final portfolios

Can’t believe the last class is already here! Thanks to everyone for an amazingly inspirational semester.

Create a final portfolio of the work you did this semester. Include process photos and sketches. You have a week to revisit projects you would like to revise.

Final portfolio should be in PDF format (lo-rez), with a cover page that includes your name and email address. You’ll present these and walk us through your process and approach. We’ll spend the remainder of the class eating holiday cookies and talking about design.

Image created using PLINC

for dec 7…

Present your final editorial spreads for critique. Print and trim to fit in an issue of the NYT magazine.

For the second half of class, building on Annica‘s lecture, we’ll be doing some lettering. Bring a pencil, eraser, pens/markers of your choice, and tracing or vellum paper (whichever you have).

Lettering links:
Cooper type workshop, ken barber

Our last day of class is Dec 14. On this day, everyone will present their final portfolio. All work from this class should be in one pdf, with a title page with your name and email. Include process photos and sketches.

font foundries & type links

Font Foundries:
house industries –
HF&J –
Underware –
Emigre –
Lost Type Co-op –
Village –

type links:
we love typography –
friends of type –

editorial design

Design an interior spread for the New York Times magazine. Start by selecting an article topic that you find interesting. Look at the NYT website for content/possible subjects.

Create a stylized article headline. Also include author name, and body text. Spread layout grid should include 1 column on the left side of the page (brief, below headline), 2 on the right page. Include Drop caps, lead ins, and pullquotes to break up the monotony of the 2-columns of text (on the right page).

Use sample articles from the NY times magazine as a guide. The design of the magazine has gone through several changes in the past two years, so your headline type choice is flexible (Rockwell and Knockout are suggested). Body copy should be set in Chelthem (8-10 pt).

No Class on Nov 23 (happy thanksgiving!), so you have 2 weeks to complete your first draft. On Nov 30 a guest speaker will visit from New York magazine to talk about editorial design.

Look at past issues of the magazine for direction and inspiration!

custom lettering & final labels

Based on the lecture by Annica Lydenberg from dirtybandits, create a hand lettered type specimen, from an adjective. This is meant to be a fun way to explore hand-lettering based on all the inspiration from the lecture.

Think about how your lettering would be applied in a project. try different tools (brush, ink, calligraphy pen, fat marker, etc.).  Have fun with this!

Due next week:
Final jam label, on a jar
Lettering specimen (8.5′ x 11′)

more on combining type

Some tips to consider for the label project:

Choose your primary typeface wisely. Select a legible type family with enough weights to give you options.
Use a contrasting typeface. If your primary typeface is a serif design, a contrasting sans can often work well to help prioritize information. Don’t use more than two families; more runs the risk of making your design too busy.
Vary size. Changing the point size will draw attention, but be sure to make it noticeable. A one-point change won’t create enough contrast; try two points or more.
Use all caps. In small doses, all cap settings work well for brief emphasis, especially for subheads and column headings. Use all caps sparingly, though – text in all caps loses readability after more than a few words.
Incorporate italics. Using italics is a great way to achieve subtle emphasis, particularly for bylines, captions and within blocks of copy.
Take advantage of small caps. If your typeface has true-drawn small caps, use them! They’re terrific for highlighting specific elements when you have a lot of information to prioritize and don’t want to change type families.

For Next week: Labels, printed and on a jar.

let’s jam!

Design a label for a jar of jam. Use existing information from a label, or make up your own. The label should be type-based. Use at least three typefaces, all different classifications: Serif, San Serif, Slab Serif, Script, hand lettering, decorative type. You may choose to use one font family that has a large variety of weights (like Gotham). Also include one or more decorative elements. Your design should be no more than 2 colors.

The objective of this project is to:
-organize an effective hierarchy of information
-combine 3+ fonts effectively
-create a design that reflects the product

Techniques for Combining fonts
from HF&J
Louise Fili
Mucca Design
The Dieline

happy and impactful design cont’d

Link to inspire design that causes change:
Stefan Sagmeister  / on happy design
The Happy Film (amazing titles)
James Victore / James Victore’s interview by Hillman Curtis
Milton Glaser’s Road to Hell

Design of Dissent – Milton Glaser



responsible design

Write a list of 10 things that are important to you. Keep referring to this list.

Identify one or more of the following:
Something you see in everyday life that could be more efficient
Wastefullness that could be avoided
Something that is complex that could be made easier understand

For the next project, you are going to come up with a design solution that shows responsibility. It should mean something to you. It should have a positive social impact on society. It should use minimal resources (keeping sustainability in mind).

The most important part of this project is the idea. The challenge is coming up with what format it will take. Print? Web? iPhone App? Guerilla campaign? Stickers? What is the most effective format for delivery?

Due next class:
Present your idea(s), show sketches (by hand or digital). Share research you’ve done around your idea.

The Designers Accord
The Story of Stuff

book cover design

Design a book cover. This could be a redesign of a cover you can’t stand, or a new design for a book you love. You’ll have two weeks. The final cover should include front, spine, publisher information/logo.

Due next week:
Book cover design, 2 printouts: One mocked up on a book, the other flat.

the book cover archive

NY Times book design review

Designers to google:
Rodrigo Corral
Henry Yee
Catherine Casalino
Chip Kidd
Paul Sahre