TYPE + IMAGE: Typographic Rhythm

F. T. Marinetti
F. T. Marinetti • via RIT

Just as music has rhythm, so to does typography. Good type has soul, feeling, emotion, beat, tempo. Type can be happy or sad, meaningful or silly, disturbing or inspirational. A good song effects you in some way, so should good typography. It can be fast paced or slow paced, upbeat or melancholy. Learning to understand the rhythm of type is essential to a graphic designer.

You will each be given a song. There are many styles available. Listen to the lyrics.

Your task is to interpret the feel of the song using ONLY typography. It can have visual meaning, but this must be accomplished with type. Using only lyrics from the song, typeset and choose typefaces that seem fitting. Use as much of the lyrics as is necessary to achieve the feeling you wish to convey. You may use no more than two (2) typefaces. You may use multiple weights and variations of the same typeface, i.e. italics, small caps, etc. Use letterspacing, leading, point size freely to help convey the message. The basic rules of typography such as horizontal scale, baseline, alignment, etc. are of no concern for this assignment. BE CREATIVE. Think of yourself as a visual conductor.

There are no color limitations on this assignment.

• to increase your ability as a planner and form giver
• to develop an awareness of the relationship between design and meaning
• to increase and improve the quality idea generation (quality & quantity)
• to increase conceptual skills
• to increase your understanding and appreciation for the subtleties of typography

You will be required to maintain thorough documentation of your process throughout this and all assignments in this class. Keep a collection of everything pertaining to this project (project sheet, research, sketches, thumbnails, copies, etc.) and bring it to each class meeting. This collection will be turned in at the completion of this assignment and will be part of your final grade.

• one 15″ x 20″ print
• one process notebook
• The finished print will be an unmounted 15″ x 20″ print

Project Timeline

8/31 Begin Project. Listen to songs. Research. Start sketching.
9/05 No class meeting. Work independently.
9/07 Bring 4 or 5 typeface possibilities, 6 to 8 loose sketches.
9/12 Critique digital comp
9/14 Review changes
✭ 9/19 Project Due – 15″ x 20″ FLUSH MOUNTED ON FOAM CORE ✭

These are the songs:
Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
Run-DMC – Tougher Than Leather
Bob Dylan – Blowin In The Wind
M.I.A. – Come Walk With Me
Marty Robbins – El Paso
ABBA – Voulez Vous
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
Public Enemy – Fight the Power
Beck – Wow
Merle Haggard – If We Make It Through December
Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen) – Hallelujah

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