Teaching introductory courses is absolutely my favorite part of being an educator, and I believe a successful curriculum must deliver the fundamental principles of visual language in a transparent, measurable way.
Point, Line, and Plane Form Study
The goal of the assignment is to interpret an object as a series of simplified structures, then build a final abstraction of the object that conveys information beyond what is visible to the eye. Rendering is done by hand with ink on tracing paper.
Students breakdown letter forms into shapes, textures, and orientations to illustrate visual principles. Successful compositions are arranged in a book, and the best is colorized and reproduced on a poster.
Lecture Series Poster
Students are encouraged to explore controlling information and composition by defining hierarchy themselves, and by establishing fore, middle, and background elements as they arrange a calendar of events on a poster.
Typographic Specimen Series
Students research and report on an assigned typeface. They then design a two-spread article and a poster which deliver historical and technical information about the face.
A well known design figure is assigned for students to research and create a short book about. Coherency of a type system, pacing, and the broadly varied use of typographic elements are all scrutinized in the process.
Students are assigned a series of projects including: a three-part system for food packaging, an interactive kiosk, and a system of signage for a small town. They analyze content for commonalities and anomalies of tone and message that must all have a place within the system. How students choose to use space as an tool for emphasizing or unifying content is driven by clear, independently derived goals.