Letterform Studies

Those who know the work of designer Norman Ives and photographer Aaron Siskind will notice their influence on my teaching. It is particularly evident in the first three letterform exercises I assign: Ives’ fragmenting of letterforms and Siskind’s fragmenting of images.

One of my early pleasures at the Rhode Island School of Design was helping to persuade Norman Ives to teach there in 1961 through 1963 and, again, in 1965 through 1968. We remained close friends until his death in 1978. Ives and I taught the same courses, and so began the development of our assignments; they are no longer the same as they were at the outset—they evolve in response to experience in the classroom—but their origin is clear.

As for dear Aaron Siskind, ...

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