Design & Education

New Type


GDI2 / S19
My Type Exercise 1

New Type

Students will research and analyze the legendary ‘ComD 15’ typefaces, and will suggest a new typefaces that should either replace or be added to the legacy list. They will write an essay about the typeface and create an zine.



There was 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 build solid typographic foundation.

Students will research and analyze the ComD 15 typefaces, and then will suggest new typefaces that should either replace or added to the ComD 15 list.

Then they will write an essay about the typeface and design a Zine with their essay.



Step 1: Research and Analyze the Current ComD 15 Typefaces

Student 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 site where the typeface was designed, and 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.

They should also analyze the typefaces in terms of interaction design and human centered design.

Step 2: Suggest five new typefaces that should either replace or be added to the current ComD 15 typefaces.

Student will suggest five new typefaces that should either replace or be added to the ComD 15 typefaces.

For example, student may suggest to add another old-style typeface like Sabon to make the list more versatile, or to add Scala, neo-humanist text typeface, to expand the ComD 15.

Students will present each typeface on tabloid sized paper with clear a description of why it should replace or be added to the list. Through the class discussion and voting, students will select 15(12) new typefaces, and each new typefaces will be assigned to each students.

Step 3: Write an essay about your typeface.

Students will research their assigned typeface and write an essay about it.

Students should analyze the typeface not only in terms of its historical, cultural and aesthetical significance, but also in terms of interaction design and human centered design..

Students should give a thought provoking title, and not to be afraid to express their own opinion about the typeface. Students should pay close attention to the internal structure of their essay which will help them create clear visual and typographic hierarchy when they design layout later.

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

Step 4: Design a Zine

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

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

Design format will be discussed.  


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) / Briefing

Assignment will be given.

Week 2 (1/30) / Selection

Present your research and 5 new typefaces.

Week 3 (2/6) / Essay + Layout

Essay will be due by Monday, 2/4. Present 3 design options for the layout.

Week 4 (2/13) / Final Pres.

Present final design


Design Opportunities

  • Grid System

  • Typographic Hierarchy

  • Diagram

  • Illustration

  • Photography

  • Booklet/Zine

  • Cover Design