Body Type

Samantha Flora
Co-Founder and Designer
JAM Studios and Fat Kid Type Foundry

Centered around issues of identity, the body, womanhood, and how they interconnect with design in the context of body image and the body positivity movement, Body Type: An Analysis of Fat Identity and Fat Bias in Graphic Design, is an extensive body of research which connects type, design, and the body through humanistic tradition.

In addition to a brief overview of the research, presenter will discuss Body Type—a typeface based on her own bodily proportions, which seeks to interject the fat female form into an industry where fat bodies have been marginalized by practice. It is a story of radical self-acceptance that seeks to redefine what self-love means to the modern woman and how that change can be—and should be, shaped by design.

Breakfast and Letterpress Typography Workshop @HMCT

Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at ArtCenter College of Design is hosting a workshop to welcome Design Incubation and typography design researchers to the West Coast.

We are excited to announce the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at ArtCenter College of Design is generously hosting a workshop to welcome Design Incubation and typography design researchers to the West Coast during the 106th Annual CAA Conference in Los Angeles.

Saturday, February 24, 2018
10:30AM–1:30PM
Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography / Archetype Press 
South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, California 91105

The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography [HMCT] at ArtCenter College of Design was founded in 2015 in memory of Professor Leah Hoffmitz Milken, a well-known typographer, letterform designer and esteemed faculty member at ArtCenter. Archetype Press houses more than 2,500 cases of rare American and European foundry type, wood type, and ornaments.

Gloria Kondrup, Executive Director of Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography and Director of Archetype Press, will also be moderating a special program of typography research presentations during Affiliated Society Meeting: Design Incubation Special Program on Typography. For details visit the website announcement. All are welcome to attend these events. Please register in advance.

Rethink Typography Education for Digital Content Design

Christie Shin
Assistant Professor
Communication Design
Fashion Institute of Technology

Christie Shin
Assistant Professor
Communication Design

Fashion Institute of Technology

The printed page is not obsolete, and it will probably never be “dead” as many have predicted.  As a matter of fact, a new wave of indie magazines has been thriving in recent years as a result of the streamlined process of publishing. However, as far as the overall media consumption is concerned, the war is over, and the printed media has lost. Today, screens in a variety of sizes are undoubtedly the primary platform for delivering and disseminating messages and information.

Despite the shift in media channel dominance, typography remains as the soul of visual communication design. The art of designing and using typeface as a means of communication and expression can still single-handedly elevate or destroy the aesthetics and function of a design – regardless whether it is printed on a piece of cardboard, or projected onto a silver screen.

The new possibilities in typographic design exponentially expanded following the transition to screen-based media, and the rules and principles of typography have changed in the world of digital design. As stated by Michael Worthington in the seminal book, The Education of a Graphic Designer, “ Most of graphic designers understand how printed type conveys its message to an audience, what its form signifies, but few understand how that differs in the environment of the screen. On the screen-based world of typography, what was stable in the print world becomes movable, alterable, and temporal. Some of Gerstner’s possibilities for static typography seem irrelevant, restrictive, or untranslatable in this new world. If his rules have been made anachronistic by current technology, I found myself questioning whether the written word should still be such a major part of our communication process.”

In order for the new generation of graphic designers to embrace and explore new possibilities in screen-based typography, we must begin to take concrete steps toward a true typography education reform. This presentation introduces the best typographic design projects from the newly developed courses at FIT including Kinetic Typography, Typography for Digital Content Design, Typography for Digital Product Design, and Content Centric App Design. The primary goal for the presentation is to showcase the innovative uses of pedagogy and teaching methodologies for teaching digital typography.

Empathic Typography

Michele Damato McCaffrey
Assistant Professor
Department of Design
Syracuse University

Michele Damato McCaffrey
Assistant Professor
Department of Design
Syracuse University

How are students going to become empathic designers when they live and learn in a guarded design institution for four years? Can we develop courses/projects that encourage them to interact with communities outside of their own?

My work with students has shown they want to feel invested in their learning. Millennials are the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in the U.S. and are highly committed to social change. As design educators, we can use this information to tailor classes that will challenge them socially as citizens and designers so that they may have a deeper emotional connection to their work.

In my Experimental Typography Class, students are required to photograph the typographic signage/markings of an unknown neighborhood. For many, this may have been the first time visiting a neighborhood/culture significantly different from their own. Through typography only, the students designed a double-sided poster that communicates the culture and experience of that place. They come to understand how typography alone can reflect the ethnicity, culture, and socio-economic structure of a neighborhood. Though challenging and uncomfortable to some, students enjoy this project because they have the freedom to choose communities; take their own photography; spend time outside the boundaries and solitude of the classroom; and are in a new environment.

