In conjunction with TypeCon2012, SOTA will be presenting its seventh annual Type & Design Education Forum, a day of special programming devoted to addressing the pressing needs of design educators.

The forum takes place on Thursday, August 2nd in the Grand Salon of the InterContinental Milwaukee.

Recasting Typography Education

We seem to be at a crossroads in typography education. Principally taught as a stepchild of graphic design until now, typography has come into its own in the real world as systems for delivering information rely on excellent meta- and micro-typography for their success among users. What skills do students need to be successful professionals in this newly defined field? How does this technology revolution affect curriculum and teaching methodology? And not of least interest, where does the swelling interest in traditional book arts fit into the big picture?

Forum Program

This information is subject to change.

Redefining Typographic Teaching for Shiny Planes

Gerry Leonidas, University of Reading, UK

Gerry offers a model for design education focused on typographically-rich environments on tablets, mostly. He will talk about teaching the combination of paragraph-level typographic skills, information architecture, and interaction design required for designing complex documents like newspapers on small tablet screens.

Beyond the Book — The Library of the Future

Jay Rutherford, Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar

Contemporary libraries and design education are both in a state of flux. The project “Beyond the Book—the Library of the Future” involved students and teachers from our Media and Design faculties, as well as library staff and external assistants. Jay will talk briefly about teaching methods, then will show a few of the ideas the students came up with. These include a pop-up reading space, iPad apps, some reading research, and even a couple of traditional books.

Shifting from Micro to Macro:
An Approach to Teaching Typography

Sharon Oiga, University of Illinois at Chicago
Guy Villa, Columbia College Chicago

Traversing from Beginning Typography to Advanced Typography, students follow a trajectory of learning that examines single letters, then words, then sentences, and then essays; they progress from creating letterforms on a page (small format) to designing posters (large format), to online book publishing (multiple-page format). This path and structure of teaching typography is currently being trialed and practiced at two widely different schools in Chicago.

Type Design Pedagogy:
Blending Practice, Theory, and History

Sumner Stone, Type@Cooper, The Cooper Union, Stone Type Foundry

The teacher of Type Design is faced with transmitting a very diverse skill set. The fundamentals of letter drawing and formal writing should be acquired using various tools ranging from the pencil to complex computer software. Typefaces and typeface families should be understood as nested systems. A familiarity with former forms and their contexts is needed to provide the foundation for sensible expansion and continuation of the art. Sumner will describe an integrated approach to teaching all of these subjects simultaneously.

A Pedagogical Flip:
Teaching Typographic Complexity to
Introductory Students

Kathleen Meaney, University of Illinois, Champaign, Terms & Conditions
Matthew Peterson, University of Illinois, Champaign, Terms & Conditions

Showcasing the work from their introductory typography course, Kathleen and Matthew address the issues of teaching diverse media and complex tasks (multi-page layout, style sheets, web design, etc.) early on — as a pedagogical inversion — and the importance of balancing assignments in process, length, and output.

A Spacing Exercise

John Downer, Sign Painter & Type Designer, Voltage Inc.

John will show a simple exercise to help type designers and typographers space shapes such as majuscules consistently. By evaluating and comparing areas of negative space, practitioners learn to improve the way a word is structured.

Students as Rasterizers

Craig Eliason, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

This assignment teaches students about the technical issues of low-resolution typography and hinting, a grasp of which is indispensable for understanding digital typography. It does so by putting them in the position of “rasterizer” — asking them to consider how continuous outlines should be translated into binary pixels. Using pens and gridded index cards, students fill in squares to approximate assigned letters from a variety of type styles.

Type Design 101:
Creating a Design Based on Vernacular Lettering

Dan Reynolds, Braunschweig University of Art

Students begin this workshop by photographing pre-digital signage and inscriptions, and then vectorizing a set of letters. Their next steps are to expand these character sets, creating the kernels of new typefaces. Working from found elements in the visual environment proves a powerful method for reinforcing the understanding of basic elements, like rhythm, proportion, and repetition.

Teaching American Style Education in Kuwait

Bethany Armstrong, American University of Kuwait
Maryam, American University of Kuwait (in absentia)

As educators at an American university in Kuwait Bethany and Maryam are challenged to connect with students despite language barriers and cultural differences. How do they engage students in the creative process, address design in a language/culture that is not their own, and remain flexible to allow for the cultural exchange of ideas?

TypeCon2012 Identity:
Experimenting with a Student Design Team

Julie Spivey, University of Georgia

SOTA collaborated with students for the first time to develop the identity for this year’s TypeCon. Julie will describe the process of guiding a team of six University of Georgia undergraduate students who worked on the identity design.

Fun, Games & Grueling Typography

Steve Bardolph, University of Minnesota, Duluth

An assignment using popular music and simple game play to teach students to trust their intuition and hone their skills with kinetic, phonetic, and concrete graphic poetry; expressive typography with an interactive twist, including smartphones and quick response codes.

A Typographic/Que Experiment

Nathalie Dumont, Concordia University, Montreal
Will Hill, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (in absentia)

Designing a bilingual poster/program for a fictitious typography conference. This joint assignment for introductory-level students was conceived by Nathalie and Will after last year’s Education Forum. For a period of five weeks, 79 students on both sides of the Atlantic worked with raw text to design a poster-programme for a fictitious ‘dream’ typography conference. Nathalie and Will reflect on their teaching methods and show student results.