Syllabus

Type and image combine to communicate fully. We’ll explore typography and various ways it becomes language as well as image.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

• To become acquainted with the history of typography as well as the evolution and anatomy of letterforms.

• To develop hand skills in the rendering of letterforms using a variety of tools: by hand with brushes and calligraphic pens, and digitally.

• To design inventively and creatively using orthodox and unorthodox materials to render type and image.

• To meld message and medium in a way to amplify communication.

CLASS BLOG Check here weekly. I’ll put links to articles and other assets here periodically as well as class notes. It’s your most current, one-stop shopping to see what’s expected for that week’s class.

READINGS Links to relevant readings will be posted on the class blog on a regular basis, with reminders the week before due.

TEXTBOOK There is no single textbook for this class. I will keep in the office some books on the subject that you can borrow and return.

SUPPLIES Calligraphy pens and brush markers, 11 x 14″ smooth Bristol sketchpad; 18 x 24″ newsprint pad, ink and brushes; sketchbook no smaller than 5 x 7”.

ASSIGNMENTS

SKETCHBOOK Doodle words and letters, both conservatively and experimentally. Keep all of your thumbnails for assignments, class notes and creative sketches  in this one designated sketchbook. Show me your sketchbook frequently and hand it in at the end of semester.

PINTEREST Build Pinterest boards: Typography, Book Jackets, Calligraphy, Handlettering, Illustration, Lettering with Unusual Materials, Illuminated Capitals and Sketchbooks. Share your boards with me.

IN-CLASS EXERCISES We’ll be practicing copying letterforms, painting large calligraphic strokes, and otherwise toying with words and tools.

ANATOMY OF LETTERS Draw letterforms (the word “Hamburgefonts”) and label all the parts, to learn the vocabulary.

ALPHABET Draw a complete alphabet to study its’ structure closely.

SCRIPT Write a quote or word that in a script style that either amplifies of makes ironic the content of the message.

STORYTELLING Draw a book cover and design an interior page for a classical story, from any culture you choose. On the cover the lettering and illustration will be parts of a whole. The interior page will include an illuminated initial cap, an illustration, possibly a decorative element, and some well-set body copy.

THE MESSAGE Find a quote that speaks to you. Create a poster that uses unorthodox materials to define the letters. Choose materials that reflect the message in some fashion.

GIG POSTER Design and illustrate a poster for a band or musician whose music you know well and presumably love.

CRITIQUE Presentation of assignments reflects attitude and is part of the classroom participation component of your grade. Skills you use in presenting your work are critical practice for the way you’ll present work to clients. Everyone must participate, to articulate their perspective and offer constructive criticism.

SYLLABUS The syllabus is subject to change as the need arises. You’ll be forewarned.

ILL 300 • SYLLABUS

WEEK 1 • AUGUST 29 • OVERVIEW AND HISTORY

IN CLASS Review Syllabus. Set up Pinterest boards. Hendrix name game.

HOMEWORK Hamburgefonts and the anatomy of letterforms.

WEEK 2 •SEPTEMBER 5 

NO CLASS Labor Day

September 8, 6:30 pm, Shemin Auditorium; VALS Speaker Jonathan Bartlett

WEEK 3 • SEPTEMBER 12 • ANATOMY

DUE Hamburgefonts drawing.

IN CLASS Show sketchbooks. Show sketchbooks. Typography classification lecture.

HOMEWORK Draw a full alphabet based on one of the classified categories.

 WEEK 4 • SEPTEMBER 19 • CALLIGRAPHY

DUE Alphabet drawing.

IN CLASS Bring brushes, inks, paints, large pads. We’ll be working small and large, creating script and textural letterforms.

HOMEWORK Draw and refine a word or phrase using handlettering/calligraphy.

WEEK 5 • SEPTEMBER 26 • TIME OFF, TIME TO WORK

IN CLASS NO CLASS! I’ll be teaching in the freshman program all week. But I’ll come to my office 11:30am–12pm and 4–5:30pm. Come show me your calligraphy in progress.

