Boston University College of Fine Arts
808 Commonwealth Ave, #406D

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  2. E mh656@bu.edu

Junior Type – Denotation, Connotation – ar487, Fall 2017

Course Description

This course is a continuation of the previous typography courses taken during the sophomore year. Junior level typography is an advanced examination into the practice of denotative and connotative typography. Students will learn how to design a typographic system over a sequence of pages; and how to control hierarchical systems as a means of conveying visual language and verbal meaning. Students will be introduced to the sequencing of typographic elements in a time-based context (stop-motion, video) while experiencing how variables such as rate, pace and sound can impact narrative. The class will include several workshops and will also be punctuated with informal critiques.


  • Explore new connotative definitions for “typographical”;
  • Build/enhance student’s typographic acumen;
  • Develop attitude;
  • Refine type skills;
  • Work across mediums;
  • Build design thinking skills;
  • Play + experiment within constraints.


  • Type 1 and Type 2
  • Transfer student demonstrating strong abilities in typography


2 credits


Attend to all classes is essential. Un-excused absences will result in faults to the participation evaluation. Keep me updated if you need to miss class. In any case, the students are responsible for being up-to-date. Being late will be perceived the same way.

Grading Criteria

Grading grid download link


You will be evaluated according to your overall engagement in the projects. Your active participation (10%) during the semester will also be taken in account. A mid-semester grade will be delivered.

  • Project 1 – 30%
  • Project 2 – 30%
  • Project 3 – 30%
  • Class participation follows the regulations on attendance of the College of Fine Arts.

Assignments Criteria (general)

  • Originality / point of view / attitude
  • Formal approach + typography
  • Execution shows technical skills
  • Give your idea a chance
  • Strangeness factor (Extra points)

Materials (at all times)

  • Laptop or home computer
  • Mouse and/or trackpad, drawing tablet, etc.
  • Digital camera
  • Sketchbook
  • Drawing pencils, pens
  • Box cutter, bone folder, scissors
  • Ruler
  • Rubber cement glue
  • Anything you fancy for content-making


  • Week 1
    1. Welcome back, catching up
    2. Summary of course, what is happening this semester? (LAB, Workshops)
    3. Announcement: typographic refresh
    4. Introduction to the project: Drawing restraint
    5. Reading: “My Typographies”, Paul Elliman
    6. About the Art Book Fair
  • Week 2
    1. Typographic refresh
  • Week 3
    1. Look back at the “Typographic refresh” exercise
    2. Project: in class work, drawing restraint, work development, exchanging ideas
    3. Project: drawing restraint, show progress: no “air crit”
    4. Reading: finish the reading of “My Typographies”, Paul Elliman
    5. Reading: “A Graphic Designer Who Thinks Like an Architect”, Madeleine Morley
  • Week 4
    1. Discussion on “My Typographies”
    2. Demo: photographic documentation
    3. Project: Drawing restraint
    4. Reading: “The Great Wheel of Style”, Lorraine Wild
  • Week 5
    1. Project: Drawing restraint
    2. Checklist: 25+ drawings at high resolution (scans or photographs), photographic or video documentation of the drawings in making, binding solution and collection of materials
    3. Checklist: Computer and inDesign files ready to be discussed, looking at your folder organization
    4. Announcement: Adobe Premiere and AE
  • Week 6
    1. Project: Drawing restraint presentations introducing the 2 final publications cropped to size and other supporting media
  • Week 7
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes – Animation
    2. Workshop: bring your materials, interpolation drawings in class
    3. Creation of animated gifs, as a homework
  • Week 8
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes
    2. For week 8: complete the inking of your interpolated shapes and scan them at 600dpi
    3. Students bring their completed checker boards and their animated gifs
    4. Bring your headphones + laptops
    5. Reading: “Biometry and Antibodies, Modernizing Animation / Animating Modernity”, Edwin Carels
  • Week 9
    1. Delivery: Interpolated Shapes – Animation
  • Week 10
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes II – Treatise on Movement
    2. Project introduction
  • Week 11
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes II – Treatise on Movement
    2. Bring topic in class
    3. Bring all sorted folders of content
    4. Present potential typefaces
  • Week 12
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes II – Treatise on Movement
    2. Projection: The Gleaners and I
    3. Bring layouts, show grids
  • Week 13
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes II – Treatise on Movement
    2. Class crit
  • Week 14
    1. Project: Interpolated Shapes II – Treatise on Movement

Fall 2017 A1

Fall 2017 B1