Oct 31st 2016

Introduction to Typography (Coursera)

Taught by:

Typography is the art of manipulating the visual form of language to enrich and control its meaning. It’s an essential area of skill and knowledge for graphic designers. Typography predates modern graphic design by around 500 years; it is rich in rules, conventions, and esoteric terminology—but it remains an exciting space for invention and expression. In this rigorous introductory course, we will study, name, and measure the characteristics of letterforms. We’ll consider the pragmatic concerns involved in selecting and combining type. We’ll peek into the 
rich historical, cultural, and aesthetic histories of familiar typefaces.

We’ll discuss time-tested conventions and best practices in setting type, as governed by principles of hierarchy and spatial organization. And we’ll explore the expressive, meaning-making potential of type.

Informative lectures will be complemented by a series of three peer-assessed assignments, culminating 
in an opportunity to design a full-scale typographic poster.

Please note that this is not a software course; a basic working knowledge of Adobe InDesign or other 
page layout software will be assumed. You will need access to a computer and page layout software, such as InDesign, to complete the assignments.


Week 1: Talking Type

Week 2: Typefaces and their Stories

Week 3: Putting Type to Work

Week 4: Making Meaningful Type

Introduction to Typography is course 2 of 5 in the Graphic Design Specialization.

Graphic design is all around us, in a myriad of forms, both on screen and in print, yet it is always made up of images and words to create a communication goal. This four-course sequence exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. The sequence is completed by a capstone project that applies the skills of each course and peer feedback in a finished branding project suitable for a professional portfolio. The goal of this specialization is to equip learners with a set of transferable formal and conceptual tools for “making and communicating” in the field of graphic design. This core skill set will equip learners for formal studies in graphic design, and a starting point for further work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design.