As a result, students often felt an investment and commitment to the neighborhood they chose to present. Not only did they fall in love with this new approach of discovering typography but also how they visually represented their story. Having students move outside of the classroom and interacting in new communities allowed them to (a) utilize their own strengths to develop their voice as designers and (b) raise their awareness of other communities as a first step toward becoming empathic and socially engaged citizens.

 

Variant Letterforms

Monica Maccaux
Assistant Professor
Graphic Design

University of Nevada, Reno

When considering the multitudes of typeface choice on the market, how does one approach the challenge of designing a typeface that is different from the competition? With the abundance of typeface choices, why is there a need for yet another typeface to be designed? These are valid questions when approaching the creative process of typeface design. There is the potential for there to be as many typefaces as there are people in the world; meaning, the possibilities are endless in the personalities and function of typefaces, and have the potential to grow along with the population.

The typeface ‘Motorix’ solves the fatigue to a gluttonous font market by challenging the rules of form, beauty, and function all the while pushing the limits of what language looks like. The Latin (or Roman) alphabet, as it stands today, has undergone centuries of change and evolution which has resolved itself to current norms in letterform recognition. What will our letterforms look like in another couple of centuries? Will the letter ‘A’ still look the same? Will there be new letterforms added, or old ones removed? What can the letter ‘A’ look like? With the typeface ‘Motorix’, these questions were considered, along with how the expectation of aesthetics, and practicality drive the finished product.

Beauty and aesthetics aside, when approaching typeface design, one has to acknowledge that to design type, is to design language. As the designer of language, there are certain considerations that need to be made when formulating the letterforms: legibility, readability, beauty, form, versatility, and utility. It is no easy feat to design a typeface that is beautiful and practical, and has many applications (headlines, body copy, etc). But to design a typeface that confronts the notions of what beauty and practicality are, along with pushing the unspoken ‘rules’ of what language should look like, is something altogether different, and continues to be a modern-day challenge in typeface development.

Affiliated Society Meeting: Design Incubation Special Program on Typography

This is a special program during the College Art Association Annual 2018 Conference in Los Angeles.

This is a special program during the College Art Association Annual 2018 Conference in Los Angeles.

Affiliated Society: Design Incubation
Friday, 2/23/18: 12:30–1:30 PM
LA Convention Center: 406B

ModeratorS

Gloria Kondrup
Executive Director
Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography
Graphic Design Faculty, ArtCenter College of Design

Liz DeLuna
Associate Professor
Graphic Design
St. John’s University

Presentations

A Modular Approach to Type Design – The Identification and Design of Particular Elements and Patterns
Leon Butler
Research Fellow
National University of Ireland, Galway

Rethink Typography Education for Digital Content Design
Christie Shin
Assistant Professor
Fashion Institute of Technology

Empathic Typography
Michele Damato McCaffrey
Assistant Professor
Department of Design
Syracuse University

Variant Letterforms
Monica Maccaux
Assistant Professor
University of Nevada, Reno

Typographic Landscape Ecologies
Joshua Singer
Associate Professor
San Francisco State University

Typographic Landscape Ecologies

Joshua Singer
Associate Professor
San Francisco State University

Typographic Landscape Ecologies is an ongoing design research project that documents, maps, and visualizes typographic artifacts in the urban landscape as a way to explore cultural forces in the constructed world. The project presuppose a model of a semiotic landscape; a complex multi‐dimensional text or collection of texts in geographic space; the landscape as a collection of symbolically mediated phenomena understood only through representation. The typographic elements of the urban landscape form, through their invisible connections to the greater world of meaning, an ecology of meaning that constructs geographic space as real as its material forms.

Typographic Landscape Ecologies uses conventional research as a means to authoritatively document the landscape in an attempt to reveal patterns and relationships. The project uses experimental methods as a foil to the authority of conventional research as a way to generate speculative conclusions. Imprecise and questionable associations generate new semantic connections and new forms of thinking and knowledge. The illumination of new knowledge is the ultimate goal of research giving subjective and illegitimate conclusions value by revealing something not yet known. The work of the radical architecture groups Superstudio and Archigram, the design fictions of Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, the iconoclastic maps of Denis Woods, and the imaginary science of ‘Pataphysics offer examples of the ability of working data into new syntaxes, into alternative and speculative narratives, that can offer glimpses of other potentialities. In Typographic Landscape Ecologies this is demonstrated by the visual cross-referencing of aesthetic ecologies and cultural vectors, their overlay onto three dimensional virtual environments comprised of layers of historical maps that encourage us to read between the lines or layers of a cultural-semiotic space. This does not offer concrete answers, but rather poses new and unexpected questions.

