Computational approaches to typography (Schedule)

Important links: Syllabus, form for submitting homework.

Sketches submitted so far.

Readings available in accessible format are included as hyperlinks below. Alternate methods of obtaining the readings will be discussed in class.

Session 01: Writing on the grid

Date: 2018-10-24.

  • Introduction: Inventing digital text from scratch
  • Syllabus and schedule overview
  • Text on the grid
  • Tutorial: The ANSI terminal

Reading assigned

Works and resources

Sketch #1 assigned

Due at the beginning of session 02. Using the xtermjs/ANSI sketch demonstrated in class as a starting point, make a text-based work on the grid. For this exercise, use only the display capabilities of the emulated terminal.

Session 02: Drawing letters

Date: 2018-10-31.

  • Writing
  • Tutorial: The digital letterform

Works and resources

Examples from class

Reading assigned

Sketch #2 assigned

Due at the beginning of session 03. Create a computer program that produces asemic writing. Your program should implement a system of rules that produce visual artifacts that imitate the motion of physical writing or suggest the appearance of written language.

Session 03: Composing type with machines

Date: 2018-11-07.

  • History of machine-assisted and computational page design
  • Experimental typography and concrete poetry
  • Tutorial: Creative misuses of HTML and CSS

Works and resources

Some concrete poetry and experimental typography

History of markup

Code as textual material

HTML, CSS, JavaScript references

Examples from class

Reading assigned

Sketch #3 assigned

Due at the beginning of session 04. R.P. Draper says that concrete poetry “is the creation of verbal artefacts which exploit the possibilities, not only of sound, sense and rhythm—the traditional fields of poetry—but also of … the two-dimensional space of letters on the printed page.” Imagine a concrete poetry that also exploits the possibilities of computation. Constraints: Use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create your piece, and create and manipulate all elements programmatically (i.e., no existing marked-up text).

Session 04: Fonts as data

Date: 2018-11-14.

  • Overview and history of fonts as data
  • Anatomy of the letterform
  • OpenType features
  • Tutorial: Fonts as data

Reading assigned

Ikonen, Teemu. “Moving Text in Avant-Garde Poetry. Towards a Poetics of Textual Motion.” Dichtung Digital, no. 4, 2003.

Sketch #4 assigned

Due at the beginning of session 05. Use opentype.js (or another library) to extract shape information (or other information) from a font. Use this information to render text in an unexpected way.

Session 05: Type on the move and in response

Date: 2018-11-28.

  • Principles of interactive typography
  • Type on the move: who’s done it before, how to do it yourself, and why
  • Works and resources
  • Tutorial: Interactive type. Examples.

Sketch #5 assigned

Due at the beginning of session 06. Make a typographic composition that changes over time and/or in response to user input. Theorize a connection between the mode of change/interactivity and the reading of the text. (Can the visual/temporal presentation of the work be separated from the “content” of the text? If not, why not?)

Session 06

Date: 2018-12-05

  • Homework presentations and workshop

Session 07

Date: 2018-12-12

  • Final project presentations