Borough of Manhattan Community College / Department of Music & Art
Fiterman Hall – Room 706


3 credits
2 hours lecture
2 hour lab
This course will explore type design and its application in visual communication. Students will study the formal qualities of typefaces and their historical origin. Students will learn to manipulate type properties to design meaningful and effective graphic communication. The use of industry-standard desktop publishing software will be covered as well and will be applied to a range of typographic solutions.

ART100 Foundations of Digital Graphic Design
By the end of the semester students will be able to:
• Recognize and classify type based on form, usage and historical origin.
• Apply typographic design principles in a series of design assignments.
• Design and print a multi-page publication that incorporates the purposeful organization of type and image, using industry-standard desktop publishing software.

  • A Type Primer, John Kane, 2nd Edition – (I can supply a PDF)
  • Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography. By James Craig. 5th Edition.
    ISBN 0-8230-1413-4 (I can supply a PDF)

A USB drive.
• Students will use Macintosh computers and Adobe InDesign software to work on design
projects in class.

• Assignments 40%
• Final Project 30%
• Research Paper 10%
• Quiz 10%
• Teacher evaluation and class participation 10%

1. Origins of the Alphabet
2. Anatomy of type
3. Historic classification of type
4. Type measurements
5. Introduction to Adobe Indesign
6. Designing for readability
7. Grid Design
8. Using typography for visual impact
9. Designing with display type
10. Type and color
11. Type and image
12. Graphic production techniques

Week 1
Introductions and course overview
What is typography?
Origins of the Alphabet

Week 2
Anatomy of type
Type measurements
Introduction to Adobe Indesign
Hands-on exercise 1

Week 3
Historic classification of type
Production techniques in Adobe Indesign
Hands-on exercise 2

Week 4
Letterspacing and wordspacing
Line length
Production techniques in Adobe Indesign
Hands-on exercise 3

Week 5
Readability and legibility
Production techniques in Adobe Indesign
Design Project 1

Week 6
Production techniques in Adobe Indesign
Design Project 1 critique

Week 7
Type arrangements (alignment)
Paragraph indication
Creating emphasis
Hands-on exercise 3

Week 8
Grid Design
Integrating image and type
Design Project 2

Week 9
Production techniques in Adobe Indesign
Design Project 2 critique

Week 10
Selecting display type
Arranging display type
Optical consideration
Modyfing type
Design Project 3

Week 11
Spot colors
process colors
Projected colors
Selecting color in Indesign and Photoshop.
Design Project 3 critique

Week 12
Approaching complex layout
The multi-page publication

Week 13
Final project workshop

Week 14
Final project workshop

Week 15
Presentation and critique of final Project


We are going to cover an extensive amount of material in this class. Please be here every class. It will be very difficult to catch up.

Assignments and exercises will be given every week. You will be given credit for each part of each assignment, no matter how small. Assignments must be completed on time and presented in a neat, clean, professional manner. For each week an assignment is late, the grade will be lowered by one letter. Missed assignments due to an excused absence must be made up within two weeks of that absence or the assignment may not be accepted. Missed assignments due to an unexcused absence must be handed in at the start of the next class. It is your responsibility to let me know if you have not received a grade for an assignment. Please use the buddy system or the class website to get updates and email me only for clarification of your questions.

Hand in assignments (and parts of assignments) on time, even if it is not completed to your satisfaction. If you received a C+ or lower on an assignment, and it was handed in on time, you have the privilege of redoing it once for another grade.

If you neglect to hand in an assignment on time, you lose this privilege. You must get permission to redo an assignment.

The redo assignment must be excellent to earn a higher grade – you do not automatically get a higher grade for a redo. “Exercises” may not be redone for a change of grade. Be prepared to work on exercises or assignments in every class. If you are absent when a major assignment is due, and you have not contacted me previous to class time, the assignment will be marked late.

Keep all of your computer files for this class. A final digital and hardcopy portfolio of your semester’s work is required at the end of the semester. And back up, back up, back up.

At BMCC, the maximum number of absences is limited to one more hour than the number of hours a class meets in one week. For example, you may be enrolled in a three-hour class. In that class, you would be allowed 4 hours of absence (not 4 days). In the case of excessive absences, the instructor has the option to lower the grade or assign an F or WU grade.

Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments for this course must contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. BMCC is committed to providing equal access to all programs and curricula to all students.

BMCC POLICY ON PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s ideas, words or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one’s own creation. Using the idea or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism.
Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The library has guides designed to help students to appropriately identify a cited work. The full policy can be found on BMCC’s web side, For further information on integrity and behavior, please consult the college bulletin (also available online).