A Modular Approach to Type Design : The Identification and Design of Particular Elements and Patterns

Leon Butler
Research Fellow
National University of Ireland, Galway

Leon Butler
Research Fellow
National University of Ireland, Galway

All lettering uses modularity as the basis of form can be seen across different cultures such as the Roman order systems for construction numerical and Chinese types always adhering to a square grid structure. Johann Neudörffer the Elder the author of Fundament, [Becker, 2005], and credited with the development of a blackletter type ‘Fraktur’ which he released in copybooks for people to develop the calligraphic style. He also constructed full type systems using a square which provided the basis for each letter and was divided into ten equal parts allowing for a grid to be placed in his copybooks. While researching historical modular type systems a little know typeface ‘Fregio Mecano’ was identified, a modular typeface of Italian origin that dates to the 1920s. The designer of ‘Fregio Mecano’ is unknown but it features in The Encyclopedia of Type Faces by W. Turner Berry [Berry, 1990], alongside the typeface, Fregio Razional attributed to Giulio da Milano for Nebiolo, so it can be assumed that da Milano designed Fregio Mecano also. Using the original grid form of ‘Fregio Mecano’ as a basis, the twenty elements were created in various orientations and positions to construct the letterform. By investigating visual forms in upper and lowercase characters, it is hope to be able to draw insights around the use of vertical sections, curved joins, negative counters, and other comparative elements common across the forms. The system of typographic modularity was developed through simple graphical techniques, such as layering. Comparative insights were generated relating to various themes and visual characteristics that were common across each of the glyphs.  A completed typeface – including numerals and punctuation, has now been constructed. This has allowed an exploration of how these modular elements combine to demonstrate how this practice-based method can help designers, students or educators build a modulator typeface from a fixed palette of visual elements. The arrangement of these elements can create various styles of type for use in different contexts or visual approaches.

Basic Web Design as Foundation of Publication Design

Bruno Ribeiro
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Department of Art and Design
California Polytechnic State University

When introduced to the design of print publications, students often struggle with type hierarchy and sometimes they lack appreciation for simplicity. Learning HTML and its tagging system, however, can help them in both matters.

After taking their first web class, students tend to have a better understanding of systematic typography and make more conscious decision about typographical design. Through the logical language of HTML and the tagging system, students clearly see the supporting structure of type hierarchy. Pedagogically, it helps educators guide students to make better choices. Because web design is completely new to most of the students, it’s an opportunity to frame its structure as an approach on how to properly treat type hierarchy and consistency. Even the default style for HTML documents, with no formatting of any kind, provides a clear correlation between content hierarchy and visual hierarchy. Therefore, an early web design class improves students’ understanding of systematic formatting a wide range media. Web design can also promote an appreciation for simplicity in design. Every non-designer knows how to (often badly) format a printed page in their text processor of choice. Design students, then, tend to overly design to differentiate their work from what non-designers do. Simple design on the web, however, already brings a sense of accomplishment to the student who is able to make something they built from scratch available online. Even utterly simple designs are more tangible as a learned skill.

Web design should not be seen only as a skill that students need to learn. It is an effective means to teach the principles of systematic typography and visual hierarchy. The earlier students learn these concepts, better are the chances they will have of fully integrating them into their creative practice.

Rethinking the Capstone in a Graphic Design BFA Program

Regina Gardner Milan
Lecturer
Department of Art & Design
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Evolving the BFA capstone project to develop professional competencies for emerging designers.

Encouraging students to develop projects that address their competencies and those that they need to develop. A year-long course sequence encouraging extensive creative exploration while working within developed constraints that are specific to each student. These constraints are developed through a reflective process of research and critical analysis of their skill sets and portfolio. They then apply these skills and making to a defined set of projects.

Projects are developed across complex design systems encouraging personal design thinking and and challenging student’s skillsets. Projects include both analog and digital solutions including app design, web design, interactive installations and motion graphics.  Faculty encourage growth mind-set and conceptual development of projects that help define a student’s aesthetic and aspirations for their post-college practice.

Developed two years ago, this new capstone has proven successful in encouraging critical design thinking, content development, and putting students in the strongest possible position for entering their professional design practice. Students graduate with a strong social media presence, robust resumes and expanded portfolios.