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Project. Typographic Journey

Purpose. The purpose of the project is to understand and explore the relationship of typographic elements - letters, words, lines, and paragraphs - as they exist simultaneously in a single composition. An understanding of typographic hierarchy through the logical ordering of textual information - from dominant to subdominant text - should be evident.

Assignment. Design a composition based upon information gathered during a journey to school or down several blocks of a main street. The composition should be composed entirely of typographic elements - abstract form, letters, words,lines, and paragraphs. There should be no use of hand-rendered, borrowed, digital, or photographic imagery. You may use black and white alone; or, if appropriate to the design, you may introduce a limited use of color.

The project will employ the use of a grid. The structure and organization of the typographic elements should be cohesive, interesting, and dynamic.Explore how type size, weight, letterspacing, word spacing, leading, and alignment effect the reading of a composition in visual form (line, curve, positive.and negative space) and function (the communication of information).

Begin with the written documentation of your journey. Complete a typeface analysis, considering typeface style, tone, historical significance, width, contrast, size, weight, italic, x-height, uppercase and lowercase characters, alignments, and line lengths for reading continuous text. Develop the grid you will implement to design your composition. Either a horizontal or vertical format is acceptable. Create a variety of half-size compositions exploring basic composition, layout, orientation, and possible textual arrangements. Next, design three full-size computer-generated compositions, exploring the potential of the computer as a typographic design tool. Finally, select one of the three compositions to continue to develop and refine.

Format. 14" x 20" (36 X 50 centimeters)

Time. 30 hours

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Kristin Cullen was appointed Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Cincinnati in 2001. Her teaching responsibilities have focused primarily on second- and fifth-year communication design courses. She has also taught graphic design courses at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the Rhode Island School of Design. Kristin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. In her professional practice, including several years as a designer at award-winning Chicago design firms, she has designed a wide range of communication materials. Recent projects include corporate identity design and application, signage design, poster design, and special event invitation design. Her academic and professional work has been featured in exhibits and professional publications, including 02txt: A Celebration of the Visual Word, From A(&D) to Z(apf), Graphis, I.D. Magazine, and Print Magazine.

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