Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 172 Typography II
Project 1: Magazine Layout

Instructor: Paul Young


To be introduced to the principles of publication design. To develop typography hierarchy systems. To utilize the grid system to organize information.  

Secondary Objective

To utilize the Adobe Creative Suite as layout and production tools.


Research, write, and design a double-page spread magazine article about an influential typographer for How Magazine. The finished page size is 8.25 x 10.75 inches. The magazine is printed in 4-color process (CMYK).

Also see:

Your project must communicate a creative concept and show an understanding of design principles (unity, emphasis, balance, color theory, etc.).

Per our syllabus, you may ONLY use the standard "core" fonts installed in D019 for your assignments unless you obtain prior approval from the instructor (see Parkland's Core Fonts Specimen Sheet). Please talk to your instructor if you need to use a non-standard font from the Adobe Font Folio collection.

Note: Your design must consist of typographic elements only. No photographs or illustrations will be allowed.


1. Research for inspiration: Research your client. Why does HOW magazine exist? Who is the target audience? Find examples of editorial layouts with creative use of typography and page layout in the Parkland Library (see resources). Pay particular attention to headlines, bylines, lead-ins, initial caps, use of grid. Can you identify an underlying structure? What typefaces are most readable, and in what size? How is the information presented in an interesting way? Scan (instructions) and publish your research on your personal Process Page for critique (be sure to caption each image and cite the source). Be prepared to explain why these examples are successful.

2. Copywriting: Research books, periodicals and the Internet on source material available for the following influential typographers (start with Typography by Friedrich Friedl [Z250.F74] in the Parkland Library reference section):

  • John Baskerville
  • Giambattista Bodoni
  • William Caxton
  • A.M. Cassandre
  • Matthew Carter
  • William Caslon
  • Adrian Frutiger
  • Claude Garamond
  • Eric Gill
  • Frederick W. Goudy
  • Robert Granjon
  • Zuzana Licko
  • Herb Lubalin
  • Aldo Novarese
  • Christopher Plantin
  • Paul Renner
  • Jan Tschichold
  • Herrmann Zapf

Using Google Docs or Word, write a 500-word biographical article about one typographer of your choice. The article should have a title, a lead-in, and your name as the byline. Properly introduce your topic, state your thesis and provide a conclusion at the end. Be sure to cover specific innovations and/or breakthroughs made by this typographer as well as his/her influences and who he/she influenced. Compare and contrast this typographer's style and philosophies with other of his/her time as well as those that came before. Give an overview of the time period that this typographer lived in. You must provide a bibliography of your sources (but do not include the bibliography in your layout). Spelling and grammar will count towards your grade, so please have your article reviewed by the English teachers in the Writing Lab, then email your brief as an attached Word file or a shared Google Doc to (instructions).

3. Develop the concept: In your sketchbook begin to conceptualize ideas for this project (see examples of sketches). Make at least 10 sketches of all possible directions you might take this project. Edit your concepts down to your best three ideas and redraw them on 8.5 x 11 white paper using a felt tip pen. Scan (scale/crop in Photoshop: no wider than 1000 pixels), increase the contrast (see tutorial) and publish your concepts on your personal Process Page for critique. Also print your sketches for your Process Book.

4. Proof: Based on the critique of the above, use the computer to execute at least two versions of your best idea (present at least one proof with an alternate font choice). Publish one multi-page low-res PDF (instructions) on your personal Process Page for critique. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your design. Also print a high-quality color proof to be proofread by your peers (use typography proofreaders' marks).

5. Final critique: Based on the critique of the above, fine-tune your designs (if needed). Submit high-quality color proof(s) for final critique (see printing tips). Prepare a presentation to justify your design decisions. Also publish one multi-page high-res PDF (instructions) on your personal Process Page.

6. Grading: Submit two copies of your work for grading. One proof will be returned to you after grading. File the graded proof in your Process Book for individual review along with all the preliminary work you did for the project (research, sketches, preliminary proofs, final proof). Review your Process Page and make sure you have an accurate record of your process. Also submit one multi-page high-res PDF (instructions) via Cobra's dropbox. You will not receive full credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.

7. Portfolio preparation: If you are happy with the results of this project, consider including it in your portfolio. If necessary, continue to make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.

8. Extra credit: Submit your project into the annual student show by printing an art gallery quality proof and mounting it on foam board. Also prepare an archival quality JPEG (instructions) and submit your project using the online entry form at Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.

Last updated: 1/3/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young