In this class you will build on your knowledge of type and how to execute a solution in a variety of scenarios. Through a variety of projects, you will expand your skill set and fine tune your choices with regards to type in a design. This class builds on your knowledge of previous classes and projects and pushes the designs further. We will not only look at good examples of type use BUT examples of terrible use of type as well. By the end of the semester you will be able to develop solutions with a solid understanding of type and the anatomy of a typeface. We will use Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign for all the projects developed in the class. You are required to follow each project directions as this will prepare you for the next project as well as the next course you will be taking the following semester.

Below are projects previous students worked on throughout past semesters. Each project had an accompanying handout with specific outcome goals and a detailed schedule. As each project was finalized they were all displayed so everyone had an opportunity to look at what each other had developed.







Letter Form Montage

Each student will choose three letters/numbers and create a design that captures the essence of that particular glyph.







3 Dimensional Type-Based Model Gallery with Map

First create a building that is depicting a glyph or set of letter forms. Decide whether the forms will be seen from an aerial view or from ground level. Then develop a map for the gallery around a particular design movement.







Manifesto Poster

Design a 18 x 24 poster around your design manifesto.


Each project will have a specified due date during the course of the assignment. Every project will have a schedule to help manage the project and guide your progress. These milestones should be followed. If you happen to miss class on a certain day, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate or eMail myself in finding out what we went over. The schedule will help give you an idea of what aspects of the project was worked on.

Projects are due on their date without any exceptions. If you miss a due date, your project will be docked a full letter grade for every class day that passes. No exceptions. Most projects can be completed within the allocated time but you will find that some projects will require work done outside of class time. Please balance your work and do not fall behind. You may resubmit any project for grading except for a project handed in late. You will have until the last week of classes to resubmit any project.


Please come to each class prepared to show your progress with the current project. Be sure to have continued your work outside of class time and arrive with a substantial amount of progress to show. You will be asked to show your process, so do not throw away any designs, no matter how terrible you may think they are. Creating a bad design is important to learning what works and what does not.

On crit days, do not expect to come and print out your work before the crit begins. Class crits will begin immediately so all students have ample time to show their work and receive the critical feedback from fellow classmates. Then if time allows, the remainder of class will be spent reflecting and absorbing the criticism. Deciding which feedback will be useful and which will be set aside and how it can help strengthen your project. Class crits are vital to learning how one can articulate their rationale for design choices and evaluate those reasons. It is important for student participation and learn that a critique is not to be taken personally. Do not miss classes when a crit is scheduled.

On project due dates, come to class with the project completed. Printed, scored, folded, pieced together and trimmed. Projects will be handed in at the start of class. Most projects will require time outside of class. Each project will have a tight schedule with milestones to help keep you on track. Please do not fall behind. Trimming your project when class starts will be considered late.

You may resubmit any project for grading except for a project handed in late. You will have until the last week of classes to resubmit any project.

It is recommended a total of one to three hours a week will be spent working on projects outside class. You will gauge rather quickly how much time will be needed outside of class to complete tasks and progress your ideas and concepts. As in many aspects of life, there is not an exact formula for creating a piece or learning a subject matter.

People work at varying speeds and students as well as professional designers will run into walls that will at times feel exhausting. Allowing enough time to work through these setbacks will ensure you are not running around last minute when projects are due.

This class is about problem solving. Not only design but also dealing with elements that go into preparing a design and completing the project. For example, the printer becomes an integral element of this class. It will without a doubt let you down. Just when you need to print your finished project, the paper will jam, the toner will run out and your computer will crash. This will never be a reasonable excuse. Do not wait until the last minute to print your work. Back up your files. Stack the deck in your favor to overcome any obstacle.

You must set up a cloud account. A google account up to 15gb is free. 100gb is $2 a month. If you work on your mac, first 5gb is free, with 50gb is $1 a month or 200gb being $3 a month.

You will be required to have a sketch book designated solely for this class. Whether you prefer to sketch out your ideas or jot down notes for each project, that is entirely up to you. In this class, simply getting to the end result is not good enough. The process of conceptualizing is as important as the final piece. The first ideas are seldom the best in design and it’s best to have a track record you may view during this process.

