Fall 2012

Type + Image III

Course Overview

This is the third course in a series of three devoted to studying skills, methods and theory involved in the creation and use of typography and imagery as modes of visual communication design. You will focus your efforts on these objectives: 1) Develop conceptual and formal communication systems using varieties of typographic and image elements and methods, and learn to create considered relationships among and between each part and each level of these systems as well as the whole. 2) Develop the ability to parse complexity and create understanding beyond obvious and artificially simple mechanics by designing for realistically subtle and complex evolving systems situated in dynamic human contexts. 3) Continue development of your critical understanding of the technical issues relevant to producing professional quality comps across a variety of formats that you began in Type & Image 1 and 2.


Herron School of Art and Design
Co-taught with Jacob Ristau



Course Number

HER-V 311

Credits + Contact

3 Credits / TR 12:30-3:00

Student work

Hover to see description and student recognition. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will have:

  • greater awareness of relevant criteria for typographic and imagery decisions across design systems; in particular, heightened understanding of and appreciation for the designer’s role as editor and/or author of visual communications.
  • more playful, meaningful and appropriate explorations in knowing, thinking about, and usage of conceptual, contextual and communication problems in design in general and typographic design and image design specifically.
  • greater control and more effective use of typography and image in context with each other, with emphasis on how each alters the dynamics of the other and the whole.
  • clearer and more articulate criticism in knowing, thinking about, and usage of design in general and typographic design and image design specifically.
  • engaged in substantive dialogue, actively listen and contribute to exchanges of ideas.
  • greater control and more effective use of general design tools as well as specific typographic design and image design tools
  • greater knowledge of, and appreciation of the constraints of the course, projects and the student’s time.

Course structure

Type+Image 3 is broken down into two main projects that will allow for a deep exploration of typography, image, and their relationship:

Project 1: Publication Design

Develop a theme under which you would like to publish a periodical. Your publication should connect and advance a specific, existing audience. Your solution can be anything that is effective: a cheap daily rag, a continuously updated iPad app, a quarterly journal, or a monthly glossy magazine. Keep in mind that format, frequency and interactivity need to benefit your audience and concept. You will need to combine imagery and typographic elements throughout to develop a powerful, multi-leveled narrative. Investigate hierarchy, visual density and texture, metaphor, and aesthetic appeal while maintaining clarity and legibility.

Project 2: Visual Deconstruction & Narrative Grafting

Deconstruct the visual identity of both an entity (organization, company, etc.) and a subculture of people. With deconstructions in hand, develop a campaign for the entity that is targeted at the subculture. Considerations are made to ensure the campaign meets the foundational needs (identified through deconstruction) of the entity while still tapping into the foundational needs (identified through the deconstruction) of the subculture. Design 5 distinct artifacts as part of the campaign. The format and medium of the artifacts are defined as being especially appropriate to both sides.

Project Sheets


Course Syllabus (PDF)

Project 1: Publication Design Brief (PDF) 

Project 2: Visual Deconstruction & Narrative Grafting (PDF)

Presentation Slide Decks

The importance of pacing and format (PDF)

Referenced Texts

Bringhurst, R. The elements of typographic style. (2004).  

Leborg, C. Visual Grammar. (2006) 

Samara, T. Making and breaking the grid: A graphic design layout workshop. (2005) 

Spiekermann, E. and Ginger, E.M. Stop stealing sheep & find out how type works. (2003)