Showcasing pre-digital typographic techniques
& processes… to lure in digital natives

Ahhhhhh…! That wonderful aha moment when we see the spark in our students’ eyes—when they realize that typography reaches far beyond the font list under the type menu on the computer. The tricky part is getting to that aha moment!

When students are learning about typography, is it far too easy for them to simply type out words, choose a typeface and go. The problem is, some novices stretch the type until it becomes so oddly distorted that it looks like a reflection from the “fun house” mirror; some may increase the size larger than the design was ever intended to be; some load free fonts that are so poorly designed with awkward shapes and spacing that one who knows and appreciates typography can actually feel the acid in his or her stomach turning; some simply use Myriad on their designs because it is the default typeface (a good reason to suggest never to use that typeface unless it is backed up with a very good reason). The ultimate goal is for our students to love, honor and respect typography, but getting to that point can be an arduous task and sometimes a painful experience.

As educators in the creative field, we are on a continuous quest to seek new means and methods to communicate, enlighten and connect with students. Today’s youth desires constant stimulation, enjoys multitasking and prefers group activities to individual pursuits. They are extremely accomplished with software and digital communication but less so with interpersonal communication and making things with their hands.

Today’s graphic design students are completely immersed in technology, which makes it a challenge for them to relate to pre-digital typography. In order to make pre-digital or analog typographic and printing techniques and processes more luring, relevant, understandable, and tangible, a collaborative and integrated experience called the “Typographic Carousel” was developed. To date, each year the Type Carousel event has been held on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology at the Innovation Center, where undergraduate and graduate students, along with faculty members from across campus have participated. The range of disciplines represented at the Type Carousel include graphic, interior, industrial, and new media design, photography and print media, and illustration, studio art, and business and engineering.

This experiential workshop takes the form of a carousel set of exercises, where participants move in groups from station to station in twenty-minute intervals until they have completed the circuit. While at the stations, called Terminals (for obvious associations to typography), participants work together with the assistance of a Terminal Guide— an individual who is knowledgeable with the subject matter— to experience various pre-digital or analog typographic techniques and processes. The following names were selected to identify the techniques and processes at the Terminals:

TACTILE TERMINAL = Letterpress Printing
TERMINOLOGY TERMINAL = Letter Structure Terminology
TARGET TERMINAL = Typeface Identification
TRANSFER TERMINAL = Transfer Lettering
TRANSCENDENT TERMINAL = Conceptual Lettering

The techniques, processes and activities for the terminals were selected to provide participants with interactive opportunities for firsthand exploration and experimentation while showcasing the diversity of pre-digital or analog alternatives to producing letters and typography— in addition to providing reinforcement of historical information and terminology. The activities were selected for their appropriateness to the venue, the time limit of the event and ease of transportation, set-up and tear-down. We also felt it was important for the participants to work cooperatively in a group setting and to allow for physical movement with the format of the Type Carousel to best address the learning styles of all.

The Type Carousel was designed with a pedagogical synthesis using a learner-centered environment at the base. Participants will learn about the pre-digital or analog techniques and processes through direct experience and active participation; through “doing”. Making connections or bridging through integrated learning is critical to the retention of information. Since individuals learn in different ways, it was important to incorporate all learning styles into the event. We all have preferences in the mode in which suits us best: auditory, visual, tactual, and/or kinesthetic. 1 By using these basic modes in the Type Carousel, participants absorb the information readily and with enthusiasm. As educators, one of our main goals is to strive to effectively teach all types of students so they can learn, and to present information in ways in which students will be more able to integrate and assimilate that knowledge for future application. We have found that the Type Carousel experience provides students with connections between the past and present, along with the various methodologies in a way that they enjoy, and which makes the subject matter more palatable, interesting and memorable.

In addition to gaining firsthand experience, participants also gain knowledge about each technique or process through interaction with the Terminal Guide, written instructions and signage that includes source materials by practitioners and experts. The Type Carousel addresses a number of issues relating to today’s digitally native students. It provides a high degree of stimulation and opportunities for multitasking and group interaction. It also provides the opportunity to improve hand skills (beyond pushing the buttons for a video game). Finally, The Type Carousel experience introduces students to alternative ideas and approaches to creating and manipulating letterforms and typography, broadening their resourcefulness, creativity and problem-solving capabilities. This in turn will encourage students to bring these pre-digital or analog techniques and processes into their coursework and personal projects.

This firsthand interaction makes letters become tangible, exciting, important and meaningful— even sexy— in a way that doesn’t happen in studio lectures.  We have discovered that students not only love working with their hands and traditional methods, but they crave it! This pre-digital or analog information is exciting and new to them, and it’s so rewarding to see their engagement and enthusiasm. Many participants commented on the relaxation and the enjoyment of working with their hands slowly with intent and purpose and they were able to accept that there was no delete key or undo command. This is in stark contrast to the hectic pace of working on the computer and other digital media with which they are so familiar, confident and competent. Where the digital realm embraces speed and instant gratification, the analog realm embraces interaction and process. Sean Manchee, one of the participants, summed it up well when he said, “The computer facilitates quick and easy results, but it’s incredibly easy to set and forget without really looking at the small nuances, complexities and relationships of the forms. I think all designers should have hands-on experience with letters.” 2


The inclusion of calligraphy at the Type Carousel was an obvious choice. Calligraphy means beautiful handwriting. All typefaces that we use today trace their origins to hand-written letterforms. Typefaces either pay homage to handwriting in their design, or they are a reaction against handwritten forms. For example, Humanist typefaces reflect handwriting while Geometric typefaces are departures from handwriting.

Looking to the past, before the invention of movable type, all books were produced by highly skilled scribes who created beautiful letters in distinctive styles called hands, using a range of tools such as chisels, quills, brushes, nibs and various types of pens with hand-ground inks on animal skins (parchment). With the introduction of letterpress printing, Renaissance typographers adapted these handwriting styles and systematized them into movable type, a set of elements that could be re-arranged and reproduced. 3 Without looking back, typographers created metal alphabets that reflected both cultural values and the technological capabilities of the time.

The lasting influence of handwritten letters in typography is evident in the shapes and weights of strokes, stress and contrast within letterforms, serif shapes and in the systematic design of alphabets. Although calligraphy has long been replaced by printing methods for broad-based communication, it is still widely used for artistic expression and to create a certain aesthetic in a wide range of applications.

The value of learning calligraphy during the process of becoming a designer or typographer was best expressed by the late Steve Jobs, during his 2005 Stanford University Commencement Speech:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. 4

A world of designers and typographers are very thankful for Steve Job’s appreciation and respect for calligraphy and typography. Can you imagine — especially in those early days of computers — having to look at the clumsy and awkwardly spaced typography found on platforms other than the Mac?

At the Type Carousel, participants are encouraged to make some beautiful letters using the model sheets, calligraphy markers and paper provided. They use tracing paper over the Chancery Cursive model sheets to trace the letters of their names or to form words. The Terminal Guide provides instruction on the proper way to hold the marker— at a 45° angle to the vertical in order to obtain the correct stroke width. Participants are then encouraged to follow the model sheet without tracing letters to create words.

Left: Participants working on calligraphy at the Tradition Terminal. Right : Cary Graphic Arts Collection Assistant Curator Amelia Hugill-Fontanel with participants at the Tactile Terminal. Photos by Elizabeth Lamark.

A student calligrapher serves as guide of this terminal along with support from Kris Holmes of Bigelow and Holmes. The Terminal Guide assists the participants as needed.

The objectives of this terminal are to reinforce general typographic concepts such as stroke weight, stress, letter, word and line spacing and systematic letterform design and structure by having students draw letters by hand.

