Design & Education

Type IV / Syllabus

Typographic Design IV
Spring 2018

COMD 314


School of Design
Communications Design Department

2 BFA Studio Credits
Prerequisite: ComD 313


Course Description

With the use of actual typographic design situations, the course instructs the student in the use of type as a basic element of graphic communication, including principles which determine typeface selection (to visually communicate the desired effect) and the appreciation of letterforms.

A comprehensive study of typography is a primary component of expressive graphic communication. Construction of innovative solutions based on content and the use of formal typographic principles will be further developed. Emphasis on developing the ability to enhance/communicate the literal by visual/typographic means as well as exploring the relation between type as image and cultural expression.

Assignments and critiques are used to develop an understanding of the inventive potential of typographic form and message as visual language.

Construction of innovative solutions based on content and the use of formal typographic principles will be further developed.

This course builds upon the skills learned in Typographic Design III and allows students to further prepare for complex design projects in Graphic Design. It enhances the student’s skills in the handling of display and text letterforms.


Course Goals

  1. The use letterforms as a means of resolving design problems
  2. Examining the alphabetic norms and conventions in the Latin range
  3. Development of personal vernacular style through typographic expression
  4. Development of writing/presentation skills
  5. Development of research skills

Student Learning Objectives

  1. Exploration methods of creative type design and usage.
  2. Practice the application of display type in design.
  3. In-depth complex text design.


Knowledge Pool (skill Share)

Two students are assigned each week to present new typographic knowledge or technique to the class. They may present a typeface, type foundry, typographic design project, or printing technique such as foil stamping and letter press. 

They may give a lecture or demonstration. The presentation should be about 5 to 10 minutes. They should submit presentation in PDF so that other students can download and learn about it in depth. 

Process Book

Students are required to follow the creative process (1. Debriefing, 2. Research, 3. Organize Research, 4. Ideation, and 5. Execution) which will be described in the first class, and record the process in the process book. The process book will help students to be more aware of the process, and help them apply creative tools and methods more consciously. 

Students will be required to submit the process book for all projects at the end of the semester. 



Students will work on four assignments during the semester. Each assignment is designed to address a specific aspect of typographic design, and help students progressively acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the handling of typography. 
Students are required to continue working on each assignments until the end of the semester, and present more than three assignments at the semester-end survey. 

Type of Spirit

Students will select one type designer, thoroughly research his/her design philosophy, and present his/her design spirit in the most engaging manner to their classmates. Through this assignment, student will learn and internalize how a design master think, create and execute idea. 

Student are free to choose any format for the final execution. They may present their idea as a book, exhibition, installation, or movie. Or, they may design a new typeface with the designer's spirit.  

Type of Narrative

Student will select a product (service) category, thoroughly research it. They will break it down to datas and visualize it as a diagram. Create a new concept (story) for a product and design a prototype. 

Type of Issue

Student will find an issue (topic) in NYC, thoroughly research it, define the design problem and create a design solution to solve the issue. Through this assignments, student will learn communication design as problem solving tool, and will realize that a designer has power to contribute to the society. Also, they will learn how to use the power responsibly.

Last Project


Extra Project: Bigger and Better

Students will select one of their project from previous semester, and redo the project from the scratch to make it bigger and better. The project could be one of their favorite successful project, or failed incomplete project. Students are required to apply the process learned in this course. 


Always safeguard your work by making a second copy on a back-up disk. Lost work due to disk malfunction or deletion is not excused and will have to be recreated for a lesser grade. Submitted work should be in PDF format unless otherwise specified. You should create a PDF document for each assignment that includes all elements of your work for review.


Project / Requirements

Students are required to complete above four projects in the semester. They must meet the following requirements: 

High Quality Prototype (Comp)

Student must craft at least one high quality prototype (comp) using special printing technique, such as silk screen, die-cut, emboss/deboss, foil stamp, transfer, 3D Printing, letter press and so on. 

Design Typeface

Student must (re)design one typeface for one of the project. 


Student must write an essay or story for one of the project. Creating design with self generated content will teach student how form and content work together to communicate a message. Student may create a book, zine, exhibition, or even a film based on the story. 


Students are encouraged to collaborate with other designer, illustrator, photographer, printer, writer and musician. Through collaboration, students will learn how to request, inspire, direct, and motivate other people. 


Students are encouraged to use interactive media for one of the project. For example, they may create digital signage with interactive and dynamic typography. 



Materials necessary for this course include any media and supplies that your instructor requires for the production of sketches and finished presentations of each assignment. A removable memory data storage device (flash drive), backup drive or cloud storage, and computer print output will be required in many assignments. Mounting materials will also be necessary for each finished presentation.

Computer work, prints and media will probably account for most of your expenses. Photographic expenses will also be a large factor in your budget.

Print output and mounting materials will also be needed for presentation. These materials and their cost will vary according to each assignment.


Final Review

All required Junior studio courses will conduct final critiques that cover the work done in that class during the 15th week of the semester. Faculty are encouraged to invite guest critics to participate.

