College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, USA  
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Project. Cover design: Pioneers of Modern Typography by Herbert Spencer.

Purpose. Introduce sophomore students to the use of typography from basics to more complex structures.

Assignment. Design three covers per week using Structure, Chaos, and Hiding as the underlining theme. The structure is a grid system using the major and minor axis with the intersecting lines dividing the space into thirds

Grid System

Chaos is a freeform study to allow the students complete freedom to cut, tear, or mutilate the type to achieve a typographic picture. Finally, hiding or covering up type is used for fun or to discover clever new ways to design with type.

Hand/eye coordination is emphasized and no computers or mechanical instruments are used. The goal is to give students confidence and freedom before they learn the strict rule of typographic composition. They can then see the results and be able to discuss any problems or areas of concern. The computer is not used for this project because the results are much more creative and not restricted to the right angle the computer normally dictates. As the students cut-and-paste the given typographic elements they are unconcerned with fonts and sizes and weights, they can concentrate only on the design.

Format. 7.5 x 7.5 inches (45 x 45 picas) square on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

Time. Five weekly 2-hour meetings.


Michael Kroeger is a professional designer and educator living in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently an Assistant Professor working for the College of Mount St. Joseph. Professor Kroeger teaches the sophomore level typography class, junior level Graphic Design sequence and a new course called Advanced Web & Interactive Design in the iDesign Program.

He was president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Phoenix Chapter from October 1993 until April 1996. The University of Cincinnati conferred on him a Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) degree. Kroeger traveled to Brissago, Switzerland to study with Armin Hofmann, Paul Rand, Wolfgang Weingart, Philip Burton, and Herbert Matter. He received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.

Professor Kroeger recently published a book Paul Rand: Conversations with Students by Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2008.

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Michael Kroeger

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