Projects and Exercises



E9: Social Type

Design a 5 slide post for Instagram using the typeface and designer selected in class. The slides should introduce the typeface and the designer, give some context about the typeface (classification, when it was designed, what’s it for, etc.) and designer (who were they, where were they from, etc.), and show some work that uses the typeface. The slides should go together as a set and use the same grid and styles on each one. The slides do not necessarily have to use the typeface you choose.

  • 5 slides
  • 1080px by 1080px
  • uses a grid
  • max of two typefaces
  • pdf uploaded to blackboard
  • pdf on miro

Due Tuesday, November 07 by 1:30 pm ET

E8: Type Sampler

Design a 16 page, 5 by 8 inch booklet that responds the set of prompts below and uses only type from Adobe Fonts ( The booklet should use a consistent grid from the front to the back and follow principles of good typography throughout. There should be no centered or right aligned type in the booklet.

The stucture of the book should be as follows:

  • Page 1: Cover (includes at least your name and type sampler)
  • Page 2: See prompt £06
  • Page 3: Table of Contents (typeface used for prompt and page number)
  • Page 4 through 14: Prompts
  • Page 15: See prompt £04
  • Page 16: Back Cover

The prompts are:

  1. Pick a sans serif typeface to use for headers. Set the text “Breaking, This Typeface to be Used for Headers” on this page and use this typeface for all headers in the book. This typeface should be easy to read. (p4)
  2. Pick a serif typeface to use for paragraphs of text. Set three paragraphs of text on this page using placeholder text. Make sure to mark the paragraphs and use this method of marking whenever you set paragraphs. (p5)
  3. Pick a monospaced typeface to use for page numbers. The page numbers should be on pages 4 to 14 and in a consistent place on each page. Set a number between 0 and 9 that fills this page. (p6)
  4. Pick a script typeface. Set your favorite way to say “hello” on this page and set your favorite way to say “goodbye” on page 15. (p7)
  5. Go to and read the five sections under “Why Typography Matters.” Select a section and a few key paragraphs and set them on this spread using the typefaces you chose from prompt 01 and 02. (p8 and p9)
  6. Pick a decorative typeface. Using this typeface, set your favorite letter, capital or lowercase, on page 2 and your favorite symbol on this page. (p10)
  7. Pick a geometric sans serif and create a pattern on this page that uses no more than three unique letters. (p11)
  8. Pick a slab serif and set your favorite color on this page. (p12)
  9. Pick a modern typeface and set your least favorite color on this page. (p13)
  10. Pick a sans serif you would consider friendly. Use that typeface to make a list of your top three favorite months on this page. (p14)

Content that should be consistent in design and location pages 4–14:

  • The prompt number and text of prompt
  • A page number
  • The typeface used for that prompt and the designer/foundry for that typeface
  • printed and folded booklet
  • printed in color or black and white
  • page size is 5 by 8 inches
  • uses a grid
  • pdf uploaded to blackboard
  • pdf on miro

Due Tuesday, October 25 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 7: Recipe

Find a recipe online and design a one page print version of that recipe using only the type (no images). Select a recipe that is not overly complex and is relatively short. Design the recipe on a letter sized sheet of paper.

Create a grid and start designing. You are free to edit the content from the original source but all the information necessary to make the recipe needs to be present on the page. Use paragraph and character styles to make adjustments to the type easier. Remember to name them something that makes sense and someone else could understand.

  • full recipe on a single letter sheet
  • printed in color or black and white
  • uses a grid
  • image added to miro
  • pdf uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, October 11 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 6: manipulations

Take five of the printed words and phrases from the provided set and perform a radical physical or digital manipulation to each one. The content can inform the manipulation or the manipulation can inform the content. Each manipulation should be different from the last. Consider the following techniques:

  • photographic distortion
  • scanning
  • motion capture
  • folding
  • vector alteration
  • blur
  • pixelation
  • physical mirrors
  • dirt
  • glitch
  • texturizing
  • distressing
  • collage
  • soaking in liquid

Your aim throughout should be to force the type to become expressive. Your manipulations should be radical, but not arbitrary. Keep your manipulations abstract. Do not decorate your type with representational imagery, or transform your type itself into a representational image.

Scan or photograph each of your manipulations and print them out on letter sheets for review. Spend no longer than 20 minutes on each idea.

  • five, 8.5” x 11” manipulations
  • printed in color or black and white
  • mix of physical and digital
  • images added to miro
  • single pdf uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, October 11 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 5: In the News

A typographic hierarchy expresses the organization of content, emphasizing some elements and subordinating others. A visual hierarchy helps readers scan a text, knowing where to enter and exit and how to pick and choose among its offerings. Each level of heirarchy should be signaled by one or more cues, applied consistently across a body of text. A cue can be spatial (indent, leading, placement) or graphic (size, style, weight). Infinite variations are possible.

