Type+Image: Assignment 01


John Alcorn's ironic instructions on how to create a Dadaist poem. Published in the Push Pin Graphic, No. 11, December 1957.
John Alcorn’s ironic instructions on how to create a Dadaist poem. Published in the Push Pin Graphic, No. 11, December 1957.

The objectives:

  • to learn that an infinite number of possible solutions exist for each problem.
  • to use typographic variables to create typographic color and hierarchy.
  • to demonstrate an understanding of alignment.
  • to use alignment to create structure and cohesiveness in a layout.
  • to develop a sensitivity towards the subtleties and nuances of typographic variables

The process:
1. select a block of text from below.
2. explorations address a number of changing parameters (as follows):

Set 1:

  • select one typeface (must have a regular and bold weight)
  • use the regular weight only
  • use only lowercase letterforms in 8 or 9pt size, but not both
  • experiment with leading and alignment only.
  • vertical or horizontal use of type only.

Set 2:

  • select one comp from set one, you may vary letterspacing, weight and use small caps where appropriate.

Set 3:

  • select one comp from set two, you may vary point size (6pt-14pt), you may bleed letterforms, italics, u/lc, angled

Set 4:

  • select one comp from set three, you may vary your point size (unlimited), overlap letterforms, use counter changes, etc.


  • all work must be produced on 8.5 x 11 inch paper, live area is contained within a seven by seven inch RULED box
  • type direction (horizontal, vertical) unless otherwise noted. (if you angle your type be very sensitive to aesthetic qualities.)
  • do not under any circumstance make literal shapes (i.e. a cow if the type is talking about cows, etc.)
  • do not use graphic elements (bullets, bars, rules, etc.)
  • make sure the font you select has a bold weight!
  • use serif or san serif
  • do not use scripts or display fonts
  • do not use color (i.e. red). create typographic color instead
  • carefully follow the parameters for each step, read!
  • think – series, sequence, development

Set 01: Six Comps Due Tue Sept 1
Set 02: Six Comps Due Tue Sept 8
Set 03: Six Comps Due Tue Sept 15
Set 04: Six Comps Due Thr Sept 17


The texts:

You walk around with a load of nitroglycerin in your head, you mix that with some other random chemicals, everyday life and love at first sight and you get some highly combustible stuff swimming around in there. And then things change, shifting faster then you could ever possibly catch up with. And you find yourself using highly advanced communication devices. The more advanced the device the less you seem to communicate. It’s a shame really as communication become faster and more accessible we seem to be losing the ability to understand each other. Your brain makes you the victim of too much information and too many choices, and you lose your self, you fall in love and it breaks your heart. So you lay down on the floor and watch the ceiling spin round and round. Reminding yourself to keep breathing.

To puncture and fracture the mediocre and redefine the design of the undefined. Intertwine my mind with yours, united by my chosen words and transpose our progress to forward from reverse. I’ll propose an oath and promote the growth of all the thoughts of different folks inhabiting one earth. To suppose that one can learn on their own is not absurd, but to teach another offers opportunities for new knowledge to be learned. So I open my head and share my intellect in hopes for you to accept not reject the pictures I direct and colors I select that project a portrait that reflects my past, future and present. You can teach, I can learn, I will share with you what I’ve earned. Together we are more, because when alone, there’s not much to learn on our own.

I’ve seen color collisions and rippled effects of broken rainbows collapsing into the blueness of eternity. Paths intertwined and spit from indifferent ruin of miss shaped realism and fragmented words that remain unspoken. A walking misunderstanding-cry your foreign tears and let me translate them into hearts-and pretty purple things that float. Act as if it’s all okay, because it is, isn’t it? And if it isn’t, there would be no sense in saying otherwise, less mountains are moved by our apathy. And they’re not-by the chiming of wristwatches. They’re not-by a huddled prayer and bit lip. They’re not-by the thousands of earth-shattering devastations-the root of all inexorable pain and the basis of the god damn problem.

Can you hear me screaming as internal organs flail in a diseased corrosion of written instructions replaced with poetic words and actions. Chopping away at layers of superfluity, strength in numbers, screams the army of vagabonds but the morning newspaper doesn’t have compassion. Type written words-concise in the corner of page eleven’s obscurity. Can I come inside, wait till the storm blows over? Rest aching limbs for awhile-and see you through shattered glass windows-no more. Let air flow freely through pursed lips, may beauty whisper in your ear of broken promises and abandoned engagements. Let me take you home-to the cottage of contemplation. So words spin around and around my kitchen table in creation of morning’s myth. Yes, let us dine and embrace the entirety of all that rests quietly on china plates. Take my hand-come if you wish. Wipe away withdrawal-so that the ocean’s early morning sacrifices lie neatly on your dresser drawer.

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