Categories
briefs historical

Composition with initials

Rosmarie Tissi, in an interview by Louise Paradis (TM Research Archive), describes an assignment for a workshop she directed at Yale in 1991:

For the Yale workshop I thought of something simple and asked the class to make a composition with their initials. An easy task but some of the results were almost paintings; some very esoteric.

Categories
briefs

Calendar Grid

A design problem by Ellen Lupton, from Graphic Design: The New Basics (2008):

  1. Create a spread in a two-page document. Each page is 7.5 x 7.5 inches.
  2. Devise a weekly calendar system that divides each page into seven days. Use lines, shapes, and typography to mark and identify the space. Leave space for a user to write down notes and appointments.
  3. Think creatively about the underlying problem. The rhythm and structure of the grid can be vertical or horizontal, regular or irregular, rectilinear or diagonal.
Categories
briefs

specimen books

Source: original brief by Manuel Schmalstieg, February 2013.

Participants design a specimen book of typefaces. They select a number of interesting typefaces, and create specimen pages. The pages are assembled into a book, which may be published using a print-on-demand service.

Typical steps during this brief:

  • Define the scope of the book: What type of typefaces are to be chosen? How many pages will be produced by each participant? What will be the sample text?
  • Create a specimen template that will be used by each participant. Each student should design a template, and during a critical session one of the template is chosen.
  • Once the template is defined, the students can begin to create the specimens.
  • In addition to the template-based specimens, each students should design a few pages of freeform, individual specimens where they can to break all rules and display the fonts in unexpected ways.
  • To finish the book, some more things must be designed: cover page, backcover, introduction pages, index.

Bibliography: to give the students a frame of reference and inspiration, it’s a good idea to show them some specimen books. Maybe your school has some of them in the library. A few examples: specimen books by designers (Jean-Baptiste Levée, Radim Pesko), the iPad app of FontFont, the Free Font Index, books by Fred Smeijers…

2 reports for specimen books

#1 – L’Eve future – HEAD Geneva

First implementation of the “Specimen Books” workshop.
Host institution: HEAD Geneva.
Instructor: Manuel Schmalstieg
Timeframe: 18-22 February 2013, five days (ca 40 hrs).
Students: 11.

#2 – Specimen Books: EAA La Chaux-de-Fonds

Second implementation of the “Specimen Books” workshop.

Host institution: EAA La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Instructor: Manuel Schmalstieg
Timeframe: May 2013, 5 half-day sessions (ca. 20 hrs).

Following the success of the first implementation at HEAD Geneva, I proposed a second iteration of that workshop concept to a class in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Participants: Olivier Borel, Patricia Monteiro, Anthony Bühler, Lori Droel, Emilie Mojon, Yannick Chautems, Marie Lechot, Quantin Perrenoud.

Some differences compared to the previous workshop:

– Instead of working with Adobe InDesign, students worked with open-source layout software Scribus.
– Instead of one common sample text, students chose a different text for each specimen. The concept: descriptions of films taken from french Wikipedia (the title of the film isn’t revealed).
– The workshop duration was 50% shorter: 20 hours (5 half-day sessions).

Final result: a PDF of 153 pages, gathering 79 specimens. The attempt to produce a print version failed due to time constraints.

Categories
briefs

the JS clocks

Design a self-contained website that measures time (hours, minutes, possibly seconds or milliseconds).

In other words, create a digital watch face, filling a screen, written in HTML/CSS/JS (and maybe SVG).

Possible improvement: if you want to focus on “best development practices”, you could have the students work up to a certain point on their project, then re-assign them randomly. Students will have to complete and debug the code of another student. This will be a lesson in code readability. See this Github thread.

1 report for the JS clocks

#1 – JS clocks at Eracom, Lausanne

The first implementation of the JS Clocks has been carried out at Eracom, Lausanne, in autumn 2017. A number of student projects were exhibited during the schools Open Doors, in December 2017.

Participants: Giani Agolino, Jonas Buxcel, Benjamin Coffrini, Lucie Ecuyer, Dany Fatana Neves, Rachel Gasser, Claire Graber, Jérémie Kursner, Luan Mendes de Moura, Sarah Meylan, Paul Mottaz, Baltazar Nanchen, Julien Nshimirimana, Anaïs Schaer, Zoé Schwyzer, Gonçalo Vieira Machado, Stephanie Wilson

Demo site: eracom-gr461.github.io/jsclocks/