Participants have remarked that calligraphy is much more difficult than they had expected, but they are very proud by the work they produce. Students often mention that they now notice the similarities between hand-drawn letters and typefaces from this hands-on experience. Many students say that they find it relaxing and said that they would like to continue their practice by taking a calligraphy course so they can incorporate it into their design work.

TACTILE TERMINAL = Letterpress Printing
Letterpress is a great activity for the Type Carousel and students overwhelmingly love it— in spite of the need for a tremendous amount of patience, time, effort and skill necessary. For those readers who have not had the opportunity to try letterpress, it is a printing method in which individual metal or wood typographic characters are organized in reverse reading order, inked, and placed on a 0.918” high press bed, producing a right-reading relief image on paper.

Letterpress printing was first introduced with Gutenberg’s press in the mid-fifteenth Century. Letterpress printing in its evolving variations was the most common method of printing until the mid-nineteenth century; when the introduction of newer technologies such as Linotype and Monotype machines eliminated the need to set type by hand one letter at a time.5 Letterpress has been superseded commercially by offset and digital printing, but its tactile, de-bossed quality still holds a place in specialty projects such as books, posters, artist broadsides, fine art editions and wedding stationery, and is enjoying a resurgence of interest among printers, designers and artists using traditional metal and wood type as well as with digitally-produced typography using polymer plates. Its growing popularity can be seen on DIY sites such as etsy.com, where individual artists are selling products using traditional and digital letterpress printing. Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the oldest continuous running letterpress shops in the United States, currently produces over 600 jobs annually for country music, vaudeville and circus show posters. Jim Sherraden, the chief designer and manager of Hatch Show Print, believes in “preservation through production”6 and believes that one of the benefits of sharing the art of letterpress with the digital generation is to “create today’s archive for the next generation, and to welcome this art into the twenty-first century.”7

For the Type Carousel, participants are encouraged to “get their hands dirty” and make an impression as they “ink up” the type and pull posters with the assistance of Terminal Guides Steven Galbraith, Curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at RIT, and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, Assistant Curator, using their small Sign Presses. Past Type Carousels have also benefited from the assistance and expertise of Tony Zanni of Dock Two Letterpress in Rochester, New York.

Students use a Line-O-Scribe Sign Press to pull posters that are custom-designed for each Type Carousel event to keep as reminders of the experience. Wood and metal type specimens are provided so participants can encounter the type firsthand— nothing more appealing than being able to hold and caress a big juicy Clarendon bold lowercase “a” in your hand!

In addition, examples of the California Case and other organizational tools are provided to show how a letterpress print shop functions and the Terminal Guides explain the process beautifully. Participants are able to experience firsthand by setting up lines of type using a composing stick and the type provided, setting individual letters in reverse order to better appreciate and understand this skill. Additional benefits to the Letterpress Terminal are to reinforce terminology related to printing and typography.  The participants are always eager to learn more about letterpress printing through internships and workshops at letterpress shops in the area and on campus to incorporate this into their projects.

TERMINOLOGY TERMINAL: Letter Structure Terminology
Any discussion about letterforms has to begin with a basic knowledge of the terminology; otherwise “talking points” are lost if you have to say “this little curly thing on the end” instead of saying the “the ear on the lowercase two story g”. In order to make this terminal more interesting, we posed it as a game with word boards and Velcro pieces with terms on them that the participants had to attach in the correct spots. In order to make it more memorable, we made the comparison between letter structure (anatomy) and human and animal “body” parts. It is critical that typographers are familiar with these terms, as this information is essential to understanding the systematic approach to alphabet design and to the creation of typefaces and original alphabets.

Terminology to identify typographic characters, such as alphabetic letters, numbers and glyphs, has evolved from calligraphy through the history of typography from metal type to the digital age. Anatomical terms describe components of letterforms and include words such as ear, eye, tail, lobe, spine, and foot. 8 This is far from an exhaustive list, but it provides the context that there are many terms to be learned before one can be considered an informed designer or typographer.

