Type + Image: Book Jackets

In this day of high speed internet and instant information, do we still take time to appreciate the classics. Is information like classic literature, art, poetry still pertinent and vital? How would you encourage a 17 year old to put down the phone and pick up a book? Perhaps that book just needs to be presented in a new and interesting way?

Your problem for this assignment is to re-package a familiar piece of literature in a way that is appealing to younger readers (16-29). Your task is two-fold. First, you must redesign the book cover. It should stand out amongst the overcrowded shelves, AND it should represent the story in an honest way.

The most successful book covers are those that give a hint of the story inside, without revealing all the details.

  • Design the front, back, spine, and flaps of the book.
  • The book cover must include, the title and author. The Penguin logo must be on the spine and back. Download it here.
  • Give your book a barcode by visiting this site, or download this vector file.
  • Make your book as much as possible like a “real” book. Add an ISBN number, reviews, price, and other details.
  • There are no color or typographic limitations on this assignment.


  • Increase your ability as a planner and form giver
  • Develop an awareness of the relationship between design and meaning
  • Increase and improve the quality idea generation (quality & quantity)
  • Understand and identify a “target” audience
  • Increase conceptual skills through research


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 book cover mounted on 15″ x 20″ black mat board (shrink to fit)
  • One book cover attached to an actual book
  • One process notebook


  • Thr Sept 21 – Introduce Project/ Research / Begin thumbnails sketches
  • Tue Sept 26 – 3 full-color (8.5”x11”) computer comps due for book cover
  • Thr Sept 28 – revisions due for book covers / 1 full-color comp (cover, back cover, spine, flaps)
  • Tue Oct 03 – Revisions of book cover due
  • Thr Oct 05 – Finished book cover due Work day
  • Tue Oct 10 – Finished book cover due

Book and book cover design resources:



Moby Dick
Herman Melville

The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson

George Orwell

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving

Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

Of Mice And Men
John Steinbeck

Mary Shelley

Bram Stoker

Animal Farm
George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison

Elie Wiesel

Micropublishing: Poetry Zines

Your next zine will not be your own writing, but that of a poet. Your assignment is to create a zine that merges type and image in an expressive and interpretive way. This zine will be a poetry chapbook that synthesizes the words of a chosen poet, with your creative and expressive imagery.

There are going to be a few rules to follow for this project, but try not to think of them as limitations, so much as opportunities for expression.

  1. 20 pages (including covers)
  2. Black and white
  3. No internet images whatsoever
  4. You may print the text once (make copies, enlargements, etc. from that)

In particular, I want you to think about illustration vs. interpretation. Are the images/layouts you are creating showing the reader what they’re reading in the text? Or is it adding to the impact of the text by doing something else?

Project Timeline

Tue Sept 12 – Begin Project / Get text
Thr Sept 14 – Review progress
Tue Sept 19 – Work Day
Thr Sept 21 – Group Critique
Tue Sept 26 – Implement Changes
Thr Sept 28 – Project Due

Micropublishing: Obsession Zines


For your first full-scale zine project, you will create a 12-page zine designed completely by hand. In other words, you will cut and paste each element onto the pages separately, much like what we saw in the videos on Monday (1, 2).

  • You MAY digitally set blocks of type, but no more than a column at a time. (example)
  • You MAY crop and scale images to the appropriate dimensions, and adjust brightness/contrast.
  • You MAY NOT use Photoshop for anything more than scaling, cropping, or adjusting Brightness/Contrast of images.
  • You MAY NOT design an entire page or set of pages digitally, and then print them out, cut them up, and re-assemble them as though you had done it by hand in the first place.
  • You MAY NOT use color. Your zine will be entirely black and white. Consider contrast, texture, visual balance, and other design elements.

The theme for this project is OBSESSION. Interpret that how you will, but know that your zine should be your voice, and your point-of-view. Make it compelling in some way. Your obsession may be something completely boring to everyone else, but how can you make it interesting?

Remember the zine about the guys and their pigeons? I’m not particularly interested in pigeons, but I’m very interested in a smartly designed zine that gives me something weird to ponder.

It’s easy for these zines to become very image-heavy. However, I want you to try to balance your pages with text. Write about your obsession. And write in such a way that it engages the reader.

Regardless of what your obsession is, you need to make it relevant/interesting to a causal reader. Maybe they won’t share your obsession, but they can at least be entertained by it. For example, I think the Helvetica documentary makes typography seem kind of interesting to someone not particularly interested in design.

What is your OBSESSION?

  • Abandoned Buildings
  • Music / Your Favorite Band
  • Technology
  • Vegetarianism
  • Conspiracies ☠️
  • Sports
  • Feminism
  • Celebrities/ Movies / Television
  • Travel
  • Politics
  • Thai Food
  • The Mall
  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Something else?


