Art 210 Typography Fall 2021 – Syllabus

Syllabus Projects Calendar Links

Typography, Art 210, F21: Syllabus


Kevin O’Neill     Mon. & Wed.  6-9pm Office hours: by appt.


Program Goals

The Graphic Design program incorporates design history, the study of basic visual elements, conceptual development, research, studio technique, and strategies for problem solving. Class critiques and discussions are emphasized. Students will explore typography, print, production, packaging, advertising, corporate ID, motion graphics and interactive design. The goal is to provide each student with the environment and support in which to develop a professional visual portfolio.

Course Description

A formal introduction to type and type design. There is an emphasis on history and fundamentals. Typographic forms will be studied as both visual and verbal means of communication. Prerequisite: Art 241 Introduction to Computer Graphics

Suggested reading:

Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Sixth Edition, Rob Carter, Ben Day, Phillip Meggs

Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton

Designing with Type, The Essential Guide to Typography, James Craig (some projects come from here)

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, Erik Speikerman

A Type Primer, John Kane

Course Goals

  • Learn about the history of type
  • To be able to define type terminology and structure
  • To be able to identify type styles and faces
  • Explore expressive typography forms using a print and motion graphics
  • Design type forms based on the research of typographic design history
  • Develop software skills to style, format and design professional type
  • Develop hand-skills to create quality hand-lettered forms
  • Understand the technical aspects of type as part of the production process


  • Develop ability to design and style type for various media
  • Understand how type design is influenced by history and technology
  • Become aware of various approaches to communicating with typographical forms
  • Recognize the use of type design history and research as a source for creative design
  • Create original  high quality hand-lettered type forms
  • Solutions and experiences produce a solid foundation for typography

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, you will:

●  Gain skills in hand-lettering

●  Gain skills in the production of printed material and digital media

●  To be able to identify proper techniques to create high quality type

●  Be able to discuss design methods, techniques and solutions for type design

●  Gain the skills and terminology to discuss typographic design history

●  Gain the skills and terminology to discuss typographic structure


Evaluation of your progress will be determined by your research and planning, addressing all requirements of a project, meeting deadlines, creatively solving the problem, participating in class critiques, attendance and your professionalism.

Requirements of the Course

1. Quality Work and Meeting Deadlines

Students must demonstrate a high level of motivation, the ability to meet deadlines and timely completion of projects.  This reflects on your professionalism and is a requirement that will affect your overall grade.

Loss of data is not an acceptable excuse for incomplete or missing work.  You are responsible for routinely backing up all work, data.  Printing problems occur often, please print course work 24 hours before the critique.

2. Time Outside of Class

Students are required to spend time outside of class working on class assignments.  It is also a requirement that students spend time outside of class looking at and reading our textbook, Graphic Design and Visual Art books, journals and magazines in the library. The time spent looking and reading about Graphic Design will be evident in the quality and sophistication of your design as well as in the level of knowledge and skill exhibited on projects.

While working outside of class is a requirement, working exclusively outside of class does not fulfill the requirement of attendance (explained below in attendance) and does not make up for class absences.

3. Research the Problem Description

  • Learn as much as possible about the design subject.
  • Use the dictionary – keywords can help define the objective.
  • Recall related memories and experiences.
  • Use your resource book (sketchbook) to record ideas and collect imagery.
  • Good design strategies are developed through thorough investigations, experimentation and a natural curiosity by the designer.

4. Working Comps

Presenting working comps is required during class to provide evidence of research and working process of graphic design; evidence of research and critical decision points that lead to the final solution.The rational for drawing comps include:

  • Drawing enables the knowing of a subject visually in a more complex way.
  • Drawing advances what we observe and helps activate memories and associations.
  • Drawing is the gateway to invention when conceiving a solution in visual terms.
  • Drawing is a way to move beyond typical inexpressive headlines, graphic puns and style genres in design.

5.  Materials

  1. Flash drive/external drive/cloud storage
  2. Calligraphy pens, holders, nibs, ink
  3. E-scale clear ruler
  4. Drawing materials, sketchbook, pens, markers, glue stick, Xacto knife, ruler, etc.

6.  Attendance

There are no unexcused absences. It is the student’s responsibility to get any information missed due to absences. Any of the following constitutes attendance penalties:

  • Arriving up to 15 minutes late to class = 1 tardiness
  • Three (3) tardy attendances = 1 absence
  • Arriving more than 30 minutes late to class or failure to attend class = 1 absence
  • Four (4) or more absences = Grade drops one whole level. For example if you have a final grade of an A and have 4 unexcused absences, you will receive a B. If you have 5 unexcused, it drops to a C and so on.

