Explorations of Data Lists: How Type, Hierarchy, and Color Reveal the Stories About the Titanic

Level one typography students think about data and typographic hierarchy.

Peggy Bloomer
Adjunct Professor
Quinnipiac University
Southern Connecticut State University

In this project I hoped to make level one typography students think about data and typographic hierarchy with. In my experience, students are not concerned about the data that is collected about them. I hoped to broaden their understanding of the power of data through their creation of a large format poster (24” x 26”) using lists about the passengers on the Titanic purchased from the “Encyclopedia Britannica.”

The textbook for the class is Ellen Lupton’s Thinking About Type. This assignment is an adaptation of Lupton’s hierarchy assignment “Long Lists.” According to Lupton, hierarchy is the organization of content using the spatial clues of indents, line spacing and placement. Other graphic elements that distinguish content include size, style and color.

Researching the list of passengers, students were asked to find human stories. The lists contained information about 1st, 2nd, 3rd class passengers and employees of the Titanic. Surnames, servants, gender, age, nationalities and origin of embarkment were provided. The poster was created in InDesign without photographic images. Students could use and InDesign tools to create color elements and many created ships, funnels, waves and other shapes.

The traditional process of information gathering, sketching and mocking up was used for designing the posters. In-class critiques of 3 smaller 11 x 17” versions helped students realize what was successful or not. Final versions were created to the larger size, printed, presented in class and hung in the department hallway for viewing.

In conclusion, most students realized the economic and gender consequences for passengers. One student used color to emphasize families and the impact was powerful: families died from infants to parents. The students gained knowledge about the power of simple data and almost all of them used size, style and color effectively. The use of indents, line spacing and style guides were not as successful. In the future, I plan to incorporate a slide show of memorials that include powerful images such as Flanders Field, The Vietnam Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 6.1: Quinnipiac University on October 5, 2019.

Portfolio Success: Strategies for Professional Development

Saturday, September 22, 2018. 2pm–5pm. Type Directors Club, 347 W 36th St., #603, New York, NY 10018

Type Directors ClubJoin industry professionals and design educators for a panel discussion on creating effective design portfolios. We will explore the role portfolios play in a successful design career now and in the future and will ask, are traditional portfolios still relevant? If so, what does a successful portfolio look like and what kind of projects should be included? Panelist will discuss what clients and employers want to see and which abilities industry leaders consider most important? You are invited to join the discussion as we look at new ways of teaching and explore emerging trends in effective portfolio development.


Christina Black 
Vice President, Creative Director
Showtime Networks Inc.

Michael McCaughley
Lead Designer at OCD

Holly Tienken
Assistant Professor
Communication Design
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Peter Lusch
Assistant Professor
Dept of Art, Architecture & Design
Lehigh University


Liz DeLuna 
Associate Professor 
St. John’s University

Janet Esquirol
Assistant Professor 
Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY

(Typography credit: Escalator from XYZ.)

Idea Incubator: The Architectural Design Studio Experience and the Nurturing of Creativity

Craig Konyk AIA
Assistant Professor of Architecture
School of Public Architecture
Michael Graves College
Kean University

The Education of an Architect in unlike many other disciplines in that the primary vehicle for the teaching of Design is the Architectural Studio. The Architectural Studio has its roots in the Beaux-Arts Atelier model from turn of the century France, where young architectural students would work in the design office of their Architectural Instructors, learning by emulation and association from like-minded colleagues. It was an informal affair, but actually a very encouraging model for creative enterprise.

Growing out of the model of the Artists’ Studio, where leftover, underutilized spaces (mansard attic spaces in Paris, basement space in Coenties Slip and lofts in Soho, Lower Manhattan, etc.) became places of creative production, and even urban rejuvenators, the Architect’s Studio became formalized in American Architectural Professional Education as the central component of a young architect’s path to licensure and professional standing. Without the Architecture Studio, one could not become an Architect.

Additionally, another significant component of the Studio system is the amount of time that is spent in the Studio working on design projects, discussing potential solutions, crafting submissions for final evaluation. The intensity and complete focus of the effort in one place for a sustained period of time creates an atmosphere not unlike a laboratory, where anexperiment is pursued to its logical conclusion. In our increasingly distracted and undirected society, the ability to combine time, singular focus and a space to achieve something of quality is a rare occurrence; one could even say it is a “luxury”. But in fact it is a necessity for one to achieve any significant break through in design.

This presentation will explain the unique properties of the Architectural Studio format, its history and development pedagogically and how elements of it may have application in other focus intensive design disciplines. It will argue that the Architecture Design Studio was a Design Incubator even before the term was given definition.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 3.1: Kean University on Saturday, Oct 22, 2016.