Thr 8/31 – Get started / Brainstorm / Start writing & collecting images
Tue 9/05- Work.
Thr 9/07 – View progress / Discuss print production techniques
Tue 9/12 – Turn in finished zines (5 copies + original)

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 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. Use color, texture, letterspacing, weight, leading, point size, etc. 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.

• 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 (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 a 15″ x 20″ print mounted on foam core

Project Timeline

8/31 Begin Project. Listen to songs. Research. Start sketching.
9/05 Print lyrics / Look for typographic cues.
9/07 Develop 3 concepts in Illustrator
9/12 Critique digital comp (3 hi-res PDFs) / Continue with best concept
9/14 Implement changes from critique
9/19 Refine concepts
9/21 Project Due – 15″ x 20″ FLUSH MOUNTED ON FOAM CORE ✭

These are the songs:

  1. Search and Destroy – The Stooges
  2. Uncontrollable Urge – Devo
  3. Crapa Pelada – Quartetto Cetra (English translation)
  4. Motörhead – Ace of Spades
  5. Dent May – Don’t Let Them
  6. Elvis Costello –  I Want You
  7. Nick Lowe – I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass
  8. Public Enemy – Fight the Power
  9. Willy Wonka – Wondrous Boat Ride
  10. The Mooney Suzuki – Electric Sweat
  11. Rollins Band  – Do It! (Pink Faries cover)
  12. Guided By Voices – Hold On Hope
  13. R.E.M. – It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
  14. Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945
  15. Portishead – Wandering Star


Type + Image: Object Type Book

Type is everywhere. And the more obsessed you become with typography, the more you start to see it all around you. The pair of concrete posts with an iron crossbar in the photo above may not look much like a lower-case U, but it’s there if you look for it. And so the more you look, the more you will find.

Your assignment is to photograph objects that could be said to look like letterforms, one for each letter of the alphabet.

Then print and bind them as a 8.5″ x 5.5″ booklet. The interior should be fairly straight-forward, but you should design a creative cover. Make sure your name and class section are on the inside back cover.

The finished booklet is DUE THR OCT 19 at the beginning of class.
Put it in your calendar now.

There will be a lot of trees with Ys and telephone poles as Ts, but try to look for more obscure or interesting options.

The shadows on the Art building make a kind-of-a W…

It’s a bit of a stretch, but it could work in context.

There are a lot of letters in this cracked mud…

Welcome to Fall 2017

Hey everyone. Welcome to Fall 2017.
This is where I’ll be posting projects, links, videos, and other relevant information.

My office location is ART B20.
My email is dennis.schmickle@ttu.edu.
My phone number is 806-834-6325.
My office hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00pm-4:00pm and by appointment.

This semester I am teaching Type + Image and Micropublishing. Please download the syllabus for your class here:

Type+Image Syllabus | Micropublishing-Syllabus

Throughout the semester we will make exciting and meaningful work. If at any point in the process you are confused, stuck, or just not sure what is going on… please get in touch with me by any of the avenues listed above. I’m happy to help, but you gotta let me know!

Micropublishing: FINAL BOOK

You made it! This is the FINAL project!

And as previously discussed in class, you’re in charge. You determine the content, page-count, images, etc.

However, there are some expectations:

This project should be ambitious, creative, and a culmination of what you’ve learned not only in this class, but also in Typography, Type + Image, and Publication. Pay attention to type size, margins, and image quality.

And, of course, there should be a solid concept upon which you build the entire project. What is the story you want to tell? What is the subject you want to address? Why should someone pick up this book and read it?


Type + Image: Typographic Storytelling


For your FINAL PROJECT in Type + Image:

You will pick a haiku at random from the mystical haiku bowl.

Your task is to reinterpret the haiku as a small, 8-page booklet. You must design the front and back covers, as well as three interior spreads.

You may use any kind of typography you would like to tell the story. All words in the haiku must be used, but no other words. However, you may repeat words or phrases. Imagery can be used freely to compliment the typography. The kind of imagery, i.e. found images, photography, illustration, etc. is up to the designer. However, they must be appropriate resolution and quality. No pixels! There are no color limitations.


  • 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 quality idea generation
  • To increase conceptual skills
  • To increase your understanding and appreciation for typographic subtlety


You will be required to maintain thorough documentation of your process throughout this and all assignments in this calss. Keep a collection of everyting pertaining to this project (research, sketches, 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.


  • 6″ x 6″ saddle-stitched booklet
  • Process notebook


6″ x 6″ booklet, including covers and 3 double-page spreads


  • Wed Nov 16 – Begin research / thumbnails / sketches
  • Mon Nov 21 – Digital comps due
  • Wed Nov 23 -Thanksgiving Break (No Class)
  • Mon Nov 28 – Revisions Due
  • Wed Nov 30 – Individual Critique
  • Mon Dec 05 – Revisions
  • Wed Dec 07 – Project Due