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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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(RAY)
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
#175 Dtp:160(P) Page:140
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(RAY) Text
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
#175 Dtp:160(P) Page:140
project brief
Assuming the role of curator, the student will as-
semble (and create) a series of historic artifacts.
The eras are predetermined and may range from
the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Next, a
written narrative will be developed that briefl y
introduces a central protagonist in a story. He or
she comes alive through the prose as well as the
evidence left behind from the printed ephemera.
The documentation includes journals, billheads,
personal artifacts, photographs, studies, maps,
letters, and invitations. Once the initial artifacts
are completed, all of these elements and docu-
ments will be designed into a twenty-two-page
handmade, hardbound book. This book must be
appropriately choreographed to the written nar-
rative and consistent with the character’s story.
The telling of this historical fi ction raises ques-
tions about representation as well as truth and
the designer’s power and responsibility with in-
formation. The student must assume three iden-
tities in this project: those of the hero, the curator,
and the designer.
project goal
This layered novel will also function as a portfo-
lio showcasing all the design basics. Taking in-
spiration from Renaissance paintings, students
will do a series of “master” copies or studies. By
exploring historic design through re-creating pe-
riod artifacts (down to the aged look), the class
will address aesthetics and the relationship to
technology and culture. The main purpose of this
course is to study typography and design history
as it relates to our present condition. Typography
is a phenomena of our language that is infl u-
enced by cultural perspectives—this determines
the methods of visual communication and writ-
ing systems. Ultimately, the infl uence of design
as a modern media is revealed as a powerful tool
of infl uence in society and culture.
Class: Advanced Typography
Faculty: Don Pollack
Level: Senior or Graduate
Duration of Project: One Semester
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Undaunted Courage
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Undaunted Courage, The American Frontier
Student: Salome McCaskill
My project was about a fi ctional nineteenth-
century typesetter living in the Rocky Mountain
territory of the American West. The artifact de-
signs were original constructions based on post-
ers, letterheads, and 130-year-old receipts from
the special collections of the Chicago Public
Library. All of the landscape scenes in the book
are original photographs I took from locations
in Colorado. This project was a perfect set up
for me to further explore the traditions of letter-
press and typesetting.
140 design school confi dential
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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
#175 Dtp:160(P) Page:141
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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
#175 Dtp:160(P) Page:141
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clockwise from top:
The London Times, Late War Edition,
November 13, 1916 (2007), 19.25'' × 14''
(49 by 35.5 cm)
Passport of Dr. Yu Tsun, 1914,
(2007) Photograph of Captain
Richard Madden, London, 1915 (2007)
Photograph of entrance to the
home of Dr. Stephen Albert
Handmade book, The Garden of
Forking Paths, by Jorge Luis Borges,
8.25'' × 5.25'' (21 by 13.5 cm)
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Undaunted Courage,
Jorge Luis Borges’s Garden of Forking Paths
Student: Mark Addison Smith
I did a visual retelling of Jorge Luis Borges’s story The Garden of
Forking Paths, as a means to understand narrative structure, char-
acter development, tone, and typographic nuances rooted within
the historical context of World War I. The process began with a
critical reading and collage interpretation of Borges’s text, set on
the eve of the Battle of the Somme when an agent of the German
empire assassinates a famous Sinologist to convey the name of
a city to be attacked. A visual and typographic breakdown of the
story resulted in tangible hand-rendered pieces of “evidence,”
including aged photographs, passports, teaching certifi cates, train
schedules, and newspapers from the early 1900s, which would
become visual examples to accompany the fi nal text. The com-
pleted book was case bound, part short story and part exhibition
catalog with artifacts.
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