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Project. Writer’s Compositions

Purpose. To develop typographic composition abilities starting from content analysis. To explore expressive possibilities of all typographic elements which take part in a complex piece of text. To comprehend the diverse ways of using type and develop a typographic sense for both alphabetic and non-alphabetic type features. To understand the value and nature of a timeline and of a poster, their reading conditions and priorities.

Assignment. The first part is the design of a timeline based on the work of a chosen author. The student is encouraged to research and read the most significant pieces of the author's work, and to determine the relevant aspects/events/characteristics of his/her personality. These elements are then collected, selected, and organized in a timeline of the author’s life. Relevant photographs, book titles, covers, symbols, and simple graphics can be combined with text to construct this first part of the assignment. The visual atmosphere of this timeline should be inspired by the nature of those elements found.

The second part is dedicated to the design a typographic poster, based on a particular phrase or quotation by the author, found in his/her literature, interviews, book reviews, etc. This phrase must be of special interest in some way (some passage of an interview, a polemic statement, a humorous comment, a saying…). This time only typographic elements can be used to make the mise-en-page (layout) of the poster.

Students are third semester within a program of nine. The work is corrected in class within an open discussion where all students participate and criticise their own and their colleagues’ designs.

Format. The timeline is delivered in a tabloid format, full color, no limits in the use of type variables, sizes or styles. The poster is a 60 x 90 cm (24 X 36 inches), full color, and –again– no limits in type usage.

Time. Three classes (1 1/2 weeks) are given to students for the author’s timeline; and four classes (2 weeks) are given for the poster design.


Alejandro Lo Celso (1970) is a graphic and type designer born in Córdoba, Argentina. He has worked as an art director at different media, has taught typography at diverse institutions, and has collaborated with some major design magazines. He holds a MA in type design at the University of Reading, UK, and a research diplôme at the Anrt, Atelier National de Recherche Typographique, Nancy, France. He has given seminars and workshops in Argentina, Chile, France, and Mexico, and his work has been published in various international design magazines. In 2001 he created PampaType, an independent digital foundry, through which he has published award-winning typefaces such as Rayuela and Borges (www.pampatype.com). Alejandro LoCelso currently is an executive member of the CEAD, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Diseño (www.ceadmex.org), and also a professor at the information design courses (graduate & postgraduate levels) at the University of the Americas Puebla, Mexico. Alejandro lives in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.


Spanish version


César Aira
Isaac Asimov
Paul Auster
Samuel Beckett
Julian Barnes
Jorge Luis Borges
Ray Bradbury
Italo Calvino
Truman Capote
Camilo José Cela
Arthur C. Clarke
Paulo Coehlo
Julio Cortázar
Sor Juana Inés De la Cruz
Umberto Eco
Gustave Flaubert
Dario Fo
Carlos Fuentes
Eduardo Galeano
Günter Grass
Gabriel García Márquez
Oliverio Girondo
Hernest Hemingway
Hermann Hesse
Victor Hugo
James Joyce
Franz Kafka
Milan Kundera
Malcolm Lowry
Leopoldo Marechal
Á ngeles Mastretta
Gabriela Mistral
Carlos Monsiváis
Pablo Neruda
Kenzaburo Oé
Octavio Paz
Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Fernando Pessoa
Edgar Allan Poe
Elena Poniatowska
Jacques Prévert
Juan Rulfo
José Saramago
John Steinbeck
Alfonsina Storni
César Vallejo
Walt Whitman
Marguerite Yourcenar

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