Course schedules and finals schedules are published prior to the beginning of the semester. There should be no other place you need to be during class time and critiques. Exemptions for absences will be made only for a documented explanation from a doctor, nurse, counselor, or a similar person of authority. If a student misses several classes because of illness, a death in the family, or other serious reasons, the student must take the responsibility to inform the Art Department.

Inclement weather

There will be no project extensions due to class cancellations because of inclement weather.  All deadlines and critiques will remain when originally scheduled.  If classes are cancelled on a critique day, the critique will be conducted the following class.

7. Grading Criteria Breakdown

Eight projects (80%) + four quizzes (10%) + Class Participation (10%)

Your grade for the class will be determined by combining your grades for the projects and quizzes with a grade for class participation, which will be worth the same as two projects. Class participation includes showing up on time for classes, participating in critiques and class discussions, working while in class, showing an understanding of the material, etc. All grades will be averaged for your final grade.

Individual projects will each be worth 40 points, which will be divided by 10, to translate into a letter grade. For example, if you earn 40 points for a project, divide it by 10 to get 4.0, or an A. 30 points would equal 3.0, or a B. Points are earned according to the following criteria:

  • 10 pts. Creativity – The project should be solved in a fresh, unique and engaging manner.
  • 10 pts. Aesthetics – The composition, colors, images and type should be visually compelling, displaying harmony and variety.
  • 10 pts. Specifications – The project should solve the problem that was presented. In graphic design, the designer is solving a specific visual problem for a client, delivering a message to a targeted audience, not just making a pretty picture. The solution should meet the technical requirements (size, color, file format, etc.) in the project brief.
  • 10 pts. Presentation – Roughs of ideas should be thoroughly explored with sketches turned in on time. You should be able to explain and discuss your project proposal. Your project should progress and evolve on schedule. Final projects should be turned in complete and on time. They should be clean, free of typos, mounted cleanly, and presented professionally.



Grades are not contractual.  Faculty input is given in order to cultivate critical thinking and understanding at a particular point in the design process.  Only conforming to advice given by faculty does not guarantee a specific grade.  In simple words, students are not guaranteed an A if they “did everything the professor told them to do.”

Grade A: The objectives of the assignment are not only mastered but also treated in an original way. The completed assignment achieves an unexpected but effective approach to the subject that is appropriate, thoughtful and reveals aspects that are usually unnoticed or not discussed (The special nuances, subtitles, sensitivities, insights, knowledge and perseverance that makes a design outstanding). The completed design must illustrate that good design is based on powerful, original thinking and thoroughness. High motivation is evident, performance criteria is consistently exceeded on every aspect of the project.

Grade B: The completed assignment shows an understanding of the assignments objectives in a strong, logical manner. The design clearly demonstrates above average thought, understanding and originality. Technical problems are very few and are minor in nature. While above average and demonstrating good design sensitivity, the design still lacks qualities of excellence.

Grade C: Objectives of the assignment are clearly understood and the projects were completed on time. The work is competent but not outstanding yet fulfills the requirements of the problem description. The project may also contain technical problems that demonstrate a lack of skill/ attention. The work lacks strong visual interest, thoughtful and imaginative resolution.

Grade D: The design project did not address the objectives of the assignment. Inappropriate or irrelevant concepts are present. Clarity and understanding of the problem description along with assignment objectives are not demonstrated and/ or based on faulty logic. The design fails to come to any resolution. Technical problems may or may not be abundant.

Grade F: Lack of effort on the assignment or failure to complete the project; failing work exhibits a disregard for; or a complete lack of understanding of the assignment’s objectives and instructions.

Meeting Deadlines and Late Work

Students must demonstrate a high level of motivation, the ability to meet deadlines and timely completion of projects. This reflects on your own professionalism and is a requirement of the course that will affect your overall grade. For each class day a project is late, the grade will be lowered. If you miss a critique because of an unexcused absence, your project will be lowered one grade. Loss of data is not an acceptable excuse for incomplete or missing work. You are responsible for routinely backing up all work, data. Printing problems abound, print work 24 hours before due.

Participation Requirements

You are required to spend time outside of class working on class assignments. It is also a requirement that students spend time outside of class looking at and reading Graphic Design and Visual Art books, journals and magazines in the library. You will have assigned readings. The time spent looking and reading about Graphic Design will be evident in the quality and sophistication of your design as well as in the level of knowledge and skill exhibited on projects.

