Fall 2019
2 W 13th St.,
Room 1201

Jacob Heftmann
Office hours by appointment

Fall 2019
2 W 13th St.,
Room 1201

Jacob Heftmann
Office hours by appointment



  1. Collections
  2. Workshops
  3. Semester Project


We will start the semester with a research project called Collections. For each collection, you will research and assemble five (so 25 total) examples of typography that fit the collection topic. Please accompany each of your selections with a short text explaining what it is and why you chose it.

  • Collection 1: Historical/culturally important typography
  • Collection 2: Vernacular typography
  • Collection 3: Screen-based (2D) interactive typography
  • Collection 4: Spatial/physical (3D) interactive typography
  • Collection 5: Typefaces. Select five typefaces that fit the following criteria (some may satisfy more than one):
    • At least one typeface designed before 1900
    • At least one sans-serif
    • At least one serif
    • At least one monos-space
    • At least one script, blackletter, etc.
    • At least one typeface with a wide range of weights/widths/styles (‘superfamily’)
    • Do some research. Support other designers and small/medium type foundries. Get to know who’s doing interesting work and what you like. No free fonts, no TypeKit/Adobe fonts, no Google fonts, no system default fonts.
    • You don’t need to purchase the licenses for them. But the goal is to build up a library of good typefaces that you can use in your work (you may be required to use at least one in your final project) so you should consider price/student licenses/free trials when choosing your typefaces.

There are no requirements on the final form your collection takes; you will need to decide this yourself. It could be a website, a booklet, an Instagram account, etc. but some final artifact of the project and all source material will be turned into our Dropbox.

Reading Responses

You will be assigned readings throughout the semester. In addition to reading and contributing to the in-class discussion, you will also be asked to design a response to the reading. The goal of the the Reading Response exercises is to practice different approaches to typesetting using different tools.

I will give you instructions about specific tool(s) and/or requirements for each response. At minimum, each response will:

  • be designed in a way that directly responds to the subject of the reading
  • include the original text
  • include an intervention or addition of your own creation, whether it’s a new text, images, drawings, etc.

Response 1

Use TextEdit to design a response to It’s probably not plagiarism (Caserta). You may only use the default typeface, font weight and style, size, color, etc. Consider how you can use the most basic writing tools to attend to the formal aspects of typography (hierarchy, readability) as well as to create typography that not only aids our understanding of the subject but also enhances it. (Hint: have you used all the keys on the keyboard? Have you used all the glyphs in the typeface?)

Response 2

This time, use Google Docs to design your response to The Crystal Goblet. You have a lot more options! For this exercise, you must use two typefaces, two colors, two font sizes. You can also use all the alignment tools. Do you wish you had more options? Is this enough? Do you miss the simplicity of Response 1? How does this change your approach to typesetting?

Response 3

For this reading response, we’re going to put the topics from our Crash Course into use. Use InDesign to lay out your own version of Detail in Typography (Hochuli), pp 1-31.

Because your text will likely span multiple pages, you must use master pages for all your pages. This will allow you to have page numbers, headers, etc. in the same place on every page. A little planning will make this project either easy or time-consuming.

You must also use four type styles for your entire design. Every piece of type in your design must use one of these type styles.

In one place, you must break from your type styles and masters completely and radically. What does this achieve?

Hochuli makes judicious use of examples in his text. How will you handle this in your version?

If you’re not sure how to use type styles or master pages, you’ll need to do some self-learning.

Please print a copy of your project and bring it to class. Consider this step as part of its design.


  • TextEdit
  • Google Docs
  • InDesign
  • Figma/Sketch
  • Timeline animation
  • Web publishing
  • Keynote


It’s said that teaching is the best way to learn something. Each of you will be responsible for teaching a workshop during the semester.

You will prepare your workshop with a partner. Together, you will be reponsible for researching the topic, preparing any materials required to complete the project (and notifying the class in advance if we need anything special), and present to us a brief that explains the background, concept, process, and expectations for the workshop outcome.

Instructors – your grade for the workshop will be based on how well prepared you are
Participants – your grade will be based on participation (mostly) and final work product

  • At least one class (week) prior to your workshop: Remind everyone if they need to bring/prepare anything in advance
  • Day of workshop: Present your workshop, facilitate studio time, lead critiques. You will have about 1.5-2 hours total.
  • Week following: Everyone will complete their projects and turn in the work they did

Things to remember

  • Run through your workshop with your partner
  • Think about the workshop from the point-of-view of a participant
  • Do we need special materials? These could be template files, fonts, a library of texts or imagse to use, etc.
  • We have limited class-time. How can we maximize it?
    • Provide template files, content, etc. for people to work with
    • Ask people to install software before workshop day
  • The outcome for the workshops should be: (1) we learn something new (2) we have something nice to put in our portfolios
  • Set some constraints so all the projects are related


  • Workshop 1 (Oct 1): Luenne + Jacob – Design Systems
  • Workshop 2 (Oct 8): Yifu + Shuqi – Create a Modular Typeface
  • Workshop 3 (Oct 15): Jing + Yuri – Encyclopedia of Typesetting Patterns
  • Workshop 4 (Oct 22): Rajlaxmi + Elif – Generative Logos
  • Workshop 5 (Oct 29): Sunnie + Sharrie – Design a Physical Interaction
  • Workshop 6 (Nov 5): Stephany + Cleo – Typography from Found Objects
  • Workshop 7 (Nov 12): Sanchi + Jessie – After Effects Type in Motion
  • Workshop 8 (Nov 19) – Ryan + Ado

Workshop topics

  • Create a modular typeface
  • Make an encyclopedia(?) of different interactions
  • Make an encyclopedia of different typesetting patterns
  • Design a generative typographic logo
  • Write a program that generates typographic layouts
  • Experiment with variable fonts in interactive designs or responsive layouts
  • Experiment with type in motion
  • Design a physical interaction in the real world and record it
  • Write a brief for a project and hire someone to make it
  • Make your own

You will be able to find your assigned week in the SCHEDULE.

Semester Project


We are putting on a music festival and we’re looking for a team that can help us plan and execute all the design and technology needs. The conference is at the beginning of December and we’ll need to roll out the designs over a few phases. We don’t know exactly what we need so we’re looking for your help figuring that out, but at minimum we know we’ll require:

Project proposal (max 1 page)

Your proposal is meant to convince me of your concept, your plan, and your ability to pull it off. That means it should cover things like:

  • Festival concept, name, location, etc.
  • Theme/genre
  • Artists
  • Complete list of design deliverables
  • Your input on what would make it unique

Phase 1: Design system

  • Festival identity informed by concept and theme
  • Complete design system including assets and guidelines

Phase 2: Lead-up

  • Website with information about the festival, registration, etc.
  • Launch strategy and collateral to create awareness

Phase 3: Festival

For the day of the festival, you should prepare all the deliverables that you think are relevant to your event. You are responsible for deciding how to present and deliver these materials as part of the design process. Those could include, but are not limited to:

  • Website, updated for day-of information
    • How can the flexibility of a medium like the web react to time?
  • Native app with conference information
    • Give special consideration to things like: (1) what are key differences between a native app and the open web (2); what should the app do that augments being at the event, the website you’ve already made, etc. rather than duplicates those experiences; (3) investigate what the role of a mobile device is at your event: Can it encourage offline connections? Should it be designed to discourage use? Is it informationl or experiential? How does the app encourage participation from non-attendees?
  • Promotional materials before/during festival
  • (Digital) signage and wayfinding for festival venue
  • Any swag or merch
    • I love the environment and hope you do, too. As designers, we have the power to be the gatekeepers for what gets made and put in the world. So, (1) Please think about what kinds of things you’ll make for your event; (2) How can you use this as an opportunity instead of a constraint. For example, in Germany, most bars give you a token when you get a drink in a bottle, and you get money back when you return the token. How can points of interaction like this foster ideas of community, trust, etc.


  • We want to use typographic forms (as opposed to photography or illustration) for the graphic elements in the design system. Photography and illustration should be used VERY sparingly.
  • We would need the rights to use any content (text, images, illustration) included in the designs so instead it should be created by your team.
  • We’ll need help writing the final copy for all deliverables; no placeholder text, please.
  • For the website and app, we have a development team so a prototype will be fine (unless you really want to build it yourself).
  • Plastic and waste suck – please consider this when planning the things you’ll make for the festival.
  • We have a rough idea of the programming for the festival but we’d love your input on themes, artists, and activities that you think would be interesting. We’re hoping the programming will drive ticket sales with our target audience.

Next steps

We’ve never done this before so we’d like to know a little bit more about how the process works, a proposed timeline over the duration of the project, and a list of things you think we need to make.


You will be working in teams of 1-3. If you’re working in a group, you will need to share the roles and responsibilities of a team. No one person should be responsible for a single aspect of the project, and the amount of work should be shared evenly among each team member. You must clearly assign weekly responsibilities to each member of the team and communicate what they are.

Semester Reader

Your ongoing and final project for the semester will be a collection of all the Type & Interaction course materials (not just your own). Since everyone is doing the same projects and we are all turning them in via our shared Dropbox, everyone has access to the same content. Your job is to give form to this content. The outcome of the project will be a website, book, and maybe something else that documents the entire semester. Think of it as a mix of archive/notebook/portfolio/??.

More information will be provided in week 3, but it’s good to remember this as you assemble your Reading Responses and Collections.