Choose a story from the New York Times home page. Set the headline, byline, and text (can be partial) on a 7”x7” page following the guidlines below.

one set of two pages, nicely set Select one typeface to use for both. You can use different weights and styles for the selected typeface.

second set of two pages, nicely set Select two typefaces that pair together nicely. Again, you can also use different weights and styles of the typefaces you choose and these will be set well.

third set of two pages, experimentally set Do whatever you want. Can the layout influence how the story should be read? Can the layout give new meaning to the story? Use these two pages as a playground to make more interesting design decisions and see where they lead.

Things to consider while setting your type on the page:

  • point size
  • leading
  • tracking
  • kerning
  • emphasis
  • grid
  • rags
  • spacing
  • margins
  • texture
  • alignment
  • column width
  • paragraph alignment
  • paragraph marking
  • weight
  • 6, 7” squares, printed & trimmed
  • guidelines followed for 6 layouts
  • composition uses a grid
  • black type, white background
  • images added to miro
  • single pdf uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, October 04 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 4: Found Letterforms

Document at least 25 examples of the same letter in the environment. Your photos should be high quality—no pixelation or unintended blurriness. Find different type styles including uppercase, lowercase, italics, bold, serif, sans serif, etc. Crop each letterform to create a dynamic composition in a grid (with or without gutters or margins) of at least 9 images in a 7” square. Try taking the letterform to just before the point where it is no longer recognizable as a character. Consider how the individual crops work together. Pay attention to color relationships, the individual cropping, and the scale of the letters themselves. Think unity and variety: what will unify your nine images (material, size, color, type case etc) and what will provide variety?

  • contact sheet of 25 images as a pdf
  • 7” square composition, printed and trimmed
  • at least 9 images in the composition
  • composition uses a grid
  • 2 pdfs (composition and contact sheet) uploaded to blackboard
  • image of composition on miro

Due Tuesday, September 27 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 3: Translations

Words on their own carry a lot of meaning. That meaning can be emphasized by how the type is treated. In a very simple example, look at the difference between “bold” and “BOLD”. The word didn’t change but making the word all caps and bold made the word more impactful. For this project, you will be visually expressing the meaning of the words by making typographic transformations to those words.

Pick five of the words in the list below and set each one on its own 7”x7” white piece of paper in black Futura Bold. You can express the meaning of a word or an idea through spacing, sizing, and placement of letters of each word on the page. This means you should think about things such as point size, tracking, kerning, capitalization, weight, and position of the word and its letters on the page. You should not be altering the letter forms themselves. That means you should not stretch or squish the letters in any direction. Also do not have anything other than the word on the page

  • transition
  • expansion
  • migration
  • elimination
  • repetition
  • compression
  • disruption
  • silence
  • softness
  • loudness
  • heavy
  • lightness
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • movement
  • five 7” squares, printed and trimmed
  • black type, white background
  • uses futura bold only
  • type not distorted
  • images added to miro
  • single pdf uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, September 20 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 2: Physical Grids

Use the three provided grids and create layouts on them using the provided magazine scraps. The grids should be strictly adhered to while creating your layouts and should keep in mind the hierarchy of the page.

  • three layouts using the three grids
  • text and images on the layouts
  • magazine bits adhere to the grids
  • images added to miro
  • images uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, September 20 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 1: Letter Croppings

On five 6” squares, present sections of a letterform that high­lights its unique char­ac­ter­istics, keeping in mind the contrast between form and coun­terform. Each of your crops will use a typeface from Adobe fonts that fits into one of the following typeface classifications: any serif, modern serif, slab serif, any sans serif, script, blackletter. Once you find a typeface that fits the appropriate category, select a letter and crop into it. The crop should ideally focus on one of the aspects that identifies that classification of type but could also focus on something unique about that specific letter. The original letter does not necessarily need to be recognizable but the specific characteristic you are looking at should. Include the name and designer of the typeface in 10pt Acumin Pro Bold (on Adobe fonts).

  • five 6” squares, printed & trimmed
  • black type, white background
  • name and designer of typeface
  • images added to miro
  • single pdf uploaded to blackboard

Due Tuesday, September 13 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 0: name dot png

Typeset your name on a 600px x 300px artboard in Illustrator and then export it as a png. Choose a typeface that represents who you are but keep it black type on a transparent background (so don’t add a color in the background on the artboard).

  • 600px x 300px
  • transparent .png file
  • your name in black type
  • file named [yourfirstname].png
  • image added to miro
  • image uploaded to blackboard


Due Tuesday, August 30 by 1:30 pm ET