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Friday, April 29, 2011

Typography Course for Fine Artists in Maymester

Lisp, 1968, by Ed Ruscha

by Ed Fella

Today, painters, scultpors, print-makers and other fine artists often combine the elements of image and type or words in the course of their work. Because fine artist are not specifically educated in the formal, aesthetic and semiotic meaning of typeface design, they often lack a working knowledge of how their selections of typefaces may or may not enhance the messages they are visually communicating. How does one select and determine the most semiotically appropriate typefaces? This lack of formal typographic skill manifests itself in work that is not what it could or should be in the final result, work that is not as powerful as it might have been if there had been a better understanding of the semiotics (cultural and otherwise) of typography, and work where the structure and application of typography combine to make the work of art more powerfully executed.

I am offering a Maymester course in which there are basic exercises in typographic construction, language, brief overview of history and semiotics. We’ll achieve these through a series of lectures and exercises. I would then expect that all of the students will create work (one piece or a series) of art that incorporates typographic forms in their own medium. We will use those works as the beginning point for continuing lectures and critiques about semiotics and application of typography.

The course will be structured such that a lot of information is delivered, and lots of type will be made, but the experience will be fun and enjoyable. If you are interested, please contact me via e-mail (ligon@unt.edu) for a permission code to register, or if you have questions. This course will satisfy the advanced studio art course requirements for your degree, and it is also available at a graduate level.