Technology, Arts and Media Program header

ATLS 4130/5130: Typography

Course Description

Explores typography as a form for visual communication and expression. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of meaning as conveyed through technology, materials, and design. Projects are designed to expand your understanding of the function of typography in design, art, and the culture.

The course combines many modes of learning: lectures, readings, writings, creative projects, guest speakers, and field trips. This is a projects-based course which means we will primarily be making things.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will:

Critical Thinking & Theory / History:
  • Learn the history of typography from Gutenberg to today.
  • Learn about specific fonts, their histories, usages, and connotations.
  • Learn the fundamental theories surrounding typography and how it affects meaning and communication, such as linguistic and semiotic models of signification.
  • Through experimentation, learn the craft of typography, typographic layout, and material design.
  • Explore how context, material, and technology affect typographic communication.
  • Create a series of portfolio worthy projects using typography
  • Learn software (Glyphs) and technical terminology associated with creating typefaces
  • Extend your proficiency using vector and motion graphics software (Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects).
  • Explore historical typographic technologies (e.g. typewriters, letterpress, label makers, letterpress, etc..)

Credit Hours

  • 3 hours


  • ATLS 2200, Text or equivalent (students may be asked to show previous work samples before being admitted to the course).