Grading Criteria

The following is a general guideline that will be used in grading your work during this semester. As you work on projects, it would be wise to ask yourself where your project fits within the scheme of the below outline. On every project handout, a more detailed outline of expectations will be provided.

  • the design and aesthetic appeal of each piece
  • the presentation of the final design
  • creativeness of the piece as a whole
  • following the project specs
  • participation & research/process of the project

You are allowed to resubmit any project after making any corrections unless the project was submitted late. You can not recover points lost for late projects.

Though I do not grade individual projects against other projects, it is a great way for you to see where your design stands in relation to the other work being produced around you. Every project will have a crit and when handed back, displayed for you to see every other project. Class crits are vital to learning how one can articulate their reasons for design choices and evaluate those reasons. It is important for student participation and learn that a critique is not to be taken personally. We will discuss this more but do know that the crit is important for each project and will count towards the final project grade. Please do not miss classes when a crit is scheduled.

Gained Knowledge

At the end of the semester you will have a clear understanding of how type works within various design problems. You will learn to think about the problem at hand first and ask questions pertaining to the project, then work out solutions that will solve those questions. You will learn to work through the process that forces you to revisit earlier answers and ideas.

You will leave with an understanding of typography terminology and know precisely how a typeface works both alone and within a family. What makes a particular face work over another and make smart type choices. You will leave with both a historical and philosophical foundation of type and it’s place in design as well as inherent qualities of typographic language including visual/verbal relationships and skills including copy writing, symbology, semantics, semiology.

You will have built your knowledge on three major programs used in the field (Illustrator, Photoshop & InDesign) while also seeing how each, though powerful on their own, can work seamlessly together to achieve top quality layered results. You will understand the fundamentals of executing a proper file that would be important in real life settings as well as learn to adapt to an environment that brings minor setbacks (printer jams, low-res images & paper shortage).

In the end, you will have five complete and well developed pieces for your portfolio. You will have a clear understanding of the impact design has on society. You will also walk away with a stronger sense of organization, color and balance as well as use of type within a composition. The knowledge will propel you further into the next design courses you will most likely be taking.


You are allowed to miss a maximum of three classes after which your final grade will be affected. The fourth missed class will drop your final grade a half a letter. Every class after will drop your final average a full letter grade. Please see me immediately if an issue arises. Do not let things get out of control and find that you have missed six classes and over your head. I am here to help in whatever way I am able to.

Academic Integrity

Graphic design communication is a profession that values originality and integrity in the creative process. All your finished projects should be your own work. In addition, Roger Williams University holds the highest standard for academic integrity. Please review the university’s policies on academic integrity.

The Tutoring Center

The Tutoring Center, located on the second floor of the Main University Library on the Bristol campus within the Center for Student Academic Success, provides peer and faculty tutoring at no charge for RWU students. The Math, Writing, Science, and Foreign Language Centers offer assistance Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm; Friday 9 am – 3 pm; Sunday 2 pm – 8 pm. For additional information about the Center, including tutor schedules, please see their website.

Student Accessibility Services

Students who wish to receive academic accommodations for this course must first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). The most commonly requested accommodations are extended time for testing and use of the SAS Testing Center. SAS will provide registered students with an Academic Accommodations Authorization form to share with each instructor. SAS is located on the 1st floor of the Main University Library in the Jeremy Warnick Center for Accessibility and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. For more information about the services and accommodations available through Student Accessibility Services.

Preferred Name Policy

Roger Williams University has an optional Preferred Name Policy that allows you to update your name in our University records without requiring a legal name change. Students who might consider using such a change include members of our trans communities. You can update your name through your Student portal, then click on Student, then User Account. Preferred Personal Information should appear and you can update your name there. Should students have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office or Gabby Porcaro in the Intercultural Center.

Title IX at RWU

Roger Williams University fosters a campus free of power-based personal violence including sexual harassment, domestic violence, relationship violence, stalking, and/or any form of sex or gender-based discrimination. If you disclose a personal experience as described above, either verbally or in writing, the course instructor is required to notify the Title IX Coordinator. To disclose any such violence confidentially, contact one of the three resources listed below:

Additional information regarding your rights and resources are available here.