Ashley kicked off this Wednesday’s typography module with a 15-minute slideshow, displaying a random selection of second year responses to a task set them last week. The 200 (or so) slides – from more than 1,800 submitted – offered a clear snapshot of the experimentation, critical analysis, decision-making and typographic craft skills beginning to emerge in students’ approach.
Next, a round of Type Roulette encouraged different individuals, each chosen at random (via a proven, sophisticated, and highly technical procedure: “I’ll scroll down the list and someone shout ‘stop'”!), to talk through the highs and lows of their approach – and those of their peers. If last week was like explaining the principles and theories of riding a bicycle; this week gave students a chance to actually try it for themselves. We saw everyone wobble, most pedal, and some occasionally fall off. But the scars will get fewer over time!
Then followed a lecture on structure, namely designing and using grids to inform layout and provide hierarchy, plus an introduction to baseline grids and flatplans with walk-through examples.
After lunch, the studio-based exercise given to students comprised three parts: first, to analyse and establish the existing grid structure found in a copy of The Independent newspaper; second, to evidence the typographic hierarchy employed by the newspaper’s design team (type choice, sizes, weights and so on); and third, to re-appropriate the content and grid system of an existing double-page spread by applying a different layout design.
Principles of organisation and structure are all found, and applied, throughout the world around us: nature, science, maths, art, photography, architecture and more. The canvas of the graphic designer should certainly be no different.