class for TUESDAY, FEB 1

Starting off February with a bang, we will critique the EARLY LETTERFORM project on Tuesday, February one. All four or your designs should be posted on the typo boards in the glass hallway by 8:30 am, Tuesday, February 1st. Your four designs should be posted in a single horizontal line.


On Thursday we will correct all quizzes and turn them in, in your envelopes, along with the first thirty trimmed exercises (typeface zooms and counterforms).


Project 1: Early Letterform
Select a letter from the Phoenician or Greek alphabet, research the letter, and write approximately 100 words.

Create four two-color designs, each distinctively different, using black and red as shown in the examples. Incorporate your copy into each design. In the first design make the symbol the most prominent element. In the second make the display type the most prominent element. In the third make the text type the most prominent element. All design elements should be two-dimensional. In the final comp make the symbol the most prominent element again.

Each design should be 8" x 8".
It is your choice which of the colors, red, black, or white is used for the page, for the symbol, for the text and display type.
For your text and display type, use one of the 5 typefaces we have been working with thus far:
Century Schoolbook
Consider the following issues:
Colors and textures created through letter, word, and line spacing.
Legibility based upon tracking and leading.
Shape created by counterform and the influence on the perception of the composition.
These will be among the topics discussed in critique.

The Original Project Brief>>>

The Cooper Union >>>
Hong-ik University >>>



Rearrange the paragraphs you have created for the Five Classic Typefaces exercises to meet the following specifications:

Garamond: Justified
Baskerville: Flush Left, Ragged Right
Didot: Flush Right, Ragged Left
Century Schoolbook: Centered
Helvetica: Random

Please be sure to read the design concerns listed with each example:

Paragraph Indications


Using the text provided by the text link below, use each of our five typefaces once to create five different designs demonstrating five different ways of indicating paragraphs shown in the examples: Conservative, Moderate, Adventurous, Experimental, Outrageous

Paragraph Indications Text

Please view all 30 examples before beginning. Do not copy the examples, but rather come up with your own new and creative way based upon them:


Type Classifications


FIVE CLASSIC TYPEFACES and characteristics

Type Classification Exercises (same basic layout for all five typefaces)

Old Style:



Other examples of Old Style Typefaces:

Adobe Caslon Pro


Garamond Premier Pro


Adobe Garamond Pro


Goudy Old Style

Goudy Old Style

and more:

Dante, Adobe Jenson, Palatino

Aldine, Bembo, Caslon, Dante, Galliard, Palatino, Plantin, Sabon




Other examples of transitional typefaces:



Times New Roman



Bulmer, Cochin, Fairfield, Janson Text, Mrs Eaves, Usherwood, Veljovic Book, Zapf International


Didot (link to Bodoni)


Other examples of modern typefaces:

Modern No. 20

Bodoni, Didot

Bernhard Modern, Fenice, Filosophia, Modern, Modern Wide, Torino, Waldbaum


Slab Serif:

Century Schoolbook


Other examples of Egyptian typefaces:

Century, 1894

Clarendon, Rockwell

City, Egyptian, Glypha, Lubalin Graph, Quadraat, Serifa, Stymie, Swift

Sans Serif:



Other examples of San Serif typefaces:

Franklin Gothic Book

Franklin Gothic Medium


Gill Sans

Grotesque, Franklin Gothic, Frutiger, Meta, News Gothic, Optima, Syntax, Trade Gothic

Akzidenz Grotesque, Meta, Scala Sans, Univers

Anatomy Defs

type terminology lexicon from a type primer, John Cane, Prentice Hall, 2003:

Baseline-The imaginary line defining the visual base of the letterforms.

Median-The imaginary line define the x-height of the letterforms.

X-height-The height in any typeface of the lowercase 'x'.

Stroke-Any line that defines the basic letterform.

Apex/Vertex-The point created by joining two diagonal stems(apex above, vertex below).

Arm-Short strokes off the stem of the letterform.

Ascender-The portion of the stem of a lowercase letterform that projects above the median.

Barb-The half-serif finish on some curved strokes.

Beak-The half-serif finish on some horizontal arms.

Bowl-The rounded form that describes a counter. The bowl may be either open or closed.

Bracket-The transition between the serif and the stem

Counter-The negative space within a letterform, either fully or partially closed.

Cross Bar-The horizontal stroke in a letterform that joins two stems together.

Cross Stroke-The horizontal stroke in a letterform that intersects the stem

Crotch-The interior space where two strokes meet

Descender-The portion of a stem of a lowercase letterform that projects below the baseline

Ear-The stroke extending out from the main stem or body of the letterform.

Em/en-Originally referring to the width of an uppercase M, an em is now the distance equal to the size of the typeface(an em in 48 pt. type is 48 points) An en is half the size of an em.

Finial-The rounded non-serif terminal to a stroke.

Leg-Short stroke off the stem of the letterform, either at the bottom of the stroke or inclined downward.

Ligature-The character formed by the combination of two or more letterforms.

Link-The stroke that connects the bowl and the loop.

Loop-The bowl created in the descender of the lowercase G.

Serif-The right angled or oblique foot at the end of the stroke.

Shoulder-The curved stroke that is not part of a bowl.

Spine-The curved stem of the S.

Spur-The extension that articulates the junction of a curved and rectilinear stroke.

Stem-The significant vertical or oblique stroke.

Stress-The orientation of the letterform, indicated by the thin stroke in round forms.

Swash-The flourish that extends of the stroke of a letterform.

Tail-The curved or diagonal stroke at the finish if certain letterforms.

Terminal-The self-contained finish of a stroke without a serif, a catch-all term.