In preparation for their Senior year, during the 14th week of the semester all Juniors are encouraged to sit in on one session of Senior Final Reviews. They are expected to attend all regular classes during weeks 14 and 15. Details about sign ups and the schedule for Senior Final Review will be sent in upcoming weeks.


Recommended Reading

Below are a selection of mandatory and recommended books that are mostly available in the Pratt Library. You will be responsible for reading any chapters or sections from these books given to you by your teacher as reading homework. 

Mandatory Reading

  • Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010)
  • The Elements of Typographic Style: Version 4.0: 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert Bringhurst. Hartley and Marks Publishers, 1999.
  • Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Design by Ian Noble and Russell Bestley, VA Publishing; 2nd Edition, 2011

Recommended Reading

  • Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman, Gingko Press Inc., 2016
  • This Means This, This Means That, A User’s Guide to Semiotics by Sean Hall, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, Second Edition, 2012
  • Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Typographic Design and Techniques Throughout History. Black Dog and Leventhal. New York, 1999. 
  • Typographic Anatomy and Typographic Classification by Bingham, Weston.  Self published. New York, 1998. 
  • Typography: Macro- and Microaesthetics by Willi Kunz. Willi Kunz Books. New York, 1999. 
  • Graphic Design Thinking by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips, Princeton Architectural Press; 1st edition, 2011



Attendance, Participation and Conduct

There are no unexcused absences or cuts. 

Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence and tardiness may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences automatically result in course failure. Two unexcused tardiness will be considered as one absence. 

Class participation is an important part of this course. Students are expected to contribute to classroom discussion at every class meeting: to ask questions, make a comment or observation, respond to questions asked by faculty, guest presenters or classmates. Students are expected to work in class and be ready to sketch, work with analog or digital processes and present and discuss their assignments every week. Class participation will be monitored and the student’s grade will reflect the contribution made each week.

Class time is devoted to presentations and critiques within which you will be asked to review your classmates’ displayed work. Such evaluations are very important in the development of self-analytical judgment.

Personal wireless devices must be inaudible at all times and used only for class purposes.


Required at Each Class

  • Weekly assignment completed to deadline date.
  • All previously completed work on the assignment as well as all related research materials.
  • Fulfillment of any other requirements issued in writing by your instructor.

    Assessment & Grading

    Assignment & Project Grades

    Student level of achievement of the course Student Learning Objectives is by project grades based on the following criteria:

    1. Concept and Development (20%)
    2. Experimentation and Risk Taking (20%)
    3. Craftsmanship and Technical Skill (20%)
    4. Engagement with class discussion(20%)
    5. Process Book (20%)

    Your knowledge pool assignment will also be graded on the same criteria. Project and assignment not completed by due date are automatically downgraded. Assignments are graded on an A–F scale.

    Final Grades

    Your final grade is based upon the performance evaluation criteria listed above as well as your attendance, punctuality, and class conduct.

    A grade of Incomplete (INC) will be considered only for medical reasons or other serious circumstances beyond your control. Last-minute printing problems or loss of files because you did not back them up are not legitimate reasons for an Incomplete grade.

    Students are required to submit complete digital files of each finished projects as well as process books. A finished model and digital photos of each model are also due when appropriate.

    If you are majoring in advertising art direction, graphic design, or illustration, you are required to participate in semester-end Final Review. Failure to do so will result in a grade of F for the course.


    A (4.0) / A- (3.7)

    Excellent Sustained level of superior performance in all areas of course requirements.


    B+ (3.3) / B (3.0) / B- (2.7)

    Above average Consistent level of performance that is above average in a majority of the course requirements.


    C+ (2.3) / C (2.0)

    Acceptable Performance that is generally average and course requirements are achieved.


    C- (1.7) / D+ (1.3) / D (1.0)

    Below average Poor level of work and performance and achievement of the course requirements


    F (0)

    Failure Accomplishment of the course requirements is not sufficient to receive a passing grade


    INC (n/a)

    Incomplete Automatically expires after the following semester.


    Course Calendar / Weekly Schedule

    1. Introduction (Jan. 18): Review syllabus, process book, assignments, projects and schedule. Recap Type III. Discuss first assignment, Type of Spirit. 
    2. Type of Spirit (Jan. 25): Discuss research about type designers in small groups, and present selection to the class.  
    3. Type of Spirit (Feb. 1): Essay Due. Present idea for final execution format.  
    4. Type of Spirit (Feb. 8): Class critique. Discuss second assignment, Type of Brand (Experience).
    5. Type of Brand / Experience (Feb. 15): Discuss research and idea sketches in a small group. Present the idea to the class. 
    6. Type of Brand / Experience (Feb. 22): Present the diagram and three concepts for product and brand. Class discussion.
    7. Type of Brand / Experience (Mar. 1): Class critique. Discuss third assignment, Type of Issue.
    8. Mid-Term (Mar. 8): One on one Mid-term review. Discuss design in a small group discussion. 
    9. Type of Issue (Mar. 22): Discuss research and idea sketches in a small group. 
    10. Type of Issue (Mar. 29): Class critique. Discuss the fourth assignment, TBD
    11. TBD (Apr. 5): Discuss the project in a small group. 
    12. TBD (Apr. 12): Class critique. 
    13. Final Review (Apr. 19): Select two to four Projects for the final review, and revise and finalize them. Small group discussion.
    14. Final Review (Apr. 26): Rehearsal
    15. Fianl Review (May. 3): Final Review 
    16. May 7: All assignments due

    Pratt Institute-Wide Information

    Academic Integrity Policy

    At Pratt, students, faculty, and staff do creative and original work. This is one of our community values. For Pratt to be a space where everyone can freely create, our community must adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.

