Introduction to Typography

Korea University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Typography

  • Host University

    Korea University

  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Required Textbook
    There is no textbook required for this course.

    Recommended Additional Readings

    • Designing with Type, 5th Edition: The Essential Guide to Typography by James Craig
    • Thinking with Type By Ellen Lupton
    • Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design by Timothy Samara

    Course Objective
    The objective of the class is to help students gain confidence in using letterforms and various expressions of typographic elements as useful design elements in their visual communication projects. Students will be introduced to references of classic to contemporary letterforms and directed on the development of these as graphic elements in design procedures and applications.

    Why so much emphasis on letterforms?
    Letterforms, like any living organisms, are constituted with vital parts that support their physical “life.” Designers and artists should be aware that letterforms are not static but are designed to carry a task, express character and communicate with their surroundings. Whether they are found in partial or complete symbols, sentences, or paragraphs, well-designed letterforms voice the meaning of the transcription with uniquely relevant gestures and movements. Understanding letterforms are essential to everyone who uses written words to communicate with others.

    Course Activities and Procedure
    Much understanding of letterforms is lost as students’ progress from “drawing” letters early in their school years to “writing” letters. Therefore, the course must begin by reminding students of what they already learned when they were very young. Expressive lettering exercises will be followed by developing cohesive families of letters. Ultimately, students will receive projects designed to make them both recognize and see different letterforms. The final projects and exercises are called “typographic drills,” which are seven-part exercises on critical typographic applications. The course is highly demanding and time-consuming. Work efficiently and diligently. Gaining a physical memory requires many hours of repetitive practice. But once learned, it will be yours forever. Be patient and put in those hours!

    Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Students will demonstrate an ability to work expressively with the physical qualities and properties of letterforms.
    2. Students will be able to recognize and use the symbolic gestures of letterforms in forming words.
    3. Students will be able to use typographic narrative to lay out a page.
    4. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate efficiently through the use of design elements.
    5. Students will develop functional connections between typography and content.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.