An educator bloogging about graphic design.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thinking with Type

I’ve been reading the new typography book we’ve adopted, and I really like its approach. It’s Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton, authour of several other books, and design professor at Maryland Institute College of Art.

I suggested we adopt the book because it is clear and well-written, balancing history, theory, and practice in a succinct and well-written book. Lupton writes from a contemporary perspective without ignoring previous styles and theories. The rich assortment of illustrations range from a 1456 bible page by Johan Gutenberg to a 1990 book design by my grad school’s design professor Katherine McCoy. The author also has a website with additional resources.

Here’s a couple of interesting projects from Lupton’s book:
Letter Exercise Using graph paper or Illustrator, create a grid a certain number of squares high by a certain number wide. Design an alphabet within that rectangle.
Word Exercise Using Futura Bold in black only, design each of the following words on an 8 inch square to convey its meaning: transition, disruption, compression, expansion, migration, elimination, repetition. Letters may be shifted or repositioned but not distorted.


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