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…
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.
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.