Essay 1 assignment

Essay 1 (5-7 pages minimum, due Friday, February 5)

Assignment: Choose a text that we have not discussed in class. Explain how this text exhibits typographic materiality. In other words, discuss how this text thinks with and about the material and graphic properties of letters. These properties may include (but are not limited to) the shape and appearance of the letterforms, their arrangement on the page, the history and cultural associations of the font used, the technical processes by which the letters were produced, and the material substrate of which the letters are made.

Typography: In the interest of “learning by doing”, you will be required to manipulate the typography of your paper in two ways.

1) Instead of using the default font of your word processing program (such as Times New Roman), use a different font that’s more appropriate to the subject matter you’re discussing. As a banal example, if you’re writing about the film Helvetica (which you can’t do because we covered it in class), you might actually write your paper in Helvetica. At the end of your paper, include a colophon of 100-200 words in which you explain why you chose the font that you did.

2) At least once in your paper, use typography to illustrate the argument you’re making. In other words, do something unusual or unexpected with your typography that contributes in some way to your argument. As a banal example, if you’re discussing Apollinaire’s “Mirror,”

you might do something like this: :siht ekil gnihtemos od thgim ouy

Logistics. Provide MLA-format parenthetical citations for all works cited in the body of your paper. Include an MLA-format Works Cited list with your paper. (I expect that you already know how to use MLA format, but if you need a reminder, consult this website.) With your paper, please provide either a copy of the text you’re writing about, or instructions as to how I can find a copy.

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Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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