Instructor: Peter Cho, TA: Takashi Kawashima


UCLA DESMA 155, Winter 2006
Instructor: Peter Cho
TA: Takashi Kawashima

Studio, six hours; outside study, nine hours. Preparation: completion of preparation for the major courses. Enforced requisites: courses C101 or 104 or C106, and 154A. Integration of print and digital information technology, with continued emphasis on fully integrating visual vocabulary with mastery of conceptual and creative procedures. P/NP or letter grading.

Time: MW 9:00 am – 11:50 am, Location: KINR SO 122
Office Hours: Peter Cho, Mon 5-6 pm, KINR NO 200K; Takashi Kawashima, Mon 1-2pm, KINR NO 3rd floor grad studio
Class website: http://classes.design.ucla.edu/Winter06/155


In this class students will be introduced to strategies of visual communication through kinetic elements, focusing on form, speed, rhythm, orientation, color, texture, and quality of motion. Students will explore the expressive potential of letterforms in a variety of exercises dealing with dynamic typography and motion graphics. Through analyzing contemporary and historical examples, such as film and TV titles, music videos, commercials, as well as exemplary typography work in print design students will develop their own potential for expression trough dynamic typography.

The first four exercises are quick projects focusing on learning how to express of visual communication concepts through motion. For the final project each student will select an excerpt of a dialogue or speech and animate it to reveal the voice of the speaker(s). These assignments deal with how controlling the typographic presentation in time can affect how we perceive and read textual messages.

It is recommended to use software tools such as After Effects in combination with Premiere or FinalCut. Other software such as Flash and Maya can be used as well, but must be discussed with the instructor specific to the current exercise. Production techniques may range from hand-drawn stop motion animation to editing video footage. Each student will give a research presentation about a designer and discuss his or her contributions to design, animation, and typography.

Projects will be evaluated based on their concept, aesthetic qualities, and execution. All exercises must be completed in order to pass the course. Late assignments will reduce the assignment's grade by one partial grade (B -> B-) each class day they are late. Exercises are only considered as complete when they are accessible from the course website. Attendance is mandatory. More than two absences without the instructors’ permission (medical certificate might be requested), before the class meetings, will decrease the overall grade by one partial grade for each additional missed class. Three times running late will be considered as one unexcused absence. Students must attend at least three D|MA sponsored lectures during Spring quarter 2006.


15%: Participation, Attendance, and Research Report
60%: Exercises 1, 2, 3, and 4 (15% each)
25%: Final Project

Recommended Readings

Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style. Hartley & Marks Publishers (2nd edition). 2002

Gerstner, Karl. Compendium for Literates. MIT Press. 1974

Gill, Eric. An Essay on Typography. David R. Godine Publisher. 1993 (Originally published in 1931)

Lanham, Richard A. What's Next for Text? http://www.open.ac.uk/eci/lanham/femoset.html

Ruder, Emil. Typographie. Verlag Niggli AG, Zurich. 1967

Spiekermann, Erik and E.M. Ginger. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works. Adobe Press. 2002

Weingart, Wolfgang. My Way to Typography. Lars Muller Publishers, Baden. 2000