Typography projects

Text manipulation project
Introduction
Most information messages are communicated through text, often large blocks of text. These blocks/groups become visual elements whose layout contributes to the effectiveness of a piece. Designers manipulate text for two main reasons:
1. Enhance the visual appeal of the piece
2. Improve readability.
Learn to see blocks of type as a mass to be molded and formed into shapes. Manipulate copy blocks to enhance the comprehension of the message.
Procedure
Open the file Text block - fact sheet and manipulate the copy to meet the two main objectives listed above. Assume the information will be used as an response to inquiries about the Department of Design. Create an appropriate layout composition.
Variables to consider
Column width, Hyphens, Margins, Line breaks, Format, Widows, Point size, Condense/extend, Letter & word spacing, Tracking
Specs
• Use only the text provided.
• Size of piece: 81/2 x11 or 11x81/2
Evaluation
• Thoroughness of manipulation.
• Attention to detail.
• Turned in on time.
Purpose
• Practice improving readability.
• Break information into logical units.
• Improve your eye for attention to detail.

Type and typo sampler project
Introduction
Great designers constantly hone their skills and design sense by analyzing, critiquing, and improving the world of type around them. Practice analyzing with a critical eye to spot inappropriate and improper uses/abuses of typography.
Procedure
Search newspapers, magazines, flyers, web pages, and posters. Collect numerous examples of poor typographic decisions from the search list below. Group them together and label their offense.
Search list
widows, rivers of white, poor letterspacing, bad word spacing, bad line breaks, inappropriate font selection, poor use of font set in reverse, poor use of case, poor contrast between type and background, misspelled words, incorrect punctuation, poor use of copy set justified, Macrapified type, any other abuses of typography
Purpose
• Improve your critical eye.
• Practice proofreading.
• Improve attention to detail. Evaluation
• Quantity of found items found from list.
• Quantity of samples from each item on list
• Clarity of samples found.
• Neatness of presentation.
• Turned in on time.

New character project
Introduction
The common Roman alphabet began as a set of marks that represented objects of value. People learned to associate the mark with a letter and group those symbols into units called words. Soon, this set of symbols was adopted by societies as the primary marking medium to communicate thoughts. The number of characters fluctuated depending on the culture in power and its needs. The alphabet is still evolving. There is no reason to assume it has stopped with 26 characters.
Procedure
Analyze and refine the Roman alphabet: delete any letters that are unnecessary. Determine a new character (or characters) that should be added to the alphabet. The added letters must solve a communication problem for use in writing and ease of reading. Determine where in the sequence of letters (a-z) the new letter belongs. The new character should fit in with the existing alphabet. Consider stroke widths, counters, serifs. Produce a letter-size page showing only the new character. Develop, refine, produce, and print out three complete alphabets (with the new character) in at least one font of each of the following categories:
1. Garamond, Bookman, or Times Roman
2. Futura, Helvetica, or Universe
3. Any script font
Specs
• Size and orientation of character paper: 81/2 x11
• Size of alphabet presentation: open
• Orientation of alphabet presentation: open
Purpose
• Explore alphabetic letterform symbols.
• Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current Roman alphabet.
• Develop a character(s) that is appropriate for the existing alphabet.
Evaluation
• Thorough assessment of the alphabet.
• Appropriateness of the new character.
• Well designed letterform character.
• Pleasing layout composition.
Examples
• Thurman Thomas
• Krismas
• ghoti = fish (laugh = f, women = i, action = sh)
• Do we need the letter 'x'? (eks, or z)

Type quote poster project
Introduction
This project requires you to do research about words of type wisdom; and layout, spec, build, and print a great poster.
Procedure
Do some research: check the internet, go to the library, read your design texts (except Type Rules!), and look through CA and Print. Find a quotation from someone, preferably a designer, that relates to some bit of wisdom about type, the design of type, the use of type, or communicating a message. Sketch concepts for a poster that use only type or manipulated type to enhance the message. Create a poster that would be appropriate and good enough to post in the graphic design room in this building. The quote and your layout and typography treatment should serve to inspire future designers about type.
Poster specs
• Size: open, preferably 11x17
• Colors: open
• Images: use type only
Purpose
• Read and be inspired by words of wisdom.
• Practice effective layout composition.
• Make appropriate font selection decisions.
Evaluation
• Appropriate and impactful quote.
• Well designed layout.
• Appropriate use of typography to enhance the communication of a message.

Spacing project Typography I
Introduction
To efficiently communicate a message, typographers and graphic designers see and manipulate letters as design elements; analyze letterform characteristics to determine how they relate to each other and to other design elements; understand letters as symbols for communication. This project includes turning in two printouts with 3 lines of text on each page - in different faces, settings, and sizes.

Procedure
Set up 'New' pages according to the specs below.
Set text of two different headlines - Minerva delays Katy and Two for one sale. Create and set all type in one text block. Repeat each line of copy on 3 parallel baselines according to the specs below. If a particular specification is not stated, then you may use your best judgment. Design the composition and space the letters and words for maximum comprehension.
Minerva specs
• Paper size: 14"x8"
• Paper color: white
• Ink color: black
• Text line 1: Helvetica bold, 72pt, UC
• Text line 2: a cursive font, 48pt
• Text line 3: slab serif font, 54pt, all caps
• Leading: 140 points

Twofer specs
• Paper size: 8.5"x11"
• Paper color: white
• Ink color: black
• Text line 1: 56 point Times New Roman bold, U&lc
• Text line 2: a decorative font, any point size
• Text line 3: sans serif font, 48pt, all caps
• Leading: 200 points
Illustrator tasks
__ Document setup
__ Font selection
__ Point size
__ Leading
__ Kerning
__ Tracking
__ Baseline shift
__ 'Option + arrow key' kerning
__ 'Create Outlines': manipulate letterforms
__ Spell check
__ Grid, Snap to Grid
__ Grid alignment

File - Document setup      Window - Type - Character      Type - Create outlines

Edit - Check Spelling

Purpose
• Appreciate the complexity of alphabet letterforms
• Create appropriate letter and word spacing relationships
• Practice design principles of alignment, consistency, and uniformity
• Create a well-designed layout composition
• Practice using Illustrator software
• Acknowledge and adhere to specs
Evaluation
• All specs precisely followed
• Clarity of legibility and readability
• Correctly spelled copy
• Appropriate kerning, word spacing, and leading
• Neatness of presentation
• Appropriate layout composition
• Demonstrated proficiency in Illustrator
• Turned in on time

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/typogprojects.html