Educational Objectives in Typographic Instruction

Charles Leonard's picture

I am engaged in a periodic review of educational objectives for a graphic design program that includes 3 typography courses. The first course provides a general introduction to the subject. The second is engaged in building sensitivity in practice. The third is targeted at fostering innovation in typographic practice.

The goal of the courses is to produce general practitioners, not type designers or other specialists. However, if someone chose to pursue a typographic specialty as their focus they could be accommodated in their research and senior portfolio classes.
So, what I am asking is input on specific current practices, skills, aptitudes, and where you believe that information should fit within the flow of the program as briefly outlined above.

For example: is facility with setting open type parameters a necessary skill/aptitude, and if so is it basic, intermediate, or advanced?

Thanks and eternal belessings from the ruler of the universal em to all who participate.

peter_bain's picture

Hi Charles,

You're asking a very good question. I wasn't at TypeCon, so I don't know if any model syllabi were distributed.

(I'm taking some time off from teaching to go back to school myself.)

I know I would tend to put off refinements such as oldstyle figures and small caps to the second semester. On the theory that first students have to recognize color in text sizes and shapes in display sizes, before they can appreciate these and recognize them on sight. On the other hand, actual composition assignments are necessary during the first semester. I tested students on ligatures in the first semester, but they need to use them for it to sink in.


-Peter Bain

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