As mentioned by Willen and Strals, “All letters are not created in the exact same way, but common steps are at the heart of drawing letters for typefaces as well as custom lettering treatments.” 9 Furthermore, an understanding of the systematic anatomical design of similar letters such as n, m, h, r, u, is the foundation of handwriting, lettering and typography and leads to the most legible and systematic letterform design and structure. The objectives of this terminal are to reinforce anatomical and other typographic terms that have already been discussed in studio or lab, and to see how much knowledge students have retained.

For this terminal experience, participants try to correctly identify the terms in the time allotted. The guide for this terminal is an advanced level design student who provides support but no answers!

Left: Participants work together at the Terminology Terminal. Right : Participants at the Target Terminal checking carefully to name the right face!. Photos by Lorrie Frear & Elizabeth Lamark.

This is a difficult terminal for most participants, which provides evidence that introducing these terms in the studio does not necessarily correspond to students making the connections or recalling the information. For the participants who had never been in a typography class, we give them “cheat sheets” with definitions and explanations of the terms so they can hypothesize where each Velcro piece should go. Although the challenge is tough, students really seem to enjoy the collaborative and interactive nature of the task.

TARGET TERMINAL = Typeface Identification
The ability to identify a typeface by name and to recognize its unique characteristics is an essential skill for designers and this terminal proved to be a challenge and eye-opening experience for most.  Any typography lover knows (or should know) that each typeface is created to serve a specific purpose and is most effective if used properly. For example, Times Roman was designed by Stanley Morison for the London Times for ease of reading. Other typefaces, such as Verdana, designed by Matthew Carter, are designed to specifically address the needs of screen use.

From the beginning of typeface design, alphabets have been given names or numbers by their designers or manufacturers. Familiar typefaces include Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook, Futura, Gill Sans and Helvetica. Typefaces regularly undergo subtle transformations and redesigns as needed to meet the needs of each technological development, and as required for legal licensing. In addition, typefaces are now designed specifically to meet the needs of print use or screen application. In order to make quick and effective typographic selections for projects, it is critical that designers can identify typefaces by sight and are familiar with the intended purpose and specific characteristics of typefaces. For example, identifying similar typefaces such as Arial and Helvetica can be a challenge, but a designer or typographer should be able to do so with ease. Helvetica is a print face and Arial is intended for screen use, and this difference must be recognized. In addition, designers and typographers must be able to select and use typefaces that will be most legible and effective utilizing the designated communication and the intended target audience. The uniqueness of each typeface and its intended purpose is expressed eloquently by Will Burtin, American Graphic Designer and Art Director,“Each typeface is a piece of history, like a chip in a mosaic that depicts the development of human communication. Each typeface is also a visual record of the person who created it-his skill as a designer, his philosophy as an artist, his feeling for…the details of each letter and the resulting impressions of an alphabet or a text line.”10

Participants at the Typeface Identification Terminal are provided sheets containing the same word produced in two similar typefaces. The objective is to correctly identify as many typefaces as possible in the time allotted. Students are not allowed to use any digital devices to assist them, but they are allowed to look at printed sheets of many complete typefaces for assistance if necessary (i.e. cheat sheets). To correctly identify similar typefaces, students are encouraged to study the following characteristics in order to make their identifications: serif or sans serif structure, Old Style, Transitional, Modern, Egyptian or Contemporary family relationship, serif design and structure, and other factors such as lowercase a and g structure and Humanist or Geometric Sans Serif configuration.

The guide for this terminal is an advanced level student who assists if necessary. The objectives of this terminal are to demonstrate that selecting typefaces from the font list alone is not enough to become familiar with the intricacies of letterform design and to encourage students to become more invested in and knowledgeable of the difference between print fonts and fonts designed for screen application.

This activity is always a challenge for most participants without considerable assistance from the list of typefaces we provided to choose from. Clearly, using typefaces from the font list is not sufficient for students to really see the intricate details that identify typefaces. The most difficult pairing to identify correctly is generally Memphis and Rockwell.

