Teresa Kalinay

Julia Reilly

Heather Gaskill

William Lewis

Julie Touchstone

Level: ,
Duration: 9 days
Filed Under: ,
Bookmark Project

Project Brief

For this project, the students will design typographic lettermark using two of their initials. 

  • The mark must contain characters from only the approved font families listed below. All fonts are either Mac OS standard or available to sync on Adobe Fonts. Italic, bold or any other weights from the selected font family are acceptable. Font families outside of this list are NOT eligible, and mixing font families within a mark is not permitted. 
    •      - Adobe Caslon (Adobe Fonts)
           - Baskerville URW (Adobe Fonts)
           - Bodoni URW (Adobe Fonts)
           - Clarendon (Adobe Fonts)
           - Gill Sans (Mac OS standard)
           - Helvetica (Mac OS standard)
           - Futura PT (Adobe Fonts)
  • The two letterforms must work together as a unit. The finished lettermark must feel like a unified mark.
  • Letterforms may be rotated, sliced or otherwise altered, but they may NOT be distorted (no type crime squishing!)
  • Sketch phase must be completed by hand on tracing paper
  • Final piece should be created in Adobe Illustrator.


  1. Sketches. Print out alphabets and use tracing paper. Complete 20 sketches at minimum. Letters must be filled-in solid. NO HOLLOW OUTLINED LETTERS. Sketch must come from 3 different fonts at minimum. Select the best 5 for presentation to the class. Number selected sketches and label with font. Have all 20+ sketches with you.
  2. Roughs. Translate 3 concepts on the computer. Show experimentation with 2–3 variations per concept (Total 6–9 executions). For presentation to the class, label the roughs. Use numbers for the concepts, and letters for the variations. ( 1A, 1B; 2A, 2B, 2C; 3A, 3B) Label with font. Black only, no gray or color.
  3. Final. After further refinement, submit your finalized lettermark.

Learning Objectives

The project requires the student examine the characteristic shape and structure of the two letters and determine how the two forms can be integrated into a unified whole to create a mark in which each letter is integral to the other. It demands attention to the details of letterform including stroke, weight, style, form, positive/negative space, and contrast.


Submit a high-resolution PDF. Display the lettermark large (approx 5\\\\\\\" in size) centered on a letter page, and small (approx 1” in size) in bottom right corner.


Type Basics: Size, Scale, Mixing Typefaces, Leading, and More by Ellen Lupton


I have assigned this brief many times. The list of acceptable fonts has been adjusted over the years in response to student access. Some students are gifted with a compatible combination of letters; Others are cursed with more difficult combinations.

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