Ohio State nav bar

Typographic Design

DESIGN 3503: Typographic Design

Introduction to basic two- and three-dimensional practices in visual communication design; emphasis on typographic design and systematic method and research techniques.
Credit Hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Bachelor of Science in Design - Visual Communication Design program; or permission of instructor.

Keywords: Typography, composition, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, legibility, information hierarchy, grid structures


Effective visual communication depends on clear, appropriate, and functional typography. The objective of this course is to guide students to understanding the fundamental principles of typographic design. You will investigate the basic aspects of letterforms and typography through a variety of projects. You will be exposed to the historical background, technical, and aesthetic issues concerning communication with type and will become familiar with the individual styles of typefaces and their origins.


By the end of the semester students will be able to:
  • To instill an understanding and appreciation of typography
  • To expose students to typographic design and develop experience in using type as a form of visual communication
  • To bring awareness to the terminology, guidelines and history of typography
  • To develop an understanding of fundamental typographic elements, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and their compositional relationships to one another and to the page
  • To recognize the wide variety of typographic possibilities and explore the unlimited range of typographic solutions to a single design problem
  • To examine the complex relationship between legibility, information hierarchy, communication, typographic design, grid structures and page composition

Course Materials

Textbook: A Type Primer
  • Written by John Kane
Second Edition
ISBN-13: 978-0-205-06644-5
ISBN-10: 0-205-06644-5

Course Organization

This is a 3 credit hour course that meets for 2:40 two times each week

Sample Coursework

Type of work students can expect:
  • Projects, presentations, and tests
  • Class discussions and active participation needed
3503 Dept web image 1
3503 Dept web image 2
3503 Dept web image 3

Semester(s) Offered:


Course Filters: