Introduction to Typography (Fall 2014)

Design and Digital Media

It's one thing to make a message legible—clear to another person and beautifully typeset (meaning how the letters have been arranged)—but quite another to render that message so that it has emotional and aesthetic qualities. The ability to do so is grounded in a thorough understanding of the history of typography. In this class, students will learn how to do just that. They will explore the development of typography and then apply what they've discovered to an engaging series of assignments and projects.

Over a period of 10 weeks, students will deconstruct, interpret, and build upon the major historical styles of typography—from the beautiful centered layouts of the Renaissance to the exuberant explosion of fonts found in Victorian advertising, from the modernization of design through the Russian Constructivists and the Bauhaus in German, to the refined minimalism of 1960s Swiss typography.

One‐off experimental workshops and film screenings will supplement students' exploration of the history of printed communication.

At the conclusion of the class, students will have been exposed to 500 years of typographic innovation, developed a greater sense of detail in their work, and created a series of original publications informed by individual interests. / Each student will have access throughout the class to a lab workstation equipped with the latest software. / Each student will have access throughout the class to a lab workstation equipped with the latest software. / Facilities fee of $40 in addition to class tuition. / Open to students ages 16 and above.

Prerequisites: Working knowledge of Adobe InDesign or Illustrator, and Mac OS X.

What to Bring: Pen or pencil; notebook or sketchbook, USB drive, blank CD, or cloud storage option for saving work.

Required Textbook: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students, Lupton (ISBN: 9781568989693). 

Please Register Before: September 5

If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met. UPDATE: This class has been cancelled due to low enrollment.

Class Savings

/ Register on or before Aug 25 and receive $25 off total tuition.
/ More tuition savings. Do you qualify?


Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

MCAD also offers a 2-year Post-Baccalaureate Graphic Design Certificate geared towards adults looking to enter the design field. Learn more today

Student work image courtesy of CE instructor, J. Namdev Hardisty.

Course Details

Course Number: CSDE 9417
Dates: Sep. 9 – Nov. 11
6:30 PM-9:30 PM
J. Namdev Hardisty
Main Building Room 331
Non-Credit Tuition: $380.00
1 Credit Tuition: $776.00

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