TRANSFER TERMINAL = Transfer Lettering
You might be wondering, why would we include transfer lettering at the Type Carousel? For those of you who are over the age of 45, you might ask, “who in their right mind would want to go back to those days of rubbing down type?” Before the desktop computer, transfer lettering, also known as press type or rub-down lettering, was used for making comps to show clients how a layout would look. Transfer lettering is type that is rubbed down with a pencil or other sharpened tool one character at a time. It may surprise you that the participants love this terminal!

Transfer lettering was introduced to help designers and boardmen create “comps” of printed materials for approval by clients without resorting to the cost and time of working with metal type. Each transfer lettering sheet contains characters of a typeface at a specific point size to be rubbed down individually with a burnisher, pencil point or similar object. The effective use of transfer lettering requires an understanding of letter and word spacing and baseline alignment. Transfer lettering was largely replaced by the computer, but is still used by artists for small-run posters, screen-printing and paintings and posters, and is enjoying a resurgence of interest by scrapbook artists for personal messaging. Limitations in using transfer lettering include color, typeface choices, point size and the number of letters provided per sheet.

The experience of putting letters down one at a time is recalled fondly by Steven Heller, American Graphic Designer, Writer, Critic and Educator.  “I was so happy to forget that process. But you know what? The press-down experience wasn’t half as bad as I remembered it. In fact, it was kind of a Zen-like pleasure to revisit the old vellum sheets of black-and-white letters I once so delicately placed on illustration board when metal or phototype was unavailable or too expensive.”11

While at the Transfer Terminal, participants are provided with pencils and a wide range of transfer lettering sheets from which to choose to write words on graphics paper. Reminders are given to create consistent letter, word and line spacing and to align letters on the baseline properly. These considerations are critical to reading comprehension of text. Since all letters and numbers are different forms, the negative spaces between combinations must be individually considered in order to create a consistent and legible rhythm in text.

Left: Participants examine their options of transfer lettering. Right : Legos make great letters at the Transcendent Terminal. Photos by Elizabeth Lamark & Carol Fillip.

An undergraduate or graduate student experienced with transfer lettering serves as the guide for this terminal. He or she observes the work being done, and makes suggestions in the process. The objectives of this terminal are to have students practice skills in letter, word and line spacing and baseline alignment. Transfer lettering is a great way to reinforce these skills, and we knew that this would be a fun way to test this at the Type Carousel.

True to form, this is always a very popular terminal. Students really enjoy working with the transfer lettering and many want to know where it can be purchased— in fact some students are fascinated by it and asked endless questions about it. Some students have a difficult time placing the lowercase two story g correctly with relation to the baseline, indicating that although they work with typefaces everyday on screen, they are not looking carefully at typeface design structure and placement. This has been an astonishing finding for us.

TRANSCENDENT TERMINAL = Conceptual Lettering
To reinforce the idea that letters can be found in all shapes and sizes, we included the Conceptual Lettering Terminal. Challenging what a letter is and what a letter can be, conceptual typography uses letters and words to communicate a message to an audience. Letters can be found objects, results of figure-ground experiments, and made of any material, means or media. Conceptual typography requires a concept to begin and then the sky is the limit! The work of Catherine Griffiths, Jenny Holzer and Stefan Sagmeister exemplify the power that can be expressed through typography using scale, materials, media and message.

Typographers and designers are inspired by familiar and sometimes mundane objects in the environment in the creation of new typefaces. Conceptual Typography refers to the creation of letters from familiar objects in order to communicate with the viewer at an intensely personal level. Stefan Sagmeister is known for making letters out of such diverse objects as tree limbs, sugar, bananas and coins to communicate his ideas.

Participants at this Terminal are encouraged to use the eclectic supplies of everyday objects (such as toys, organic objects, household items and office supplies) that provide sources of inspiration to create a series of letters and/or words of their own design. The Terminal Guides are there to prompt and spark ideas for the participants to help them get beyond the obvious and familiar notion of what a letterform must look like while reminding them that letters must always remain identifiable as letterforms.

