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton, Designing with Type by James Craig, and A Type Primer by John Kane. The lecture also includes some student work from Georgia State University.

There are so many things regarding typography and branding that are relevant for designers in other fields to apply in their own work. Whether you are an interior designer, industrial designer, or a graphic designer – type and brand is everywhere, especially when it concerns communications.

  1. Learn type anatomy
  2. Begin to identify different typefaces and type classifications
  3. Learn how to mix type styles within a family
  4. Learn how to adjust kerning and form ligatures
  5. Try creating expressive type by adjusting scale, placement, spacing
Teaching & Student Work

Book References for Beginner Typography Students: Brush up on your type anatomy, classifications, and type setting

Learning about typography is not as simple as one might think. It is essential for students to begin by learning about the origin and development of the alphabet to better understand its use in today’s environment. Also, learning basics, regarding vocabulary and standard applications for text and type, will help any designer improve their ability to successfully implement type in designs. In fact, I would go as far to say even the most experienced designers can improve their talents by re-visiting these basic typographical concepts.

Recommended reading list that I would suggest for anyone getting started with the basics of typography are:

Designing with Type by James Craig

Thinking with Type by Ellen Luptin

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Some objectives you can expect to learn as a beginner are:

  1. Gain an understanding of type as an element of design.
  2. Explore cultural and historical forces that shape contemporary typography.
  3. Develop a type vocabulary and general typographic skills within various software applications
  4. Discover how typography affects communication, in terms of legibility and semantics.
  5. Demonstrate typographic understanding of grids and multiple page layouts.