Course Description

Typography I is an introduction to the evolution and principles of typography, concentrating on typographic form and classification, type as form/image, display type, text type, typographic relationships, readability/legibility, grid systems, fundamental design principles, and page layout.

Assignments investigate typography as an element of design whose form and purpose is to achieve successful, informative, and expressive visual communication.


Course Outcomes

  • Create typographic designs using graphic design software focusing on typographic form, creative and dynamic use of display type, typeface selection, formatting and organization, development, and use of grid structures.

  • Understand letterform development and the history of type.

  • Develop a vocabulary for talking about typography.

  • Recognize and identify typographic anatomy, measurements, and classification.

  • Appreciate typography’s role and potential in design and communication.


Course Structure

  • Quizzes on typefaces, terminology, reading, and lectures

  • Assigned readings from required, recommended and/or online texts

  • Participation in design critiques

  • Projects and workshops


Required Text

Thinking with Type — 2nd Edition
Ellen Lupton
Princeton Architectural Press

View on Amazon



4GB USB Flash Drive (or larger, or a portable hard drive)


Supplies for mounting work and assembling mockups.
These are available in the Production Center (GM 016).



You are expected to attend every class. You will be held responsible for everything we cover in class whether or not you are here. After four absences your grade will go down one whole letter grade. You may not make up missed quizzes, workshops, lectures, or critiques. If you are serious about being a graphic design professional, treat this as your job. Arrive on time, participate actively, and stay until the end. If you know you will be missing class or have some kind of emergency, please communicate that with me and we can make arrangements.


Semester Points

Attendance and Participation (30)
1 point per class session
30 points total

Exercises (15)
2 points per exercise
30 points total

Projects (8)
5 points per project
40 points total

Exams (0)

Semester Total
100 points


Late work

Again, you may not make up missed critiques, workshops, or quizzes. If you know you are going to miss class or have an excused absence, let me know and we can try to make an arrangement.


Student Privacy

I will not discuss grades during class time. To dispute a grade, you have seven days to provide a written statement on why you disagree with the grade and to make a case for receiving a higher score.

You are required to have an active WCC email account and to check it regularly; I can not discuss anything related to the class via your personal email account. Please check the WCC website regularly for alerts and college closings.



You will need additional time outside of class to complete assignments. Plan to spend about 4–6 hours per week on course work outside of class. Please keep up with readings from the textbook. There may be pop quizzes or worksheets on reading assignments.



Printed materials in books and magazines are usually protected by copyright law from unauthorized copying, tracing or scanning. Any use of copyrighted material must be pre-approved. All work turned in for credit must be original, created expressly for this course and not turned in for any other course.


Academic Honesty

It is illegal to copy licensed software and fonts (so don’t do it). Copying, plagiarism or “piracy” from any source will not be tolerated. Any and all dishonest acts will be subject to administrative action and/or disciplinary penalties. Copying and sharing homework files, copying text verbatim from the internet or other sources, and plagiarizing graphic design layouts/solutions constitutes academic dishonesty. Should academic dishonesty be detected, those involved will receive at minimum a failing grade on the assignment, and may be referred to the division dean for further penalty.


Mac Studio Policies

Log out and log in again when you first sit down at your computer to clear out the memory and reset defaults. Do this every time. Please clean off the computer desktop at the end of class, quit all applications, and log out when you leave.

Non-assignment related access of the web or using e-mail during class is prohibited.

Don’t work off your USB drive or the network. Work off the computer hard drive. At the end of class, copy your work to your drive. It’s always good to make a backup.


Open Computer Labs

Computer Commons
2nd floor of the GM bldg.
734-973-3420 (30 Macs)
Digital Media Arts open lab


Learning Support Services

Learning Support Services can arrange tutoring for any WCC student and other support services for those who need accommodations.

Learning Support Services
LA 104


Student Resources
& Women’s Center

Student Resources & Women’s Center works with adult students who have the responsibility of a home, family, and full-time employment to factor into their educational objectives. The Center provides comprehensive support services, mentoring programs, networking opportunities, workshops, cultural events, financial assistance, and services.

Student Resources & Women’s Center
2nd floor SC (Student Center)


Academic Advising

Full-time GDT faculty can advise regarding graphic design classes. For general advising, please see our Divisional Counselor, Sandro Tuccinardi. 734.973.3398