Type Synthesis is a graduate class that I teach at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco-California.
It is organized to give a historical foundation as well as an experimental approach to new typography.
The course is divided in two sections that are carried on simultaneously giving time, within one lesson, to both projects or alternatively one class for project 1, one class for project 2.
Project 2 regards the creation of a new, invented alphabet of 26 symbols, recognizable as letters of the Western alphabet.
There are many ways to teach this class and many ways to develop the project. One is to begin by making marks while looking for inspiration in historical writing samples, or simply by stretching the possibilities of forms within one letter. From there we slowly develop all other forms.
Other ways include the definition of a beginning shape, i.e. a square, within which all forms have to be included. Once we have the alphabet, we work out ways to create texts and textures, but mostly to use letterforms as pure shapes and to have text be influenced by those shapes.
Texts required: The Calligraphic Line by H.J.Burgert, Lettering as Drawing by N.Gray, Catalogues from the MART, Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rovereto, Italy.
The final project is a book, containing a progression from alphabet to textures and patterns.
Images curtesy of Chiharu Tanaka and Aiko Iijima.
© 2008 Monica Dengo. All rights reserved