Students enjoy this terminal because it is relaxing with no right or wrong answers. Twenty minutes is a very short time for participants to loosen up and really play with the various materials, but students have told us that they have begun to look at letters anywhere and everywhere as a result of this experience, which is a great thing. In addition, they have begun to create letters in their class projects using found objects as their source of inspiration.

Now that we have conducted three Type Carousel events, we have discovered what does and doesn’t work well for the participants, the venue and the time constraints. We have made adjustments and revisions after each event in order to make the Typographic Carousel a better and more successful event for all participants.

For example, we quickly discovered that some participants wanted to stay at one terminal instead of moving on, so we have established procedures so that all participants are encouraged to visit all of the terminals. We have found that dividing participants into manageable size groups is critical to the success of each terminal. We have divided up the Tactile Terminal (Letterpress) into two lines using two presses, in order to prevent a long wait for participants to pull their posters.

Space and supplies at each terminal are now provided for 10–12 participants to work at each terminal at a time, which is manageable for all activities. If there is a long line at any terminal, participants are encouraged to use large markers and drawing tools on large paper at an adjacent table to experiment with lettering at a large scale while they wait. A variety of large markers are provided for this purpose, including: Hardcore markers; Markwell markers; Sharpie Magnum; Sharpie metallic; Crayola® Slick Stix; Artskills double sided markers. Along with the tools to create new and beautiful letters, we provided a variety of type specimens for the creators to refer to as reference material so they could analyze proportions, strokes and weights. We call this area the Thoughts Terminal (graffiti wall).

A participant puts his thoughts on paper in big, juicy letters. Photo by Elizabeth Lamark.

We have eliminated the TRANSCRIBE TERMINAL  (Typeface Tracing) from the Type Carousel because it was not the right fit for this type of activity. Type Tracing is a beneficial exercise in helping beginning designers, lettering artists and typographers to really see and understand the underlying systems of letterform design, and it is also critical to the process of constructing new alphabets, which students enjoy doing.

To quote Michael Bierut, Pentagram designer and educator, who says, “I loved drawing letters by hand. I spent years manipulating dummy copy, which informed my work.”12 The computer has brought with it assets and liabilities; it has allowed a wider audience to create “professional” looking type that is not necessarily well designed. At the same time, “graphic designers have replaced lettering artists with digital fonts that can quickly reproduce effects similar, though not usually equal, to custom lettering. The loss of personality and individuality found in handwriting and lettering is an unfortunate side effect of the proliferation of type.” 13

Artists and designers are increasingly inspired to create custom lettering for distinctive logotypes, marks and other applications, and custom lettering is enjoying a resurgence of popularity as a statement of originality and artistry in commercial and personal design work. As written by Chen Design Associates,“Letterforms created by hand (complete with irregular weights and personal foibles) communicate directly to the reader on a human level, making the message that much more accessible.” 14 Designers such as Jessica Hische and Marian Bantjes are recognized for their custom and expressive lettering, and the work of both are highly regarded by artists and designers.

So the need for our students to appreciate and understand letterform proportions, construction and alphabet design is greater than ever. We will have to find other ways to accomplish the hand drawing of letters besides the Type Tracing Terminal.

Unfortunately, type tracing is a tedious process for today’s students, requiring considerable time for drawing and for making corrections. This is also not a particularly stimulating group activity; therefore, this Terminal has been dropped from the most recent Type Carousel events.

Terminal Guides are absolutely essential to the success of the carousel to assist participants and to keep things moving— we make sure that prior to the event we match Guide skill sets and interests as closely as possible to skills required at the various terminals. We provide gifts for the Terminal Guides to thank them for their time. It is also important to award the best performers at each terminal with small prizes, so we collect and purchase items such as design and typography magazines, t shirts, decals, stamps, special markers, etc., as prizes, which are awarded by a raffle of names collected by the Terminal Guides during the event. Students really look forward to getting these prizes.

