PGCC: Type Specimen Poster


Alma Garcia
Type Specimen Poster
Alabama State University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Department of Visual Arts

Charlis Foster
Type Specimen Poster
Prince George's Community College
Visual Communication Department

Charlis Foster
Type Specimen Poster
Prince George's Community College
Visual Communication Department

Angela Garcia
Type Specimen Poster
Prince George's Community College
Visual Communication Department

Duration: 3 weeks
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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

When type foundries create a new typeface, they want to show if off so that graphic designers will buy it and want to use it. They do this (generally) by showing off all of the letters in different sizes.

Creating a poster that incorporates this information in an interesting design has been the traditional and primary mode type designers/foundries have used to promote and advertise a typeface.

Type Specimen Posters:

1. Show the different qualities or characteristics of a typeface

2. Display the complete typeface, consisting of all alphanumeric characters

3. Typically display the typeface in different point sizes

For this assignment, create a poster that effectively and expressively showcases the characteristics of your chosen typeface.

Your design solution must display:

1. The name of the typeface

2. The full alphabet including upper-case, lower-case letterforms and numerals ranging from 0-9

3. A selection of text set in your typeface at a text size

Your approach could range from purely informational, highlighting the features of the typeface and its technical performance; or could be primarily promotional, serving as an advertising poster explaining why people should buy your typeface. The idea is to give the viewer a clear impression of the way the typeface functions at display and text sizes, encapsulated and expressed in the language of graphic design. You can create or incorporate any imagery of your choosing, however, it should be appropriate (such as an image of the typeface’s designer) but remain subordinate to your typeface, the emphasis of the poster should be primarily the type. Letters can overlap, bleed off the page, or be printed in different colors. You might want to choose a few words that you feel describe the font to work into your design. You might want the focus of the design to be one or 2 characters blown up very large, or a more complex design with many different characters at different sizes. Design your piece to be as involved or simple as you would like.

Choose a face created by one of the type foundries/designers listed below:

Adrian Frutiger // Nicolas Jenson // Claude Garamond // Erik Spiekermann // Eric Gill // Carol Twombly // Zuzana Licko // Jeffry Keedy // Herb Lubalin // Neville Brody // Jonathan Hoefler // Eduardo Recife // Max Miedinger // Frederic W. Goudy // Matthew Carter // House Industries //

Size: 12”x24”, 17”x17”, or 16”x20” 
Orientation: portrait or landscape

Learning Objectives

  1. Develop conceptual thinking skills
  2. Communicate ideas visually and verbally
  3. Explore and research different typography styles 
  4. Develop systems of visual organization
  5. Develop and improve skills in Adobe InDesign


W 01.22.20 Introduce Assignment: Type Specimen Poster

M 01.27.20 (10) Thumbnails Due

W 01.29.20 (2) Tight 1/4-size roughs Due / in class critique

M 02.03.20 Begin layout and composition in Adobe CC

W 02.05.20 Digital Roughs Due / in class critique

M 02.10.20 Project 1 Due / Final critique


Type Specimen Poster, Visual Thinking, My Journey Through the Visual Thinking Unit by Mitchell Mulley


The results of this assignment are always visually interesting, each student brings a unique perspective and approach to designing type specimen posters, working within the contains of the assignment, manipulating and  arranging typographic elements, scale and color.

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