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SUNY Purchase ︎(DES3440) Typographic Investigations

calligrpahic Output


We’re going to be doing type design in tandem with this project as part of a more formal exploration of historical and mechanical influences on the design of type. This project is meant to be an outcome from what we do in class.


Write some words; well. 


  • Reflect that you are/have been paying attention to the formal and technical components necessary for calligraphy and letteirng and that you can (potentially) apply our calligraphic explorations.
  • Gain greater familiarity with critiquing, discussing, and observing lettering.
  • Provide some “bodily” exploration to help generate ideas for your type design.


  • 1 output from your calligraphy. 
    This can be scanned and then digitally edited/intervened upon. It can be a small card, a performative experience, or a big ass poster. Pick the best thing.

Dates (This project is 4 weeks)

  • 03/05/2020︎Introduction!


  • “Beauty”︎Consider this as a function of paper choice, scale, intimacy.
  • Complexity/decoration ︎Do you want to add decorative swashes and the like? Focus on making solid letterforms?
  • Your life︎Have a friend’s birthday coming up? Anniversary with your boo? Love your moms? I am find with this being an opportunity to make a card like this for someone.

“No Shuriken Mode” Suggestions

  • Make a polyptych, or several related posters. 
  • Make something huge.
  • Make cards that you print for the whole class. 


(Tom Carnase’s lettering for the Cooper Union)
(Marian Bantjes’ work)
(I recognize this is slightly unrelated; it’s just a beautiful piece).