Since the Typographic Carousel is an annual event at RIT, we must continually include new terminals or activities to engage previous participants and to maintain a fresh approach every year for all participants….and for us!

Thus far, a variety of pre-digital techniques and processes have been explored and there are more options we will explore for our future Type Carousel events. The key is to include activities that are interactive, engaging, time-sensitive and enjoyable experiences. Other processes present some obstacles of transportability, set-up and tear-down procedures and venue restrictions.

Current design trends using letterpress, expressive hand lettering and other pre-digital or analog processes in advertising, print campaigns, web and interactive media, journals and DIY websites and blogs have also fueled student interest , and our Type Carousel has helped them realize how they can do it and that they can do it. This resurgence in “old school” methods represents a desire to return to a more personal and artistic mode of expression and communication than the computer alone provides. We have discovered that students are increasingly taking their hand-drawn and pre-digitally produced images and scanning or photographing them to include in their design projects. It is rewarding and exciting to see students incorporating this more personal visual expression into their coursework and personal projects and embracing analogue processes as experimental tools.

This kind of interactive circuit activity has potential for broader application and populations, and we hope to include pre-digital or analog techniques and processes from other disciplines to reach a larger and more diverse audience. It is also appropriate for team-building exercises for professional groups and organizations to get in touch with their inner type!

By Carol Fillip and Lorrie Frear
Edited by Charity Burgio
Header Photo by Elizabeth Lamark

1. Laura Shea Doolan,  Andrea Honigsfeld, “Illuminating the New Standards with Learning Style: Striking a Perfect Match,” The Clearing House,Volume 73, no.5 (May/June 2000): 275.

2. Lorrie Frear, “Point/Counterpoint: The Dance of Teaching Calligraphy in a Graphic Design Environment,” Letter Arts Review Volume 24, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 32.

3. Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals, Lettering & Type, Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces, (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), 6.

4.  Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech.

5. Ilene Strizver, Type Rules, The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography (North Light Books, 2001), 20.

6. StuCon, “Classic/Contemporary: A Conversation with Jim Sherrden.

7. Ibid

8. Ellen Lupton, Thinking With Type, a Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students (Princeton Architectural Press, 2004), 34-35.

9. Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals, Lettering & Type, Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), 49.

10. Ben Rosen, Type and Typography: The Designer’s Type Book (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1963), VI.

11. Steven Heller, “Homage to Velvet Touch Lettering.

12.  Michael Bierut, “Designing, Writing, Teaching: Not My Real Job.

13. Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals, Lettering & Type, Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), 29.

14. Chen Design Associates, Fingerprint, The Art of Using Handmade Elements in Graphic Design (How Books, 2006), 01.

Bierut, Michael. “Designing, Writing, Teaching: Not My Real Job.

Chen Design Associates. Fingerprint, The Art of Using Handmade Elements in Graphic Design How Books, 2006, 01.

Doolan, Laura Shea and Andrea Honigsfeld. “Illuminating the New Standards with Learning Styles:Striking a Perfect Match.” The Clearing House, Volume 73, no. 5, (May-June 2000):274-278.

Frear, Lorrie. “Point/Counterpoint: The Dance of Teaching Calligraphy in a Graphic Design Environment.” Letter Arts Review, Volume 24, no. 3, (Summer 2010): 28-35.

Heller, Steven. “Homage to Velvet Touch Lettering.

Jobs, Steve. “2005 Stanford University Commencement Address.

Lupton, Ellen. Thinking With Type, a Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors and Students. Princeton Architectural Press, 2004, 34-35.

Rosen, Ben. Type and Typography: The Designer’s Type Book. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1963, VI.

Strizver, Ilene. Type Rules, The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography. North Light Books, 2001, 20.

StuCon. “Classic/Contemporary: A Conversation with Jim Sherraden.

Willen, Bruce,and Nolan Strals. Lettering & Type, Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces. Princeton Architectural Press, 2009, 6, 29, 49.