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Typography Class Teaches the Art and Design of Letters and Words

typographyWhen reading a magazine or an article online, it’s not always the content that pulls you into a particular story. The style of type plays a key role in the way readers consume written information.

This semester, a typography course at LMU allows students to tap into their artistic skills to effectively organize information and learn how different type styles and design can influence how they communicate.

“Typography is what language looks like,” said lecturer Milka Broukhim, who is teaching the course. “It is used to organize information and create a hierarchy of content which helps to visually communicate information effectively. Typography could make information not only legible, but also exciting, dynamic, memorable, and visually powerful.”

The course helps students discover how to arrange letters and words in new ways in order to reinforce and add emotion to typed communication. The students analyze and critique about 10 examples each week, paying attention to the way that different font sizes, contrasts, depth and weight affect space and influence content. 

In one project, students used scissors to cut various typed phrases of different sizes and fonts out of newspapers and magazines, and from the Internet as well. They then arranged and pasted them in aesthetically pleasing layouts, focusing on the artistic element of typography, and how the visual design of words can attract the reader.

After taking the class, Broukhim hopes her students are able to notice typographic design in films, advertisements, magazines, and other media, and to understand how the designer is manipulating the type to achieve a certain feeling. “At first, I took typography for granted, but now, I see it everywhere,” said one of the students in the course.