*While working outside of class is a requirement, working exclusively outside of class does not fulfill the requirement of attendance (explained in attendance) and does not make up for class absences.

Attendance to University, Art Department activities and events in major area. Students are expected to attend lectures, meetings, exhibits and events both on and off campus that pertain to their major area of study. Students are expected to make the necessary arrangements in order to attend these events.

Plagiarism in Graphic Design and Original Images

Plagiarism is defined as the offering as one’s own work the words, sentence structure, ideas, existing imagery, or arguments of another person without appropriate attribution by quotation, reference, or footnote. It includes quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing the works of others without appropriate citation. No claim of ignorance about the nature of plagiarism will excuse a violation.


  • Each student in this class is expected to follow Marywood’s academic honesty policy. As a student in this class, you are expected to follow the policy’s guidelines and report any and all known cases of academic dishonesty.
  • Students are encouraged to further develop image making skills by incorporating their own photography or illustration in their work whenever possible. Digital and phone cameras are viable means to incorporate original photography..
  • Rationale: Students must be creators in making imagery not finders of imagery, therefore no Google or other images created by someone else unless used for a reference. Students must have a high degree of ownership over the image.
  • Clip-art and stock photography is instant art that is already designed and circumvents the creative process. It is the designer’s stand-by; it is a goal of this course to gain experience and become more skillful through the experimentation and exploration of image use, not a reliance on stand-bys. Where stock photography is acceptable is if you need generic images to build illustrations or have no way of accessing a specific image.

Imagery used without permission or claimed as your own and is found not to be your work will result in an F for your project. Repeated offenses will be addressed under the Academic Policy listed below.

Core Competencies

In summary, as a result of taking this class, students should be able to:

  • think critically and creatively in both the theoretical and practical aspects of life.
  • comprehend the dynamic natural and historical processes that have shaped the world.
  • apply the wisdom of the humanities to the examination and evaluation of contemporary issues.
  • enjoy beauty, both natural and humanly created.
  • read, write and speak effectively and achieve computer literacy.
  • reason abstractly and mathematically.
  • utilize resources essential for research, academic success and lifelong learning.

Teaching Strategies

Each class will contain a lecture pertaining to the assignment which may include historical references, contemporary design trends, software instruction, discussions, documentaries, quizzes, problem-solving strategies, and/or critiques, followed by a lab with individual hands-on instruction. In addition, we may take field trips or have guest speakers.

Students are required to present their work for both preliminary/in progress critiques and final critiques. During these critiques, students are required to meet all deadlines and present their work clearly using a professional vocabulary as well as actively participating in discussions.

Marywood Class Policy

The classroom is a formal environment dedicated to learning and students are expected to behave in a courteous and respectful manner. Therefore, faculty have the right to ask disruptive students to leave the classroom if the learning environment is being negatively impacted.

Office of Student Success
Information about the Writing Center, Tutoring, and Adaptive Technology can be found here: OfficeOfStudentSuccess

Academic Honesty

You are expected to read, understand, and abide by this University’s Academic Honesty policy. Cheating and plagiarism are behaviors destructive of the learning process and of the ethical standards expected of all students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The policy can be accessed at: AcademicHonestyPolicy

Student Academic Grievance

A student who feels that they has been treated unfairly or unjustly by instructional staff, chair or dean with regard to an academic matter has a right to grieve. Information about the Academic Grievance Policy can be found here: StudentGrievances

Academic Accommodations

Marywood University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Students with disabilities who need special accommodations must submit documentation of their disability to the Office of Student Disability Services, Learning Commons 166, in order for reasonable accommodations to be granted. The Office of Disability Services will partner with students to determine the appropriate accommodations and, in cooperation with the instructor, will work to ensure that all students have a fair opportunity to perform in this class. Students are encouraged to notify instructors and the Office of Student Disability Services as soon as they determine accommodations are necessary; however, documentation will be reviewed at any point in the semester upon receipt. Specific details of the disability will remain confidential between the student and the Office of Disability Services unless the student chooses to disclose or there is legitimate academic need for disclosure on a case-by-case basis.  For assistance, or to schedule an appointment please contact Kaitlin Anderle, Director of Student Disability Services, by email at or by phone 570-348-6211 ext 2335.

More information about services for students with disabilities can be found here:

Severe Weather Policy