“Typography: the arrangement of text in space and time.”Ellen Lupton, “How to Do Things with Typography,” Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, MoMA PS1, November 4, 2010
“Typography is the movement of language from one place to another.”Will Holder, STAPLES!, Uh Books, 17 October 2017
“Words have meaning.
Type has spirit.
The combination is spectacular.”Paula Scher, “Typography,” OffBook, PBS Arts, 2011
Project 4: IdentitiesFive weeks: final review Thurs Nov 29
Lecture Typography & Identity (Thurs Oct 25, PDF, 100mb, includes captions and links to all videos)
We finish our Typography III semester with a multifaceted project that will build on Project 2 (research, typographic detail, writing, letterforms) and Project 3 (fluidity of content through digital and printed surfaces and formats), continuing further on our course trajectory out into the wider world. You will spend the next five weeks working on a larger, applied dynamic typographic identity system. It will be an opportunity to apply everything you have learned so far with typography at RISD: type in motion, as graphic mark and extended text, across numerous surfaces, and at a variety of scales. The system will deal with hierarchy, flexibility, modularity, screen, print, and projection in interior, urban, and public transit spaces.
You will choose from one of three areas (scenarios) to work in: exhibition (e.g. art museum); conference (e.g. design, arts, tech); or festival (e.g. arts, music, multimedia). While representing relatively diverse programs and subject matter, the common ground between each of these areas involves the negotiation and interpretation of such variables as: the strategy of an organiser/curator/institution (disciplines and/or themes represented in the given program); a selection of subjects (artist or group of artists in an exhibition; an array of speakers for a conference; a list of bands/musicians performing at a festival); and a given context (e.g. exhibition identity within a larger institutional identity; a conference in a specific venue for a specific field or discipline; a festival covering a particular genre of music in a particular city).
This assignment will thus go beyond mere application of your formal typographic skills, and engage a wider sense of your own critical research, analytical, and interpretative abilities.
Your typographic system can involve one of three real world scenarios:
The chosen exhibition/conference/festival would ideally be an existing one, in order to provide you with real text/image/audio/video material to work with. If you want to make up an event, you will have to base it on something real, and then do the extra work to edit and adjust existing content to fit your new speculative project.
The system will need a foundational concept:
While each of the scenarios are different, they generally share common modes of application. Having chosen a scenario, you will then devise an overall typographic identity concept, and select at least three applications for this identity that will expand upon your foundational concept (one of which should involve longer text content). The following list features applications that relate to any of the three scenarios:
In choosing your applications, think about your current body of work produced thus far at RISD. If you sense any gaps in your portfolio relating to media and processes you’ve been wanting to explore, this project represents a perfect opportunity to do so. You will be able to juxtapose new experiments and media with formats and modes in which you already have a certain proficiency.