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Cut a 2.5 inch square hole completely through a magazine of your choice. Choose ten compositions which, when placed in a sequence, tell a visual story. Scan these in grayscale so the final files are 5 inches square at 300dpi. In InDesign, place the images in a ten spread sequence in the manner you deem best. Working with a single font family, add a significant body of text (750-1000 words), exploring different sizes, leading, and values. Consider not only the conversation which happens across the individual spread, but also the pacing of the entire sequence. You are the author, poet, storyteller. You must bring thematic unity to the whole. (Designs by Eliza Brillantes, Michael Chrysovergis, and Chelsea White)


Using the provided texts, create six compositions which engage the notion of typographic texture, taking special care to consider margins and internal alignments. In two designs use justified squares, in two: flush left but not necessarily square, and the last two: any combination of alignments (centered, left or right aligned, and justified) and rectangular shapes.

designs by Ece Ciper, your professor, Ryan LeCluyse, and Avery Brooks


Choose three of your favorite compositions and use them as the basis for a business card for yourself and your graphic design enterprise. Above examples by: Sara Michener, Shinhei Kang, and Ece Ciper.


Pick two letters of the alphabet. Use your initials if you like. Create nine 3×3 inch compositions where you combine the two letters in a dynamic way. Explore scale, repetition, and rotation within the composition, but be careful to not stretch, squish or otherwise distort the original forms. Each design should employ two unique typefaces, and be made a single vector form with whites cut from it (using the Pathfinder tool).

above designs by: Shinhei Kang, Sofya Karash, Ryan LeCluyse, Michelle Stidham and Nick Brooks


Here are a few ads in the vertical half-page format. I made the first for a modular typeface I designed, and quickly modiļ¬ed some former student work for the others (Shinhei Kang and Ryan LeCluyse, respectively).


From your highly pixelated beginnings, create refined vector outlines in Illustrator. The above examples were designed by former student Ece Ciper. Explore diagonals and curves, snap to grids, and remember that the fewer points on a path will yield the smoothest profile. Below is a sample “S” I made showing potentially ideal placements for points around a letterform.



Here are some images for your interest/inspiration. The images are by (clockwise from top left: Denis Brown, Brody Neuenschwander, Monica Dengo, Brody again, and myself).

And here’s a humorous one from an actual gravestone (just to reiterate yours need not be erudite or grave):


Button Alphabet

Here is an alphabet made from our letter exercises with my grandmother’s buttons. Nicely done all… and hopefully the experience will have been to the benefit of your forthcoming designs.



Greetings Class. Kim and I decided to start a class blog as a place where you can find information pertinent to the work you are doing. Here is an image of some previously handlettered quotations for your reference. Feel free to work in color or on colored paper, and explore the placement and scale of your lettering. See you next Monday.

(lettering by: Sara Michener, David Webber, Michelle Stidham, JB and Ryan LeCluyse)

Here too is some writing inspired by Capitalis Rustica, quickly written with a sharpie, and varying the pressure of the pen against the paper: