Professor of type and typography
I’ve been teaching type and typography since 2003 on a regular basis. From 2003 till 2008 I was first guest lecturer and then adjunct professor at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts in Norway.
Since 2007 I’ve been teaching at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle where I was appointed professor of type and typography in 2008.
Under the following links you’ll find my teaching approach including typographic assignments and many student works (currently only in German; the English version will follow soon).
Any Feedback, comments and discussions about how type and typography can be taught effectively are highly welcomed.
Type and typography course
Type and typography projects
Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle
Type and typography
The type and typography course focuses on the intensive examination of writing in all its applied forms. It is dedicated to the advanced and joyful exploration of all aspects of typographic expression as well as theory, methodology and practice. Further educational goals aim at the training of conceptual, aesthetic and technical type skills, the awareness for typographic details, the training of artistic judgement and high personal motivation to independently approach typographic design problems. The main focus of the type design course is the conception and design of new fonts for a wide range of uses.
Guiding keywords for the course in type and typography: input and output, theory and practice, technical skills and critical thinking, foundation and specialisation. Through lectures and comprehensive surveys students are informed about the rules of type and typography and the history and current state of the alphabetic culture. The showcase of various typographic work samples (show and tell) serves as both visual input and inspiration for further creative work.
The following is a list of relevant course contents within the education of type and typography. It is therefore not aimed at specific projects but based on educational goals aiming at a general typographic design qualification and open to dynamically fit in with technical and semantic changes within the field of type and typography.
Playful as well as methodological introduction
Through many hand-on projects and creative exercises students will be introduced to the basic principles and rules of type and typography (key question: what is typography?).
Keywords: how to write, how to use typography, the understanding of typographic design strategies, the experimental exploration of typographic means, the connection of language and typography, semantic visualization of words, functional and expressive typography, harmony, form and proportion of lettershapes, systematic examination of typographic forms, vernacular lettering, etc.
Instruction of basic technical and visual skills
An intensive sequence of elementary projects will cover all aspects of micro- and macrotypography.
Keywords: typographic glossary/terms; rules for typesetting, readability, legibility, layout, pointsizes, leading, letter and word spacing, tracking, justification, small caps, ligatures, tabular and old style figures, punctuations, typefaces and type classification, typographic measurements, the standard characterset; typographic composition and the integration of image and text, typographic hierarchies, the dynamics of typography and page composition, formats, grids, structures, contrasts, color, rhythm, style, decoration, etc.
Training of analogous and digital writing skills
The course explores the many possibilities of traditional as well as digital type setting; it is followed by a more specialized course in type design with an in-depth look at all phases of designing type: from handdrawn sketches to the creation of digital fonts.
Keywords: the computer as tool and medium, layout applications, various drawing and writing tools such as pencils, calligraphy pens, templates, spraycans, letraset, scissors, cutters, etc. Introdcution to font editor software, Fontlab, PostScript, TrueType, Opentype, bezier curves, spacing, kerning, hinting, bitmaps, Unicode, etc.
Advanced study and experimental exploration of typographic means
Assignments range from simple structural exercises and short-term projects to more complex and independent projects. Besides the functional and content based use of type, students are encouraged to experiment and explore innovative typographic forms. Interdisciplinary projects and collaborations within the fields of 3-dimensional type and interactive typography typography will play an ever more important role in the future.
History of type and typography – past/present
A comprehensive survey of the entire alphabetic culture: a typographic journey through all epochs and styles: from Gutenberg’s invention of book printing to the digital letters of the present.
Keywords: typefaces, advances in type setting, craft and technology, artistic-aesthetic tendencies, pioneers of typography and type design and their work, type foundries, design studios, current debates, technical innovations, screenfonts, etc. In addition there will be an in-depth look at the many different design forms of letters and the ciphering of information: from vernacular lettering over sculptural utilization to contemporary logotypes.