Designing with type

An easy assignment where students can use elements of type to make a graphic

By William Love, Sandpoint High School

My graphic design students spend a couple of weeks learning about type. A fun project they do early in the semester is design a graphic using just type and color.

I found this assignment on a yearbook company’s website, but I couldn’t find the link while writing this post. (I will keep searching, and I will post it here when I find it. If you have seen this article, please leave the URL in the comments.)

I really like this assignment because students start to understand what an important role elements such as size, weight, form, justification, and color play in design. I created a 1-page handout based off the article that identifies different ways these elements can be changed.

The handout also include a three-step process students can follow to design with type. Students learn how to weave the words together to create a nice graphic. I have them use InDesign to do this in my class simply because it is the Adobe product they are learning at the time.

It makes sense why this assignment was on a yearbook site. But I have found it just as useful to my newspaper students when the story lacks any art or the designer wants to do something special for an important package.

The rest of the article is made up of screen shots of the PDF. If you would like the handout, send me an email at [email protected]


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Here is the easy to follow assignment students can use to create their own type graphic.


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