Letter writing and typography





Timeline, examens and credits

1. year 2. year 3. year 4. year 5. year
1. semester / credit 2. semester / credit 3. semester / credit 4. semester / credit 5. semester / credit 6. semester / credit 7. semester / credit 8. semester / credit 9. semester / credit 10. semester / credit
2Gy 22Gy 2

Language of instruction: Hungarian
Course requirements: Successful entrance examination for full-time study
Course requirements:
Participation in typography classes, the completion and presentation of assigned work, self-familiarisation with the relevant literature.
Method of evaluation of coursework: Theoretical knowledge is evaluated by oral examination. Practical knowledge and skill are evaluated based on the quality of assignments submitted by the deadline.
Marking method: The marks are determined by the level of theoretical erudition, by whether the appropriate quantity of assignment work was submitted by deadline, but first and foremost by the quality of the submitted work.
Exam requirements: Students are permitted to take the exam only on the condition that they have submitted the appropriate quantity of assignments.
Teaching methods:
Students receive their theoretical education during lectures where they receive information taken from the relevant literature. They can supplement this material by taking in-class notes. Practical instruction takes place within a framework of individual supervision and correction, whereby students are offered solutions tailored to fit the given problematic and their individual interests. During practical instruction, designs are evaluated, assistance is provided with selecting designs, and different approaches to problem solving are offered. Students are placed in a position whereby they can independently choose a problem solving approach appropriate for them.
Recommended study methods:
Completion of the assignments specified in class with precision and care and under individually suited in-class correction. Assignments are worked on in groups in the morning and independently at home. Designing exercises.
Role of the course within the specialist training scheme:
The aim of the typography course is to equip students with manual skills which they can use with confidence to realise typography-related exercises. Preliminary calligraphy training. Logotype design, makeup, image construction, corporate image design, ornamentation and heraldics, bookbinding, cultural history, professional history, technologies of the paper and packaging industries, printing industry, editing problems. Use of computer technology.
Course description, major areas of study (per semester):
Practical skill development exercises and designing assignments are specified in parallel with the theoretical lectures, proceeding in accordance with the chronology of the history of letter writing.
Semester I
Theoretical study areas:

History of letter writing. The development of typefaces. Preparation for writing (mnemotechny), picture-writing (pictogram), concept writing (ideogram), musical notation (phonogram). Stages in the development of pictorial narration and lexigraphy. Egyptian writing.
Sumerian writing. The development of Greek writing. The development of Latin writing. Roman capital, Roman quadrate writing, rustication, Roman cursive, the instruments and materials of Roman writing. The book, Roman numerals. The art of writing in early medieval times. Gothic pencraft. Types of fracture, Rotunda, gothic antiqua, bastard, schwabachi. Variations of certificate writing. Initials, typographic art. Renaissance writing. Humanistic writing, littera moderna, littera antiqua and humanistic cursive miniscula. Baroque and rococo letter art. Determinant stylistical characteristics of baroque and rococo. Dutch antiqua and its masters. English antiqua and its masters. The letter art of classicism. Technical foundations of the development of determinant stylistical characteristics of classicism.
Practical subject matter, Implementation exercises, Foundation rhythm exercises:
The construction, tracing, painting of simple geometrical element series, development of manual skills, development of confident tool use, practice of retouching techniques, completion of 3-4 sample pages. Introduction of types of paper.
Letter drawing based on samples:
Proceeding in chronological order by groups of letter type, writing by hand, completion of 4-5 sample pages.
Design-implementation exercises:
Monogram design: integration of two letter images. Logotype.
Pair of opposites: Images of words with opposite meanings in a single image.
Semester 2
Theoretical study areas:
History of letters
19th century?s declining culture of alphabetic writing. The rebirth of typographic art. Ornamentation and parallels. Style alterations in geometry and organic ornamentation. Typometry. The Didot-Berthold-Förster typographical measuring system, units of measure, conversions, names of letter sizes. Measurement exercises, practising the use of the typometer. N calculations. The anatomy of letters. Readability, optical sizes, optical illusions, methods of letter construction, equalisation. Non-European writing.
Practical subject matter
Implementation exercises

Letter drawing based on sample:
Proceeding in chronological order by groups of letter type, construction of the entire alphabet on a sample page, writing by hand, completion of 4-5 sample pages and transformation of antiqua types.
Design-implementation exercises:
Letter emblem, letter image: 2-3 exercises. Numeral image design. Style exercise: schema composition. Mirror schema design. Symmetrical schema. Caption, epigrammata figurata, letter poster, typoposter. Letter design: constructing missing characters based a few provided members of a typeface. Making more of a given emblem.