HOMEWORK Finish handlettering/calligraphy project

WEEK 6 • OCTOBER 3 • HANDLETTERING

DUE Handlettering/calligraphy project.

IN CLASS Crit of handlettering/calligraphy. Digital tutorial on refining letterforms as vectors. Show sketchbooks. Start research on story project.

HOMEWORK Research storybook cover and page.

October 6, 6:30 pm, Shemin Auditorium; VALS Speaker Neil Swaab

WEEK 7 • OCTOBER 10 • STORY TIME

DUE Sketches for cover and double page spread.

IN CLASS Presentation on handling of body copy. Work on story time project.

HOMEWORK Refine Story time project.

October 13, 6:30 pm, Shemin Auditorium; VALS Speaker Ellen Weinstein

WEEK 8 • OCTOBER 17 • STORY TIME, CHAPTER 2

DUE Story time in progress.

IN CLASS Show sketchbooks. Work on story time.

HOMEWORK Finish story time.

WEEK 9 • OCTOBER 24 • STORY TIME CRITIQUE

DUE Final artwork for story cover and interior spread.

IN CLASS Storytime critique. Videos: Stefan Sagmeister and Marjan Bantjes talks.

HOMEWORK Sketches and tests with unorthodox materials.

WEEK 10 • OCTOBER 31 • ALTERNATE MEDIA

DUE Unorthodox materials sketches and media tests.

IN CLASS Work on unorthodox materials project.

HOMEWORK Finish unorthodox materials project.

WEEK 11 • NOVEMBER 7 • THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

DUE Final unorthodox materials project.

IN CLASS Crit of unorthodox materials project.

Start work on gig poster; research, sketch. Get proposal  approved by end of class.

HOMEWORK Work on gig poster.

WEEK 12 • NOVEMBER 14 • THE BEGINNING OF THE END

DUE Gig poster sketches.

IN CLASS Show sketchbooks. Work on posters.

HOMEWORK Work on posters.

WEEK 13 • NOVEMBER 28 • FINAL PROJECT

DUE Poster comps.

IN CLASS Show sketchbooks. Work on posters.

HOMEWORK Finish gig posters.

December 1, 6:30 pm, Shemin Auditorium; VALS Speaker: little ole’ Me, talking about ICON9, the Illustration Conference in Austin, TX last summer.

WEEK 14 • DECEMBER 5 • GRAND FINALE

DUE Gig posters. 

IN CLASS Gig poster critique; hand in sketchbooks.

GRADES

Point system to grade students, as follows:

Sketchbook: 10

Exercises: 10

Handlettering/Calligraphy: 15

Story time: 20

Unorthodox materials project: 20

Gig poster: 25

Points will be deducted for late assignments, unexcused absences, excessive talking, leaving early, and inattentiveness

INCOMPLETES Incompletes will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. If you have a valid medical excuse or family emergency and you’ve completed the bulk of course work for the semester, an incomplete is possible. You are responsible for initiating the paperwork for an incomplete.

CLASS POLICIES

• No working on computers during lectures or while there’s any kind of presentation, lecture or critique.

No texting during/in class. All instruments that receive calls or messages should be put on vibrate or turned off. If you must receive an emergency phone call or text you should leave the classroom to answer it.

ATTENDANCE Attendance is required. One absence for the semester will be tolerated; however, you are still responsible for turning in assignments on time. Two unexcused absences will lower your final grade by one letter grade. Three unexcused absences may result in failing the course. Mechanical failures (alarm clocks, car failure, etc.) are not valid excuses. Lateness of an hour or more will count as an absence. Chronic lateness or skipping out early will lower your grade. There is a 10 minute grace period and then class will begin. If you are truly sick, you  must bring a note from the health center or a doctor.

NEEDS Any student who needs special consideration due to a disability of any sort, please make an appointment to discuss accommodations.

Students who are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, Rm. 309, 315/443-4498.  Students with authorized disability-related accommodations should provide a current Accommodations Authorization Letter from ODS to the instructor and review those accommodations with the instructor. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively:  therefore, planning for accommodations as early as possible is necessary.  For further information, see the ODS website, http://disabilityservices.syr.edu/.

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