    Academic integrity at Pratt means using your own and original ideas in creating academic work. It also means that if you use the ideas or influence of others in your work, you must acknowledge them.

    At Pratt,

    • We do our own work,
    • We are creative, and
    • We give credit where it is due.

    Based on our value of academic integrity, Pratt has an Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) that is charged with educating faculty, staff, and students about academic integrity practices. Whenever possible, we strive to resolve alleged infractions at the most local level possible, such as between student and professor, or within a department or school. When necessary, members of this committee will form an Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Such boards may hear cases regarding cheating, plagiarism, and other infractions described below; these infractions can be grounds for citation, sanction, or dismissal.

    Academic Integrity Code

    When students submit any work for academic credit, they make an implicit claim that the work is wholly their own, completed without the assistance of any unauthorized person. These works include, but are not limited to exams, quizzes, presentations, papers, projects, studio work, and other assignments and assessments. In addition, no student shall prevent another student from making their work. Students may study, collaborate and work together on assignments at the discretion of the instructor.

    Examples of infractions include but are not limited to:

    1. Plagiarism, defined as using the exact language or a close paraphrase of someone else’s ideas without citation.
    2. Violations of fair use, including the unauthorized and uncited use of another’s artworks, images, designs, etc.
    3. The supplying or receiving of completed work including papers, projects, outlines, artworks, designs, prototypes, models, or research for submission by any person other than the author.
    4. The unauthorized submission of the same or essentially the same piece of work for credit in two different classes.
    5. The unauthorized supplying or receiving of information about the form or content of an examination.
    6. The supplying or receiving of partial or complete answers, or suggestions for answers; or the supplying or receiving of assistance in interpretation of questions on any examination from any source not explicitly authorized. (This includes copying or reading of another student’s work or consultation of notes or other sources during an examination.)

    For academic support, students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Writing and Tutorial Center, Pratt Libraries, or consult with an academic advisor about other support resources.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Academic Integrity Code Adjudication Procedures.

    General Pratt Attendance Policy

    Pratt Institute understands that students’ engagement in their program of study is central to their success. While no attendance policy can assure that, regular class attendance is key to this engagement and signals the commitment Pratt students make to participate fully in their education.

    Faculty are responsible for including a reasonable attendance policy on the syllabus for each course they teach, consistent with department-specific guidelines, if applicable, and with Institute policy regarding reasonable accommodation of students with documented disabilities. Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy in each of their classes; for understanding whether a class absence has been excused or not; for obtaining material covered during an absence (note: instructors may request that a student obtain the material from peers); and for determining, in consultation with the instructor and ahead of time if possible, whether make-up work will be permitted.

    Consistent attendance is essential for the completion of any course or program. Attending class does not earn students any specific portion of their grade, but is the pre-condition for passing the course, while missing class may seriously harm a student’s grade. Grades may be lowered a letter grade for each unexcused absence, at the discretion of the instructor. Even as few as three unexcused absences in some courses (especially those that meet only once per week) may result in an automatic “F” for the course. (Note: Students shall not be penalized for class absences prior to adding a course at the beginning of a semester, though faculty may expect students to make up any missed assignments.)

    Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Faculty are encouraged to give consideration to students who have documentation from the Office of Health and Counseling. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities will continue to be provided, as appropriate.

    Refer to the Pratt website for information on Attendance.

    Students with Disabilities

    The instructor will make every effort to accommodate students with both visible and invisible disabilities.  While it is advisable that students with disabilities speak to the instructor at the start of the semester if they feel this condition might make it difficult to partake in aspects of the course, students should feel free to discuss issues pertaining to disabilities with the instructor at any time.  Depending on the nature of the disability, and the extent to which it may require deviations from standard course policy, documentation of a specific condition may be required, in compliance with conditions established by the campus Learning Access Center, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who require special accommodations for disabilities must obtain clearance from the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. They should contact Elisabeth Sullivan, Director of the Learning Access Center, 718-636-3711.

    Religious Policies

    In line with Pratt’s Attendance Policy, Pratt Institute respects students’ requirements to observe days of cultural significance, including religious holy days, and recognizes that some students might need to miss class to do so. In this, or other similar, circumstance, students are responsible for consulting with faculty ahead of time about how and when they can make up work they will miss.

    Departmental Attendance Policy

    There are no unexcused absences or cuts. Students are expected to attend all classes. Any unexcused absence may affect your final grade. Three unexcused absences may result in course failure at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused tardiness may also affect your final grade.


    Personal wireless devices must be inaudible at all times and used only for class purposes with permission of the instructor.