COURSE: ETEC 540 (Elective Course), Text Technologies: The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing, Course Description
TYPE OF ASSIGNMENT: Individual
TITLE: Major Project - Typography
To complete a major project on a topic related to the course. To provide a short artist’s statement to give readers a sense of the critical issues you are exploring in your creative work.
Before starting this project, I didn’t know a lot about typography. What I did know was that typography catches my eye and that I have a deep appreciation for the print and patterns that I encounter on a day-to-day basis… in books, magazines, websites and blogs. For my project, I used interactive non-fiction to gather a repository of resources pertaining to typography. This project combines text, visuals and short audio-visual video clips in order to present a small sampling of resources available on the topic of typography. From my artist’s statement:
As educators, we are constantly creating resources for our students and knowledge of typography is essential when producing our own documents. Schriver (1997) explains, “Rightly or wrongly, every writer is now potentially a document designer – quite a responsibility, because good design has been shown to play a positive role in influencing the way readers think and feel about products and services” (as cited in Hoist-Larkin, 2006, p. 417).
Different students will have differing requirements when it comes to reading the text laid out as part of educator made resources. For example, emerging readers won’t be able to recognize complicated letterforms. Educators must always carefully consider the target audience for the resource. It is not about whether or not the educator can discern and read the type personally, but whether the students the piece is aimed at can. Wilkins, Cleave, Grayson & Wilson (2009) studied the size and design of typeface in textual material for children: “In children’s reading material there is additional complexity. The shape of characters may differ from those in adult text, particularly as regards single-storey ‘a’ and ‘g’’ (p. 402) and it was found that the various typographic parameters of font-size, inter-character spacing, word spacing, line spacing, justification and line length interact in affecting reading performance.
My hope for this repository of information and resources about typography is that it can introduce other educators to this art, so that we, as educators, can reflect more critically on the design of our materials and resources for students.
- 1.1 Offer ways of customizing the display of information
As stated in my artist’s statement, I believe it is very important for teachers to consider how we can design our teacher made resources to allow our students to perceive the information correctly. This is essential in building flexible learning environments and resourceful, knowledgeable learners.
Hoist-Larkin, J. (2006). Personality and type (but “not” a psychological theory!). Business Communication Quarterly, 69(4), 417-421. Retrieved from ERIC database. (EJ798322)
Schriver, K. A. (1997). Dynamics in document design: Creating texts for readers. New York: John Wiley.
Wilkins, A., Cleave, R., Grayson, N., & Wilson, L. (2009). Typography for children may be inappropriately designed. Journal of Research in Reading, 32(4), 402-412. Retrieved from ERIC database. (EJ860204)