Students will choose a seminal design text from readings.design, read and respond to it, and typeset their selection and reply together.
The goal of this project is to hone your basic skills in typography, focusing on expression, hierarchy, and form appropriate to a work. You will do this through exploration, trial and error, and responding to critical feedback. And then you will execute this typesetting in code, as a web page.
Reading selection and response
Select a reading that resonates with you. We’d like to avoid any duplicates, so please indicate your selection to us and your classmates:
Project 1 reading selection
Read the text you’ve selected thoroughly. Some of the selections there are entire books—if this is the case, you should select a specific chapter. We want you to have enough material to both respond to and design with, so ask us if you are unclear on length. We will also consider other design texts, if you have something in mind—please ask.
You will then write a response. We’re not going to set a specific length requirement here—do what it takes to adequately address your thoughts on the piece. You’ll know (and we’ll know) what feels right. Do this in your own Google Doc. Here are some questions to consider:
How does the reading fit into the canon of design as a whole?
Do you think the reading holds up to a contemporary practice of interaction design?
If the reading is older or print-focused, how do you think its ideas translate to digital?
What does the author succeed in conveying in this reading?
What do you strongly disagree with in the reading?
What did you learn from the reading that impacted how you will approach design?
Once you’re done, submit a link to your document:
Due September 13.
You will then create three sketches in Figma. These sketches should include the reading (or your chapter/
- Title of the reading
- Date of publication
- Table of Contents (if part of the text)
- Chapter heading
- The main text itself
Any figures, images, or other decoration should be excluded; we are focusing here on the form of text, alone.
The sketches should all contain the same content, while experimenting with hierarchies and heading styles, typeface selection and combinations, color, and the placement and relationship of the elements to one another.
Consider how each exploration will be perceived differently. Each should be unique—we don’t want to see three layouts all in Helvetica, unless you could make them very unique within that limitation. Use only type, color, and spacing to achieve this.
Create (or move) your Figma document in the project (folder) and name it with your first name:
Project 1 sketches
When you are done, submit a link:
Due September 13.
Next, you will move your work into code. You’ll take the text content from your sketches and layer it into HTML structures—focusing on appropriate, semantic elements that reflect the usage in your selection. This won’t yet be a styling exercise; instead we will think about grouping and nesting the content. You should use a range of HTML elements to achieve this.
You’ll do this in a GitHub repository for your project, which will contain an
index.html file with your work. When you are done, submit a link to the repo and the live URL:
Due September 20.
You will meld style with your code. Select one of your refined sketched directions as an aim. You will then use basic CSS to approximate this intention—with typeface, sizing, and color. In this translation, your web page will reflect the decisions and intent behind your text, response, and design.
You will create a
style.css stylesheet, and update your repository with it.
You will present your completed page, along with your process to get there, to the class.
Due September 27.
Spacing and refinement
Finally, you will refine your work—based on the feedback of your peers and instructors, while utilizing more rigorous box-model CSS for intentional spacing and layout. Your work should show progression towards hierarchy, readability, and legibility within its form.
You will present your completed page, along with your process to get there, to the class:
Due October 4.
We’ll be looking at your understanding of the reading and quality of your responses, experimentation, appropriate type selection and hierarchy, use of semantic HTML, and your approach in basic CSS. You should have enough time with this text to manifest these things thoroughly.
We recognize we’re early in our journey into coding, so our technical requirements here will be somewhat limited:
- No images are allowed!
- For this project, only desktop breakpoints need to be considered
- Students should incorporate at least five different semantic HTML elements
- Make thorough use of fonts, color, margin, padding, borders, etc.
- Final projects will be submitted as live, public URLs
- We won’t go chasing down links; use the forms, above
- These should work, as intended, on any computer (not just the student’s)
- Presentations are considered a part of the final, not just the page itself
Notes on format
Each of you will have about 6–7 minutes to present your work. (We’ll give you a notice at the five-minute mark.) You’ll do this from your own machine/setup, signed into Zoom for recording and the projector. The final page should be shown from the live URL you have submitted, always.
In this time, introduce us to your reading, talk briefly about your response, and explain how you wanted to reflect both of these in your design. And then show us your final page. You can also explain what your challenges were, and how you’d improve on the execution with additional time or more experience.
This doesn’t have to be in a deck, but be prepared to use your full amount of time to take us through the work—how you want to do that is up to you. You don’t want to be way over, nor way under. Again, keep in mind the presentation is part of the project.
Each presentation will be followed by several minutes of feedback and critique from your classmates and from us.
Per our community agreement (and courtesy), the presenting student “has the floor.” Everyone else will close their laptops and turn off their phones—and nobody should
come-and-gofrom the room during a presentation. (Disruptions will count against the offender.)
Your in-person instructor will evaluate your work and presentation; the other one of us will look at your URL and code, afterwards. We then average our scores for your overall project grade.