Design & Education

ComD 15


PEM / S19
My Type Exercise 1

ComD 15

Students will be assigned a typeface from the legendary ‘ComD 15’ typefaces to research, write an article, and design a zine.



There used to be a set of 15 typefaces that students were only allowed to use during their Sophomore year in the Communication Design Department.

As pathetic as it sounds, these typefaces were actually very well designed typefaces and covered most of the typographic categories, which helped students built solid typographic foundation.

First of all, students will research and analyze all 15 typefaces, and then will be assigned a typeface from the list to further research. They will write an essay and design a Zine with their essay.



Step 1: Research and Analyze the ComD 15 Typefaces

First of all, students will research and analyze all ‘ComD 15’ typefaces to get an overview of typographic classification and understand context of typographic design.

They may implement LATC theory to analyze the typeface. For example, Location might relate to place of manufacture or the specific type foundry where the typeface was designed. Time could relate to when it was designed or period of time when the typeface was popular. They will organize their research in visual form.

Step 2: Write an essay about the assigned typeface.

Each student will be assigned a typeface form the ComD 15. They will thoroughly research the typeface and write an essay about it. They should give a thought provoking title, and not be afraid to include their own opinion bout the typeface. Student should pay close attention to the internal structure of their essay which will help them create clear visual and typographical hierarchy when they design the layout later.

Student must submit their essay via Google Classroom by Monday, February 4.

Step 3: Design a Zine

Students will design a zine with their essay. They will visualize the key points with diagram, chart, photographs, illustration, and so on. They should also add quotes, captions, footnotes, and bibliography to make the zine more informative and engaging.

Student must present at least three different layout options for the first presentation.

Design format will be discussed. 


Assigned Typefaces

  1. Adobe Caslon / Isabel C.

  2. Adobe Garamond / Noah S.

  3. Baskerville / Julia F.

  4. Bodoni / Emily G.

  5. Clarendon / Ashna K.

  6. Din / Amanda H.

  7. Franklin Gothic / Pharrapatra R.

  8. Futura / Sherry W.

  9. Gill Sans / Maria U.

  10. Helvetica Neue / Ashley K.

  11. Optima / Nicholas L.

  12. Palatino / Jamie Y.

  13. Snell Roundhand / Derrick Z.

  14. Trajan / Michelle C.

  15. Univers / Austin S.

Supplemental Readings

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman


ComD 15

  1. Adobe Caslon

  2. Adobe Garamond

  3. Baskerville

  4. Bodoni

  5. Clarendon

  6. Din

  7. Franklin Gothic

  8. Futura

  9. Gill Sans

  10. Helvetica Neue

  11. Optima

  12. Palatino

  13. Snell Roundhand

  14. Trajan

  15. Univers



Week 1 (1/23)

Assignment will be given.

Week 2 (1/31)

Present the research in a visual form.

Week 3 (2/7)

Submit your essay. Present design options for zine. Create at least 3 design options.

Week 4 (2/14)

Present final design



  • Grid System

  • Typographic Hierarchy

  • Diagram

  • Illustration

  • Photography

  • Booklet/Zine

  • Cover Design