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Project. Typographic Compositions with Oxymoron Word Combinations

Purpose. To motivate automatic, objective, critical, and efficient decision-making, while using the variation methodology. To search for unobvious solutions and to be able to objectively judge what works and what doesn't, what is appropriate and what not. To learn respect for " normal" typography and it's purpose.

Assignment. To develop typographical compositions consisting of large quantities of text in small sizes, based on word combinations in which incongruous or contradictory terms (oxymorons) are combined.

There are five typographical exercises. Each consists of two or more given texts which include at least one oxymoron. Within an adapted "universal" grid, each DIN A5 composition must contain 85% to 95% text and only 5% to 15% white space, which compels the search for original and imaginative solutions. Strict parameters are given with the first exercise, i.e., one type face, once type size, horizontal alignment only, no overlapping or cutting off letters, etc. These constrictions are reduced with each successive exercise.

Typographical systems and their functions are explored, whether relevant or not. For example: alphabetical, chronological, random and formal order; cross-referencing, registers, pagination, listing, schedules, footnotes, indents; textblock numbering and grouping; word or phrase highlighting, etc.

Format. DIN A5 (5 7/8 X 8 1/4), DIN A4 (8 1/4 X 11 11/16), DIN A3 (11 11/16 X 16 1/2), and DIN A2 (16 1/2 X 23 3/8)

Time. One semester.

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Sandra Hoffmann was born 1960 in Ontario, Canada. She was educated in Vancouver (Communication Arts) and the Post Graduate Graphic Design Program in Basel, Switzerland (Schule für Gestaltung). Sandra Hoffmann is now a Professor for Communications Design in Darmstadt, Germany, at the University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Design (Fachhochschule Darmstadt, Fachbereich Gestaltung). She is a practising designer in Berne, Switzerland, specialising in typographical information design in the areas of public, educational, technical, and administrational communication.

German version

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