visual communication
Typographic Systems


  :: syllabus :: first day :: workbook :: journal :: class blog ::

:- Design for Good

:- Bruce Mau Manifesto
:- 100 days project

:- SVA lectures
:- Jakob Trollback

:- Hillman Curtis Films

:- Steven Heller Lecture Series
:- Paul Rand Bookcovers
:- Alvin Lustig Bookcovers
:- Typology
:- Ladislav Sutnar
:- I heart Design

:- TED
:- Chip Kidd
:- Maria Kalman
:- John Maeda: Tech, Design, Art
:- Theo Jenson

:- Motiongrapher
:- Art of the Title

:- Thinking Form
:- Will Burton
:- Roman Cieslewicz
:- Bruno Mongguzi
:- Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

:- Doyald Young
:- Jesse Regan
:- Jessica Hische
:- Louise Fili
:- Margo Chase (login to
:- Marian Banjes (

:- FontCast
:- Abbink + van Blokland
:- Jim Parkinson

:- Ubu films
:- production of meaning
:- Berger's Ways of Seeing Ep. 4

:- TM Research Archive

:- 30 Conversations on Design

:- Stefan Bucher (AIGA)
:- Stefan Bucher (

:- Creative Spark Series








The journal assignments are set up to get you looking, listening and experiencing design outside of class and outside of Kansas. As a blog it should inspire. Its contents reflections, thoughts, questions, answers and “found stuff”. Each week has a different task {read, watch or listen}. After you have completed the task, post on your blog: a written summary of the the reading/ video/ or audio, a considered reflection/opinion, and answer any additional questions listed for that reading.


Your blog/journal should show your engagement to typography and graphic design. Besides the task you should be inspired by stuff around you and that stuff you find on the web. "Found stuff" means found examples of typography/design in the environment, signage, magazines, books, posters, “good” type, “bad” type, "ugly/beautiful" interesting fonts, handmade fonts, letterforms, packaging... Carry a camera and take photographs of type/design in your environment as well as find examples that you can copy, scan and upload into the blog.

The dates listed are the dates the journal is assigned. The journal will be checked weekly. And it counts for 10% of your final grade.

To get an "A" for the journal you must have completed every entry by the next class period, it must have visuals, all content (your comments etc.,) should be well written/complete and "considered". Also to do above and beyond (to get an "A") you need to have consistently throughout the semester added other content you found interesting and inspiring to you. And commented frequently on your classmates blogs. Minimum effort will receive a C or lower. If you complete everything but not on time it will be considered less than minimum effort.

After you completed each task, summarize it: information about the author and what did they say..., reflect upon it, what questions would you ask the author? what questions do you have about what they said... and answer any additional questions listed for that week.

Journal Entry: TM Research Archive

Check out the TM Research Archive. Find 6 - 10 images that resonate with you. Find out about the designer, reflect why you selected the images

Journal Entry: Thinking Form

Will Burton
Roman Cieslewicz
Bruno Mongguzi Explore

Thinking Form: Burton, Cieslewicz and Monguzzi and others. Find 6 people that interest you and collect images that resonate with you. Find out about the designer, reflect why you selected the images.

Journal Entry: Chip Kidd

Watch and Reflect: Chip Kidd on Designing Books

Chip Kid: Ted Talk "Designing Books is no laughing matter. Ok, it is".

Journal Entry: Thirty Conversations

Watch + Listen: Thirty Conversations on Design: Little and Co asked 30 designers the same two questions... “What single example of design inspires you most?” and “What problem should design solve next?” Their answers might surprise you. But hopefully, they’ll all inspire you. Discover what they have to say. Listen to at least 5 "conversations". 

Summarize, reflect, how would you answer the questions?

Journal Entry: Discover Jessica Hische and Louise Fili

Contemporary lettering artists. Watch. Read. Reflect.

_ Jessica Hische: watch video (1 hour so be prepared) | website | creative search
_ Louise Fili, website | creative search

want more? (below are optional)
_ Margo Chase (login to
_ Marian Banjes (
_ Doyald Young

Journal Entry: The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
read: incomplete manifesto for growth by Bruce Mau. From the list choose a mantra for the week. Who is bruce mau, what has he done, why is he interesting to us, what is the mantra you have chosen for the week? why that mantra?

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.


Journal Entry: Design Observer

read: go to the Design Observer website, read Type Means Never Having to Say... looking at your font list and font spec sheets what sans serif fonts would be similar to Futura but a better alternative? and read any other article of your choice. reflect and summarize what you read. a few of my favorites: Thirteen ways of looking... | Designing Under the Influence | Ten Graphic Design..

Journal Entry: Jacbo Trollback
SVA video lecture by: Jakob Trollback
(it is in 3 parts and is a bit long but it is worth it and will help you think about the next project)

Springing forth from seemingly unorthodox beginnings, Trollbäck + Company was born when the former DJ transferred his aural pursuits to the visual medium, aiming to create emotive pieces that take their audiences to purely sensorial planes.

| for your info trollback website | trollback and CBS


Journal Entry: Jonathan Harris

AIGA Gain Conference: Jonathan Harris watch, absorb, summarize and reflect.

Jonathan Harris makes projects that re-imagine how humans relate to technology and to each other. Combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling, his projects range from building the world’s largest time capsule to documenting an Alaskan Eskimo whale hunt on the Arctic Ocean. He is the co-creator of We Feel Fine, which measures the emotional temperature of the human world through large-scale blog analysis, and created recent projects about on-line dating, modern mythology, anonymity, news and language.