The goal of this assignment is to instill in you an awareness of interpretive and expressive typography, as well as an understanding of how context and movement mold typographic potential. You will be challenged to think about typographic execution that is customized to fit a particular word's meaning and environment. You will also be required to collaborate with your classmates to create a cohesive class project out of your individual typographic compositions.


Part 1a: You will be assigned a sentence (quote, song title, etc.) You will be required to evaluate the sentence, and decide what the strongest, most pivotal word of that sentence is. You can decide this using several criteria:

Once you settle on a word, you should be prepared to support your choice verbally in class.

Part 1b: Next, you will produce your word typographically in a style, medium and/or context that is reflective of the meaning of the word itself. The goal is for you to think about typography outside the context of a computer and traditional letterforms, and encourage you to engage with the word in a way that distills it to its essence. A few examples of this might be:


Typography created out of wind socks which spell out the word when the wind is blowing.


Slow shutter speed photographs of light trail writing.


Typography built from building scaffolding.


Typography which uses several different colors of push pins or marbles to illustrate a cohesive composition (example below).

The final deliverable for this part of the assignment will be a motion piece that documents the construction and execution of the interpretive typography. This can be done via incremental photography/stop motion animation, video, or any other appropriate means.

In summary, you will be expected to produce not only the typographic piece itself, but also a motion element (video, animated GIF, SWF) that documents the construction of the piece.

Part 2: Collaboratively, the class will be required to produce a way to display your pieces in an engaging way. This can be via a website, a video installation, a projection collage, etc. This portion of the assignment will be peer graded.

Outcome Objectives

The objective is for you to engage with words and language at a unique depth and to think through radical new typographic executions beyond the computer. This will encourage you to think about designed messages as part of the cultural and physical environment, not just words typed on the computer or mounted on a black board.

The goal for the second part of the assignment is to allow the entire class to freely collaborate on a group project that requires you to create something using elements that were largely out of your individual control. You will need to come to terms with working with other designers and creative individuals to create a vehicle that allows each individual voice to compliment each other in space. Besides creating a visually striking piece, this will also give you the experience in cooperation that will be a huge part of your potential success as a designer.


Individual: Process/execution video of your expressive typography.
Class: A piece that displays all of the words in an engaging, interactive way.

Project Example

Project Timeline

The project will be assigned on Monday, March 3rd. The individual portion of the project will be due on March 24, and the group portion of the project will be due on April 2.

Add project milestones to Google Calendar

Real-World References

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